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Bacteria For Maceration Trick?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by bobaloo11, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Hey all,
    I posted this in another thread and realised it probably should be on its own.
    Has anyone tried Rid X Septic tank additive? Lots of bacteria, but is it the right type and will it work?
    Thanks in advance,
  2. freeze_1

    freeze_1 Booboo, my business manager

    I always thought that bacteria was bacteria regardless of the source.
    When ever I need to boost my batch I go out in the yard and scoop up a couple of fresh dog turds, hey, it works.

  3. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Very first timer here,
    That being said, I'll pose a question:
    Do I need to keep the water near the 100deg + range for the maceration process to work? If so, I'll be getting a larger heater than this aquarium one I'm using now.
    Did I mention I'm in Michigan and it's December and I'm doing this in my shed which is, of course, also outside. So keeping it that hot will take a larger heater. I was content with just keeping it in the 70's and that will be a challenge, does it need to be that hot?
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Water temp needs to be 80 to 90 24/7. Cold is not an issue. Insulate your container. Use the Advanced Search on here and you will come up with a lot of information to read. Look through the pictures/read these posts for one. http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,125253.msg846317.html#msg846317 http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,338002.0.html

    I have also been guilty of trying a little dog poop in the mix. A piece of rotting road kill works better as the bacteria you want are already in it. If you leave a head out until it starts to stink, putting it into the warm, wet environment of a heated bucket will rocket the bacteria population very quickly.
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  5. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Here's something I picked up today at a local farm supply. (Similar to TSC). For $35. Keeps water temp between 85F and 110F, hopefully it won't be too hot. I don't think it will be an issue since water will be circulating from convection. The heater coil is about 3in up off the bottom, keeping things moving.

    I had to dump the old water out, man what a STINK! :eek: The skull had been sitting it 70deg water for about 5 days, It looked almost like when I put it in, but more slimey. I hope this one works for me as well as the heater in your beaver head tank did.

    I'll keep posting with my results.

    Attached Files:

  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    That is interesting. Post on how that works out. I perhaps would add something over it to keep skulls from contacting the element and maybe getting burned. Gunk from the skulls often seems to want to stick onto things like this and contribute to them burning out. My bucket heater element is now coated with high temp silicone and it seems to have helped.
  7. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    110F is NOT too hot. My setup (used for both maceration and degreasing) is at 116F and works great.

    Do NOT put dog crap in your tanks (or really any other enzymes, bacteria, etc.) not only is it disgusting, but it is completely unnecessary. The heads have everything that is needed already, and as SW said, if you let it rot a little first, then that bacterial colony is going to work great.

    Bacterial starter is never the problem with maceration. 90% of the issues come with temperature control, and occasionally you might get a contamination issue too (e.g., if there is too much chlorine in your tap water and you change out too much of the water during the process).
  8. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Well 24hrs in to it and it seems to have done more in that time than in the prior 5 days. Just went out and the skull was floating so I flipped it over and let the gasses out... again. I'm thinking of coming up with something to use outdoors, similar to what SW did with insulation etc. Odor is getting a bit "loud" in a 10 x 10 shed!

    So if this works out, the skull should come out pretty clean, right? Or will I still need a power washer or something to strip the rest off?

    I don't think the skull hitting the heating element is going to be an issue. The heater is in a square bucket so there are corners to put the skull and jaw in. I was thinking of using some chicken wire to put over the element. I'm not sure how hi temp silicone will hold up on the element, it's like a stove element, not like an aquarium heater is encased in glass.

    As for bacteria, I already had put some Rid-X in the bucket 5 days ago so I don't think I can go backwards on that one even if I change the water 50 times. It's in there now so I can only hope for the best.

    Thanks all,
    and will keep you posted.
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Lol .. "loud" .. that is a new term for that stench I hadn't heard before. I'm amazed that you are doing that in a 10x10 and surviving being in there. The stink of the process is the only bad part. Done correctly, it works like a charm and very quickly. Mind you, not a fast as a really hot colony of beetles but the advantage is that the skull is initially cleaner and a good part of the grease in the skull is already broken down so degreasing also gets a head start. Use gloves and DO NOT get the crap in the bucket into any sort of cut or opening in the skin. A couple of folks on here have posted some very nasty pictures of what can happen when you do. Also .. do not splash the bucket water onto you or your clothes. It takes forever to get the smell off.

