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How to Avoid Mold When Rearing Bolitherus cornutus?


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A while back I made a post about how I found some Bolitherus cornutus and I wanted to have a colony. Unfortunately, however, their fungus conk was completely overrun with mold. I even created an enclosure with lots of ventilation to mitigate the problem, but it was too late, so I was forced to let them go.

Last night I found more in the same spot, and I want things to go better this time. That's why I have to ask: How do you people not get massive mold infestations? Any time I've ever tried to keep a fungus feeding species, including Neomida bicornis, a Diaperis sp., and of course, B. cornutus, the same thing has happened. And from what I've read on this species, they prefer high humidity and limited ventilation, which seems like a perfect recipe for mold. So how can I avoid mold this time around?

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I am assuming you are talking about trichoderma? Different molds have slightly different causes. For most molds, you can limit their growths by lowering the temperatures, in lower temperatures the mycellium can better compete with the fast growing mold. Also, unless you keep humidty very low, if this mushroom conk you are talking about is simply just the fruit theres not too much you can do to make it last a long time, ideally you would collect it with the object it is attatched to to prolong lifespan.

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19 hours ago, darktheumbreon said:

I am assuming you are talking about trichoderma? Different molds have slightly different causes. For most molds, you can limit their growths by lowering the temperatures, in lower temperatures the mycellium can better compete with the fast growing mold. Also, unless you keep humidty very low, if this mushroom conk you are talking about is simply just the fruit theres not too much you can do to make it last a long time, ideally you would collect it with the object it is attatched to to prolong lifespan.

I have no knowledge whatsoever on mold taxonomy, but yeah, Trichoderma I guess. And yes, it's just the fruiting body. B. cornutus only feeds on dead/dying conks, so I don't think it would work to keep live fungus. Anyways, I know they can be reared in deli cup-sized containers, so others have avoided this issue somehow in the past. I like the lower temperatures idea, however, although I'm not sure how I could achieve that. Thanks.

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I currently have them in a 16 oz. deli cup with 10 thumb tack holes for ventilation. So far, I can only see a bit of white fluffy mold on parts of the fungus where it's been broken and the inside is exposed. Otherwise, surprisingly, no mold so far.

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The spores are ubiquitous, and you have a perfect environment for them to thrive in. That one may be a goner, and unless you really bump up airflow, knock down the temp, cut the humidity, or do something else to mix stuff around in there to stop the trich from taking root, you'll always be creating the perfect environment for that mold to grow, and sporulate. That's my finding from keeping beetles as well as growing mushrooms. You can minimize the risk but it'll never be gone. Also something to consider, even if you've made some changes, unless your containers have been washed out and your substrate in there replaced, there are still billions upon billions of those spores circulating in there, so each time you put something in, it's just going to start molding again eventually. 

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On 9/16/2020 at 5:22 PM, QuissettHouse said:

The spores are ubiquitous, and you have a perfect environment for them to thrive in. That one may be a goner, and unless you really bump up airflow, knock down the temp, cut the humidity, or do something else to mix stuff around in there to stop the trich from taking root, you'll always be creating the perfect environment for that mold to grow, and sporulate. That's my finding from keeping beetles as well as growing mushrooms. You can minimize the risk but it'll never be gone. Also something to consider, even if you've made some changes, unless your containers have been washed out and your substrate in there replaced, there are still billions upon billions of those spores circulating in there, so each time you put something in, it's just going to start molding again eventually. 

That all makes sense. I just find it so hard to believe that people manage to rear them without having any mold troubles.

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8 hours ago, JunkaiWangisme said:

I just ignore it lol. They are all doing fine last I checked

I think you're right, actually. This time I decided to keep the culture, instead of throwing it out after mold, and it seems to have decreased its mass by A LOT. And all the beetles are alive. Maybe I just had to let it run its course. Thanks everyone!

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