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Water Beads... substrate


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#1 kevinholmes

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 07:16 PM

I wanted to do some sort of experiments to keep me occupied... I  had a pound of tiny water beads and I thought I'd soak some of the beads till fully saturated... I do the bag method and had 4 bags to go for this grow... Three bags and a little extra substrate in a bucket... I made one bag with the water beads mixed into the substrate... I haven't fruited any of the bags and bucket... I have the water beads in one bag and the hope is that the shrooms will thrive and get bigger flushes will be the result of the extra water in the beads... The bag looks exactly like the others at this stage (just turned the heat down" to 72 degrees... myc At this point all the bags look exactly the same and are at the stage when the myc has colonized the bags completely... 

 

So far no pins in any of the bags or the bucket... The surface has tons of little tufts of myc... I am slightly optimistic about the results so far... The idea is to be able to keep the substrate at field capacity and water beads just might take the place of dunking? 

 

So far so good I'll know more after the first flush... Will the water beads keep the substrate moist but not too wet... If it goes well I will keep using that tek if not well it's just a loss of a little bit of substrate and time...

 

Has anyone done this before and might have a few bits of advice... 

 

 



#2 coorsmikey

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 09:17 PM

I remember something about the polymers being absorbed in the fruits. Check out the vaults, we use to use the water beads along with the same polymers that are used in diapers and foam for fighting fires. Posts from 2009 and before if I remember correctly that a lot of folks were playing with the idea. They don't do well in the pressure cooker. I think that's why they never took on to become a trend. How did you sterilize yours? Do they have any structure left or is that why the bag with them looks like the other ones with the beads? Can you actually still see bits of gel that remotely resemble water beads?

 

https://mycotopia.ne...crystals/page-3

 

            #11            

 

40025-de-water-crystal-casing

 

28306-is-this-overlay


Edited by coorsmikey, 16 January 2020 - 09:47 PM.

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#3 coorsmikey

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 10:02 PM

I forget the exact ratio but I also remember something about the water crystals holding 400x their weight in water. If that is anywhere close to accurate then that would mean that the Lb you have is equivalent to 40lbs after hydrated? I have a huge bag of this stuff in crystal form not the round beads I am willing to start experimenting with. I have this idea in my mind about adding zeolite to the mix as well. I'm really interested in the zeolite more than the polymers as the polymers  I played with back in my early mycodays.



#4 PJammer24

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 02:21 PM

I remember something about the polymers being absorbed in the fruits. Check out the vaults, we use to use the water beads along with the same polymers that are used in diapers and foam for fighting fires. Posts from 2009 and before if I remember correctly that a lot of folks were playing with the idea. They don't do well in the pressure cooker. I think that's why they never took on to become a trend. How did you sterilize yours? Do they have any structure left or is that why the bag with them looks like the other ones with the beads? Can you actually still see bits of gel that remotely resemble water beads?

 

https://mycotopia.ne...crystals/page-3

 

            #11            

 

40025-de-water-crystal-casing

 

28306-is-this-overlay

Why would you pressure cook them?? Seems like it would be a pasteurization thing so if they can tolerate 150-160f, then its all gravy! Wavy Gravy even!!


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#5 bezevo

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 08:03 PM

a cheap source of these is wal-mart unscented silica  Crystal Kitty Litter   .it's like $3 to $4 for a 4lb bag sometimes it's nice beads and sometimes broken beads , i use it  as a humidification  for my Cigar Humidor  and i mix it in potting  soil .


Edited by bezevo, 15 April 2020 - 08:04 PM.


#6 RastaCat

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 05:41 PM

thanks for all the links mikey.  very interesting.  looks like the true study shows no health issues.  if this stuff really breaks down into acrylamide, as stated, the question becomes....do fungus absorb this stuff or not?  roots, mycelia, your skin, are permeable membranes. these will allow certain things to pass through them but prevent other things.  so the question is whether these fungi will accept or deny access to acrylamide.  i'm not sure how they have proven that it doesn't.  i understand bioremediation is a big thing now and using fungi is very effective.  meaning fungi DO absorb harmful things from an environment.  thats the whole point. i'd be interested in using the crystals as part of the brf cake.....having it as part of the mix, or maybe totally replacing the vermiculite. if used, do the crystals break down and release acrylamide while you are subjecting the jar to one hour of boiling?  i doubt anyone has found out. you would have to cook up a cake, then test part of it for this stuff to see if its present. i have no idea how it's tested for....gas chomatography maybe?  i'm sure i have no idea or method of testing it. then you would also have to test mushrooms grown in it to see if they 'took up' the acrylamide or not. definitely NOT worth the risk of use at this point in my opinion.



#7 TVCasualty

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 06:17 PM

They're probably overkill in cakes since dunking is plenty and they'd take up space that more nutrients could otherwise occupy, but they're awesome in bulk trays.

 

I've used them for well over a decade, and the mycelium doesn't consume them since they're still there when the substrate is spent and it's time to dump it. They re-hydrate each time I dunk the sub and provide more water to it than dunking alone.

 

I would also hydrate enough of them to fill a bunch of quart jars with and PC them for 30 min. at 5 PSI with regular canning lids on the jars so they'd seal when cooled down. Then I'd have jars of sterile canned water to add to substrates that wouldn't increase contamination risk like puddles of standing water would. Don't PC the crystals before hydrating them since dry ones denature in a PC and become useless.

 

I would also dissolve a bit of hydrated lime into the water I hydrate the water crystals with so it doubles as a pH buffer (~1 tsp. per gallon of water).


Edited by TVCasualty, 12 June 2020 - 06:18 PM.


#8 Juthro

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 07:43 PM

IIRC, I think BuckarooBanzai was a fan of them way back in the day.  Again, IIRC he had something against vermiculite, and the glitter shits... 

 

If a guy did some digging, he might still be able to find some of his work.  Is there still active links to any of the Banzai institute of higher learning (a collection of instructional threads by BB)?

 

EDIT: I found this, https://mycotopia.ne...zais-tek-index/


Edited by Juthro, 12 June 2020 - 07:48 PM.


#9 raymycoto

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 02:04 PM

A friend uses them to case her APE and has had good results. I have not tried but will use the next time I need a casing.  






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