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Humidity levels


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#1 Staryeyes

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 01:18 PM

Hello all,

I wanted to start off with saying thank you for allowing me to be a part of this group, the info is endless and the advice I’ve read is nothing short of incredible.

I am a couple months into my journey of micilium, and although I have learned a lot thus far, there is still so much for me to discover.

I’ll start off with my first question. I’m having issues with keeping my humility up above 40% in my fruiting room. I have an intake and outflow air vent to circulate air. And since the temperature has dropped outside I’m having to crank my heater a bit higher, the good news is that I’m able to keep the temp at 75 but my humidity has dropped. This morning I noticed less condensation in most of my monotubs, fruiting and not. I got a spray bottle and spritzed the lids and sides carefully in each tub. I then sprayed walls and roof of my room to try and elevate the humidity, it went up a couple % in a few minutes.

My question is what’s the best way to control humidity. I want try and limit contamination and I don’t know if it’s just my paranoia but would spraying cause contamination? I’m using filtered water, our water source is glacier fed and we have a high end filtration system in the house. I’m going to stock up on distilled water but how can I keep humidity levels appropriate with out having to spray inside totes, I also want to limit opening and closing totes except only to pick. My fruiting room is approximately 12 x 16 and fully insulated with Polly.

Any tips and tricks welcome!

#2 Myc

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 01:35 PM

Welcome Staryeyes.

Given the size of your room you might look into ultrasonic pond foggers. I'm sure that will help solve your issue.



#3 Staryeyes

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 01:39 PM

Could I use a regular humidifier in the room with distilled water?

#4 Myc

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 01:42 PM

You could give it a shot.



#5 coorsmikey

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 02:07 PM

One of the benefits of using "Totes" is to maintain humidity within the small space. You don't need to humidify the whole room if your grow is maintained in a tote. That's why most of us use totes for home mycology. 

 

Condensation on the sides doesn't tell you the humidity as it does say there is a difference in temps.

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Edited by coorsmikey, 26 September 2020 - 02:12 PM.


#6 Staryeyes

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 02:35 PM

Okay I will look into both options.

Do you think spraying inside the totes will cause contamination?

#7 TVCasualty

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 05:58 PM

More details about your setup would be helpful.

 

For example, turning a regular bedroom into a tropical climate will not be a good long-term approach even if it works well for a few grows. Lining drywall with plastic is not a viable long-term approach either since any exterior-facing walls lined with plastic will eventually gather so much condensation between the sheeting and the wall that the resulting mold outbreak will require replacement of the drywall (you can get away with it so long as you're heating the room but as soon as the room is cooler than the air outside (Summer, basically) the condensation problem will begin.

 

Spraying clean water into bins (or even directly on colonized substrate for that matter) is generally not a contamination risk.

 

You don't need to use distilled water in this "hobby" at all, and it often won't even work in a humidifier as the sensor that cuts it off when the water level is too low won't function in distilled water because it doesn't conduct electricity (no ions present).

 

If you fill a humidifier reservoir with distilled water and it won't start humidifying then toss a pinch of salt in it and it'll fire right up.


Edited by TVCasualty, 26 September 2020 - 06:00 PM.


#8 Staryeyes

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:09 PM

*****update*****

I ended up buying a cool misting ultrasonic humidifier and I was able to get the humidity up to 55 which is a great success from what it was. It does dip between 40 and 50 while I have my grow light on for a portion of the day. Otherwise every one looks happy and healthy in the tubs from the increase of humidity.

Thank you for all of your advice!!

#9 PJammer24

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 09:31 AM

Cut back on FAE... I get similar results in may bags whether I give additional FAE or not... I think a lot of people over do it with FAE and it only makes keeping humidity up more difficult.

 

If your substrate has been adequately pasteurized, contamination risk has been minimized. If it has fully colonized, contamination risks are mitigated even further. Once the substrate is colonized, it can be exposed to open air with relative confidence as long as the environment isn't chocked full of spores and as long as the mycelium is relatively healthy.



#10 FunG

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:15 PM

I find when using tap water to mist that my tubs usually trich out after the 3rd flush so I've begun sterilizing jars of water to use. to, if anything lower the potential risk but like Tvcausalty said, fully colonized bulk is fairly contam resistent.

