Monotub vs Shotgun Fruiting Chamber: Pros & Cons Explained

Are you ready to take your mushroom cultivation to the next level? It's not just about choosing the right type of fungi to grow but also about creating the perfect environment for them to thrive. And that's where a high-quality fruiting chamber comes in. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one to choose? In this article, we'll guide you through the pros and cons of the two most popular fruiting chambers: the shotgun and monotub.

Shotgun fruiting chambers are easy to set up, convenient, portable, and highly durable. However, balancing humidity and airflow is challenging in this setup. A monotub fruiting chamber allows a high yield of mushrooms and more effortless adjustment of air circulation. However, setting up and cleaning this chamber requires more effort.

It's important to know the difference between the two fruiting chambers since different types of mushrooms require different setups. Let's now assist you in choosing which one is suitable for you—the shotgun fruiting chamber or the monotub.


  • A shotgun fruiting chamber is the best option if you're looking for a portable, highly durable, and easy-to-use setup.
  • If your goal in fruiting is to produce more mushroom yields, use a more extensive setup like a monotub fruiting chamber.
  • Ideal growing conditions such as temperature, depending on mushroom species, relative humidity, fresh air exchange, and light exposure must be considered in whichever fruiting chamber you opt to go with.

Pros and Cons of Shotgun and Monotub Fruiting Chambers

The two most popular types of mushroom fruiting chambers are the monotub fruiting chamber and the shotgun fruiting chamber. A monotub fruiting chamber uses a large plastic container filled with substrate and with holes drilled into each side to allow gas exchange.

A shotgun fruiting chamber, on the other hand, is set up just the same, but with smaller and more holes drilled into the container. It uses perlite as a moisture absorber, and instead of a mixture of substrate and spawn, a whole growing bag is placed in a shotgun fruiting chamber to allow fruiting.

Below are some of the differences between a monotub fruiting chamber and a shotgun fruiting chamber:

CHARACTERISTICS Shotgun Fruiting Chamber Monotub Fruiting Chamber
Use/Purpose Used to fruit fully colonized PF tek cakes, substrate blocks, grow bags, or grow kits Used both as an incubator and fruiting chamber, therefore grain spawn and substrate is added directly to incubate and allow fruiting
Type of mushrooms Ideal for mushrooms that grow on substrate blocks or in bags Ideal for top-fruiting mushrooms that grow well on hardwood or manure-based substrates
Airflow/ Air circulation Must be placed in a location without competing airflow or wind; getting the right air circulation is a little difficult and can lead to contamination. Can be placed in windy or airy locations; easier to get the right air circulation, therefore, it’s not prone to contamination
Ease of use/set-up Shotgun fruiting chambers are easy to set-up. You only need to put the cakes or growing bags in the chamber and wait. Monotub fruiting chambers are more difficult to set up since calculating the right quantity for spawn and substrate is complicated.
Size of set-up Shotgun fruiting chambers utilize small, round containers which can hold 1-2 quarts of the substrate; their small size makes them good for smaller projects or when there’s limited space available Monotub chambers are built from large, rectangular containers that can hold at least 30 quarts of a substrate; they are optimal for larger projects which have more available space
Cost of set-up Shotgun fruiting chambers are cheap but more expensive compared to monotub chambers because they require more materials and labor, and they also have smaller growing areas Inexpensive and only requires basic materials to set up; one chamber can hold a lot of mushrooms to grow
Ease of cleaning Shotgun fruiting chambers are easier to clean up since after fruiting you can just discard the spent substrate and wipe down the chamber before reusing Monotub chambers need a full cleaning before being reused as adding more substrate and spawn may contaminate your setup. You must also remove all fruits and pins and wipe down every nook and cranny before starting over.
Durability Highly durable and can be kept outdoors Less durable and are best optimized for indoor grow

From the above table, it is easy to conclude the pros and cons of using either a shotgun fruiting chamber or a monotube fruiting chamber. The choice depends on the kind of setup you want to achieve.

If you’re looking for portability, durability, and ease of setting up and cleaning, you can opt for a shotgun fruiting chamber.

You will only need to be focused on keeping its ideal fruiting conditions such as a temperature range between 60 and 65°F, relative humidity level of 75–90%, good air exchange, low CO2 level, and indirect light exposure. Shotgun fruiting chambers work best given warm and humid environments.

The disadvantage of using a shotgun fruiting chamber is that it can be difficult to maintain a high-humidity environment in this setup. This is because there are plenty of small holes drilled into the container and these holes are uncovered which makes humid air evaporate quickly. For this reason, perlite is added at the bottom of the setup to hold moisture.

However, if your goal is to have a bountiful harvest of mushrooms at a cheap cost, a monotub fruiting chamber provides the versatility and space to achieve that goal.

Although low maintenance, fruiting in a monotub chamber only happens when the fully colonized monotub is subject to 24 hours of indirect light exposure, a temperature range of 60°F to 80°F, high humidity, fresh air exchange, and low levels of CO2.

The setup of a monotub chamber is more complicated than the shotgun chamber, it is because they are used for a dual purpose: as an incubator and a fruiting chamber.

However, the advantage of using a monotub fruiting chamber is that it is easy to maintain high humidity inside the tub because the holes are only a few and covered with a filter. This allows a slower rate of moisture evaporation.

A more humid environment inside a monotub fruiting chamber makes it easier also to maintain fresh air exchange. A good air exchange helps avoid contamination issues.

Mushrooms can grow on logs, forest soil, or even mushroom beds without any interference, given that environmental conditions are favorable. However, when the environment is extreme, the best way to grow mushrooms is to build fruiting chambers.

A mushroom fruiting chamber is a setup that allows growers to produce consistent, high-quality mushrooms by providing ideal conditions in terms of humidity, temperatures, CO2 levels, air exchange, and light intensity.

It is an enclosed space that mimics the natural growing environment of different mushroom species, which will help them to thrive. The design of your fruiting chamber will depend on the type of mushrooms you plan to grow.

Ideal Shotgun Fruiting Chamber Temperature & Conditions

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