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InvisibleSpitballJedi
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Basic Principles of a Monotub * 16
    #20307891 - 07/21/14 10:29 PM (7 years, 1 month ago)

This is part of my series "The Basics"

Principles of a Monotub

This guide is not focused on bulk substrates per se. It's really just the basics of how the monotub works. Having the basic concept of how it works is a good foundation to build on.

A monotub is a all-in-one container to mix your spawn with bulk substrate for colonizing and then also serves as the fruiting chamber.

There is more than one approach to making and maintaining a monotub. I will attempt to explain the most commonly used monotub here. This monotub is considered a "set and forget" mono. I will refer to it as a mono from here on out.

How it's made


Typically, a monotub is made of a clear/transparent tote/storage tub. It has 6 holes total; that's two holes on each long side just above top of substrate and a hole at each end as close to the top as possible.

While colonizing, all holes are covered with tape. This locks in moisture and allows CO2 to build up. The tape should not be breathable. The imperfect lid will allow for all the GE you need.

Once 100% colonized and ready for fruiting conditions, the tape is removed. The bottom holes then get polyfil stuffed tightly in them and the top holes have loose or no polyfil in them.

Sometimes, there is also a fan in the room near, but pointing away from the monotub. You have to experiment with this to see if you need one. Sometimes, a fan seems to dry out my substrates.

Principle of operation


The dilemma:

We know humid air rises because it's less dense than drier air. So, the humid air inside the mono should rise up and out the top holes, right? Because it's less dense than the drier air in your grow room, right?

You can see evidence of this if you put a substrate in the mono and leave the holes completely open. You will see the substrate drying faster near and around the bottom holes. This is because the humid air flowing out the top creates a vacuum that pulls fresh dry air in through the bottom and causing drying.

We don't want this to happen because mycelium weakens and the substrate becomes more prone to contamination as it dries.

Stuffing polyfil in the bottom holes lowers the volume of fresh air coming in. The tighter you stuff it, the less fresh air.

Looser poly will allow more fresh air, but too loose can cause the drying mentioned earlier.

If you stuff the bottom holes tight, you will protect your substrate from drying, but you restrict the FAE your substrate needs.

What Can We Do To Fix This?

I know of two basic answers:

A) Adjust your polyfil just right so you have a balance of FAE without having dry spots around the holes. Then, make up the difference with fanning and/or misting.

B) Stuff the bottom holes tight with polyfil and maybe put a fan in the room.

I'm here to explain option B) Set and forget.

A fan in the room will create air movement. Because the top holes have loose, or no poly in them, the air can move in.

Think of your car window. When going down the road, a fully opened window will cause air to blow in as it goes by. Albeit exaggerated, this is basically what happens with a mono through the top holes with a fan in the room.

The fresh air comes in through the top, mixes with the humid air inside, and then flows out the bottom holes. This allows for a more even fresh air and prevents dry spots because it becomes humid air before it reaches the substrate.

The force of the moving air created by the fan is greater than the force of the rising humid air and is also greater than the force of the circulating air inside the tub.

Essentially, by stuffing the the bottom holes tight and putting a fan in the room, we have changed the natural flow of air inside the mono. Humidity at the substrate surface remains high because the fresher drier air coming in is humidified by the moisture released from the substrate. This is how you can get good FAE without sacrificing humidity.

Having holes down low ensures that when the air comes in at the top, it will circulate and mix with the humid air inside because it will want to flow in up top and out the bottom due to the force of the fan in the room.

This is not a perfectly closed loop system. Some of the air will flow in and out the top and bottom, but most of it comes in the top holes.

If all the hole were high, then the air may mostly circulate in and out the top and have little effect on the substrate. If all the hole were at the bottom, then you would have to keep the poly tight or risk dry spots.

Tub Size


I use a clear 64 quart Sterilite 1928. If your tub is too big, you may not get enough air circulation inside. If it's too small, it may get too dry inside. 50-80 quarts seems to be a good range for this tek.

