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SMF - Just Installed

Author Topic: Automated Shotgun FC TEK  (Read 4577 times)


  • Guest
Automated Shotgun FC TEK
« on: November 19, 2010, 08:48:21 AM »

I will start off saying by no means am I taking credit for designing or creating this TEK.  This idea was around long before I started this hobby.  Im not promoting this TEK as the "easiest" or "best" set-up for mushroom cultivation. That being said, this is a proven and reliable TEK for a hands off FC that I and many others use.  This thread will contain the necessary items, as well as the instructions on how to build this FC, and some regurgitated info for the experienced but hopefully some helpful understanding to the beginners.  Also all the questions, tips, modifications, and troubleshooting ideas that will follow.

Grocery List

64-105 qt Tub  (Walmart)

Double Output 30-60 gal Fish Tank Pump  (Walmart)

Gang Valve  (Walmart)

Bubble Wand  (Walmart)

5-10' Standard Airline Tubing  (Walmart)

Fluorescent Grow Light  (Walmart)

TropicAire Reptile Humidifier  (

Plexi cutout  (Ace or other hardware stores)

Silicone, Duct Tape, and (2) 8 qt bags of Perlite or Hydroton

Preparing the tub

I use 2-3 inches of perlite in my tubs.  I use 3-4 inch deep trays for my casings.  The idea is to have your holes drilled out just under where the top of your cased trays are going to be.  This allows the CO2 (which is heavier than ambient air) to sink to the bottom of the FC, and ensures it will be forced out before reaching your casings.  So 5-6 inches up from the bottom of the tub I make marks all the way around.  I drill 4 evenly spaced holes on each of the long sides, and 3 evenly spaced holes on each of the short sides.  I also drill 2 more holes towards the corners on 1 of the short sides to allow for my air line tubing.  The airline tubing has an outside diameter of 13/64 of an inch, so I just use that same drill bit for all 16 holes.

Preparing the lid

If you use the same Sterilite tubs I have from Walmart, they already have a recessed pattern in the lid.  I use 1 side of a square as a guide and score my lines with a utility knife a few times leaving a 1/4 inch lip all the way around for my plexi to rest on.  Then I stick the knife through at a 45 deg angle (cuts much easier that way) and slowly follow the lines to create the opening.  I bought my plexi at ACE and they were nice enough to cut it to the dimensions I asked for so I just ran a small bead of silicone around the lip and set the plexi right in.  After a few hours of drying I reinforced the seal with duct tape all the way around and the lid is done.

Preparing the perlite

Some may think its overkill, but I dump my perlite into a huge strainer and soak it in 1 side of the sink with a bleach/water mix for about 5 minutes, then transfer to the other side in tap water to soak for another 5.  After a half hour or so of draining, its ready to go into the tub.  I also repeat these steps every 1-2 months just to stave off any unwanted contams.

Setting up the pump

Cut some airline tubing to go from 1 output of the pump into your TropicAire (TA).  Cut some tubing to go from the output of the (TA) to the diffuser which should have been included with the (TA). (Mine was missing so I made 1 from a drinking straw that I siliconed at 1 end, and then poked 4 evenly spaced holes through with a pin) This is providing constant humidity in addition to your Perlite.  The other output from your pump goes into your gang valve inlet.  The outlet goes to your bubble wand mounted just above your holes.  The valve allows you to control the amount of air flow into your FC, and this takes care of your FAE.