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OfflineTrail_Blazer
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Shroom Floaters
    #519450 - 01/13/02 03:04 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

This is a concept I took from Forest floor and made a design based upon it.

Any suggestions, comments, criticisms, doubts, and responses are appreciated as long as they remain flameless. Flamers can go and play in the kiddie sandbox and leave this thread alone.

Concept: To provide a design for a cake which will have the potential to allow mushrooms an unlimited source of nutrients and moisture during flushes. The set up would also have the potential to provide a "neverending" source for a potentially "endless" cycle of flushes for cakes.

Design: Show below in the pic. Basically its a cake sitting on a floating "wick" (any ideas for material?) in a nutrient solution.

Foresight Problem: Most cakes won't fruit until all nutrients have been exhausted. Therefore, nutrients could not be added to the solution until primordia is apparent on the cake surface. Also, the nutrients in the solution must be exhausted in between each flush to allow for a new pinset to generate.

Design Pic:


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OfflineAzure
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Trail_Blazer]
    #519523 - 01/13/02 04:20 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

The nutrient solution will contaminate unless kept under sterile conditions.


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Invisible00Zen
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Registered: 01/08/02
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Trail_Blazer]
    #519590 - 01/13/02 05:43 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Grade: A+

Nice. I was just talking to someone about an almost identical idea this morning. The lost art of hydroponics has only recently been rediscovered over the past couple of decades. Ancient civilizations had managed to hone this science to a near perfect art but for some reason a lot of these methods were lost in the tide of time.

Typically cultures grown on cakes extract their essential nutrients from the organic substrate. Some people have had problems with cakes drying out or running low on nutrients and have added reservoirs to the cakes to allow the flow of extra moisture and nutrients to the center of the cake, achieving better colonization. This seems to be an innovative elaboration of this design, but it is also the beginning of an extremely advanced culture technique.

First question, why the cake? I?d assume it is there as a source of nutrients as well as to promote the fruiting of the culture. Without the presence of all the essential nutrients in the solution it is necessary for the cake to provide these additional nutrients. Fortunately it is possible for us to make a nutrient solution for Psilocybe Cubensis that provides all the essential nutrients. The later reason seems to be a more valid point, the culture needs an open-air interface that allows for easy establishment of the primordia. In a typical plant hydroponics setup an inert medium such as rock wool is used for this purpose. I would use a thin layer of substrate medium about the thickness of the floatation device. the mycelium should then form a network down the wick into the nutrient solution, probably resembling the root structure of hydroponicaly grown plants.

The over aggressiveness of the mycelium growth may pose a problem though, it is capable of colonizing the entire nutrient solution in just over a week given the right conditions. Eliminating or regulating aeration of the nutrient solution could remedy this.

My colleague?s criticism on these ideas is as follow:

?Fruiting response is governed by three conditions a drop in humidity, a drop in temperature, and an exposure to light. In a hydroponics situation you are running at a constant 100% humidity thereby eliminating the first triggering response. In the unlikely event that the system did fruit they?d be prone to suffering from ?Fat Assedness?.?

Can you provide further information regarding the effects of nutrient exhaustion as a means of triggering fruiting response? Even a PF Tek in to large of a jar can be prone to primordial formation before completely colonized. The only theory I can provide that would support this observation, would be if the substrate did not contain high enough levels of necessary nutrients and therefore require additional time to begin fruiting. In this case it might seem as if the cake had to be completely drained of nutrients. Otherwise I don?t have any information to support this, not that it doesn?t exist, I just haven?t seen it.

-Zen


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Invisible00Zen
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Azure]
    #519597 - 01/13/02 05:49 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Azure: Could hydrogen peroxide be used to help prevent contamination in a clean, close to sterile environment?

-Zen


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OfflineAzure
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: 00Zen]
    #519918 - 01/14/02 12:50 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Not if mycelium is already present in the solution...which would mean that you'd either have to sterilize the nutrient solution or use inorganic anhydrous compounds..Depending on what the solution consists of, you could run into the problem of changing the chemistry of the solution from sterilizing it...just some thoughts


Edited by Azure (01/14/02 12:56 AM)


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OfflineTrail_Blazer
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Azure]
    #520121 - 01/14/02 07:11 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Hey Azure. Good Point.

