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Old 04-03-2013, 04:46 PM
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Default .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Thanks to Frogparty for sharing the idea of using .3 micron filters.

I've fielded more than a few questions why I use .3 micron filters in my springtail and isopod cultures. Of course the next questions are always, "Where do I get them?", and "How do I use them?".

Are .3 micron filters absolutely necessary? No, of course not. The can, however, be an extremely valuable tool in the cultivation of isopods and springtails. How many times have you seen posts about bugs that look dead until you open the top? Quickly thereafter, the bugs scurry away. They were likely low on oxygen, but not yet fully suffocated. The proper use of a .3 micron filter will not only prevent suffocation, but can also increase production of your cultures. When your bugs are well oxygenated, they are happy and breeding. If they are "comatose", from lack of oxygen, I guarantee you that they are not currently breeding.
Yes, there are many people who have never used filters, and never had a problem. There are also people who have experienced complete and total culture death through suffocation. What makes the difference? It could be several different things.
1) How tightly sealed are your culturing containers? I like a very tightly sealed lid. The looser your lid, the easier it is for mites to get in. Take one of your culture containers and fill it with water. Put the lid on and turn it upside down. If water leaks out, young mites can get in. If you get a tightly sealed container, you can keep the mites out, but fresh oxygen cannot get in. Thus the use of a breathable filter that will allow air circulation, while still keeping mites out.
2) How populated are your cultures? Cultures with a large population of bugs are generating more CO2 and using up more oxygen. It is sometimes after cultures really start to rock, that I get messages about killing the entire culture through suffocation. It almost always happens the day after a feeding. The bugs are already using up a lot of the oxygen. You feed the culture and the microbial action explodes. The microbes, yeast, and bacteria, all begin drawing on the available oxygen and producing CO2. You open the lid in the morning and all the bugs are at the top of the culture, dead and starting to stink.
3) How heavy do you feed your cultures? If you feed small amounts, every few days, you are less likely to experience suffocation. The culture breathes every time you open the lid. If you feed larger amounts, less often, you are not allowing air in as often. Plus, you see more microbial action.
I think this sums up why I choose to use .3 micron filters on all of my cultures.
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Last edited by Pumilo; 04-03-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

So, if you have decided that the use of .3 micron filters, is something you want to experiment with, your next question is most likely, "Where do I get them?".
If you can use a 10 pack or more, you can order them from Fungi Perfect. Media Containers - Fungi.com
Personally, I order and use the 90 mm size. 90 mm Synthetic Filter Discs--Set of 10 - Fungi.com

If you only need a few, I sometimes have them in stock. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pla...ter-discs.html
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

for me, who can be described as having a very "forgetful" approach to bug culture, these are THE difference between success, and failure.

ALSO, If you use glass jars for FF culture, these are made to fit mason jars and work with the ring lids. KEEP MITES OUT, MOISTURE IN, all while promoting good gas exchange!!! YEAAAHHH



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Old 04-03-2013, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

OK, so Fungi Perfect has shipped them to you and you are wondering what to do with them.

1) How do I attach them to the lids of my cultures?

You'll want to remember that silicone does NOT stick well to plastics. It will stick just long enough that you think it's working. Then you find mites and realize that your filter discs have partially separated from the lid. (Not that anything like that has ever happened to me! Of course I'm just surmising that it could happen...Really! )
I find hot glue works very well. Now there is a "cool" hot glue, and a "hot" hot glue. I use the higher temperature and have never experienced another failure.

2) How big a vent do I need for my cultures?

This is dependent on the size of the culture. To field this question, I am simply going to show you some pictures of the size vents I have experimented with, in varying sizes of cultures. Shown in the pictures are 16 oz Hillshire Farms deli meat containers, Ziplock/Glad "shoeboxes", and Rubbermaid 6 quart containers. Rubbermaid 1777163 1.5-Gallon EZ-Find Food Storage Container: Kitchen & Dining : Walmart.com I also use Rubbermaid 10 quart containers, with the same size vents. Rubbermaid 2.5 Gallom Easy Find Lid Food Rectangular Storage Container: Kitchen & Dining : Walmart.com
The last picture shown is a tiny little container, perhaps about 6 ounces?
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Finally, a reminder that Frogparty is the guy you should be thanking!
THANKS Frogparty!!
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

this hobby is only as good as the ideas and successes/failures we share with each other
to quote Richard Dawkins....."It works! Its science, bitches"



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Old 04-03-2013, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Thank you Pumilo for the great writeup and the you frogparty for the great idea..
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Thank you, Frogparty and Pumilo!

