How Indoor Gardeners Can Maintain Safe CO2 Levels
Plants can’t live without carbon dioxide, and the plants you grow in your hydroponic garden are no different. They use the carbon dioxide in the photosynthesis process partly to help with growth, partly to breathe, and partly to create glucose and other substances for energy and nutrition. Outdoor plants rely on the CO2 we and other animals produce from our own respiratory processes, and indoor plants do the same. But sometimes, in the instance of an absence of carbon dioxide, you’ll need to step in and provide it. Here’s how indoor gardeners can maintain safe CO2 levels.
Pump the Gas
First, you can purchase canisters that store carbon dioxide under high pressure. You can attach the canisters to a device called a regulator that works with a timer to release carbon dioxide slowly and according to your preferred schedule. The best arrangement is to set the timer to release gas during daytime hours (whatever those might be for your plants, if you’re using grow lights). That way, they get as much CO2 as they need and no more.
For this and the following means of CO2 dispersion, pick up a CO2 monitor for your grow room to check the levels. Also, you’ll need to adjust the amount of CO2 the plants receive according to the room’s size. Larger rooms may require another following device, which we’ll discuss next.
For larger rooms and a bigger budget, invest in a CO2 generator. CO2 generators are hooked up to propane or natural gas tanks or gas lines and work to produce a larger output of carbon dioxide in a more regular way. Because they burn gas to produce gas, generators can run hot, and that heat will transfer to your grow room. So be prepared to equalize temperatures along the way. Generators should also be equipped with regulators and monitors to maintain a steady and healthy flow of CO2. They can cost a pretty penny, but for larger grows, they’re worth it.
Fungus Among Us
Here’s another way how indoor gardeners can maintain safe CO2 levels. CO2 bags contain fungi that exhale CO2 naturally. They’re perfect for smaller areas such as grow tent, but they’re not as useful for larger rooms because—while they do produce carbon dioxide—they don’t produce much of it. And you can’t adjust or regulate their output. Still, they’re cheaper than the above methods, so if you’re just starting out and starting small, they might be the perfect investments.