|Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2001 - 12:20 pm:||
ShroomGod's Humidifier Tek
ShroomGod's Humidifier Tek (v1.1)
Hello, fellow trippers! I want to share what I've discovered through playing around. First, I'll be right out in the open and say that I believe poor gas exchange is the number one reason people are experiencing oddly shaped mushrooms (ex. Very long-stemmed with a disproportionately small cap). I also think it is a BIG contributor of cobweb and green mold, both of which seem to plague many cultivators, both novice and experienced. I personally believe very-long-stemmed mushrooms grown in low-gas-exchange terrariums sometimes cause more stomach cramps, although I've never read such nor have strong supporting evidence.
In the famous mycology book The Mushroom Cultivator, the appropriate gas exchange level for Cubensis is quoted at a minimum of 1 to 3 times per hour. Think about it! That means all the air in your terrarium, especially if it's cramped, should be displaced 1 to 3 times per hour! A lower level than this leads to disproportionate elongation of the stems. The humidifier is the key to proper gas exchange and humidity levels, so I compiled this page to compare some types of humidifiers. Below are some of the pros and cons, as I see them, of various humidifiers I've heard folks using around the Shroomery:
· The flowing mist looks awesome!
· Plenty of gas exchange when they are actually on
· Ultrasonic transducer is prone to failure
· Creates a dense mist that quickly over saturates the casing. This implies a periodic operation thereby not providing constant gas exchange
· The misty cloud on the terrarium floor looks awesome!
· Ultrasonic transducer is prone to failure
· Creates a dense mist that quickly over saturates the casing (periodic operation).
· Takes up lots of terrarium space
· No gas exchange
Wet Perlite Layer
· Cheapest of all solutions
· Does not over saturate the casing via mist
· No gas exchange
· Messy as hell
· Perlite must be frequently cleaned or replaced
· Fairly inexpensive
· Provides constant gas exchange, albeit somewhat limited per diaphragm
· No mist or over saturation of casing
· Easy to clean and maintain
· Very noisy
· Does not provide enough gas exchange to mimic a natural setting
And my favorite: Cool Mist Humidifier (non-evaporative) Connected to a Garden Hose!
· High, constant gas exchange mimicking a natural setting
· No mist or over saturation of casing (if set up properly with adequate hosing length)
· Some additional setup steps required
· Some models do not turn off once they go dry making a potential drying hazard if the water goes too low
So, where do you find a cool mist humidifier? If you live in the US, most K-mart stores carry a small model by Kaz (Click here for a picture). This is what I use and it's perfect. I find that it can drive two hoses without a problem. Regardless of the brand, it should not have a wick inside! It should not have the word "evaporative" anywhere on the box either. Rather the inside should have a spinning disk surrounded by a circular splash comb. Here's how to set it up:
Purchase a small cool mist humidifier, a 5/8 inch (preferably 11/16th inch if you can find it) drill bit, some duck tape, and the cheapest 5/8 inch inner diameter garden hose you can find.
Cover the original humidity output slot with duck tape.
Cut a length of hose (cut off the end attachments) at least 1.5 feet long but preferably longer. It must be long enough to connect the humidifier to your terrarium and allow the mist to hit the sides of the hose.
Drill a hole in the corner of the humidifier. Wiggle the drill around a bit to make it slightly larger if you could just find the 5/8" bit.
Using your body weight try to squeeze the hose in about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. It will be tight. You'll have to work with it as it won't push in easily.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 for one of the other three corners if you'd like an additional output. Some have reported that two outputs is the maximum number their humidifier can handle, and indeed, this is the largest number I have ever personally used.
Hook up the terrarium to the hose. The hose needs to be long and curvy enough to "de-mist" the output. On the other hand, I would not recommend vertical loops as they can collect water in them blocking the air passage. The hose should be laid such that any water drops that form on the inner walls of the hose run back down in to the humidifier. This is very important, especially in the first foot of hose, because if you don't lay the hose this way, water will drip in to your terrarium causing major problems! Just to be safe, place a small cup in the terrarium under the output of the hose.
