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Enrich your indoor hydroponic grow room with CO2

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Carbon dioxide is highly renowned in the indoor hydroponic world. Also known as CO2, it is very popular for reaching optimum indoor growth performance and creating an environment that your plants will love you for especially if you want them to thrive and produce crops to the maximum. Plants need CO2 for photosynthesis, photosynthesis is a process used by plants to convert light energy, normally from the Sun in our case our lights, into energy or food that can be later released to fuel your plants growth. Without CO2 photosynthesis cannot occur. By increasing levels of CO2 it is possible to increase the rate of photosynthesis. This means your plant growth takes place more rapidly. Increasing and maintaining CO2 levels at between 1500 – 5000ppm (When people are talking about how much CO2 is in the air, they generally measure in “PPM” or “parts per million.”) enables you to enhance plant growth in most crops. CO2 can also enlarge your harvests by up to 30% and even reduce growing times by 30%.

Many growers do extremely well without the added use of CO2, but we can assure you that usage of CO2 will be very clear to see how much more your plants will look bigger and healthier.
There are quite a few ways to introduce CO2 into your grow room, we will look at commonly used options that are available. But remember that some ways of adding CO2 work great for a small space, but awful for a larger one, and vice versa. So where one method may work well for some, others may work better for you and your garden.
You should ensure your grow room is assembled with air tight conditions in mind, CO2 is expensive. Unless your room is airtight you will be simply throwing your money into the air, not forgetting you won’t receive the full potential of your CO2.
The easiest way to ensure that your plants have enough carbon dioxide is to make sure you have a well designed, efficient airing environment. An intake fan low to the ground is a good idea, as this brings in the fresh air and your outlet fan on the opposite end of the room above your lights to draw out the hotter, older air. This creates displacement, as the higher air is removed from the room it creates a vacuum and pulls more air in from below. This helps to ensure that your plants have a healthy amount fresh air. A good ventilated environment will ensure your precious CO2 reaches all your plants stomata. (Stoma is the part of the plant which actually intakes your CO2 & O2 and processes and controls gas exchange. Stoma means mouth in Greek)
So which CO2 is the best one for the job? Well there are new and old means of adding CO2 into you’re grow room, here are some methods:

Compressed CO2 tanks/canisters: The most common form of adding CO2 is the use of compressed carbon dioxide tanks/canisters. These can be incorporated into an automatic system to release a set amount throughout the day cycle only (lights on period). CO2 during the night (lights out period) is a waste as plants stop using CO2 at night, CO2 is mainly used by the plant as part of photosynthesis during lights on. This is probably the more expensive style of adding CO2 but it also is the most controllable. Also bear in mind the continuous tank/canister changes, maybe not the best option for those with a bad back or for those who live at the top of a high storey block of flats whose lifts are always out of order

CO2 generators: CO2 generators work by burning propane and other fuels to produce CO2. Although some growers swear by this form of CO2 inclusion, because it too can be automated and simple to use but is harder to regulate. It will increase the humidity of a sealed room and having an open flame in your grow room poses obvious fire risks.

CO2 (mycelium) bags: This form of CO2 inclusion is safe and simple to introduce. Simply hang the bags either over your plants, or if your ventilation is on full maybe during the hotter months, then you can even place the CO2 bags on the floor as the vacuum provided by your fans, will help to disperse your CO2 through your room evenly. Difficult to regulate CO2 bags and not enough CO2 is produced with one bag. So depending on the size of your grow room you may have to add a few more bags. These bags are safe to handle and use.

CO2 dispersal canisters: Relatively new on the CO2 market but has had rave reviews. Very simple to install into your grow room and even easier to get working. These canisters require warm water added and then a good shake and hey presto you have a CO2 churning canister. Also difficult to regulate but they are affordable and safe.

Dry ice: Dry ice is simply a solid from of carbon dioxide. As the ice melts it releases CO2. Affordable but difficult to regulate and sustain required levels of CO2. Dry ice cannot be automated, you must manually add more dry ice to the grow room yourself and it gets used up pretty quickly too.

Fermentation: This is also a safe and cheap and easy way to use CO2. Unfortunately not much carbon dioxide is actually produced, also it is impossible to regulate or automate. Lastly depending on what you’re actually fermenting the smells can be quite unbearable.

Talking and breathing: The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by us humans is not really adequate but makes understand why so many growers do actually speak to their plants daily.

So considering all the options carbon dioxide is definitely worth considering as an extra addition. The usage of it is recommended for the more experienced indoor grower. An experienced indoor grower will be able to ensure they can make their room/garden airtight and easier for them to regulate and optimise their gardens environment before adding or wasting any precious CO2.
If you’re not too sure whether you and your garden would benefit, feel free to drop by the Go Grow Hydroponics shop for a consultation and we can discuss the best options available to you and your garden.