It needs to be tall enough. It needs to be tall enough to accommodate at least 2-4 inches of substrate and 4-8 inches of mushroom anything taller than 16-18 inches is likely unnecessary.


Some Things to Consider


I place the bottom holes so that they split the side in to thirds. The distance between the holes is the same as the distance from the corner.

To help prevent side pinning, line the inside of the tub with plastic. As the substrate shrinks, it plastic shrinks with it and thus prevents a nice climate on the sides for the mushrooms.

Leave at least 4-5 inches of space between the tub and walls in your grow room. This will allow for the needed air circulation created by the fan.

No need to tape the bottom of the tub. That was done when we used to think light was the main cause of side pinning. Just don't bother.

Frank's Bulk Spawning Tek (in a monotub)His has pictures :thumbup:

Now it's time to Make A Monotub


Edited by SpitballJedi (03/08/15 02:57 PM)


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OfflineKizzle
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 4
    #20308088 - 07/21/14 10:59 PM (7 years, 1 month ago)

You forgot to mention why there should be holes at substrate level. Suffice it to say a thick canopy of mushrooms can otherwise limit airflow to the substrate.


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InvisibleSpitballJedi
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: Kizzle] * 3
    #20308144 - 07/21/14 11:08 PM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Good call.I knew I was missing something


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InvisibleGhatti
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 2
    #20308440 - 07/21/14 11:57 PM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Dude, thank you soooooo much for acknowledging that humid air rises and leaves through the top holes.

I don't know how many times I argued this with frank on a diff account.

He swore that the fresh air got pushed in the top holes and out through the bottom.


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InvisibleAbshroom
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 1
    #20308481 - 07/22/14 12:04 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Very nice write up, as usual :wink:
But would you mind writing a bit more about how to correctly adjust polyfill when not having a fan?



That's my current (and first) monotub. 4 holes on top (one each side) and 6 on the bottom (one on the short, two on the long sides).
I don't want to use a fan, because the monotub stands in my bedroom and don't want to have a fan there blowing 24/7.
On this mono there's just a little bit of evaporation on the holes and really much condensation on each side, probably to much? Should I put away the top polyfill for better FAE? It's in fruiting conditions since 18.07 but not 100% colonized then, because there was a little bit more substrate on one edge (now 100%). Thanks in advance :smile:


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InvisibleSpitballJedi
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: Ghatti] * 1
    #20308612 - 07/22/14 12:25 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Ghatti said:
Dude, thank you soooooo much for acknowledging that humid air rises and leaves through the top holes.

I don't know how many times I argued this with frank on a diff account.

He swore that the fresh air got pushed in the top holes and out through the bottom.





If you re-read, you may see that I agree with Frank. A combination of fan and tight poly at the bottom is what causes this to happen. If there was no poly and no fan, as I outlined in The Dilemma section, then you would be correct.

There may be some air coming out the top, but very little; nothing of consequence. It's a tiny and insignificant detail in the physics of the operation.

If my goal was to prevent any and all air from escaping the top, then yeah, this would be a fail. But, since my goal is to reverse the natural flow of air inside the tub while mainlining good FAE and RH, then this is a success. That is the overwhelming predominant climate inside the tub. Don't over think it.


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The Noob Forum
The Hammock Hangers' Forum


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InvisibleSpitballJedi
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: Abshroom] * 1
    #20308837 - 07/22/14 01:10 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Abshroom said:
Very nice write up, as usual :wink:
But would you mind writing a bit more about how to correctly adjust polyfill when not having a fan?



That's my current (and first) monotub. 4 holes on top (one each side) and 6 on the bottom (one on the short, two on the long sides).
I don't want to use a fan, because the monotub stands in my bedroom and don't want to have a fan there blowing 24/7.
On this mono there's just a little bit of evaporation on the holes and really much condensation on each side, probably to much? Should I put away the top polyfill for better FAE? It's in fruiting conditions since 18.07 but not 100% colonized then, because there was a little bit more substrate on one edge (now 100%). Thanks in advance :smile:




Condensation is normal for a mono tub. The inside is warmer than your room. The temperature difference will cause the condensation. I guess I could put that info in the OP.

