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Old 04-29-2019, 01:39 PM
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Default using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

so I have multiple hobbies, and I like to link up my hobbies if possible(for example, gardening and cooking are a great combination).

recently I've started up the dart frog hobby again after 10 years of not having them(well, I still don't have the actual frogs, still in the process of getting the vivarium set up, but you get the point).

but just before I made that decision, I also started cultivating mushrooms. currently this hobby is just in the starting phase too. it started with a course I followed about fungi(I study plant sciences), and after one of the lectures we made bags with oyster mushrooms(the simple way, just mixing spawn into straw substrate and putting that into bags, then everyone got to take home one of those bags).
I got pretty inspired to do more with mushroom growing, since it's the perfect missing link with gardening and cooking, and I discovered how fun and interesting fungi are.
but I've also been thinking of how I could re-use the mushroom 'garbage', the mycelium+remaining substrate after a few flushes of mushrooms. my first idea was to just add it to my wormbin, or maybe mix it into my potting mixes without further processing(but I think it would need a bit more composting).

however, I was reading up on microfauna, and read some mentions that springtails love to eat mushrooms.

so I'm wondering, could I use spent mycelium+substrate and the stem-ends of mushrooms to feed springtails and/or tropical isopods on?
maybe after processing by springtails I could still use the remains in my potting soils, or add it to the wormbin, or even combine springtails into my wormbin? (wormbin needs some more attention though, only started it last year and only a few worms remain, the worms living 'wild' on my balcony do way better, so I'm probably going to repopulate my wormbin by catching some worms on the balcony).

(btw, another thing, not a question, but advice/tips are welcome, but somewhere in the future I also want to look a bit more into yeast culturing. since from what I found so far fruit flies feed on yeast, I already stumbled upon some yeast cultivating info from homebrewers in my fungi-research, so once I get a bit further in my mushroom hobby it would be only a small step to look a bit further into yeast culturing. and use that to improve my fruit fly culturing. already got a pressure cooker and experimenting with agar at home for the mushrooms, so I probably wouldn't need to buy a lot more to work with yeast)
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

Everytime I'm at the store I buy discounted/old mushrooms and feed them to my isopods and the tops of the shroom I give to the springtails. They go nuts over them. But, the ones in the store are known/safe edible ones. No clue what they're called (I hate mushrooms)
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

thanks, that's a good sign my idea might work, although there's still a difference between mushrooms themselves and the mycelium, but at least the stem ends will probably work then.

I'm guessing the ones from the store you buy are just button mushrooms(agaricus bisporus), since around here that's the only mushroom you can buy at the supermarket(around christmas they sell a few more kinds, for fancy christmasdinners, but mostly that's just portobello, which is the same species as button mushroom, except button mushroom are the immature form and portobellos are a bit older).

although from what I've picked up online america seems to be a bit further/more diverse in mushrooms you can buy, for example I've read comments of people buying oyster mushrooms at stores too, while I've never seen those for sale anywhere around here, never tasted them before I grew my own(and they're much better as button mushrooms).

the known/safe edible part won't be a difference with homegrown, not gathering the mushrooms wild, I'll be using mycelium ordered online('spawn') from known species. poisonous mushrooms are only a concern if you're gathering them from the wild.

the only concern I have is that I know oyster mushrooms, which are the ones I currently have, form a kind of toxin in their mycelium(not in the mushrooms) that helps them to fight competing fungi. and I'm not sure yet wether that's just a fungicide, or wether it could possibly affect springtails too. but I'll look into that, or just try it out with a small group of springtails first. (edit: just remembered it wasn't a fungicide, but a nematicide, a toxin that kills nematodes)

another mushroom I'm looking into growing is the lion's mane. also king stropharia, since I could possibly grow those on the mulchlayer around my plants outdoor. and enoki, since(same as oysters) they can supposedly grow on a substrate of only spent coffeegrounds, and I drink a lot of coffee.

