Garage Grow Room CO2

by Mark
(NC)

My question is about adding CO2 to the grow room. I'm running your most successful homemade hydroponic system. I'm set up in a garage that is apx. 25 x 25, and the system is in one corner with panda paper along the back. I'm using two 400 watt lights over a 6 x 4 area, skipping the first and last rows. I have a 20 lb tank with 20 ft of laser hose strung on trellis netting, hung just above the plants.




What I have been doing is running the CO2 for a hour with the oscillating fan off, followed by 2 hours of just the oscillating fan. With that much open space in the garage, if I ran them together the CO2 would dissipate quickly. Do you have any suggestions on a better way of injecting the CO2? Thanks for all your help, it's invaluable for us beginners.

Answer: Mark- CO2 is much heavier than air, so the CO2 you are releasing is quickly sinking down through your plants to the floor, where it is providing little benefit. Ideally, in a slightly more sealed grow room, you would place the oscillating fans a little closer to the ground and run them while releasing the CO2 (in reality, they would be running all the time). This allows the fans to scoop up the CO2 rich air hanging close to the floor and keep blowing it up into the plants.

I myself have used Panda Plastic before to construct whole grow rooms in the center of large basements. As the sheet is unrolled, it is tacked with a staple gun to the wooden rafters in the ceiling. Any size garden area can be walled off in this fashion. Make sure to overlap the plastic walls where they begin/end. Once the basic size and shape of the room has been formed, the plastic is duct taped to floor.

From our local hydroponic gardening store we would purchase a 6 foot plastic zipper with sticky tape on either side. This allowed us to duct tape the grow room shut where the walls overlap (where they begin/end). The zipper is held up against the plastic wall wherever you would like the door to be. Then, as you remove the backing on the zipper, it is pressed into place on the plastic wall. Once in place, the zipper is unzipped and a razor is used to cut the opening in the plastic between the two halves of the zipper.

These zippers are affordable, and can also be found online (although I cannot think of the exact name of them). If you cannot find these zippers, simply make sure your plastic walls overlap by at least 12-18 inches where they begin/end. The flatter these two sections lay against each other, the more efficiently the grow room will be able to hold in it's CO2 rich air. This whole setup will enable you to release much less CO2, and will also allow you to use it more effectively by running the oscillating fans at the same time.

If you cannot staple the plastic into the ceiling of your garage, this is not a problem either. Unroll the plastic sheeting to the length of the wall, then hold the sheeting tight to the ceiling with a strip of 1 x 2 cut the length of the wall. This piece of 1 x 2 can be held firmly against the ceiling by jamming another piece of 1 x 2 firmly into place (vertically) between the floor and the piece of 1 x 2 at the ceiling (which is obviously horizontal).

Once you have a more sealed grow room in place, be sure to read my CO2 and Plant Growth page to get your CO2 levels dialed in just right. Hope this helps you out Mark, and Happy Growing!

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Aug 13, 2010
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Grow Room CO2
by: Anonymous

I couldn't enclose the grow area, but what I did was basically have the panda right under the PVC and enclosed all sides of the system about 8 ft high (11ft ceiling). Now my pH keeps going down. Is this normal with the CO2?

Added Response: I have never heard of CO2 having an effect on the pH behavior of the nutrient solution. I suppose it is possible the extra CO2 has changed the nutrient uptake of the plants. Or, when you dissolve CO2 in water, you get Carbonic acid, which would have a low pH....I suppose if the nutrient solution has an air bubbler running through it, and you are pulling the air for the air bubbler from inside the CO2 enriched air space, this could be the cause. Try moving the air bubbler just outside the grow room air space (you may need slightly longer tubes to do this)....I bet that is the problem!

Aug 09, 2010
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by: Anonymous

Jason, what should I run temp at with me losing a bunch of my CO2? Thanks.

Added Response: Hopefully you are able to minimize your CO2 loss, as this can get expensive. If you are loosing a lot of CO2, I suggest running the garden closer to normal temperatures (70-75 degrees ideally). Once you have the CO2 well contained, the garden can run just a little warmer (75-80 degrees ideally).

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