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Pondering an idea that would give more surface space for mycelium to grow ?
Ok here is what im wondering what if one was to take a firm sponge and cut it into small 1/4 inch sized chunks or strips and used them inconjunction with a popcorn mix ? or how about trying a Hydro Grow Cupe these both hold water well and one could have more surface for the mycelium also they wondering if the material could my soaked in a nutriend that mushrooms love. If this could be done i could see a decrease in risk for contam's.
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Growing fungus hydroponically isn't really that feasible. Fungus is a primary decomposer of plant matter. Granted, growing on agar is hydroponic, it grows in a nutrient solution suspended in a solid matrix, but I don't know how well that scales.
I would tend to think that an additive such as this wouldn't have much effect on contam rates if it were properly sterilized along with the media. It could act as a moisture reserve though. So you have a trade off between moisture content and nutrient supply. Many people do add moisture retaining additives to culture media.
How are you envisioning "more surface space"? You would lessen the nutrient content of the media by adding filler, which would mean less food for the fungi. It could make very clumpy, or dense, media more airy and help speed mycelium propagation perhaps. Such is the reasoning behind adding vermiculite to rice flower for cakes.
It probably wouldn't hurt to add a little something like this to cakes, as a moisture reserve, but with anything like grain culture this would best be avoided in my mind.
taking things to a more fundamental level....you want your substrate to be a homogeneous mixture that provides mositure retention, air exchange, and nutrients.
The sponge idea would provide for moisture rentention, and possibly for air exchange (if it doesent mush) but is not really practical for the following reasons: 1. It is likely (I havent done the math) that the sponge usage is substantially more expensive than using....say verm. esp. if you use cubes 2. Unless you shred it, you will not get a homogeneous mixture 3. Sponge/cube media is not organic...I dont know how that affects things 4. verm actually retains a remarkable amount of moisture and provides release over a fairly extended period of time.....i doubt sponge or grow cube could come close to verm. on either of these points.
popcorn is a different issue which I dont know much about, but which is being discussed currently. Try throwing this idea into that thread and see what people have to add to my comments. Also as calyco said, your method wouldnt increase surface area. -MM
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