It looks like you have some contamination. Those white spots. It's hard to tell from the pic though.

Your set up may not have a distinct air-flow pattern. The air is likely all rising up and out and fresh air coming in the bottom though.

It's hard for me to say what you should do with that tub because I have never used one that way. But, I will try. I usually only try and talk about what I know.

I would put tape over the top holes on the 2 sides

Then, tape over the holes on bottom on the ends.

When done, you will have two holes on bottom on each side and one hole at top on each end for a total of six holes. Then, you can adjust the poly.

Then again, doing all that may not matter.

Either way, since you likely don't have good FAE, you will need to fan the tub out 2-4 times a day. I wouldn't loosen the poly on bottom too much because you may get dry spots around the holes.


--------------------
The Basics
A little civility goes a long way

The Noob Forum
The Hammock Hangers' Forum


Edited by SpitballJedi (07/22/14 01:12 AM)


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OfflinecronicrMFacebook
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 2
    #20309034 - 07/22/14 01:47 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

another winner:seriousthankyou:
maybe some harvest tips? i hate seeing poor dudes reaching into there tubs to cut them out:lol:


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Offlinecinderblock
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 1
    #20309267 - 07/22/14 02:44 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Do you have a clear lid for your monotub? I went to Target today and found no storage container with a clear lid, so I just got one with a pink lid with a latch. The container itself is clear, but they didn't have any clear lids for 66 quarts. The only storage box design that came with a clear lid were these really horizontal boxes that were long with very little depth. And then they also had a 54 quart storage container that provided some kinda gasket for airtight moisture lock, but it was sold out. Should I go back for those when they restock? Or just stick to the pink lid? I think sunlight'll be adequate just from the side. What do you think?

Does it matter if the sides or straight or ridged, etc?


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OfflinePsiloBeast
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: cinderblock] * 1
    #20309300 - 07/22/14 02:51 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Dude...very nice write-up Spitball!!


:mindblown:


--------------------
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                                    -Aristotle
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                          BEAST STYLE LINKS
Water Extraction Tek,Frank's Monotub Tek ,Do What He Does...


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OfflineMr.Top_Hat
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 1
    #20309470 - 07/22/14 04:05 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Very nice and enjoyable write up. Good job.


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InvisibleTheEaglesGift
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: Mr.Top_Hat] * 1
    #20309534 - 07/22/14 04:33 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Nice write up. :thumbup:


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InvisibleAbshroom
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 1
    #20309651 - 07/22/14 06:24 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

SpitballJedi said:
Quote:

Abshroom said:
Very nice write up, as usual :wink:
But would you mind writing a bit more about how to correctly adjust polyfill when not having a fan?



That's my current (and first) monotub. 4 holes on top (one each side) and 6 on the bottom (one on the short, two on the long sides).
I don't want to use a fan, because the monotub stands in my bedroom and don't want to have a fan there blowing 24/7.
On this mono there's just a little bit of evaporation on the holes and really much condensation on each side, probably to much? Should I put away the top polyfill for better FAE? It's in fruiting conditions since 18.07 but not 100% colonized then, because there was a little bit more substrate on one edge (now 100%). Thanks in advance :smile:




Condensation is normal for a mono tub. The inside is warmer than your room. The temperature difference will cause the condensation. I guess I could put that info in the OP.

It looks like you have some contamination. Those white spots. It's hard to tell from the pic though.

Your set up may not have a distinct air-flow pattern. The air is likely all rising up and out and fresh air coming in the bottom though.

It's hard for me to say what you should do with that tub because I have never used one that way. But, I will try. I usually only try and talk about what I know.

I would put tape over the top holes on the 2 sides

Then, tape over the holes on bottom on the ends.

