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Offlinesgfcchamber
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Is It True Actinomycetes (firefang) are Beneficial to the Growth of Mushrooms?
    #16084456 - 04/13/12 12:51 PM (7 years, 9 days ago)

I posted this thread in the regular forum, but after thinking about it, thought maybe it was better suited here.  If not, I apologize.

After searching for I don't even know how long & reading I don't even know how many threads, I'm left...confused.

What I'd like to know is if actinomycetes (will be referred to as firefang from here on out) are actually beneficial to the growth of mushrooms (qbz to be more specific).

It seems the people that say yes, say yes because they say it's beneficial for one of two (or both) of these reasons:

  • That firefang makes a bulk substrate significantly less prone to contamination because while firefang does not harm mushroom mycelium in any way, it does in fact "destroy/hinder the growth of" contaminate bacteria & molds.

  • Firefang serves as an amazing source of nutrition for growing mushroom mycelium as mushroom mycelium will actually "eat" the dead/living firefang and in turn are provided with a rich set of micro/macro nutrients not otherwise found to any significant degree in substrates lacking their presence


Then there are people who say no, their presence does nothing at all (negative or positive).

My main reason for asking, is because I'm making a homemade mushroom compost from manure/straw/produce/grass clippings/etc/etc (thread about that here) and I just discovered today that the entire center of the pile is entirely white & totally covered with firefang.  Having read before that firefang is beneficial & now actually having boatloads of a substrate (or soon to be substrate) that is loaded with firefang has sparked my interest & curiosity in knowing whether it's true or not.

So, anybody out there know one way or the other, from experience or otherwise, what the verdict on this subject is?


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Invisibleoysterizer
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Re: Is It True Actinomycetes (firefang) are Beneficial to the Growth of Mushrooms? [Re: sgfcchamber]
    #16084615 - 04/13/12 01:35 PM (7 years, 9 days ago)

It was my understanding that firefang and other thermophiles are beneficial during the composting process, and are mostly just a food source for compost loving mushrooms by the time it is pasteurized, cooled, and spawned. 

I'm sure someone here knows a lot more about it though


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OfflineMycelio
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Re: Is It True Actinomycetes (firefang) are Beneficial to the Growth of Mushrooms? [Re: sgfcchamber]
    #16084750 - 04/13/12 02:17 PM (7 years, 9 days ago)

Reading your other thread I see that your composting process just started three days ago and the material didn't reach peak temps yet. Isn't it too early to discuss firefang details?
You may be looking at the remains of mesophilic organisms or perhaps thermophilic fungi, starting to take over. I would expect Actinobacteria to become visible in a week or later.

However, I can assure you, that a substrate, which is densely populated by microbes, makes it hard for molds to get a foot in the door. I'm pretty sure that those microbes excrete substances, suppressing mold growth and spore germination.
Also, microbes are definitely an excellent source of nitrogen compounds as well as vitamins.
The whole composting process is about fixing as much nitrogen as possible in microbial biomass, while synthesizing other nutriens, essential for secondary decomposers.
I don't think the button mushroom industry would use composting, if it wouldn't give optimum results.
Cubes, in contrast can also be primary decomposers, so their growth and yield will not depend as much on properly performed composting. Also I didn't see something really nitrogen rich in your recipe, which would balance the nitrogen poor straw.
But please don't get discouraged now! Your container seems to be suited, the pile is heating up and you will hopefully end up with a good substrate, even if it may not hold the maximum in nitrogen.

Carsten


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Offlinesgfcchamber
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Re: Is It True Actinomycetes (firefang) are Beneficial to the Growth of Mushrooms? [Re: Mycelio]
    #16084932 - 04/13/12 03:01 PM (7 years, 9 days ago)

Quote:

Mycelio said:
Reading your other thread I see that your composting process just started three days ago and the material didn't reach peak temps yet. Isn't it too early to discuss firefang details?
You may be looking at the remains of mesophilic organisms or perhaps thermophilic fungi, starting to take over. I would expect Actinobacteria to become visible in a week or later.




I'm about 99% certain it is firefang, for a couple of reasons.  While the pile hasn't reached peak temps yet, when I took the temperature reading, it was just over 120F.  I wasn't able to get the temperature reading until about 4 minutes after I had split the pile in half (and I split it in half outside in 50F weather), so the temperature reading I did get was surely lower than what it was before I split the pile in half.

From my understanding, firefang (thermophiles) experience optimum growth at 122F, with a maximum temperature of 158F and a minimum of 104F.  The temp reading I took is perfect for their survival and what I saw looked exactly like "firefang" to me.

About 1/3'rd of the horse manure used in the mix was already entirely encrusted with firefang when I put the mix together.  I'm pretty sure that would have served as an excellent "firefang innoculant" so to speak.  Not to mention there was the addition of the compost starter (which is a mix of microorganisms) and the addition of rain water that's been outside for over 6 months and is teeming with algae & I'm sure tons of microscopic critters.

In any case, I'm sure I could be wrong, seeing as I've never composted anything before.

