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06-22-2012, 02:50 PM #1
"MONOTUB" Easy bulk substrate mushroom TEK
I did not invent this, I originally saw it posted by someone called monstermitch, he is who wrote the original TEK. But I do use the method and think it should be passed on fully. This is also not my grow and I am not taking any credit for it. I am simply sharing education and passing it forward.
I thought why not give this great method its own thread so you can all see it and spread more knowledge.
I vary my set up a little from this. I now put a little fish pump on top, even if a very small one connected to a diffuser to give each tub its own air line. This is just so I know it is getting fresh O2 when popping up shroomies. This is NOT needed according to the original TEK, but I do it to ease my mind and it may seem to increase yields. I suggest the first time you try a Monotub don't vary the method at all, for risk of contamination. Just follow detail for detail as is and you will be rewarded. Experimentation after getting down the basics, is of course, where new ideas will lead you later on with Monotubs.
I use This Method for making Monotubs. I suggest you do the same if you can find these tubs or similar tubs. I have also used other types of tubs of various colors and all worked for me.
35 gallon blue tub with locking lid from Sterilite.
I've done much bigger and smaller. This is perfect for me.
To fill this tub, you will need the following:
10 dry pounds of bulk substrate
6 quarts of colonized spawn
Hole drill bit that is 2 inches in diameter.
Piece of cheap plexi-glass that is 12x24 inches.
fits so perfect. It is great.
Roll of gorilla tape. Duct tape will loosen in a wet, humid environment; gorilla tape will not.
Bag of poly-fil.
Poly-fil is a non-organic material not habitable to contaminates.
It provides excellent air exchange and filtration.
I suggest not using tyvek or micropore tape.
Neither is suited for this type of application.
Piece of black 3mil plastic or a black trash bag,
cut to ten inches longer and wider than the bottom of the tub.
The corners can be cut as well to round them a touch.
Stand the tub upright and secure the lid into place.
Mark a rectangle on the lid.
Make it one inch less than the plexi-glass' dimensions all the way around.
So your marking will be a 10x22 inch centered rectangle.
Cut this rectangle out of the center of the lid.
I use a propane torch and a hot knife to cut the plastic out along the marked line.
The plexi-glass should sit on top of the cut-out opening and have
an inch of plastic to support it all the way around.
Remove the protective coating from the plexi-glass on both sides.
Tape the plexi-glass to the top of the lid using your gorilla tape.
You may tape the underside as well if you wish.
Tape the plexi-glass well, having a two inch overhang of tape past the edge of the glass going outward.
The inner edge of the tape may line up perfectly with the edge of
the plastic under the plexi-glass.
So the tape will cover one inch of glass and two inches of plastic all the way around.
The finished product is sleek and effective.
Set the new lid aside so you can make holes in the tub.
Four holes in each of the two longer sides.
Eight holes total in the tub.
The bottom two sit where the bottom of the hole is 4.75 inches from the bottom of the tub.
Each outer side of the holes are 5.5 inches from the outer side of the tub.
The top holes are 6-8 inches directly above the bottom holes.
Putting them each 5.5 inches in from the outer sides.
Hole placement is critical to this working properly.
The substrate has to come right up to the bottom poly-fil so the carbon dioxide can expel
properly from the casing/substrate surface through the bottom holes.
The top holes will allow fresh, poly-fil filtered air to enter the tub and circulate.
This circulation and expulsion is what the mushrooms need to survive.
Drill out the holes with your hole saw bit and clean up the mess.
Drill one hole at a time and do it patiently as to not crack anything.
Wipe out the tub now with vinegar. White distilled.
Now wipe it out with isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
Rub down the inside of the lid too.
Get all of the plastic shavings cleaned up well.
Place the lid on the tub.
Stuff the holes with poly-fil.
You want it roundish on the inside, not all crazy, the outside can be crazy.
To achieve this you put the poly-fil in from the outside --> in.
Remove the lid, LIGHTLY mist some isopropyl into the tub, and place the black plastic in the bottom, the light mist will help hold it in place.
Some guys tape it a bit to hold it up on the edges. I do not.
Place the lid back on and spray disinfectant of some sort or isopropyl all around the tub, Let the inside dry and you are ready to go.
