Hydroponic Gardening – Systems – CO2 generation

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is necessary for plants to enable photosynthesis. Without CO2, or without enough, plants will not be able to thrive. Many hydroponic gardeners find it helps plant growth to provide an extra amount of CO2. This can be done in a variety of different ways. The two most common ways to increase the amount of CO2 in your hydroponic garden is by utilizing bottled CO2 or by purchasing a CO2 generator.

The most popular method of introducing added CO2 is the bottled CO2 method. This involves a system that includes a CO2 tank, a flow meter, a pressure gauge and a valve. The tank itself holds the CO2 gas. This gas is released through the valve, which must have some type of timer attached to it to help regulate the use of the CO2. Both the flow meter and pressure gauges help the hydroponic gardener judge whether the level of CO2 is appropriate for his or her needs. It is important to note here that, while increasing CO2 levels can help plants grow, allowing too much CO2 into the growing environment will have the opposite effect and your plants will perish. Hydroponic gardeners need to research in advance to see what level of CO2 is recommended for the crop being grown.

Using a CO2 generator is more cost effective and somewhat easier. However, this method also has the added element of increased heat that will need to be taken into account and compensated for by including an air-cooling system of some type in your growing environment. CO2 generators work to produce CO2 by burning either propane or natural gas. Most systems are placed on a timer that releases the burned fuel at a regulated time. The biggest hazard possible with a CO2 generator is that it is essential you keep it in perfect working order. Defective units will produce carbon monoxide instead of CO2 if they are not working properly. This will not only kill your plants, but may very well kill any humans who enter the growing environment.

One more expensive way of producing additional carbon dioxide in your greenhouse is by the use of dry ice. Dry ice is actually a solid form of CO2. When allowed to “melt” it returns to its gaseous state. This method should really only be used in a pinch. There is almost no control over the amount of gas released into the air or at what rate the dry ice will become gas. There is a lot of room for potential danger to plants using this method.

Adding extra CO2 will not, however, help increase plant growth unless light and temperature are also at optimum levels. Proper nutrition and water are also essential factors in optimal growth. All these factors must be strong and be working together for best results. To help ensure your plants get the best nutrition possible, you should check out the seven best-kept secrets of hydroponics and subscribe to the Advanced Nutrients newsletter at http://www.advancednutrients.com/newsletter/. Advanced Nutrients is the world’s foremost supplier of hydroponic nutrients to discriminating growers everywhere.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    cultiv8 said,

    I love this blog – there’s always something to be learned from reading this.

    I actually read something about CO2 generation not long ago – plants can utilize a whole lot more CO2 than our atmosphere has now, but it’s all part of the cycle (photosynthesis) that makes sugars. So without enough light the extra CO2 is wasted, and without enough CO2 the extra light is wasted.

    And since we all know that the better your lights the less energy your plants spend growing super-tall (and thus the more they spend making the produce), it’s always best to upgrade the lights long before worrying about the CO2, just as you say here.

    Good info man!

  2. 2

    FIERIINTORB said,

    Outstanding internet site:) hope to come back=)


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