Last edited by dendrobates frisia; 04-29-2019 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

I would be a bit careful with putting "spent" mushroom substrate in a vivarium. If you use ABG mix for your viv substrate the oysters, if not completely dead, might start eating the bark in the mix. Pleurotus are primarily wood rotters, and while you can grow them on straw- that's not their native food source. If they were to take off in your viv, you might have some huge flushes and then your ground layer would be reduced to mush. Oysters are hardy and voracious consumers, and you can culture them on everything plant based. But put them on wood and they go to town.
Mycelium and the fruiting bodies (mushrooms) are exactly the same. The mycelium is just in a different form, but under a microscope that mushroom is made up of tightly packed strands of hyphae. The only different structure is the basidia, the spore producing cells. This is why we can culture directly from mushroom tissue.
Actinomycetes are the filamentous fungi most often found in compost and ABG substrates and are way slower decomposers than wood rotting mushrooms and just as good a food for your springtails. They will show up without any intervention on our part required.
I'm not saying you can't put the mushroom compost in your viv- you certainly can. I'm just saying you need to watch out if you do- unintended consequences might include: a huge flush of oysters and the need to replace your ABG (or Turface if you mixed them together). I don't think it will harm frogs, but it will eventually impact both plants and micro-fauna.
Now using wort (spent grain from brewing) in a mushroom substrate could be a pretty good idea. I am going to mess with that myself soon. Watch the Ph, wort is different from raw grain in my initial tests. Worms like it!
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

Yup, springtails eat mycelium (at least when they're called on by science):

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2011258...n_tab_contents
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

We all have to step up when called on by science. Doesn't mean we have to like it.

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Old 04-30-2019, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
I would be a bit careful with putting "spent" mushroom substrate in a vivarium. If you use ABG mix for your viv substrate the oysters, if not completely dead, might start eating the bark in the mix. Pleurotus are primarily wood rotters, and while you can grow them on straw- that's not their native food source. If they were to take off in your viv, you might have some huge flushes and then your ground layer would be reduced to mush. Oysters are hardy and voracious consumers, and you can culture them on everything plant based. But put them on wood and they go to town.
Mycelium and the fruiting bodies (mushrooms) are exactly the same. The mycelium is just in a different form, but under a microscope that mushroom is made up of tightly packed strands of hyphae. The only different structure is the basidia, the spore producing cells. This is why we can culture directly from mushroom tissue.
Actinomycetes are the filamentous fungi most often found in compost and ABG substrates and are way slower decomposers than wood rotting mushrooms and just as good a food for your springtails. They will show up without any intervention on our part required.
I'm not saying you can't put the mushroom compost in your viv- you certainly can. I'm just saying you need to watch out if you do- unintended consequences might include: a huge flush of oysters and the need to replace your ABG (or Turface if you mixed them together). I don't think it will harm frogs, but it will eventually impact both plants and micro-fauna.
Now using wort (spent grain from brewing) in a mushroom substrate could be a pretty good idea. I am going to mess with that myself soon. Watch the Ph, wort is different from raw grain in my initial tests. Worms like it!
just to be clear, I wasn't thinking of putting the spent mushroom substrate in my viv. (although I must admit it crossed my mind that it'd be kinda cool to have mushrooms growing in the viv too, but rejected that idea quickly for not being practical, it would probably just look cool for a little while till there'd be no more lignin/cellulose left in the viv's substrate)

what I was thinking about was using it in springtail cultures outside the viv. (and the part about mixing it into potting mixes I meant the potting mixes for my outdoorplants on the balcony).


and @socratic monologue, thanks fpr that article, going to read through that when I have the time. luckily I've got free access to most journals from home through my uni's library site.

Last edited by dendrobates frisia; 04-30-2019 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dendrobates frisia View Post
j
and @socratic monologue, thanks fpr that article, going to read through that when I have the time. luckily I've got free access to most journals from home through my uni's library site.
You're welcome. I like the excuse to poke around on Google Scholar whenever someone poses a question that seems to be begging for a substantiated answer.

I'm not sure all the details of the article are relevant; I just wanted to respond to this concern:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dendrobates frisia View Post
the only concern I have is that I know oyster mushrooms, which are the ones I currently have, form a kind of toxin in their mycelium(not in the mushrooms) that helps them to fight competing fungi. and I'm not sure yet wether that's just a fungicide, or wether it could possibly affect springtails too.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

yeah that concern is also something I still need to look further into thtough google scholar.

I followed an elective course about fungi a while ago(that's where I got my interest in growing mushrooms from), and as part of that course everyone had to write a paper and give a presentation about it, about a self-chosen subject related to fungi.
one girl in my class had her presentation about application of those compounds from oyster mushroom as biological nematicide in agriculture. so that's how I heard about it. but it was just a short presentation, in a day full of other presentations, so I don't know/remember all the details.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: using spent mushroom substrate for springtails?

I know nothing about mushrooms, but I would advise you to listen to what Ravage has to say about them (not that you weren't planning to!). He has a lot of practical professional experience with fungi and has given lectures at the local botanical gardens on the subject. He knows his business when it comes to mushrooms! I am sure SM knows what he/she is doing, too, I just don't know him/her personally :-)

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