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muddymire

Composter

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I posted this in bug nation and people seemed not enthused. I know that many in Japan and other East Asianian countries use an elctric composter to ferment wood in. I had to make the investment.

 

Naturesmill is terrible, don't even think about it.

 

I've had the EarthSystem by Cheng-Fong for about a month now, it ferments sawdust in a matter of days, requiring that you leave it to air out for a week afterwards. It's great. I'll be trying to ferment leaves this week.

 

When I bought mine it was 100 cheaper, as they were testing waters or something. If you are a maniac, and can make the investment, I highly recommend it.

s

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1MG0E71110

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Very interesting. I have access to lots of wood but what other ingredients would you need to start the fermentation process and about how long would a batch take to be ready?

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It's just how you would make traditional flake soil. I add 4-6l of water, 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, a packet of test and I also add protein extract (1/3rd cup), it takes about 5 to 10 days. The first batch takes a little longer. After each batch is done (30l isn).

 

I find it's best to then transfer the batch to a large trashcan on casters, I think its a 36 gallon. I dilled about 20 1/4" holes into the lid and covered them in micropore tape. I leave it in the sun, and mix with a pitchfork once a day. It's becomes usable in about 5 days.

 

The composter never makes it above 48C, as newer ones in asia that can compost materials in hours get into the hundreds. It saves me time, I know the raw materials, and it's realtivly sterile (I have never found anything I didn't want it the batches).

 

Also if you have a dog or a cat, or a baby, or throw compostable diapers or their waste into it. On this note I recommend that it be outside, or you are able to hook up the exhuast hose properly. I love mine, it's better than my stove.

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Do you have close up photo of the ready product? I am making the soil myself but it's a pain, as it is cold in UK so it needs to be done inside.

the process often takes longer because of the lower temperatures.

 

http://beetlesaspets.blogspot.co.uk/

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I believe flake soil is a geralized term for fermented sawdust. Some manufacturers in Japan ferment sawdust up to 3 times! Laying, larval rearing, etc. I'm sure you know this stuff from For The Love Of…. As the owner of Iris Beetle has written "stag beetles have great choice". I assume that some beetles won't touch it, even some stags.

 

In the first edition of Lai's book Odontolabis can be seen in a large rearing container that has been colonized by mycellium!

 

I have a lot to learn, I think Lai and those at the for front of this hobby do as well (although a lot less than me, and less than most of us).

 

http://tinypic.com/r/1ryczo/8

 

We also have this stuff called Happy Frog, I use small quantities as an additive. It's has microbes and fungi cultures that are bennefical to plants, I assume to beetles as well. Hardwood soil conditioner.

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Hi, thanks a lot for your reply

the soil looks good.

what is the flour/sawdust ratio in your substrate?

I tend to add flour at least 5 % of the mixture, e.g. 1 kg flour per 19 liters of the woodflakes.

I also add some used substrate from my stags and rhinos with beneficial bacteria.

I am just wondering whether it is possible to break the lignin in wood (main idea of the fermentation) in a few days time, even in the electrical composter...

 

 

http://beetlesaspets.blogspot.co.uk/

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Yeah, color change happenes overnight. reduction in volume by day 3. Oh and it mixes automatically, I think thats the major reason for it's success.

 

I use about a liter of flour, a packet of yeast and half a liter of brown sugar. I also always leave a few liters in the machine as a living culture. It's very similar to how iris beetle suggests you make substrate.

 

I'll be trying dry leaves tomorrow. I'll take photos in a couple of days after.

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I think the prices will drop, the people that have house in the burbs need to start buying for that to happen though. Move to Lakewood, ohio and I'll share it with you! :P

 

Also the L. Swinhoei female seems to have made a large hole in the substrate, almost like a ant mound or nets opening, half inch the opeing is I'd say. Seems like the tunnel is packed. I'll check in a few days keep ya'll updated.

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What kind of composter is that? What I really want to know is what is a good one to buy? this has some type of features besides being a compost bin it just smashes the materials? Or does it do something else?

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I'm seriously thinking about investing in one of these. I wish Muddymire was active so I could ask him some questions about it.

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I'm with Ratmosphere on this one. I'm thinking about buying one as well. It'd certainly be much easier and faster than doing it all by hand.

 

The ability to process an entire batch of substrate in a week would make it infinitely faster and more practical to perform experiments with various additives and levels of decay.

 

If it has the ability to compost leaves in a rapid amount of time as well, this thing could be worth its weight in gold...

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Bringing this post back alive. 

I have a Earth Systems composter and it is worth every cent. I’m making flake soil that my tityus love. Time needed is 5-7 days and a week or so resting out of the machine. For the resting  period I move the soil to a trash can with vents cut into the lid. I mix it with a paint mixer and drill every day or every other day.  Maximum loading of the machine produces right around 5 gallons of soil.  I’ve only done single passes with the soil for now. I like it so much I recently bought a second one that will be here in a couple of days. Once the second one arrives I’ll try multiple sessions to create different degrees of breakdown. I haven’t tried leaves yet as I have a stable supply of naturally broken down leaves but I might try a batch to see how it does. I’m also thinking about making some kinshi from single pass soil to see if i can speed up that process. I use matured kinshi as white wood. No more buying flake soil that is cut with compost or soil. 

Single pass soil is also working well for isopod and millipede substrate. 

Carl

 

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