Updated: Apr 13, 2021
This technique/technology is colloquially termed :Monotub Tek
Setting up a fully automated Monotub
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This article explains how to build an automated 4-Unit Monotub system.
There are several types of mushroom fruiting chamber technologies (Tech or Tek) out there and they all work off of a similar set of rules in order to achieve the correct Temperatures Humidity and possibly static-electricity levels.
Some common mushroom fruiting chamber names are the Shot-Gun Fruiting Chamber (SGFC), Individual Fruiting Chambers (IFC) , Fruiting Jars (FJ), Martha Stewart Tek (MST), Fully Automatic Walk in Grow Tent (WIGT, pronounced: “Wid-Jet”). Modular Clean Room Fruiting Chamber Tech/ Clean Room Tek (CRT).
What is a Monotub and how is it different from the other kinds of fruiting chambers?
A Monotub is an automated mushroom fruiting chamber that is particularly suited to large batch mushroom grows.
Monotubs are specifically suited to growing the Enoki, Oyster, Reishi and Crimini / Portobello mushroom species. The information in this article is intended for purposes of food cultivation. In locations where the laws specifically permit, The Monotub Method is also ideal for growing certain copelandia, panaeolus and/or psilocybe species.
When it comes to growing food in the home or business A mono tub is ideal for the busy hobbyist/industrial grower because after you set 2 timers you are essentially able to walk away from the tubs for up to a week at a time.
A Mono-Tub system grows many more mushroom fruit bodies than even “The Best Mushroom Grow Kit”. Monotubs are a modular system. Monotubs can be daisy-chained and are easily scalable. Monotubs are easily cleanable. Most importantly Monotubs are extremely environmentally friendly because they are 100% reusable.
A single monotub is a large, plastic tub with air-holes of various sizes, for select purposes (Fresh-Air Exchange Holes, Gas Exchange Holes) placed through the tub at precise locations.
Please refer to the following for a general outline of how to Build A Fully Automated Modular Monotub System (Below).
Required Materials With Links To Purchase (Below)
4 Large 66Qt Sterlite Clear Plastic Totes w/ Lid : $59.00
Soldering Iron : $15.00
Small Room Fan : $16.00
2” Micropore Tape : $9.99
10L Reptile Mister Fogger : $160.00
2 Programmable Digital Timers : $28.00
2 sets, AC Dual Computer Cabinet Cooling Fan : $40.00
2, AC Turbo-Fan Power Adapter : $18.00
1 Power Strip : $13.00
Small Glass Weight for Water Line : $12.00
Now to build your 4-Unit Monotub System.
Step 1: Assemble the Materials.
Note on Tub Color: The color of the tub itself is less important than the color of the tub’s lid. The Lids for each of your tubs should be see-through and ideally clear. This is so that you can see inside without opening and disturbing the tub while the fruit bodies are growing. Disturbed fruiting mushroom bodies get performance anxiety and this may stall their own growth while they figure out what's going on and how to best respond. Mushrooms left alone grow the strongest and fastest.
Note on Painting the Tub: Do Not Paint the Tub. Any tub painting is made redundant by the use of Black Trash Can Liners during the actual fruiting phase. Use of a black liner leads to a cleaner internal monotub operating environment and helps with faster and easier turn-around clean up times, for near-constant production.
Note on 10L Reptile Mister Fogger. We went through all of the components and picked out the very best products for these purposes. This particular fine-drop mister has enough power to adequately mist 4 , 66Qt Monotubs and is the best you will find for the price.
Step 2: Make Fresh Air-Exchange Holes (FAE)
Mycelium requires reduced temperatures plus an increase in oxygen in order to actually trigger the pinning of the hyphal-mass. Once pins form into mushrooms the mushrooms themselves require lower temperatures and increased oxygen levels compared to the levels required by mycelium during the incubation period. Here is a chart that explains different mushroom's ideal temperature and humidity.
Table 1 Mushroom Varietal Temperature and Humidity Chart
Fresh-Air Exchange Holes or Fresh-Air Exchanges (FAE) allow the fresh air to enter the chamber at the level of the top of the mushroom growing medium. After the FAEs have been placed at the level of the growing medium inside of the mono-tubs, any future substrates placed into that Monotub must be placed up to and no more than the 3" level of the FAE.
As that arrangement is now optimized for mushroom fruiting behavior Without FAEs your mushrooms will grow long and lanky as the caps compete to grow into fresh oxygen instead of drowning in a CO2 cloud trapped in the bottom of a non-ventilated tub. Fresh Air Exchange leads to healthier, meatier, tastier, more substantial mushrooms.
Measure & Mark: Measure 3” up from the bottom of the 66QT Sterlite Tub.(See Fig 1.) At that 3” height, mark every 2” inches moving parallel with the floor such that a mark is placed every 2” around the perimeter of the lower portion of the tub at 3” up from the floor.