Fill the humidifier's reservoir with water. I'd also recommend adding 1/8th to 1/4th cups 3% hydrogen peroxide (stuff at the drug store) per gallon water to keep it fresh.
If you need a 90º turn in to the top of your terrarium, I'd recommend 1/2" PVC elbow (about twenty cents). You can push in the garden hose to one end and the terrarium on the other. Some people might not have a drill. If that's your case, then I'd recommend you just cut the slot a little bigger and duck tape the hose to it. It'll be a lot messier, but it should work.
When I first read about using a cool mist humidifier, I read about using a 1" PVC tubing. That doesn't work well. For starters, PVC is rigid, hard to cut, and generally hard to deal with. Additionally, such a large tube allows free mist to reach the other end, which means you can't have the humidifier running constantly. That's the same problem one has with the ultrasonic humidifiers! Lastly, if you used more than two such tubes, you'd be running out of water really fast. The garden hose limits the output sufficiently so that given one tank water with one output, the tank should last several days without need for a refill (even in a dry room). Also, the relatively thin diameter of the garden hose and the turns run the mist against the walls before it reaches the output. A cool mist set up simply works GREAT!
To emphasize the point, I'm currently running such a humidifier with one output on some oyster elm mushrooms. These mushrooms will NOT grow using perlite or an aquarium bubbler since they require twice the gas exchange of Cubes. Yet using this set up, a single garden hose output provides plenty of gas exchange for two and a half square feet of cropping surface AND keeps humidity levels above 90% RH even when the air-conditioned room air is as dry as 25% RH!
|Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2001 - 12:31 am:||
When using the humidifier tek. Will I see condensation on the side of the terrarium. Also would I want to put a hole on the other side of the terrarium to allow for gas exchange and also to keep pressure from building up. And does any one have opinions on whether I should use pvc or garden hose
thanks in advance
|Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2001 - 08:59 pm:||
I hate to see a post go unanswered... seems like we don't care then.
Yes you will see some condensation on the sides of you terrarium.....
Problem with humidifiers is they almost work too good.
Timing is of the essence... as in a good timer.
You could put a hole in the bottom to let out the co2 but then your terrarium would not hold humidity as well.... so you'd have to use the humidifier more often.
What you are suggesting can work great and be nearly completely automated and almost maitenence free.
But it is also probably the most difficult way to go as far as nailing everything down properly.
Be prepared for a lot of trial and error.
As to whether to use pvc or garden hose... I'd say it is a preference thing, but I don't have much experience either way.....
I abbandoned my humidifier(ultra sonic) long ago.
|Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 12:22 am:||
well just to keep you all updated on my war with the humidifier
but i am still trying i wish mine worked to well I can not seem to get the humidity past 70 % so i am now calabrating my hygrometer to see if it is off still no condensation on the sides
we shall see what happens
I was also thinking of a air bubbler with water and h202 and a power supply fan see if that would keep humid and have good enough air exchange
|Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 12:39 am:||
my thought is: what a pain in the ass
|Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 03:48 am:||
I warned ya buddy
|Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 03:50 am:||
Try Perlite if all else fails?
|Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 04:00 am:||
The tried and true!
Nanook of the North (Nanook)
|Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 06:08 am:||
Another vote for Perlite here too.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 06:05 am:||
Well i think im chucking the humidifier . Is there a good link out there to the Perlite Tek.
The Devil (Mephistophules)
|Posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2001 - 11:30 pm:||
Ive been using a humidifer set up basically like the link that follows and Ive had no problems (6 pint jar cakes and 9 1/2 pint jar cakes).
The biggest hassle is filling up the reservior on the humidifier everyday...but come on...if that's a hassle...I love my life!
Anyways, this is a crude diagram of my setup: http://www.jug-or-not.com/shroom/growdia.html
I have NO complaints...gonna make a larger operation eventually (for private use only; Im greedy).
Joe Mamma (Madscientist)
|Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 02:32 am:||
I am looking for the right humidifier. I have found little info on this TEK. I need the oxygen and humidity for my setup. I have heard that a cool mist humidifier is the best. Also, that it must be non-evaporative and have no wick filter. I can not find this type anywhere. Only online. I would like to use a ultrasonic humidifier. I like how the water is typically stored. Can I use a humidifier with a pre filter or is this a no-no? any info would be great.
