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What Media do you uses?

This is a discussion on What Media do you uses? within the Flasking Equipment & Technique forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; Hello everyone. I would like to start off by saying great site here. Now to ...

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  1. #1
    JB_Orchidguy's Avatar
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    Talking What Media do you uses?

    Hello everyone. I would like to start off by saying great site here. Now to my question. I am interested in trying to flask up some orchid seeds. I have the basic procedure down, but working out how to sterilize seeds (asked in another thread), and media to choose. I know that most use a bannana based media, and paphs use a coconut. My thing is I would like to do a one time flask. Being once I sow the seeds they stay there till they are ready to come out. I have read about people doing this, and I have talked to some people who do it this way, but I want a wide range of answer. I get conflicting info from different sources. Its like that with all orchid infor I guess. Any who. One site said that mother flasks use a media geared for germination and the re-plates use a media geared for growing. Well, this may be so, but again I say I know some people do a one time flask thing and just curious to know if anyone here does it this way. Media suggestions or recipes welcome. I really don't want to try the cornstarch media recipe I found because the aurthor said it is slow to germinate and grow, but has less contamination. Well I;m not to worried about contamination. I am pretty sure I can do the sterile things pretty well. I am a surgical tech after all and have to keep things sterile during an operation all the time. Thanks for any advice.

    Sorry to be so long winded. I may have told you more than you needed to know, but I think it will be ok

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    If I were you, I'd go ahead and drop the money for a commercial flask medium for your first time flasking, at least. That way you don't have to think about quite as many variables in figuring out what went wrong if something doesn't go according to plan. Numberous suppliers (e.g. PhytoTechnology Laboratories) sell various media, with and without charcoal and banana, some of which are not specific for mother or replate flasks. Just be sure to note the difference between the 10L and the 10 x 1L: the former is in one large package, and needs to be weighed out with a very accurate digital scale, whereas the latter is prepackaged in smaller amounts, and needs only be dumped into a liter of water and cooked.

    So how are you sterilizing your flasks, and what are you using for flasks? For that matter, how are you creating a sterile working environment? Glove box? Flow hood?

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    I got permision to use the micro bilology lab at school. They have an autoclave there to sterilize media and my flasks. Also a flow hood for the work area. I plan on using mason jars for flasks. I will punch a hole in the top of the lid and place a round bandaid over the hole for a filter. I read that was how this one pace does it with very good results. I have one of professors going to help me the first time autoclaving the media and flasks. I use autoclaves all the time at work, but never to sterilize media and glassware. I will do the seed sowing myself. Do you have a recomendation for media that can go from protocorm to seedling plant? OSB has a few different kinds from Western but I dont know if they can be used like I plan to. Thanks Sue I look forward to any recommendations.

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    I am jealous of your autoclave access, especially since, if I remember correctly, you can just autoclave the flasks with the medium in there, thus avoiding the cooking and pouring step, which is difficult to do in sterile conditions.

    I don't have any particular medium recommendations, but I can tell you that it's quite unlikely that you'll be able to raise them from seed to seedling size without a replate, in a mason jar. I think you'll find that they'll be way too crowded in there. If you really don't want to replate though, you could just open the flasks in the hood and thin the herd, keeping the remaining ones in place and discarding the rest.

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    Heres my 2 cents.
    Media is cheap. For under $3 US you can make over 30 baby food jars of media. I would buy the prepared, just add hot water, stuff. If your buying your seeds from OSP they sell p668 with banana or without. Get that. Works very well. I'm sure mason jars will work fine. I use baby food jars with special magenta B-Caps on them.

    As for keeping plants in one flask for there whole life, If you ahve access to a flow hood, use it! The only time I would justify not replating is if you don't think it can be accomplished without contamination. I use a glove box (pictures available if requested...), and I worry about contamination everytime I have to open a flask but flow hoods reduce the risk further. The nutrients in a flask are not infinite. Eventually the nutrients will be used up or, more likely, the pH of the media will change and make some nutrients not available to the plants. The result will be plants whose growth slows significantly. Plus it is difficult to sow seeds at a low enough density to not need thining.

    On the subject of homemade media, never tried it. But if you extra seed that is not valuable to you, I think its worth a try. The OSP is an excellent source of seed and they supply a generous amount. Enoght for some experimentation. Other internet sources give you enough for two flasks, barly.

    Feel free to ask more questions.

    Kyle

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    (slightly off topic)

    Kyle; if by any chance, you'd be interested in putting together a photo-tutorial of flasking in a glove box, or just of your glove box (how it was made, how it works), I'd put it in the FAQ for this forum, and I'm sure it would be a valuable resource for many. If you might be interested in doing something of this kind, PM me!

    Glad to have an experienced flasker around!

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    ok so here is a question then. How many times do you replate then? It is my understanding that the mother flask is only used to get the protocorms started and then they are reflasked. Or do they stay in the mother flasks a little longer? Then basicly they will be staying in the replate the same as if I started them there right? I'm just curious. I'm not scared of replates. Was just tying to make a few less steps. I was told by one person that the only purpose of a replate was to thin out the seeds, but I dont know if that was his opinion of if that was from his teacher. I do think I have a solution though. Since I do plan on buying from OSB I can make 2 flasks that I will plan to leave in the original flask till ready to compot, and then make a mother flask with the rest. The mother flask I will replate. Then I will examine the growth rates of the two groups to deturmine if replating is accualy nessisary. I will take pictures showing the progress of the various seeds I do, since some seeds may do better than others in given situations. This may help other people like myself wondering the same questions.

    Now once I make these flask do I have to put them under florecents, or can I place them on the bottom of my benches?

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    When should I replate the Mother flasks? How do I replate the mother flasks to the replates? I know Louis said he was going to do a pictorial how to, but I duno if he is going to get to it before I need to do it. Hopefully he will though. I plan to do it hopefully the second week in May after finals. I have one back of seeds already and waiting on the others. OSP didn't have the Bulb Lobbii I wanted so I asked for Den Discolor instead and he is also sending one or two more dens to try out too. The Teacher that is going to help me with the first run wants me to write a procedure down to follow since he himself has never sown orchid seeds and is relying on me for the procedure. I am gathering info to get a step by step to follow down. From preparing media to sterilizing seeds to sowing. Yada yada yada. I found out the other day that I;m only going to be able to use the hood once for sowing and then once for replating. They don't want me to start using it for a business. I can understand that but if I;m successfull I will be building a hood. LOL Thanks for all the info!!!

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    Josh, I'm not going to be able to do a pictorial until mid July sometime, I expect. I was going to go up to Tom Larkin's and do it there; he's got a lab setup and laminar flow hood he's offered to let me use (we need to get a new filter for it and will probably split that--thousand bucks...).

    In the meantime though, here are some links in case you haven't seen these already; the flasking technique you can read about at G&B Orchid Labs pretty much describes everything you'll need to know in step by step detail.

    Phyto Technology Labs is a good place for supplies, and Hill's medium from G&S Labs:

    http://www.gallup-stribling.com/labs/labs.html

    has been very successful for lots of people. They'll also do flasking, depending on whether they're currently accepting new customers.

    Anyway, hope this helps some. Sorry I can't get to it sooner...

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    Thanks for the info LJ Thanks for ths info. Reading is good . I will be doing this probably first week in May so need to get my duck in order. Should the seeds be ok in the box they came in for another week or should I store them in the fridge? The box right now i just sitting on my TV stand withe the seeds and media inside.

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