It is widely accepted that plants and humans have a symbiotic relationship. Humans use oxygen and create CO2 (carbon dioxide) and plants use CO2 and emit oxygen in the atmosphere. It is frequently suggested that talking to your plant life helps them to grow and this could be attributable to the discharge of CO2 by us direct onto the leaves which boosts their intake of CO2 which in turn increases growth, by improving photosynthesis.
Now in the natural world CO2 is all about plants and they develop effectively, yet hydroponic growing is different because it does not entail the usage of soil, and alternatively uses water and nutrients to enable plant growth. Nonetheless this would entirely be fruitless if the CO2 level in the space was not at the correct level. Less CO2 means less growth for the plants and thus additional CO2 means extra growth.
The amount of CO2 existing in air is about 400-450 ppm (parts per million), and so if one increased the volume of CO2 where plants are grown hydroponically one should presume further growth in produce. However as with a lot of things in life it is not really as straightforward as that. Having too much CO2 can also be detrimental to plant growth. So that's where the gadgets come in. CO2 meters can be purchased from any hydroponic supplier and measure the level of CO2 in your grow room. You will find various ways of elevating the amount of CO2 in your hydroponic system but which you choose will depend on the dimensions of your shed or room.
The following is a basic summary of the most popular methods.
CO2 Control Unit - These are units that measure the amount of CO2 in the room and can be set to increase venting from the outside to increase the amount of CO2 up to the level you want. Monitors the level of CO2 and switches on vents as required hence increases automation of the system.Can be expensive depending on what system you decide to go for.
CO2 boosts - These are a range of substances that can be added to the system and generate CO2.Reasonably inexpensive. Best applied half an hour after the lights are switched on, or half an hour before they are turned off. Vents cannot be employed as they are going to get rid of the produced CO2. Which might be problematic if the temperature has risen. Might be difficult to regulate the levels of CO2 obtained depending on the amount added.
CO2 Canisters - A CO2 canister can be used to boost the amount of CO2 controllers can be used to release the gas when it gets to a lower amount. More appropriate for more substantial hydroponics units.Must be used during the light period and the fans should not be used otherwise the CO2 released will be removed from the room. Expensive and entails time and effort in acquiring the canisters and getting them refilled. Can be weighty but are easily bought in aluminium canisters to reduce this. About the authorSarah has and operates a store and online store selling all Hydroponics UK supplies. For additional info please visit Hydroponics Yorkshire