Once dry and ready, fill with bulk substrate/spawn of your choice, This can be your typical "cakes" broken up and mixed with many various things. (Straw, Horse Manure, Coco coir, Spent Coffee Grounds etc) I will post my recipe and method of making "Bulk Substrate" with a TEK for pasteurization in another thread, or you can also google your own recipe, many different Shroomies like different mixtures better than others so there is rope to run with here.
Leave the tub closed to colonize.
Elevate the tub on milk crates or on a shelf.
Most contaminates are within the bottom foot of the air,
so keep your tub up above that at all times.
Cover the tops plexi-glass with a towel or whatever to block the light. If at all possible use a blanket/comforter and try to maintain a totally dark room during this period. Lights on while taking peeks is A-OK! Just don't peek everyday or for long periods.
Peek through the glass and condensation once every few days to check for cobweb or any other contams.
Once fully colonized, you may case the top with 1/4 inch of Coco Coir (pastuerized) if you wish, which I do encourage, or leave it be to flush.
If you case, let it colonize again for a few days before exposing to light.
Once exposed to light you can of course peek whenever you wish through your Plexi window to see the progress. Within hours to days you will see the first pinheads poking through the casing and then an explosion of baby shroomies.
Keep a fan oscillating in the room the tub sits in, leave it on low and don't point it directly at the tub.
Keep the room temperature around 74-77 degrees, even when the tub is just colonizing.
Never open the tub to mist or whatever, leave it alone.
In almost no time you will be blessed with 'Wall to Wall" flushes like these. Harvest before they drop spores on their shorter siblings, even if caps are only 1/2-3/4 of the way open. I have seen tubs like these produce as much as 1/4 lb of dried shrooms after multiple flushes. Depending on the Shroom strain 1-3 ounces can be typical in the first flush alone.
After harvesting you may case again for another flush but be careful, the act of opening and harvesting may also introduce contamination to the tub. Make sure YOU are clean and the harvest site is also sterile if you plan to do multiple casings/flushes. I usually did 3 flushes then sent the massive cakes to the compost pile where they flushed again outside on their own. They also came back in that area year after year.
Feel free to post any questions or need for clarification, Ill be happy to help. I hope you come to love Monotubs as much as I have.
Last edited by misterdogman; 07-02-2012 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Pics
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06-22-2012, 03:23 PM #2
Nice write up!
I'm a fan of monotubs...it's what I did last time with moderate success...low maintenance setup, but my main downfall on some of them were having the tubs just too large without the proper needed spawn...this allowed for much easier contamination.
Though, I do wonder what's with the plexiglass? The tubs are expensive enough as it is without the lexan
I just used clear tubs all around, have the bottom covered with the trash bag to keep it from pinning on the sides/bottom, and while they were colonizing I just kept them in thick jumbo sized trash bags. Tossed off the bags, a little light to give them direction, and a cool breeze and they were rolling.
I do like the idea of the air pump though! Keep the air pump in a sterile + filtered container and I can see a massive benifit coming from active air exchange...might have to try that next time
A few things to echo about what misterdogman said....
- The holes along the side of the monotubs DO have to be staggered as mentioned by misterdogman...one even row or layer of holes will not allow for proper Gas Exchange and Fresh Air Exchange. FAE is very important.
- The floor will kill your tubs. It's a fact that most particulate contaminates are stagnantly floating around the floor, and as you walk about kicking them up, that doesn't help either. Keep the tubs elevated and away from an HVAC vent.
- Gorilla Tape = King
- If anything, use a 50/50 mix of spawn and bulk substraight. Not using enough spawn will leave your monotub colonizing for WEEKS if not longer. As you can imagine, at that point you're most likely going to be fruiting something else other than cubes...something green/blue/black and nasty to the health.
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06-22-2012, 05:27 PM #3
Thanks for the kind compliment. Yes, there are lots of people I have seen use clear tubs with no issues. I used blue because the first TEK I found suggested it and I believe the theory was it let less light through when colonizing. Of course if you had a nice dark area to colonize in, the color of the tub is of little relevance and you could forget using the Plexi-glass window...
Its only purpose if for peeking anyway and for light exposure. I think I might have also used a big industrial 55 gallon bag to cover the tubs before too, if I had them handy instead of a blanket. Whatever floats your boat and works is A-OK! By the way it is good to see you again old friend.
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06-23-2012, 08:27 AM #4
administrative note: right now, the images at the top of the post are not showing due to some settings here at the site... Dogman didnt copy and paste a mess
we will get it figured out shortly
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