However, the nutrients would only be added to the solution after the primordia was evident upon the surface of the cake and would be exhausted before the next pinset (for the next flush) would occur. This would only leave a window of about a week to a week and a half for contamination.

That small window of oppurtunity, plus the fact that the solution could be readily replaced with a sterile soltuion if contamination was evident would correct the problem you pointed out.

Moreover, I forgot to point put the the above design would have to be kept in a containter that is "semi-sterile" to help prevent such a situation.

Another variety to solving your problem would be to replace the solution every few days to hinder any chance of contamination taking a foothold.

Peace


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OfflineTrail_Blazer
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Re: Shroom Buoy's [Re: 00Zen]
    #520136 - 01/14/02 07:37 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for the response OOZen.  I'll try my best to answer and respond to your questions on the set up.

In reply to:

First question, why the cake?




As you stated a little further down in that parargraph.  The cake is mainly used as a surface that is open to the air in order to "breathe" for the mycelium network.

In reply to:

I would use a thin layer of substrate medium about the thickness of the floatation device. the mycelium should then form a network down the wick into the nutrient solution, probably resembling the root structure of hydroponicaly grown plants.




I'm a little confused on this, might you clarify a little? I think I may understand the jist of it.  Basically, as long as the wick has moisture the mycelium will form a network through the wick until eventually growing under the water on the wick.  Then, once the nutrients are added to the solution during the fruting cycle the mycelium could extract the nutrients to help prolong the life of the cake.

In reply to:

The over aggressiveness of the mycelium growth may pose a problem though, it is capable of colonizing the entire nutrient solution in just over a week given the right conditions.




The mycelium colonizing the solotuion should not be a problem as the solution could be readily replaced with new solution.  In actuality, it would be a success in my eyes if the solution had a network running through it.

In reply to:

?Fruiting response is governed by three conditions a drop in humidity, a drop in temperature, and an exposure to light. In a hydroponics situation you are running at a constant 100% humidity thereby eliminating the first triggering response. In the unlikely event that the system did fruit they?d be prone to suffering from ?Fat Assedness?.?




PF cakes are fruited in near 100% humidity and don't form fat asses (well mine don't :smile:), so that shouldn't be a problem.  The larger triggering factors for growth are light and drop in temperature to stimulate hormone response in the mycelium.

In reply to:

Can you provide further information regarding the effects of nutrient exhaustion as a means of triggering fruiting response?




You're right in that paragraph, I have no evidence to suggest that the fruting cycle can only occur after nutrients have been exhausted.  However, in my experience I have never had a cake fruit without being 100% colonized, plus I have read similiar experiences with other cultivators.  If anyone has ever had a cake fruti while not being fully colozied feel free to post here.  It would change the set up a little by allowing the nutrients to be present in the solution the entire life of the cake.

I hope that answered some of the questions, I may have been a little  vague on some of the issues so feel free to respond again with questions that i'll be more then happy to answer.  As I stated earlier, this is a very preliminary design that I'm sure has its faults and can be improved upon.

Thank you for the interest folks
Peace








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Edited by Trail_Blazer (01/14/02 07:38 AM)


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OfflineMan
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Re: Shroom Buoy's [Re: Trail_Blazer]
    #520197 - 01/14/02 09:52 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

One problem I can foresee is over hydration of the cake. Could a non-wicking wick (ie.nylon string) be used to let the mycilium grow down into the water? Then the mycilium would just take water/nutreints as needed, instead of trying to figure out the correct rate of obsorption. Furthermore u could have the nutrient resivoir separate from the grow chamber so rh can be controlled. Just throwin' some ideas around.


