As we are all well aware, Carbon Dioxide is crucial to aid the process of photosynthesis in plants. Most plants grown indoors will require a minimum of 330g of CO2 to help them produce energy in the form of carbohydrates. This concentration is enough to ensure that your plants are able to grow and develop normally, therefore lower concentrations will seriously affect growth and general plant health.
What is CO2?
CO2 is what plants use to initiate photosynthesis, getting the right levels of CO2 can really benefit your plant’s growth. If you are looking to significantly improve the growing cycle of your plants consider adding additional CO2 into your grow room. When levels of CO2 are maintained at around 1000-1200ppm, you’ll notice a vast improvement in plant growth.
However, there is a range of factors that can affect CO2 concentration and how quickly they fall in rooms without sufficient ventilation. These factors include the surface area occupied by plants, crop density, light intensity, air movement and light penetration of the canopy.
Indoor grow rooms should undergo a complete change of air every 15 minutes as CO2 levels can drop within minutes. Throughout the day CO2 levels should be increased to improve plant growth rates by over 30%. Likewise, you’ll also be able to run your grow room at a higher temperature. This is incredibly important for growers who struggle to keep temperatures down and avoid temperature stress on their plants.
When adding CO2 during the vegetative growth stage, you can help your plants to stretch to allow much more vegetative growth in a much shorter space of time. Similarly, when adding CO2 during the flowering stage is extremely important! Adding CO2 to your grow room in the first 2-3 weeks of flowering in order to boost flower production and size.
How to add CO2 to your grow room
There are multiple ways to improve the CO2 levels within your indoor grow room. For instance, you can use the Exhale CO2 bags, they are extremely easy to use and ever so effective. The Exhale CO2 bag cultivates carbon dioxide up to 24 hours a day. Plus there’s no need to refill bottles or use costly equipment. Plants grown indoors under artificial lighting will often lack CO2 to efficiently photosynthesise. The mycelial mass inside the vented cultivator allows the CO2 to release continually for up to 6 months through the breathing patch on the bag. We recommend that you hang your CO2 bag at the top of your grow room to ensure even distribution.
Furthermore, you can also use CO2 generators which use tanks of propane or natural gas to produce CO2. These are much more efficient at filling large spaces with CO2 than tank and regulator systems. However, these can create a significant amount of heat. Therefore it is highly important that your grow room is extremely well ventilated. You’ll need to invest in completely contained cooling methods such as air conditioners. Although when using specifically made indoor horticultural generators, they are by far the most efficient CO2 dispersal systems available.
Monitoring & controlling CO2 levels
If you are using a tank and regulator system, it is important that you invest in a CO2 controller in order to regulate the amount of CO2 within your indoor grow room. This is the only way to know exactly how much carbon dioxide is in your grow space. Remember, you don’t want to be pumping lots and lots of CO2 into your grow room, you’ll need to control dosages to maintain the ideal level. Most CO2 controllers provide a function to set specific ppm levels/ppm range. Therefore this is useful for optimising levels and adjusting the levels throughout growth stages. Similarly, most controllers should allow you to coordinate this with the rest of your ventilation system – further improving efficiency!
Environmental factors to consider
- Temperatures should be no higher than 30°C and no lower than 18°C
- Humidity levels should be between 40% (low temp) and 60% (high temp).
- Good horizontal air movement
- Light intensity is essential, the more light available the better – plants will absorb extra CO2 and use it to photosynthesise
- Reduce heat caused by light radiation – tends to cause stress and reduce CO2 absorption