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Can I add certain % Peroxide to substrate mix?
    #375774 - 08/21/01 07:11 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Trying to fight the loss of jars to the green mold Is it possible to add a small percentage of peroxide to the water in a substrate PF jar tek BRF/verm to keep the contams down?. would this work or has anyone tried it?. thanks in advance[smile}

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Registered: 04/27/01
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Re: Can I add certain % Peroxide to substrate mix? [Re: Numba9]
    #375779 - 08/21/01 07:17 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

No peroxide will kill the spores

Well anyway, here is ONE of the donkey links for peroxide agar, so not ALL is lost :

Author Topic: Peroxide Agar Tek
Posts: 1194
Registered: Mar 2000
posted 05-05-2000 07:19 PM
Just thought more people might need to be reminded of this tek. I works wonders! This was a post written by placebo, and commented on by me (mycofile).
First of all, let me begin by saying that this is not my tek, and I'm not taking credit for it. As far as I know, the credit belongs to Dr Rush Wayne. Check out his website. If you find this information useful, and/or would like to find out more about the uses of peroxide in mushroom cultivation, please consider buying his manual.
I've noticed a few people lately asking about agar. I find it very useful and recommend that everyone give it a try. Most people are turned off of agar because of fears of unavoidable contamination problems. I've found that with the use of hydrogen peroxide in my agar mix, I can do transfers in the open, unfiltered air with little worry of contamination.

Many people seem a bit confused as to what peroxide can and can not do. Hydrogen peroxide will kill bacteria and fungal spores and inhibit the growth of yeasts. Unfortunately, mushroom spores fall under the category of fungal spores, so they will not germinate on peroxidated agar because they are killed on contact. The good part about this is that mold spores, such as spores from the dreaded green mold, fall under this category as well and are also killed upon contact with the agar surface. What will grow on peroxidated agar is existing fungal colonies, such as your living mushroom mycelium, because their cells can produce enzymes that will cause the peroxide to be broken down into water and oxygen. The downside, however, is that existing colonies of some molds, such as green mold, are also capable of producing these enzymes, so peroxide will not guard against mold spores that have already germinated. But perhaps the best attribute of peroxide is that it will kill all bacteria, so you will never have a problem with bacterial contamination on peroxide enriched agar.

Enough with the background information already... Tell me how to do it!

First you need to get a hold of some light malt extract powder and some agar agar. Malt extract can be found at your local wine and beer brewing store, and agar agar can be bought from Fungi Perfecti, among other places. You also need some petri dishes, also available from FP, or you can pour your agar into empty jars instead of plates if you prefer. Next, mix three grams of malt extract and three grams of agar (or, if you bought them pre-mixed, six grams of the mix) with 149 ml of water (you should use 149 ml instead of 150 because you want to account for an extra ml of peroxide that you will be adding later). I measure out my water with an empty syringe, keeping in mind that one cc is the same as one ml. I mix and sterilize this solution in a half pint jar, because the amount of agar solution is right for that size jar and because the size of the jar fits well in the pot that I use for sterilizing it. It works for me, but it is not ideal for pouring and I'm sure a better substitute could be found. Anyway, close up your container of agar and sterilize for 45 minutes. I sterilize mine by letting it sit in boiling water in a covered pot, but you could use a pressure cooker if you wanted to. While it is sterilizing, thoroughly clean your plates if you haven't already done so, and stack them on a tabletop. As soon as is possible without burning yourself, move the jar of molten agar to the tabletop, open the lid, and insert a clean thermometer into the agar. Sine hydrogen peroxide decomposes at 140 degrees fahrenheit, you need to let the temperature of the agar drop below that before you add the peroxide. Otherwise it will decompose into water and oxygen and be effectively useless. This is why the peroxide is added after sterilization. I have found that my agar begins to solidify at around 120 degrees fahrenheit, so fill a syringe with peroxide and when the temperature falls to 130 degrees, add one ml to the molten agar and stir it in with the thermometer. Then remove the thermometer and pour your plates, stacking them as you go. I can usually pour nine or ten plates with this amount of agar. If you want to make a larger or smaller amount, simply adjust the amounts of water, agar, malt, and peroxide, keeping all the ratios the same.