Make The FAE Holes: In a very well ventilated area, preferably outside, use your well-heated soldering iron tip to melt small FAE holes into the sides of the tub at every Fresh-Air Exchange Hole Mark.(See Fig 1) Be careful when the plastic melts it gets hot and if not careful the melted debris could scald you.
Figure 1 FAE holes and GE holes with Measurements. (Note clean edges of holes with exacto-knife or #11 scalpel blade)
Step 3: Make Gas-Exchange Holes (GE)
Measure & Mark: Locate the midpoint between the 2nd and 3rd Gas-Exchange Holes on either of the long sides of the Monotub. (See Figure 1) Measure 2” up from that midpoint and mark the location for a ½” to 1” diameter hole. Measure and mark this location on both of the long sides of the Monotub..
Make The Gas Exchange Holes: In a very well ventilated area, preferably outside, use your well-heated soldering iron tip to melt ½” to 1” Gas Exchange holes into the sides of the tub at each of the Gas Exchange Hole Mark. Be careful when the plastic melts it gets hot and if not careful the melted debris could scald you.
Step 4: Make Holes for the Fine-Mist Sprayer Lines and Mount.
Measure & Mark: On one of the short sides of the Monotub. Mark points at ⅓ and ⅔ of the way across the length of the short side. Place the mark appx 4” below the level of the lid at the ⅓ and ⅔ points. (See Fig 2)
Make The Fine-Mist Sprayer Line Holes: In a very well ventilated area, preferably outside, use your well-heated soldering iron tip to melt small holes at the marks made in the previous step.
Place your mister, centered directly between these two holes that you just made, such that the fine-mist sprayer lines will come into the Monotub through those holes and thereby connect to the fine-mist water sprayer. (See Fig 2)
Figure 2 Fine-Mist Sprayer Placement with water lines
Figure 2: Fine-Mist Sprayer centered in between two water line holes at the ⅓ and ⅔ point across the length of the short side of the Monotub.
Step 5: Make Holes for the ventilation-Fans and Mount.
Measure & Mark: In the very center of each Monotub trace out the shape of your AC Infinity Multifan and make a mark for each corner screw.
Make Holes: In a very well ventilated area, preferably outside, use your well-heated soldering iron tip to make The AC Infinity Multifan screw holes and large fan vent hole into each lid.
Place yourAc Infinity Multifan into the large center hole that you just made and screw the safety screen onto the inside of the top of the lis such that the fan becomes screwed to the lid and the lid fan combination becau=omes a single unit. (See Fig 3)
Figure 3 AC Infinity Multi-Fan mounted to top of Sterlite Monotub Lid.
Step 6: Connect and Calibrate your Fine-Mist Sprayers and AC Infinity Multi-Fans with your 8-setting programmable timers
Plug in your fine-mist sprayer to the programmable Digital Timer1
Plug in your single fan or daisy-chained fans to the programmable Digital Timer2
Synchronize Digital Timer1 and Digital Timer2, to the second.
Program Timer1 to go on at 12am, 3am, 6am, 9am,12pm, 3pm, 6pm,9pm for exactly 1 minute then turn off.
Program Timer2 to go on at 1201am, 0301am, 0601am, 0901am,1201pm, 0301pm, 0601pm,0901pm for exactly 1 minute then turn off.
Watch and observe that the mist comes on for exactly one minute followed by the fan coming on for exactly one minute.
When programmed accurately the mist will spray into the Monotub for exactly one minute followed by the fan. The fan evenly distributes the fresh moisture throughout the Monotub. Its good to observe the programmables for a couple days. Make sure the misters and fans are synchronized and working properly.
Step 7: Seal the Holes with 2”-Micro-Pore Tape made by 3M
Seal the hole with 2” 3M Micropore tape in order to seal off the environment and thereby prevent the exchange of contaminants, bacteria, spora or other debris in or around the Monotub.
Now your Monotub is complete and ready for lift-off. Place a myceliated brick of x,y,z strain into your monotub and forget about for a week. When you come back to take a peak, you should have a beautiful flush developing before your eyes.
Points of Note/ Pro Tip: When you set up your fine-droplet mister, the light plastic tubing floats inside of the 10L water tank. The absolute best solution for this is to get an unused small glass cannabis pipe. Place the end of the tubing into one of the holes of the cannabis pipe and set into the tank of water. Water will flow through this pipe and the weight of the glass will hold the lightweight plastic tubing to the bottom of the 10L container. (See Figure 4 and Figure 5)
Figure 4 small glass cannabis pipe used for tubing weight inside of 10L tank
Figure 5 small glass cannabis pipe used for tubing weight inside of 10L tank
Figure 6 Side view of a single Monotub with FAE, GE, Fine-Mist Sprayer and AC Fan
Figure 7 Side view of 4 Monotubs in a synchronized Daisy Chain Configuration with FAE, GE, Fine-Mist Sprayer, AC Fan
Figure 8 Synchronized Programmable Digital Timers