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OfflineTrail_Blazer
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Re: Shroom Buoy's [Re: Man]
    #520201 - 01/14/02 10:00 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

I like some of those ideas.  I'm going to re-design the original tonight and post the new design later with everyones improvements in mind. :smile:

Peace


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OfflineDinoMyc
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Registered: 11/14/99
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Trail_Blazer]
    #520262 - 01/14/02 11:11 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

do a little searching in the archives.. this is an old idea..
search for straw (drinking straw), dunking, etc etc etc..
dont you think that if this was really a good idea that the worldwide mushroom growing industry would be useing it?...
anyway.. im not trying to quash your experimental nature, just letting you know its an old idea.. by all means try it.. but look into the drinking straw based tec, which is very simmlar to yours... or, better yet, move on to caseing and compost..


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OfflineTrail_Blazer
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: DinoMyc]
    #520287 - 01/14/02 11:42 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

DinoMyc:

Dunking nor the drinking straw tek is similiar to this concept, re-read. I am trying to replenish both moisture and nutrients.

As for casing and compost, I've done them both several times. I've been gorwing for almost a year now (although only a member here since November)

And it seems you are trying to "quash" my experimental nature by referring me to old teks that only serve to help revive moisture content.

Yes, the idea of replenishing both moisture and nutrients is "old" but no one has done it successfully without eventually having a cake dry up, exhaust nutrients, or contam. This design is an attempt to remedy that.

As for the mushroom growing industry, they wouldn't use cake type teks to begin with, they use teks based more along the lines of casing. Anyone can case, or fruit PF style, i'm just trying to improve an old tek( if thats how you want to view it).

Finally, as the initial posts states i would like responses which deal directly with improving, altering, etc. this design. Thank you for not even doing a single one of those *sarcasm*

Peace

Anyhows I'm out for now.



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OfflineAzure
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Trail_Blazer]
    #520606 - 01/14/02 05:27 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Trail Blazer,
If the solution is contaminated with live mycelium, your cake could die regardless of when you give the cake the nutrients. Molds will win pretty much no matter what, and if they're already in the mycelium form, there's just no chance. Live mycelium would be introduced from an organic substance used as a nutrient source. Even if that organic substance is dry before being added, dormany yet live mycelium can still be there.
I was just reading a book on how molds grow on paint and destroy it. From what I'm getting at, molds are extremophiles, meaning they can exist at the most extreme of conditions. Although this problem I'm pointing out probably won't be a big problem, it's worth considering. Your idea theoretically sounds interesting and I encourage you to experiment away, since this is the way we find out whether our ideas are valid or not.


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OfflineTrail_Blazer
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Azure]
    #520790 - 01/14/02 08:44 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Ok I tried to come up with a solution to the problem of possible contamination. Although it may not be a problem, it is better to be safe then sorry.

The changes to the desgin below are minimal but may help correct some problems that were addressed.

1) The nutrient solution should be sterilized prior to being used. This is mainly a precaution to prevent contamination.

2) The fit between the wick and the tub should now be "snug." The wick would no longer be floating but rather held against the tub. This would help minimize the chance of airborne contaminants entering the solution directly.

Design II :



So basically, the only possible way of contamination would be through the wick itself. However, hopefully the mycelium would colonize the wick itself and act along with the wick as a barrier/protector against the soltuion becoming contaminated.

I'm still unsure as to what material to use as a wick. I was thinking some form of foam due to its porous nature and absorbency.

I will try this desgin out myself in the next month (hopefully) and post the results here, along with any problems/improvements found along the way. Thanks for the responses folks.

Peace


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InvisibleJoshua
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Re: Shroom Floaters [Re: Trail_Blazer]
    #526280 - 01/20/02 04:54 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Is this theoretical or practical?

I think in terms of ratio. One would succeed in higher yeild to work ratios or yeild to substrate ratios if they followed grain spawn techniques, I would think. It seems as if your technique is to try to bridge a gap between the microscopic and macroscopic. I think that some sort of terracing would help in which a framework....

Ahhh hell it hurts my head to think of a solution.

My solution is that the time wasted in the approximation of already existing biological systems will only be returned in the far future or past. Therefor ?'s as we pose in this manner are mearly to occupy space with in time, just as a mycelial network.

Joshua


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