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Incubator setup q.s for pans, mexicana, cubs, cyans

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#1 Cybilopsin



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Posted 29 December 2016 - 03:03 PM

A FOAF of mine is putting together a small system with an incubator for smaller jars and agar, a separate incubator for spawn, and grow chamber for a few exotics and some cubies.

The purpose of this post is to ask a few basic question about putting together spawn/agar incubators for production of multiple exotic mycelium. The species we're working, for reference, include Pan Cyans and Pan Cambos, and two geographical domestications of Psilocybe Mexicana. Other species that might use the incubator but are less dependent on it are Ps. Cubensis and Ps Cyanescens.

My design for an incubator focuses on a plastic box roughly 1 gallon (but open to advice on sizing) and asks what the best way to heat that is.

One question is about whether I need to add a thermometer with a sensor probe to the setup if I'm using a seedling heat mat to heat my incubator. For example this product:

Another question is about whether the seedling heat mat is the best method: An old OMC user known by the initials RR has a website in which he advocates for the use of flouro lighting to warm mushroom substrates during the daytime. So I'm floating the idea of my FOAF heating his incubator by shining a flouro light right on top of it, to have an incubator which would be convertible to a fruiting chamber for the Mexicana, the Panaeolus spp., and Cubs ater on.They would be grown using different variations on the PF tek.

Some of the exotics have higher temps (like upper 70s F) listed as parameters for agar, colonization, and/or spawn run in the Mushroom book.

I was thinking that if you started with a single plastic box as the central incubator, this could fit all the spawn and double as a heated FC (grow chamber) later on (after adding FAE and humidification).

The question is, is there a good and affordable floral bulb that can heat my FOAF's agar and spawn jars up to 75*F in a house that normally stays at around 63*F? This bulb and its light fixture (ideally, both together in a small kit) would then be the basis for an incubator which could later be converted to a grow chamber. I was thinking of getting something like this:
And then hanging the light fixture an inch above the box using this part:
Sitting an inch below the light would be a shallow plastic box with a lid, which would be the incubator.

As I mentioned, the other method is I believe the more standard incubator construction method, which is with a seedling mat or reptile heating mat which are used exactly as advertised to heat a small plastic box about 15*F above ambient temperatures. This standard seedling-mat method probably requires a thermostat/sensor device which the flouro light does not?

The goal is, warm up a plastic box to 78*F. The current ambient temp is about 63*F and the plastic box will be at least 1 gallon, but I'm open to suggestions on what size box would be best.
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#2 MLBjammer


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Posted 29 December 2016 - 03:20 PM

I wouldn't bother with an incubator at all. I haven't used one for exotics or cubes in a dozen years. As long as your temps are in the 60s F, you are good. I set everything on shelves in my grow room, and I keep things at room temperature. If it dips down into the 50s, you might consider adding a space heater. Otherwise, everything (except the woodlovers, of course) will perform just fine in the 60s.

It will simply move a little slower than it would at higher temps.

Edited by MLBjammer, 29 December 2016 - 03:22 PM.

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#3 Cybilopsin



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Posted 29 December 2016 - 06:12 PM

OK, MLBjammer reppin the no-incubator school
Any other opinions on this?
We're talking these species:
-Panaeolus Cyanescen
-Panaeolus Cambodginiensis
-Psilocybe Mexicana

And to a lesser extent cubs and Psilocybe Cyans (the wood lover) which are well-known as not need needing high temps
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#4 orangutan



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Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:16 AM

this is what I do.   It might be too complicated or overthinking it, but I had a weekend with not much else to do

#5 happy4nic8r


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Posted 01 January 2017 - 08:55 PM

I would use the Peltier chips, with or without a heatsink/fan. They use minimal dc voltage and current, can be used with the solar landscape light mini panels, (I hooked up a dozen in series.parellel with a garden tractor 12v battery for night storage. They can be thermostatically controlled. 


I was making a large deli sized incubator/cold storage which I didn't have time to finish and had to leave behind when I moved, but Heirloom posted a number of topics on this, and got me started.


I purchased a dozen chips on Amazon for $1.50 each.


Tractor battery and thermostat, $35.


Old solar landscape lights for their pholtovoltaic cells, free!

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#6 Cybilopsin



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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:59 PM

I've been getting mixed messages on this: do Pans need warm temps for colonization? I'm thinking about both spawn and LCs.

By warm temps I mean warm enough to require an incubator if my FOAF's house has an ambient temperature of mid-60sF.


According to Stamets GGMM, the answer appears to be yes, they do require an incubator, but I know that there have been many discoveries about what is possible for home cultivators since Stamets wrote that book.


Does my FOAF need to build an incubator in order to grow pans? And does he need one for the culture, spawn, or for fruiting stage?


happy: that does sound intriguing, but unfortunately I do not understand your instructions because I don't have a technical background. Why do you need a tractor battery? Why are the peltier devices on amazon labeled coolers, not heaters? does hooking them up to a thermostat and power supply require soldering? etc etc

Edited by Cybilopsin, 11 January 2017 - 03:59 PM.

#7 Myc


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Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:17 PM

Ditto MLB's advice.


Never use an incubator. Total waste of time and effort - and most certainly will result in several failures during the learning curve. 

My incubator efforts went onto the compost pile. Never had a single success. Temps get out of control and bacteria will run rampant. Try it and see (not a smarty challenge - just an invitation to the frustration). 


Woodlovers will colonize in the refrigerator - (40*f and lower). I guarantee it (being that it's my preferred method - neglect colonization).

All of the secondary decomposers you mention will enjoy the 60's and 70's. The closer you get to 80*f, the more bacteria are present. Above 80*f and you have The Bahamas for bacteria. Weekend at Bernie's for your fungi. 

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#8 MLBjammer


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Posted 12 January 2017 - 03:37 AM

Pans definitely do not need incubation.  I grow them in the 60s-70s F range.

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