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The Good Life – Setting Up For CO2 With Hydro Harvest

If you could take away the cost and complexity of battling the heat in your grow room then why wouldn’t you?

If you could do this whilst actually increasing your plants rate of growth, maintaining their health, and improving their yield? Well, surely that’s the stuff dreams are made of?

CO2 inputs can help make such dreams a reality. With one or two additions and some basic rearrangement you could be enjoying your most productive, cost effective summer ever.

Because CO2 allows your plants to thrive under brighter lights and in higher temperatures you’ll be setting up to embrace and harness these factors.

It’s important to note at this point that CO2 is for closed growing environments. We’re talking about spaces such as tents or sealed rooms here, elsewhere it will prove ineffective.

Target temperatures

Aim for room temperature of 30-35 degrees Celsius

Target humidity

60-65% in flowering phase

Target CO2 Levels

800ppm (veg stage), 1200ppm (flowering).

CO2 monitors are an inexpensive, easy-to-use way to determine your levels.

Reservoir positioning

When reorienting your grow for CO2 it’s probably wise to move your reservoir outside the growing area as a first step.

Otherwise the typically higher temperatures of a CO2-supplied growing space (30-35 degrees Celsius) could increase nutrient temperature to the detriment of your feeding regime, and boy do CO2-fed plants like to feed!

Pumps

Moving the reservoir outside will mean taking a look at the pressure required to get your nutrient solution across from an adjacent space.

If increased pressure is required consider the addition or upgrading of a submersible pump for your reservoir.

Feeding and watering

CO2 will make your plants hungrier and will make them grow faster so it is wise to be prepared with an uprated watering and feeding regime.

That said, CO2-supplemented plants typically complete the vegetative and flowering stages more quickly, offsetting any increased cost by shortening the feeding cycle overall.

Lighting

One of greatest things about CO2 is that it allows growers to deploy the full potential of LED. You can turn up your lights safe in the knowledge that there is plenty of CO2 available to support photosynthesis.

Depending on your fixture you may not want to actually max out your LED. But even without utilising full power the increase can enable big differences in terms of light-stimulated development.

Fans

Given that you’ll be running your growing space at higher temperatures it should be possible to reduce your use of extraction as a means of climate control.

That means less noise and savings on electricity, making your growing more peaceful and efficient.

CO2 Activation

Depending on whether you select a CO2 bag, canister, or pump-driven device such as the MotherNature Generator, some basic setup will be required. Be sure to follow the manufacturers advice carefully.

Generators for example now come packed ‘dry’ with a compost inside the bucket that requires un-bagging and water activation.

It’s a very simple process but if overlooked you’ll be pumping nothing but air.

CO2 Positioning

For maximum effect place your CO2 input beneath your plants – as the CO2 warms it will rise up into the plant canopy.

CO2 Levels

However much you adjust your setup your plants can use no more than 1200-1500ppm of CO2. Anything above that is going to waste.

Within reason any excess won’t harm the plants. But it will run down your supply more quickly.

The advantage of inputs such as MotherNature’s CO2 Generator is they boast true on-demand functionality.

As the Generator is pump-driven it can be plugged into your timer and set to pulse so that effective CO2 levels are maintained but not exceeded.

Time-able, on-demand features are also handy when it comes to lights-off. CO2 is not required when plants aren’t photosynthesising so it’s helpful that a Generator can be synched with your lighting relay to deactivate during dark periods.

Needless to say, all this can be done without you being there.

What you can expect to see

Properly integrated CO2 can help accelerate the veg stage by 1-2 weeks. Your bloom stage should speed up by at least as much and, as mentioned above, there is plenty of scope for savings in terms of grow room efficiency.

As important as time and overheads are it is the huge yield increases of up to a third that keep growers coming back for more.