Hatcher Milburn (Hatcher)
|Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 09:18 am:||
If you've never growed a 'shroom(?), start using perlite to get it under your belt. Simple, cheap, effective. If ya got ta have it, pet store...
|Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 06:47 pm:||
Ok heres the low down on the humidifier Ultra sonics suck they over saturate. Cool mist by kaz can work takes a whole lot o work . I finally got mine working with three feet of gardesn hose read the tek it will help. Even with the three feet of hose the humidity would get way to high and over saturate to solve this problem I went to home depot and bought a lamp light dimmer and hooked it up to the kaz. Now i can control the speed of the kaz i have had it running for three days straight now at 93% humidity with no oversaturation. Hope this helps Also besure to drill a hole close to the bottom of the terarium to allow gas exchange Also i have noticed atleast on my kaz as the water level go down so does the out put to stop this problem so i am not constantly adjusting the kaz i drilled a hole in the water resavoir and hooke a two liter with the bottum cut of so the 2 liter is just where the max water line is and filled it now when the water goes down the 2 liter fills it to the max it can now run a while longer without being filled
Joe Mamma (Madscientist)
|Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2001 - 07:37 pm:||
Thanx for the info. I have finally found the KAZ cool mist, non-evaporative ,non-wick humidifer. The only thing that sucks about it is the fill requirements. I am using your tek to start me off. I have adapted the resivoir to fit and replace with a larger resivoir. It holds about five gallons. You couple as mainy as you need. You can make the resivoir hold 100+ gallons if you must. Waltch out with using a dimmer. I am an electrician with a little info. Dimmers will burn out the motor in you humidifier, fast. Never use a dimmer on a fan in any application. Ceiling fan, exhaust fan, etc. You need to use a fan control. It has multi speeds, made for it and doesn't cost to much more.
|Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2001 - 08:22 pm:||
cool thanks will do that would hate to replace the caz evry month or so
|Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2001 - 05:22 pm:||
i use an ultra-sonic humidifier i picked up for 20 bones... i like it, but alot of people don't because they make the air almost too moist at times... might i suggest saving yourself the trouble and looking under perlite in the archives or even on pf's site... it's probably easier
|Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2001 - 06:28 pm:||
I experimented with an ultrasonic humidifier. I had a 50 gallon aquarium that held about 25 cakes. I had a humidity detector(from the ultrasonic unit)looped with "Omron" timer's working in tandem. I could fine tune the process to a gnats ass. Any time interval and level of humidity, or so I thought! After spending much money and time building the world's greatest shroom setup I went back to the humble spray bottle and shroom intuition. Eatyalive has a well thought out unit I want to make. "KISS" keep it simple stupid, applies here.
jim brown (Shrhobbyist)
|Posted on Monday, October 29, 2001 - 09:30 am:||
If you only have 6 to 10 cakes a humidifier is too much, regardless of the cost. Perlite and maybe some hand mist are more than enough.
|Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2001 - 09:48 pm:||
ok ive read all the archive posts about White Fuzz, and how nan said to fan more frequently, I am using a humidifier setup, all i wanted to knwo was should i turn the humidifier on more? increasing air exchange? or just leave it as it is
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2001 - 12:08 am:||
You can run the Humidifier 24/7...
(thats the best air exchange possible)
If you need to regulate the humidity get a valve or something.