When done, you will have two holes on bottom on each side and one hole at top on each end for a total of six holes. Then, you can adjust the poly.

Then again, doing all that may not matter.

Either way, since you likely don't have good FAE, you will need to fan the tub out 2-4 times a day. I wouldn't loosen the poly on bottom too much because you may get dry spots around the holes.




Okay, will change it when I come home. But wouldn't it 'produce' better FAE (after tapping the holes as you mentioned), when removing the polyfill on the top holes? I work a lot and could fan a maximum of 2 times a day, but besides that I made a monotub for 'set and forget' so I would like to prevent manually fanning?


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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: Abshroom] * 1
    #20309672 - 07/22/14 06:42 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

1.put a fan in the room
2. stuff bottom holes tightly...
3. adjust top polyfill accordingly to allow plenty of fae but not dry out substrate
4. walaa


I think that is what jedi is saying is the best way for set and forget :shrug::awethumb:


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InvisibleAbshroom
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: tombosley8] * 1
    #20309701 - 07/22/14 07:18 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

tombosley8 said:
1.put a fan in the room
2. stuff bottom holes tightly...
3. adjust top polyfill accordingly to allow plenty of fae but not dry out substrate
4. walaa

I think that is what jedi is saying is the best way for set and forget :shrug::awethumb:




Yeah I know about these four steps :p the only problem is (as already mentioned), that the monotub is in my bedroom and I don't want a fan there 24/7 while sleeping etc next to me and unfortunately I don't have another room I could use for it. That's why I wanted to know how to make the best out of a setting without a fan?


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Invisiblegrainbrain
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: Abshroom] * 1
    #20309711 - 07/22/14 07:27 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Build a SGFC.  Monotubs require a fan.


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OfflineAttainment
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: grainbrain] * 1
    #20309725 - 07/22/14 07:36 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

I second Cron on some pointers about harvesting.
and would ask that you add some tips on
what to do after the first flush to help get
a good second one.

I'll also add a tip on making a clear lid.
Buy some of that window cover plastic
that you get to seal up your windows in the
winter. It comes with double-sided tape.
That way, you just cutout the center, tape
around the hole, cut plastic to size, and
put it into place. You can also take a
hair dryer and seal the plastic up even tighter.
I did this for my SAB. Works perfect


Edited by Attainment (07/22/14 07:40 AM)


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InvisibleSpitballJedi
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: Attainment] * 1
    #20309991 - 07/22/14 09:37 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

Thanks for the replies. A pattern you may notice in my teks is that they are as simple as I can make them. I try to stay focused on one particular area so the noob doesn't get overwhelmed with info and get lost. This one is just about how the tub works, the thought and principles behind it.

In my humble opinion, talking about too many aspects of growing on one thread makes for a long and confusing thread and many noobs will just not read it and miss out on good info.

I prefer to make multiple short teks so you can key in on the main points they are missing.

Abshroom, as far as your situation goes, I don't know what else to tell you, sorry. I just don't know the best way to do things differently than the way I do them. That's why I do what I do. If that makes any sense. This thread is about set and forget monotubs.

All I can really tell you is to fan it out, keep an eye on that potential contam, see what happens. You may be wise to make a post asking your question in the main forum. Good luck to you


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InvisibleSpitballJedi
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: cinderblock] * 1
    #20310129 - 07/22/14 10:37 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

If the tub is clear and the lid is not, that's okay. Light will still get in.

You don't need a gasketed lid. The imperfect lid is what allows for GE during colonization.

It doesn't matter if the sides are ridged.


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The Basics
A little civility goes a long way

The Noob Forum
The Hammock Hangers' Forum


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InvisibleSpitballJedi
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Re: Basic Principles of a Monotub [Re: SpitballJedi] * 1
    #20310135 - 07/22/14 10:37 AM (7 years, 1 month ago)

In light of some questions, I will update the OP tonight when I get home from work


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