    If you want a good idea of how clean the skulls are after the process is done. Take a look at the pictures in those two posts above and read those sections. :)
  10. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Hi again,

    Yes "Loud" is minimising the odor. As for water dumping etc. I do wear gloves when messing with the bones and the water. Dumping half the water out into my ex's car would be an idea, I won't, but I can dream cant I? LOL!

    In your beaver skulls description you make reference to "BO" used for bleaching or something. What is this "BO" you speak of?
    I know it's not "Body Odor". (I wish that's what it smelled like).

    Thanks again and I'll be back for more,
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    BO is short for Baquacil Oxidizer. It is a strong, 27% peroxide that is used for non chlorinated pools. There are other brands too. It is the easiest way to get a very strong peroxide. The other source would be a store that has beauty supplies like Sally's. They have bottles of a 12% peroxide that is labeled 40 VOL. If you want to buy that type, by what is called "clear". There is one called "cream" but that has oil in it. Good for hair, not so great for bone.
  12. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Thanks for the info....again.
  13. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Is the smell of the brain macerating stronger than just the flesh? I poked in the skull and some white "soup" came out and the stink was unreal!

    Just wondering...
  14. Most of us remove the brain before macerating. Not only does it stink very badly, it also contains a lot of grease. Use advanced search on here for brain blaster.
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Best to remove it. It is a large chunk of fatty material that makes the process go a lot longer. It is easy to break it up and flush it out before and yes, while it rots there it's a lot of goo in your container that doesn't have to be there. Use the advanced search and read up on this. Most posts all say to remove the eyes, brain and as much tissue as possible. You can toss in whole heads, as I did with my lazy box of beavers, but it will take longer .. and yes ... the stink can not be described.

    Fortunately the stink isn't for long. There are also ways you can cut down on the odor. Use the Advanced Search on here. There are tricks to using it that aren't really evident. Try searching for "maceration smell" or "maceration stink". Make sure that your words are between " " and the results you get to look at are a lot better.
  16. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Gonna have to make one of them brain blasters! As for the smell... well it still stinks but my next one will be without a brain, maybe a little less stink, kinda getting used to it though.
  17. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    Well my doe skull has been soaking about 7 - 8 days with the new heater and about a week prior at a lower temp, with a smaller heater. I have changed a third of the water twice. I pulled out the head today just to look at it. The meat is white and there is some hanging but not loose enough to remove very easily, (I tried with a knife). Is it on schedule? I'm not really counting the first week, so how am I doing?

    I now know next time to remove the brain first and try to trim down the meat a little more. But am I on schedule here?
  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    What is the actual temp of your water? The water needs to be at least 80 degrees constant .. to 100 for this to work. After a week in water that is that temp large areas of bare bone should be showing and chunks of flesh should be falling off of it. Flesh removal that you do with this is minimal if any. Look at the mountain lion post that I did. Your deer should come out that clean all by itself. Don't count the first week and don't change out any more of the water unless it is really rotting. Possibly you are changing out the water too much but I think your water temp might be a lot lower than you think it is. See if you can locate some sort of thermometer and check it in a couple of spots in the container. Or, stir it up to even out the temp in the container and check the temp in the center.
  19. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    I check the temp at least once a day. NEVER been less than 88 degrees, today temp was at 109. That is after stirring. I check it in several places, even on the outside of the bucket, after I remove the insulation.

    There is flesh hanging from it. I guess I could remove that stuff if needed. Should I? The last time I dumped the water, I think I may have dumped more than half of it. What do you consider "really rotting" water, mine is cloudy right from the top with some scum and what looks like fat floating on it. Soup anyone?

    Thanks in advance...
  20. bobaloo11

    bobaloo11 New Member

    reply with Pics... I hope.

    I went out today to see if I can clean up the loose stuff from the skull. The jaw bone seems to be coming along great, though it's in two pieces now. The front teeth of the lower jaw are loose and falling out, that's good, but the molars are not loose yet. Nor are they loose on the upper half.

    As you can see in the pics below, the rest of the skull is still covered with hanging flesh and it's still very well connected.

    The water is warm enough but it is pretty nasty see other pics:

    I guess that's all for now, please give some input if you feel there is something amiss.