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2001 - 12:15 am:||
oh ok, I am runnin it 20 minutes every 2-3 hrs, i will put it on longer
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2001 - 05:20 am:||
I also had a humidifier set up... I let it run about 5-10min every four hours and that was more than enough to keep the humidity up. As far as gas exchange, when I got a lot of fuzz I just fanned three or four times a day instead of two, everything turned out fine. I just had a three foot long, 1.5 diameter plastic hose, I couldn't have had the humidifier running more than I did or water would start to collect on the bottom...
|Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 10:48 pm:||
the exit hole on the bottom of the terrarrium. is it supposed to be filtered or what. need this info please.
|Posted on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 10:51 pm:||
most ppl stuff with Polyfill, thats what i would suggest... I wouldnt leave it open to the air.. definatly put something there, altho if your in a Clean Room it couldnt make a difference but to be safe use polyfill... i think thats a good answer
|Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 01:33 am:||
thanks a bunch Cbee
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 04:06 pm:||
My friend picked up a Vicks Vaporizer machine he wants to try out, is it the right kind of machine? It's the one for people with atshma I think, just wasn't sure if this was the type of humidifier I would want to use.
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 12:50 am:||
is it cool mist or ultra-sonic? if it is one of those i know that both of those will definitely work...
Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer)
|Posted on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 08:55 pm:||
I am re-interested in the humidifier issue.
Growing with Perlite has been sooooo easy. But being a slave to the terrarium,
+ the eventual smell sucks.
I am hooking up a blower on a timer to auto fan my 20 gallon tank, leaving it perlite based, for now, just don't want to fan it every day since I created my other terrariums, and have to take care of them to. Right now, perlite with a heat pad underneath seems to be perfect. I have 6 cased that started
pinning exactly the same time ( my second try at casings ) no hygrometer, and no temperature readout. ( I am in a sunny lo-cal, we barely get winters, and NEVER get snow ) The shrooms are HEALTHY, I can see the difference from my cased flushes as opposed to cakes by themselves, But am worried about humidity for my newer model terrariums.
I built a set up over the weekend with a four gallon humidifier, adjustable humidity dials. It is a monster. Bought it for ten bucks at a second hand store, looks like they cracked the tank while it was still new. Epoxy fixed that. I then took two large omoha meat containers ( THICK styrofoam ) cut two
four by 8 chunks out of the top ( with a torch heated coat hanger piece, works great for cutting styrofoam ) and siliconed plexi over that. I installed drip shields on bolts bolted and siliconed in, and took some fish tank tubing and made handles for each drip shield, just made holes in the plexi and screwed two screws into the tubing which was like three inches long, makes a nice handle
When I went to home depot, i bought tubing about as big around as a quarter,
and a length of pipe that the tubing would slide snugly into. so I made 2 holes in the styrofoam one on top, and one level with the mire mesh at the bottom. they are diagnal from each other for maximum air flow. ( gonna git me a camera...soon i hope ) siliconed in pipe pieces as wide as the terrarium, and also got a splitter which also fits the tubing snugly. This way I can use one humidifier for two terrariums, and the whole thing will break down easily the bottom holes on the terrarium I cut 4 inch pieces of tubing for, filled them with polyfill, and stuck them into the bottom holes. These can also be modified or removed if i like. then, the bitch. How to hook into the humidifier.
Turned out to be soooo easy and slick. my humidifier is all hi tek, it has a cool mist hole on the left, a warm on the right, and the tops of each are about three by three. The tops also remove, so you can add a round filter underneath.
So I took the top off, found a thick CLEAR plastic cup and cut a hole in the bottom. ( using once again the heated coat hanger ) made a series of holes in a circle, then tapped out the middle with a screwdriver. I then inserted the tubing into the hole, and duct taped the last inch, so that if I held the 3 foot tube up by the end, the cup dangles at the other end, cause the tape makes the end to big to fit thru. I then taped the top of the cup to the tubing. I now have a flexible seal. So to finish I took the top part of the humidifier, taped it to my clear cup. and Voila! I FINALLY finished my dual Frankenstiens.
I know, without pix this is all meaningless. but I have strived to find a way to make my terrarium systems interchangable and easy to break down or add to. And
to make styrofoam last a long time. I think I succeeded
Been in planning for weeks, sick of babysitting my 20 gallon, plus all my little terrariums I have procured, just had ta get motivated, and I guess two cases of pints innoculated around a month ago, was motivation enough. So glad I did, didn't expect the terrariums to turn out as nice as they are now...
Glad I could share, am looking for someone local with a digital camera, hopefully I can get pix up soon!
Take care all, and thanks for reading yet another of my novels