Using carbon dioxide in a Grow Room or Grow Tent is a sophisticated method in which you can significantly boost your plants growth. However, CO2 growth enhancement is not suitable for every grower. It depends on the kind of grow space you’re cultivating in, and some other factors.
What is CO2?
Carbon dioxide is used by plants in photosynthesis. In high concentration, it can be harmful for humans, but it is absolutely essential for plant growth. This article is going to cover everything you need to know about how you can use carbon dioxide for your grow space, and help in deciding whether it will actually be beneficial for you.
How does CO2 boost growth in a grow tent?
As elaborated above, carbon dioxide is essential to all plants. The natural concentration of CO2 in the environment is approximately 400 ppm. If you’re growing in an outdoor space, you cannot increase the concentration beyond this. If you’re growing indoors though, the limitation disappears and you can introduce more carbon dioxide in your grow tent. When you increase the concentration of carbon dioxide to a range of 1,200-2,000 ppm, your plant yield will shoot up and the growth of your plants will accelerate significantly. The heat resistance of your plants will also receive a boost.
Grow Lights and Carbon Dioxide
The lighting in your grow tent is the crucial factor in determining whether your plants can benefit from introducing extra carbon dioxide. Using high intensity grow lights like CMHs, LEDs and HIDs will allow you to reap the benefits of using carbon dioxide. If your grow lights do not have enough power, carbon dioxide supplementation will not help. CFLs and T5s are excellent grow lights for supplemental purposes, or propagation. But they’re not enough for creating the conditions in which carbon dioxide supplementation can benefit your plants.
Introducing CO2 into your grow room
Setting up a system for introducing carbon dioxide into your grow space is simple enough, and will probably take an hour at most. There are different ways in which you can do this:
CO2 Tank & Regulator Kit
Using a standard tank and regulator kit, is the method most growers use for carbon dioxide supplementation.CO2 tanks usually weigh 25-50 pounds and are made of aluminum. The tank contains compressed CO2 and can be placed outside your grow tent to conserve space. The tank is connected to a regulator that you can plug into a CO2 controller or the wall. This subsequently connects to tubing that is placed above the plants through out the roof of the tent. This way the carbon dioxide can be directly emitted onto the plants to maximize absorption. As the name suggests, the regulator enables you to adjust the amount of CO2 that’s flowing into your grow tent. A CO2 tank is an optimal solution if you’re growing your crop in a tent.
A CO2 burner is the next popular alternative if you’re growing in aproducts for making natural CO2grow room. Any natural gas and liquid propane when ignited, produce CO2. The burner itself is comprised of 2-10 burners. The burners are installed in a metal container which is placed at the ceiling of the room. It’s positioned right over your plants. The burner consists of as few as two, or as many as ten burners. This “burner” is a metal box that is hung from the ceiling of the grow room above the canopy of the plants. A tank that contains a natural gas or liquid propane is connected to a regulator which in turn is connected to a carbon dioxide controller. When the gas is released, the burners ignite it which produces the carbon dioxide. The caveat of this process is that it generates a lot of heat in your grow space. You have to take this into consideration, particularly if you’re growing in a small space or if you live in an area that has high temperatures. In this scenario, maintaining the optimum temperature would prove to be a challenge and hassle for you. You might consider in investing in an air conditioner for your grow room then.
There are lots of ways in which you can produce supplemental carbon dioxide through natural means. We have a range of products for making natural CO2. These are far more convenient to use compared to purchasing tanks or burners and setting them up. There are bags and pads that contain CO2 producing fungi, which can be hung above your plants. They react to humidity levels in your room and produce CO2. Natural CO2 methods are markedly inexpensive and convenient. Most growers usually use them for backup in case your CO2 tank runs out or your burner stops functioning. We strongly suggest that you don’t use natural methods as the main method of producing CO2 for your garden. The main reason is that the output cannot be controlled or shut off by CO2 controllers.
CO2 controllers are essential in this process. You need CO2 controllers to maintain a consistent concentration levels of CO2 in your grow space. CO2 controllers are connected to your CO2 producing devices for this reason. Once the ideal concentration level is reached, they shut off that device. Conversely when concentration levels drop, they turn your devices back on again. Their function is similar to that of a thermostat.
CO2 has to be introduced at the right time of the day as well. Photosynthesis only occurs during the day. Plants produce carbon dioxide during the night, just like humans, so introducing carbon dioxide at the point in time would be harmful. Therefore, CO2 controllers are equipped with photocells for determining whether it’s day or night. This allows you to keep your grow lights and CO2 devices in sync.
Additional information for using CO2 in your grow spaces
There are a couple of more things to take into consideration when introducing supplemental CO2 in your grow space
Closed loop grow spaces
You need to ensure that your grow tent or room is completely sealed. It is a common practice amongst growers to use an inline fan in the garden to regulate humidity and heat. If you plan on using supplemental CO2 for your plants, you will have to stop using it as it will remove the CO2 from the room before it has an effect. Your grow room has to be a closed loop. You can only use an exhaust fan for situations in which CO2, humidity and temperatures reach unsafe levels. Check out this article about grow room atmosphere and ventilation to better understand ventilation systems and open/closed loop rooms.
Safety and Precautions
Carbon dioxide in high concentrations can be extremely harmful. So be careful and ensure that your equipment is installed properly and your grow tent / room is sealed! It’s best to invest in a CO2 alarm or detector. Remember that carbon dioxide is colorless and odorless, so you won’t find out until you feel the effects!
If you want to grow sizeable plants that have a high yield, then CO2 supplementation is definitely for you. Coupled with the right lighting, you can significantly boost the growth of your plants. Still unsure about how to use CO2 for your grow space? We’re just a click away at Groindoor! Our team of experts can help you decide exactly what you need for your garden. Learn about the ideal growing environment for your crop here as well!