A good idea would be to order some antibiotic agar from FP to use for germinating spores. This stuff, while resistant to bacteria, is still susceptible to contamination by mold and yeast, so don't forget to use the proper sterile techniques (like a glove box, bleached down room, or a warm oven). Once the spores germinate, the mycelium can be transferred to peroxidated agar with less of a stress on sterility. It is important to remember to keep your scalpels clean and to thoroughly clean and sterilize your plates prior to pouring! If there are small mold colonies left in the plates when you pour them, they will be resistant to the peroxide and will grow.

Commentary added by mycofile 5-5-2000: A range of H2O2 concentrations is acceptable. cubensis seems to tolerate amounts ranging from 1 ml to 7ml for this mix. The more you use, the longer "adjustment" period for mycelium to adapt to the peroxidated agar. As a general rule, the least amount necessary is best. But since your mileage may varry, you may modify as to what works for you.

I have personally used the original formula to make plates that were left unsealed and unfiltered in a nasty NASTY kitchen for up to 2 weeks until they dried out. The agar never contaminated!

From a registered Mad Scientist (tm)

"From a certain point of view"
-Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (also a registered mad scientist tm)

[This message has been edited by mycofile (edited 05-05-2000).]

Jon Hash
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Posts: 119
Registered: Apr 2000
posted 05-10-2000 01:18 PM
wouldent the peroxide arrest the growth of mycelium or at least slow it down

Posts: 7
Registered: May 2000
posted 05-10-2000 02:21 PM
Hey mycofile! This is my first visit to this board, and I like what I see. I thought this thread would make for a good first post, since I wrote most of it.
I highly recommend the use of agar to everyone with an interest in cultivation. Using peroxide makes agar work easy enough for beginners.

Jon Hash: There tends to be a "recovery period" that the mycelium goes through when transferred to agar containing peroxide, especially after the first transfer. The mycelium is slow during this recovery period, as it is building up the enzymes needed to break down the peroxide so it can digest the malt (in MEA). After that, the mycelium quickly picks up speed and grows just as quickly as it would if peroxide were not present. I've found this recovery period to usually last only a day or two.

[This message has been edited by placebo (edited 05-10-2000).]

Jon Hash
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Posts: 119
Registered: Apr 2000
posted 05-17-2000 11:09 AM
but if the mycelia destroyed the peroxide wouldent the agar be contaminant prone again ?

Posts: 1194
Registered: Mar 2000
posted 05-18-2000 09:30 AM
No, once the mycelium has grown, it itself will not contaminate. The mycelium only destroys the peroxide in the agar it is groing on. The agar not right next to the mycelium will still be protected until the myc gets there.
Don't you trust us? I said it works perfectly, try it and you will see.

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Re: Can I add certain % Peroxide to substrate mix? [Re: Numba9]
    #375865 - 08/21/01 10:24 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

if you're losing jars due to green mold you should change the sterilization method...are u using a pressure cooker??
btw peroxide decompose at 50?c, so will be useless to add peroxide, and if you add it after sterilization you'll jill the spores....READ MORE!

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Re: Can I add certain % Peroxide to substrate mix? [Re: Numba9]
    #375981 - 08/22/01 01:08 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

If you add peroxide prior to sterilisation it would be decomposed long before sterilisation was complete, and adding it after will kill all spores. Now if you are using a mycelial innoculant (i.e. agar wedges or mycelium syringe) than you can add peroxide after sterilisation and you'll be fine.

H2O2 is a very unstable molecule and it will spontaneously decompose at low temps, even at temps below room temp, sunlight will also decompose it rapidly, thus the brown bottle.


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Re: Can I add certain % Peroxide to substrate mix? [Re: Numba9]
    #376935 - 08/23/01 08:54 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

I havent tryed it with cubies but I did with oyster, shitaki, and lions main, and it works wonderfull.
I don't see why it woldent work with cubies.
Usually is 3% peroxide.(cloning not direct spores)
For better learning get the manual for the peroxide method of growing shrooms. is a small investment and will simplify your problems.
Take care.

"We have infinite possibilities of existence"


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Re: Can I add certain % Peroxide to substrate mix? [Re: Numba9] * 1
    #377007 - 08/23/01 11:31 AM (15 years, 8 months ago)

A friend of a friend habitually lets his substrate soak in the h2o2 overnight, before pressure cooking the jars. The pressure cooker's heat will decompose the h2o2, so you can use spores if you want... if you want to be paramountly sterile, get a mycellium suspension syringe, and add some h2o2 to your jars being very very fucking sterile while doing so..... then innoculate w/ the mycellium suspension syringe... that should work..... spores and h2o2 don't mix though, just FYI.

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