Adding carbon dioxide (C02) to the air in your indoor marijuana grow room can pay off in increased growth rate and yields if you do it right.
Doing it right is the hard part.
Michael Straumietis, founder and owner of hydroponics nutrients company Advanced Nutrients, designed and built a water-cooled C02 burner that was light years ahead of any other C02 burner on the market.
“We called it the Cool Flame,” he explained. “Not only did it remove heat from the grow room, it also had the most safety features of any C02 burner.”
Straumietis said his company stopped production of the unit because its high-tech components made it to expensive to manufacture.
He offers the following information for anyone considering adding C02 for marijuana growing…
- The most professional ways to add C02 to your indoor marijuana grow room are tank C02 and C02 generated by C02 burners.
- C02 burners are a way more practical than tank C02 but they add heat and flame to your grow room.
- A tank of C02 can run out pretty fast if your indoor marijuana grow room is larger than 40 square feet. Getting tanks of C02 is a security risk.
- Most professional growers prefer C02 burners over tank C02.
- Most growers add too much C02 to their rooms and hurt their marijuana plants doing it. Read this important article about why 1500 ppm is too much C02.
- Reliable control and efficient use of C02 requires C02 monitors and controllers rather than just timers.
- If you exhaust air out of your indoor marijuana grow room via an exhaust fan or air conditioner, or if you have room leaks, your added C02 is likely to be wasted.
- C02 sinks to the bottom of your grow room. You want to distribute it at the top of the room, and have adequate air movement via fans, so it gets back up to the leaves where it can be absorbed.
- You only add C02 during lights-on cycle.
- A tank C02 system with a good controller/monitor has an initial start-up cost of approximately $450 or more.
- A C02 burner and a good controller/monitor have an initial start-up cost of about $600 or more.
- Ask your hydroponics equipment seller about infrared versus traditional C02 burner units, along with other specifics about electronic ignition, and C02 use efficiency.
- Infrared-equipped units, and units with modernized burners and electronic ignition, are preferable.
- Intelligent use of C02 can increase your growth rate by 5-15% and your yields by 5-20%. Do the math to calculate whether the faster crop cycles and increased harvest weight outweigh the cost and effort of providing added C02.
- Altitude makes a difference in how well C02 burners work in your particular location. If you grow marijuana above 5000 feet, be sure to tell your hydroponics retailer. Some brands and models of C02 burners don’t work well at high altitudes.
- C02 generators are often hung from the ceiling of a marijuana grow room or grow tent, so be sure you have the structure to support that.
- When buying a C02 unit, make sure that all the hardware (hanger, gas hose, pressure regulator, power supply, and other needed hardware) are included in the purchase price.
- Take a look at this adaptable online calculator that helps you time your C02 generation.
Here are two of the C02 burners we like the most:
Blueprint CO2 Generator LP, CGLP-2: This liquid propane burner gives you the option of two burners or one.
If you have a smaller grow space, you use only one burner.
The Blueprint generates 5.3 cubic feet of C02 per hour.
Green Air Products Multi-Fuel Infrared CO2 Generator IR-42-MF: This is a commercial-grade, air-cooled three-burner unit that uses liquid propane or natural gas to deliver 42 cubic feet per hour max.
This is a very modernized example of C02 burner technology.
Ask your hydroponics retailer about the heat sinks you need to purchase along with the burner.
The total cost of this unit and the heat sinks can be $900 or more, but if you have a large indoor marijuana garden, it will pay off.
“Adding C02 to your marijuana grow room isn’t always going to pay off,” Straumietis says. “Do the math, especially regarding BTU heat load, costs versus yield and growth rate benefits, and room size, before you add carbon dioxide to your marijuana garden’s atmosphere.”