I found
Whatman Filter Paper, Grade 1: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific Whatman Filter Paper, Grade 1: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
, any idea how they compare to the .3 micron filters? They come in several sizes.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

its impregnated cellulose at what looks like 11 micron. Isopods eat cellulose....and 11 micron will allow spores in



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Old 04-03-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Quote:
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its impregnated cellulose at what looks like 11 micron. Isopods eat cellulose....and 11 micron will allow spores in
Sweet! I get to take a break and let the master take over!
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

ALSO. those filters arent meant for repeated usage, or sterilization



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Old 04-03-2013, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

I'm sure I can go to the fungi forums and research this, but I'll bet one of you guys already have.
What about Tyvek or Tygard? I know priority mail envelopes are made of it, building wrap. we have disposable tyvek suits here at my work. I found this.

Why Buy a Tyvek® Coverall?

Either you or your staff need protection from all sorts of harmful materials: paint, chemicals, construction products, oil, grease, fiberglass, mold, etc. A Tyvek® coverall is the industry standard in all those applications for many reasons:

Microscopic particles as small as 0.5 microns can’t pass through Tyvek® even if the fabric has been abraded.
Tyvek® Coveralls are not easily scratched or worn away.
Tyvek® Coveralls are made with one material in one layer, unlike laminated fabrics that leave you exposed if the outer coating is scratched off.
Tyvek® Coveralls let air and moisture vapor pass through, reducing the chances of heat stress.
Tyvek® Coveralls are six times more breathable than microporous materials.
Tyvek® Coveralls have a wide range of uses in many different industries.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

tyvek works.
Initially I began using the filter disks because I was employed doing rhizomorphic fungal culture via grain master jars to micron bags etc, and had a lot of these disks around


0.5 micron is great. You will exclude ALMOST all endospores and bacteria. AND TYVEK IS CHEAP. What I dont know is how resterilizable it is. I can get those disks up to 128C in the autoclave, no worries. I dont know if Tyvek will melt at those temps or not



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Old 04-03-2013, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Tyvek will melt at 135 oC and shrink at 118.

I have problems finding .3 discs. You have saved my ass with tyvek, a triple xl suit for £5!

Great info Doug, bookmarked to copy your cultures.


Ps. Would tyvek also be good for viv vents?
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

OK, wondering if I am the only one thinking this. Exclusion of spores through the use of this filter...........means ABSOLUTELY nothing when you are opening it 1-2 a week to harvest springs. I am no expert in fungi cultivation, but I would assmue that one the sterilized culture is sealed up to start the culture, it is not opened until the end of the culture period. Opening your springtail culture even one time will allow all kinds of stuff in.

However, I am sure that they will exclude mites (the main enemy) from entering your cultures. One thing to be very conscience of though, is WHERE you set the lid down while harvesting your springs. Set it down in the wrogn spot, and the lid could very well pick up a couple mites from somewhere.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

That's a good point. My table is very well cleaned before feeding springs or Iso's.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Its kinda nice that Fungi is 30 miles south of me.. Just got some, thanks Doug and all involved with this method..
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdfCrazy View Post
However, I am sure that they will exclude mites (the main enemy) from entering your cultures. One thing to be very conscience of though, is WHERE you set the lid down while harvesting your springs. Set it down in the wrogn spot, and the lid could very well pick up a couple mites from somewhere.
I just don't set the lid down. I wash my hands, and air dry, (not really dry, just sorta shake my hands down), and open the spring culture lid, hold it, and throw in the yeast.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:01 PM
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I will be trying the same method
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: .3 Micron filters - Why, how, and where

So, theoretically at least, could I use this with fruit flies?
If I culture fruit flies in a mason jar with one of those rings holding a piece of Tyvec coverall over the top, would that allow for air flow and proper growth,and keep out mites?

Let's go one step further. If I drop a plastic bag into a mason jar and fold the top of the bag over the mouth of the jar. Put fruit flies and media in the bag inside the jar with a square of Tyvec over the top and then tighten the whole thing down with a screw on canning ring -no lid part, just the ring- have I then got an easy clean fruit fly culturing system that means I don't have to throw out deli containers?
Because if that's the case then all that's left is teaching the little grossies to dust themselves and march into the viv.
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