Quote:

Mycelio said:
However, I can assure you, that a substrate, which is densely populated by microbes, makes it hard for molds to get a foot in the door. I'm pretty sure that those microbes excrete substances, suppressing mold growth and spore germination.
Also, microbes are definitely an excellent source of nitrogen compounds as well as vitamins.
The whole composting process is about fixing as much nitrogen as possible in microbial biomass, while synthesizing other nutriens, essential for secondary decomposers.
I don't think the button mushroom industry would use composting, if it wouldn't give optimum results.
Cubes, in contrast can also be primary decomposers, so their growth and yield will not depend as much on properly performed composting. Also I didn't see something really nitrogen rich in your recipe, which would balance the nitrogen poor straw.
But please don't get discouraged now! Your container seems to be suited, the pile is heating up and you will hopefully end up with a good substrate, even if it may not hold the maximum in nitrogen.

Carsten




This response was fantastic, thank you very much.  This reinforced some of what I had already read (but with a better explanation on your part) and also gave new information I hadn't read.  5 mushies for you!

I've never composted anything before, so I'm simply following the Homemade Compost Tek by Agar in regards to ingredients & method.

I'm hoping the grass clippings, the produce & the coffee grounds will provide the appropriate nitrogen levels to achieve a well composted & nutritionally balanced compost.  From the information I've scraped together, the NPK values of the ingredients used should be as follows (though I have no idea if it is enough nitrogen, again, I'm just following the tek):

Grass Clippings (one five gallon pail in mix): 4 - 0.5 - 2
Coffee Grounds (one full gallon jug used in mix): 2.08 - 0.32 - 0.28
Horse Manure (two five gallon pails in mix): 0.7 - 0.3 - 0.6 (note, these are the NPK values for dry horse manure.  About 2/3'rds of the horse manure used in the mix was fresh as could be, practically steaming & still "wet" with urine & moisture.  Again, from what I understand, horse urine is rich in nitrogen)
Various Produce (whole apples, whole cucumbers, whole bananas, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce & a couple of other things I can't remember): not sure


--------------------

========================================================================================
Mushroom / Bulk Substrate Calculator <- Tells you exactly how much of what ingredients you need for any substrate for any container!
Here is the corresponding shroomery thread: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/15656577


Easy Bulk Substrate Pasteurizer - Hands Free Operation
========================================================================================


Edited by sgfcchamber (04/13/12 03:22 PM)


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OfflineMycelio
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Re: Is It True Actinomycetes (firefang) are Beneficial to the Growth of Mushrooms? [Re: sgfcchamber]
    #16088048 - 04/14/12 07:09 AM (7 years, 8 days ago)

Right, I forgot about the grass clippings. Together with the urine they should compensate for the lower N content of the straw.
According to Paul Stamets, there is an optimum of 1.6 - 1.7%N to start with, in other terms a carbon to nitrogen ratio between 30:1 and 25:1. Working with those numbers is more or less guesswork though. Most numbers you find in the net are just copied from elsewhere and not correct. Also, values for horse manure only make sense, if you know the material was fresh, aged, with or without bedding material, urine, etc., not to mention natural variations, depending on the horse feed.

Anyway, if your compost has a strong ammonia odor now, everything should be fine. You may want to keep an eye on these whole fruits and veggies though and be careful with watering, so you don't get soggy, rotting areas.

And thanks for the rating!
Carsten


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Offlinesgfcchamber
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Re: Is It True Actinomycetes (firefang) are Beneficial to the Growth of Mushrooms? [Re: Mycelio]
    #16088571 - 04/14/12 11:46 AM (7 years, 8 days ago)

Quote:

Mycelio said:
Right, I forgot about the grass clippings. Together with the urine they should compensate for the lower N content of the straw.
According to Paul Stamets, there is an optimum of 1.6 - 1.7%N to start with, in other terms a carbon to nitrogen ratio between 30:1 and 25:1. Working with those numbers is more or less guesswork though. Most numbers you find in the net are just copied from elsewhere and not correct. Also, values for horse manure only make sense, if you know the material was fresh, aged, with or without bedding material, urine, etc., not to mention natural variations, depending on the horse feed.

Anyway, if your compost has a strong ammonia odor now, everything should be fine. You may want to keep an eye on these whole fruits and veggies though and be careful with watering, so you don't get soggy, rotting areas.

And thanks for the rating!
Carsten




That's great to hear that I didn't waste a whole bunch of my time, haha.  Once again, thanks for the valuable info.

As for the whole fruits & veggies, I should have been more clear.  I said whole fruits & veggies so you knew I didn't just add scraps/skins, but before they were actually added to the compost, all of them were put through a food processor to make sure they'd readily decompose.

As for the rating, no problem, you earned it! :thumbup:


--------------------

========================================================================================
Mushroom / Bulk Substrate Calculator <- Tells you exactly how much of what ingredients you need for any substrate for any container!
Here is the corresponding shroomery thread: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/15656577


Easy Bulk Substrate Pasteurizer - Hands Free Operation
========================================================================================


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
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