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Boris The Beetle

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  1. Boris The Beetle

    Making and introducing larvae to kinshi

    Thanks @JKim!!! I will have to see if I can get my hands on some beetle-specific kinshi strains. The strain I'm using is definitely just for commercial/hobby growing. I am actually fruiting some of the blocks right now. Because of covid19, I didn't get my fruiting chamber in time so the blocks colonized for too long and started growing mycelium upwards into the empty space - that is why it looks like the mycelium is exploding out of the top of the block lol: I crushed up 1 of my blocks and used the sawdust to make 2 bottles of kinshi but, alas, all my stags are building their pupal chambers so I am too late to use the bottles. I will have to plan/coordinate better if I get eggs for the next generation. I may put the bottles in the fridge to stall them but not sure how successful I will be doing that. I'm trying to understand making rhinocerous beetle food. In nature, don't they consume wood/leaves that have been broken down by mycelium? I'm trying to understand the difference between using yeast to break down sawdust to make flake soil vs using mycelium to break down the soil.
  2. I am making some kinshi bottles right now using hardwood sawdust and Pleurotus ostreatus (liquid culture to rye grain to sawdust/bran). I will be using PP5 32oz deli containers with syringe filters (or just micropore tape) in the lids for air exchange. Does anyone know how long after full colonization of wood substrate I have to wait before I can add larvae? From my understanding, the mycelium needs time to break down the wood lignin but I'm not sure how long this takes. I'm planning to use this kinshi for various Dorcus species (alcides, antaeus, and curvidens). Additionally, if I let the mycelium go on forever without fruiting, would the sawdust eventually reach a point of degradation that would be suitable for megasoma/dynastes? I attached photos of some bags I have colonizing. The strain I have is very aggressive. A 1 quart jar of rye berries fully colonized after 4 days with a 1 tablespoon grain-to-grain transfer. The 5lb bags are around 65% colonized right now. I have 2 more jars of rye grain that I will use to colonize more jars as well as some 32oz tubs of sawdust/bran. Edit: I forgot to mention these bags are for us, not the beetles. Going to gift the bags to family members as "grow your own mushroom" kits haha Though I did find a report online of someone breaking up the fully colonized bags and filling bottles with already colonized sawdust.
  3. Boris The Beetle

    Carnivorous Plants

    That's so cool! I've only ever seen CPs in private collections - never in the wild.
  4. Boris The Beetle

    Carnivorous Plants

    Hate to call you out on this but CPs do best in low/no nutrient soils. In fact, soils with too many nutrients/minerals/salts will kill the plant. You are correct that they require sunlight - in fact, most CPs require HIGH intensity light (full sun or extremely bright artificial lighting - I use both). Some CP species such as nepenthes can tolerate lower levels of light but something like a sundew, american pitcher plant, or VFT requires high levels of light to grow well. While most CPs can tolerate extended periods without feeding, you will get the best growth with regular infrequent feeding. For example, feed your pitcher plants every 2-4 weeks but not with every watering. Do not fertilize the soil. You can introduce insects to the pitchers or traps. Like the soil, the water used must be pure and nutrient-free so a TDS of <50ppm is preferred. The closer you get to 0ppm TDS, the better.