Most people know that plants breathe Co2 and that the air that surrounds us contains some amount of Co2, so plants take the Co2 from the same air we use to take the oxygen to breathe while they use the Co2.
What you may not know is that optimum levels of Co2 for a plant's needs is nearly 4-5 times more than what is in the air surrounding us every day. So, just like when we feed our plants with premium nutrients or fertlisers we are giving them the optimum amount of food they require then why aren't we all doing the same when it comes to air supply?
The main reason is because it all just seems so technical and complicated. "Pressurised bottles of gas - no, thanks!"
Here's something to consider then: You can hang 10, 20 or even 30 600w light kits but if you had the right air levels you could probably achieve the same results with half that amount of light.
I like to use an Olympic athlete as an example. If the gold medal winner has the best diet, the best equipment and the best training, it's that combination that won the medail. If you take away one of those three things, chances are he will no longer win gold.
Plants need Co2, light, and nutrients. If you can optimise the levels of all three of these factors you going to achieve amazing results, but take one away and you're no longer going to achieve the same result.
So what's the solution? Below are the two ways we recommend to start to introduce Co2 into your grow room without over complicating things or breaking the bank.
Firstly, Co2 bags. These have been around now for a couple of years now but still I would say most people are using them incorrectly. Below is a diagram of how to use them:
We use Co2 bags like this because Co2 is actually heavier than air so this way as the extraction at the top of your room extracts the air up and out of your room, then the Co2 is firstly taken in by the plants but secondly to be extracted out the room the Co2 will have to be dragged up through the canopy of the plants.
This method uses bottles of Co2 which may make some poeple a little uneasy. Yes, you are handling pressurised gas so you should be very careful to make sure that the bottle doesn't get damaged, or fall over and damage the valve. But it is in no way like a bomb (a common reference from some customers), in fact, if you were to have a fire in your house the Co2 cylinder may actually help extinguish that fire as it is Co2 that is in fire extinguishers for electrical fires.
Below is two diagrams on how Co2 can be injected using bottles:Diagram 1
Diagram 1 uses Co2 lay flat tubing, connected to the bottle and laid in between the plants then the underside of the tubing is pierced to allow the air to escape from the tube and be taken up by the plants.Diagram 2
Diagram 2 uses rubber hose to run the Co2 into the back of a floor fan that then circulates the Co2 around the grow area.
Both methods use the Ecotechnics UNIS Controller, a simple to use controller that releases Co2 into your room every 4 minutes. You simply measure your room with the formula:
This gives you the cubic capacity of your room, and then you set the Unis Controller, which has cublic capacity settings, for example 10m3, 20m3 and so on. We recommend going up around 2 settings on the Unis Controller to compensate for the fact that you are extracting air from your room. For example, with a room that measures 8m3 you might set the controller at around 20m3 and see how the plants react to this.
You will know if the Co2 is having an effect in your room as you will see much faster growth rates, bigger leaves and also sometimes you can start to notice a leaf with a more defined edge - in a way a more spikey leaf.
Hope this has helped you get to know using Co2 a bit more.
If you want to know about anything regarding this or any other growing issues then please dont hesitate to get in touch or email us with your comments.