And as also mentioned by pjammer, p.cubensis specifically do not require a ton of f.a.e. a cool mist will be overkill, they're usually incorporated into tier greenhouses more so then to humidify a bin.

I just use seran wrap and tape it in place to form a tight seal around my bins and then poke some holes with a sharp pencil and that's all it takes for the myc to have more then enough r.h to produce a healthy canopy.

The idea behind a monotub (modified or not) is that the bulk substrate supplies all the water for developing mushrooms and stable r.h (if that wasnt also mentioned)

#11 PJammer24

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 09:13 AM

I find when using tap water to mist that my tubs usually trich out after the 3rd flush so I've begun sterilizing jars of water to use. to, if anything lower the potential risk but like Tvcausalty said, fully colonized bulk is fairly contam resistent.

And as also mentioned by pjammer, p.cubensis specifically do not require a ton of f.a.e. a cool mist will be overkill, they're usually incorporated into tier greenhouses more so then to humidify a bin.

I just use seran wrap and tape it in place to form a tight seal around my bins and then poke some holes with a sharp pencil and that's all it takes for the myc to have more then enough r.h to produce a healthy canopy.

The idea behind a monotub (modified or not) is that the bulk substrate supplies all the water for developing mushrooms and stable r.h (if that wasnt also mentioned)

 

While it is possible that you are introducing trichoderma spores into your substrates from your tap water, I don't think sterilizing your water will make much of a difference. There are trich spores everywhere around us. If you have mold in your pipes, which is rare but possible, there is the possibility of introducing ungodly amounts of spores to your substrate and causing an issue but this is pretty darn rare due to there being insufficient air in your pipes to support mycelium growth.

 

Your increased contamination rates by 3rd flush are more likely caused by the fact that by 3rd flush, your mycelium is getting weaker and is more unacceptable to contamination. By 3rd flush, everyone's contamination risks increase significantly whether they are introducing a ton of spores in the water or not... While I would suggest just colonizing more spawn and swapping out your bags after first flush, there are a few other ways to mitigate early contamination and stretch out your projects to get additional flushes. I know that I am certainly a fan of the larger fruiting bodies seen with late flush mushrooms. If you want to squeeze out a few more rounds, do the following:

 

1. Use gypsum in your substrate mix if you are not already. Adding the gyp will buffer the PH so that it stays closer to neutral for longer. As your PH lowers, which happens inevitably with every flush since the substrate becomes more acidic as it is broken down by them mycelium, contamination becomes more likely. Many contaminates enjoy a more acidic PH so the longer you can keep it on the neutral or slightly alkaline side, the better...

 

2.  Use a higher spawn ratio. When you use a higher spawn ratio, there are more nutrients available to the mycelium. When there are more nutrients available, the mycelium stays healthy over the course of more flushes. Healthy and vibrant mycelium is pretty darn resistant to contamination... Using more spawn will allow you to squeeze out a couple more flushes.

    - I am not as certain of this, but when using a similar spawn to substrate ratio as you have been but using more of both to create a thicker substrate with similar surface area may provide a               similar result

 

3.  Not as useful for preventing trich but certainly useful in warding off bacteria is to ensure there is no sitting water around the base of your substrate after dunks. Sitting water creates anaerobic   

     conditions which are favorable to anaerobic competitors like bacteria.

 

4.  Keep temperatures lower in your fruiting room. I keep them lower for everything that is colonizing for the same reasons. Mycelium will colonize faster at higher temperatures but will also

     contaminate more readily. I chose to sacrifice a day or two in colonization time for the added benefits that lower temps provide for avoiding contamination. When you fruit at lower temps, you will

     see a lower contamination rate.

 

All projects will contaminate more readily by the 3rd or 4th flush but if you are able to balance the environment over a longer term and have a clean fruiting room, you can squeeze a couple more flushes then you would otherwise be able to.

 

 

To readdress OPs original question... As has already been mentioned, shrinking your grow space makes keeping humidity up much easier. Every time you provide FAE, you are elimination all of the humidity you have built up and are starting from scratch. If you are working with cubes, you really do not  need a ton of FAE. If you are currently providing constant FAE, I would limit the air exchanges to just a couple a day.






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