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Registered: 10/24/03
Posts: 30
Last seen: 9 years, 7 months
First cake grow & PMP questions (poor man's pod)
    #2170789 - 12/09/03 12:49 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Hello everyone,

This is my first post, but I have been reading here for quite a while... I've also read most of the Faq's. I apologise in advance if anything I ask has been answered else where. I am asking all of the questions on behalf of a friend of my brothers (Max, and this is Maxs' first attempt at mushroom cultivation). Unfortunately Max cannot provide any pictures at this stage.

Anyway, Max has birthed (birthed about 9 days ago, first pins showed 3 days ago) 3 x 1/2 pint cakes (using the PF max fruiting formula, except BRF has been 100% replaced by organic millet flour - inoculated with an unknown strain of P. Cubensis - cakes were cold shocked & dunked for 20 hours in sterilized spring water with 20:1 6% h202, and rolled in verm then birthed) in a 20 litre (5 gallons I guess) bucket, this bucket is operating as a PMP (Poor Man's Pod, using Hydroton clay balls and water with 6% h202 mixed at 20:1). Max cannot measure humidity, but I advised him it should be OK as from what I have read the PMP has little trouble achieving 95 - 100% RH (Max followed Magash's instructions when building the PMP, except for air pump - there is generally condensation forming on all the inside surfaces of the terrarium, except in higher temps when the condensation still remains but not as intense as at lower temps). The temperature remains constantly at 70 - 78, but can spike to 80 - 85 for a few hours per day (don't ask, as there are other things going on in Max's growroom >:). Max has an vent hole near the top of the bucket about the same diameter as the tube pumping air in (air pump pumps into one airstone, airstone is is about 8 inches long). The cakes are sitting directly on the Hydroton.
Cakes receive at least 8 hours a day of diffused daylight and cool white fluorescent light.

Pins showed on the cakes 3 days ago, these first pins are growing but not very quickly - Max has a feeling they should be growing quicker, but has no prior experience. More pins are appearing every day and he cannot spot any aborts yet (looking for mutants with blackish caps, again, no prior experience). The oldest and biggest pins still seem to be getting bigger, just at a very slow (barely noticeable) rate.

Max wondered about the air exchange, his little pump is rated for 150 litres per hour (about 37.5 gallons an hour), is this enough for the 5 gallon terrarium? (not including space taken up by water, hydroton & cakes) or too much? going by the above numbers it should be getting 7 complete air exchanges an hour.... which I think is too much! what do you guys think? the pump has a high and low setting (unfortunately I don't know what the low setting is rated for) do you guys think Max should try the low setting? what happens to a fruiting cake that receives too many complete air exchanges per hour? Max has been using the high setting up until today, as he is now going to try the low setting (is this bad? will the cakes have adjusted to the high air exchange rate? or will they appreciate the lower exchange rate?) Is it possible the higher air exchange rate was causing a lower RH which is stunting the growth of the pins? The pump has been on high since the cakes were birthed.

Also, with regards to humidity with the PMP. Am I correct in advising Max that the PMP has little trouble achieving 90% - 100% RH ? assuming it is setup correctly of course (Max has about 4 inches of Hydroton in total, with about 1.5 inches of "dry" hydroton above the water level). There is fuzzy mycelium growth all over the cakes themselves, but none on the pins stems (the caps have little bits of mycelium remaining, but I understand this is normal)

How much longer do you think it will take before Max has mature mushrooms? surely they cannot be far away!? What is the growth rate of a pin? does it spend most of it's time "establishing itself" and then having a massive growth spurt over the last 24 - 48 hours?

Also, I have not been able to find any solid info on PMP vent hole size (perhaps because it is pretty much irrelevant?). Am I right in advising Max that he only needs a vent hole with the same diameter of the tube pumping air in? (about 1 centimetre)

Also, how does air flow affect humidity? ie if Max wanted to vary the humidity (yes, probably pointless unless he gets a hygrometer - again there is condensation everywhere and Max advises it feels very humid when he opens the terrarium) can he just vary the size of the vent hole? (smaller for higher RH? or vice versa?)

Is Max going crazy with impatience? should he just relax and wait for the shrooms to come in? (his first time, so of course he thinks everything is wrong and always wants to tinker.... so far he has been very good at restraining himself!)

Thanks everyone, and sorry for the lengthy post!

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Registered: 09/16/03
Posts: 619
Re: First cake grow & PMP questions (poor man's pod) [Re: Shroomanton]
    #2170818 - 12/10/03 02:26 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

patience man they will grow you are just freaking out :laugh:


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Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 1
Last seen: 6 years, 4 months
Re: First cake grow & PMP questions (poor man's pod) [Re: Shroomanton]
    #15615130 - 01/04/12 03:17 PM (6 years, 5 months ago)

Im not completley sure of the RH a PMP can generate but condensation
really means nothing. All that it means is that the temperatures are
different from the inside and outside of your setup. So my advice If Max
hasnt done so already is to get a hygrometer.

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