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Shotgun terrarium and humidity

humidity shotgun terrarium

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#1 orgonebox

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:20 PM

Howdy folks -

I'm having a problem maintaining proper, 95%+ humidity in my shotgun terrarium, fashioned after the "Let's Grow Mushrooms" videos.

Before I describe the exact situation under which I'm experiencing this diminished humidity, here's a recapitulation of what I've done:

Three inch layer of wet, well-rinsed perlite in a large, clear sterilite tub. Digital hygrometer/thermometer (yeah, I know, get an analog - on the list)
Lots of holes in all six sides.

I have to keep the house kind of cool. Saves on heat, but we also have chinchillas which require temps below 72F, so a change in seasons won't help me in terms of heating the FC. In order to heat the terrarium, I buried a seedling heat mat about one inch deep in the perlite, and then cranked the thermostat on the mat up until my thermometer read 80F.

However, upon achieving this temperature, the humidity dropped to 86%, and doesn't seem to want to rise above this amount regardless of how much taping holes and misting I do.

My chamber has been in action for a week and a half now. Should I rewet the perlite? Or is it time to tape all the holes and find a cool mist humidifier?


Thanks.

#2 Dr.Hallucination.

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:22 PM

Howdy folks -

I'm having a problem maintaining proper, 95%+ humidity in my shotgun terrarium, fashioned after the "Let's Grow Mushrooms" videos.

Before I describe the exact situation under which I'm experiencing this diminished humidity, here's a recapitulation of what I've done:

Three inch layer of wet, well-rinsed perlite in a large, clear sterilite tub. Digital hygrometer/thermometer (yeah, I know, get an analog - on the list)
Lots of holes in all six sides.

I have to keep the house kind of cool. Saves on heat, but we also have chinchillas which require temps below 72F, so a change in seasons won't help me in terms of heating the FC. In order to heat the terrarium, I buried a seedling heat mat about one inch deep in the perlite, and then cranked the thermostat on the mat up until my thermometer read 80F.

However, upon achieving this temperature, the humidity dropped to 86%, and doesn't seem to want to rise above this amount regardless of how much taping holes and misting I do.

My chamber has been in action for a week and a half now. Should I rewet the perlite? Or is it time to tape all the holes and find a cool mist humidifier?


Thanks.

Try taping up some of the holes,damper perlite but not too wet,add a bubble wand under the perlite attached to an air pump this will help raise humidity as well,so would an ultrasonic humidifier.

#3 dfar

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 11:17 PM

along the same lines of Dr. Hallucination, you can use an aquarium pump with an air line with an attached airstone run into a mason jar filled with water and H202. this will provide plenty of humidity as well as fresh air exchange.

oh and as for the hydro bill, you probably don't have to run it very often for humidity... i run mine for 15min every hour (mostly for fresh air exchange) and my humidity is probably 100% (my hydrometer busted, but the condensation gets so bad on the top of the container that i have to wipe it every 3-4 hours) so if higher humidity is the desired outcome then i would estimate the pump could be run far less than what my specs are at.

#4 orgonebox

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 11:52 PM

Yeah, I've been taping holes - suppose I'll tape more tomorrow.

Here's another thought:

Is the perlite/shotgun terrarium setup dependent on airflow through the perlite, from bottom to top?

While I have holes drilled in the bottom, the seedling heat mat occupies a good portion of the interior, preventing free circulation/evaporation of lower layers of perlite to the center of the chamber. Could this be the element that's suddenly futzing my humidity?

#5 Jilkman

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:47 AM

I would just like to point out that part of what makes the shotgun terrarium work is pressure differentials. The damp perlite and the evaporation that happens near it creates a denser air. The temp the mycellium makes and ambient heat of lighting above creates lower pressure there causeing air to rise from under the perlite to the top. The "Lets grow mushrooms" video talks about this.

By putting the heating pad in the perlite layer, you are negating the cool dense air effect, and thus the desired pressure differential. Its possible you could be replacing it with the "hot air is less dense and rises", however, I think the amount of moisture may be negating this principle.

Perhaps rigging some low wattage lighting to produce the heat near the top of the terrarium could resolve your heat issues, and the pressure differentials all in one? I have seen a stealth tech where one has mounted a night light in such a manner inside a closet stored terrarium. Which coincidentally held RH with a damp perlite layer in the bottom. Not sure how the guy was managing FAE , as his terrarium didn't seem to have any holes maybe he had a pump?

Anyway I don't wanna ramble as I tend to do. I have pointed out the issues I was aware of. Sorry it's too late to help you, but maybe someone else will have a similar issue in the future. Or generate an improved self heating shotgun terrarium design as a result.

Edited by Jilkman, 27 October 2010 - 06:51 AM.
Grammar


#6 Wodwo

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 07:46 PM

Hi orgonebox; I would get rid of it. It's one of Roger Rabbits coat hanger abortions that he swears by that doesn't work for many people. There is some useful information in the "Let's Grow Mushrooms" video but then again there is something very much like the movie "Man's Favorite Sport" about him IMO.
Look in the vaults here for a good Tek on poor man's pod or mono tubs, ex. Plus grow at room temperature as your grow will produce a fair amount of heat on its own. Best wishes; Wodwo
PS: I see the post date now Freaky, my bad for not checking.

Edited by Wodwo, 30 October 2010 - 12:14 AM.
PS Note


#7 firebeard1982

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 08:48 PM

Imo you should drop your temp down to 75, 80 is opening the door wide open for contamination. You can go as low as 60 & the mushies will still grow, if room temp is 70 I would just grow at that temp. I try to keep my temps close to 70.

#8 Freaky

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 08:59 PM

You all do realize this guys grow was over a year and a half ago, right?

#9 Jilkman

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 09:48 PM

I found it during my research. And just wanted to point out a thought on the matter I thought should be there for anyone else who found it. Anyone who puts a heating pad blocking the holes in the bottom of a shotgun terrarium might find it helpful. The bump was an oversite =P My apologies.

#10 curandZero

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:46 AM

I'll bump this one again —

I was also having trouble keeping the humidity in a shotgun terrarium at a high level. It would move between 80 - 90% but nowhere near 95%. Still good enough for three flushes of Mazatecs but high humidity would probably be better. I've realized that the ambient humidity of the room (and outdoors) makes a big difference when using this setup. Atmospheric moisture levels in winter are so much drier that the chamber just won't work as well — but today, rainy and foggy with temps in the 40's, the chamber is right up there at 95%. So, if you want to go with a low tech chamber, especially in the winter, you may have to put up with lower humidity levels or else think about humidifying the room.

This is touched on in the various videos and articles but there's nothing like having an insight based on your own experience. :)

#11 excremental

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:29 PM

******* aka RR is a jerk for sure, but the shotgun terrarium does work. The problem is when people deviate from the tek (add a heatpad / tape up holes, etc) or try to use it with humidity less than 40%. Also people don't realize how crappy their hygrometers are and think the fruiting chamber is drier than it really is. Another sure way to fail with that setup is to have a fan running near it. It dries it out fast.

Don't buy his stupid videos btw. There's no info there that you can't acquire for free on the interwebs.

Edited by TurkeyRanch, 14 March 2011 - 12:12 AM.
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