Truth be told, anyone who gets into indoor cannabis farming, expects to have high yields and be professional while at it. And there is nothing wrong with this. However, you do need to have your grow room setup in a way that will ensure you receive exactly what you wish for. While there are many considerations and setups you ought to make for your grow room, in this article, we shall zero in on CO2 generator setups.
Yes, using fermentation, dry ice and mushroom boxes just won’t cut it. In addition, you cannot afford to sit pretty and wait for the global warming to rise and CO2 levels to rise as well to come and save the day.
At the current time, the CO2 levels are 400 parts per million or thereabouts. Sure, you may have come across some blogs that state the levels are at 350PPM but be advised, this data is from years ago. The statistics vary from time to time depending on the prevailing time and weather. Yes, you should be aware of the real climate change. We may want to bury our heads deep in the sand and be devoid of this fact but it is real and should face it head-on.
But that aside, when you are growing cannabis in a grow room, you have the ability to raise the CO2 levels in the room to about 1500PPM. At these levels, your weed will flourish and you will have a high yield – better than you had even anticipated for. At these levels, you will have up to 30% more buds at the time of our harvest. But be warned. Too much of anything is poisonous. Going beyond this CO2 levels will suffocate your cannabis rather have them flourish.
That said, and before we proceed any further if you intend to increase the levels of CO2 in your grow room, you should have proper ventilation. Have the air move around.
Regulators, Generators, and Controllers Explained
Now, it can be easy or it can be hard. With the information provided, hopefully, it will be easy. That said, there are two ways you can approach your set up. First, you can either get an all-in-one ready to use CO2 generator or buy the setup in parts and assemble them yourself. Whichever method you use it is imperative to have a way of controlling the release of CO2 into your grow room.
With all-in-one systems, there are those that burn butane or propane to release the CO2. But these units also release humidity and heat into the room. If you are not willing to deal with the latter, then go for a CO2 tank coupled with a regulator and a controller. The controllers are designed to detect the CO2 levels in the air and the regulator releases just the required amount of CO2 in the air.
How Much CO2 is Enough?
Rather than guessing the proper levels of CO2 in your grow room, it is important if you invest in a controller. It is even safer. Working with a tank and a regulator only means you will have to work with rough estimates. So just in case, your budget does not allow you to get a controller, here are some tips to help you out.
First and foremost, check on the CFH (cubic feet per hour) rating. This is when you are working with a generator. Second, you should measure the size of the grow tent and get its cubic volume. For this, you will have to multiply the height, width, and length of your room.
With a CO2 tank, you can set the flow rate you prefer. While setting the flow, you should remember that the cannabis plants only make use of the CO2 during the day. At night they use Oxygen.
That said, below are some points to take note of:
- A single pound of compressed CO2 spreads out to 8.7 cubic ft. once released into the room.
- To find out just how much flow you would need, multiply the cubic size of your grow room with 0.0015 or by 0.0013 if you are long to play it safe.
- Set the regulator to the right PSI
- Set your timer to have just the right amount of gas released.
Quick question, why is a timer necessary? Well, while CO2 is important for your cannabis growth, it can be harmful to humans who use oxygen all the time. You do not want to be around CO2 for too long.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s jump into a review of some of the best CO2 regulators for growing cannabis.
CO2 Regulators Reviews
1. GRO1 CO2 Grow Room Environment Regulator Flow Meter Solenoid
In the spirit of full disclosure, this CO2 regulator is popular with individuals who grow their plants in aquariums. It is, however, also ideal for growing cannabis. The unit features a flow meter that is adjustable between 0.5 and 15 cubic feet an hour. In addition to this, the unit comes with a preset regulator as well as a solenoid valve that is strong and durable.
2. SPL Co2 Regulator Emitter System with Solenoid Valve and Flow Meter Made of High Quality Brass
This is a regulator that has been designed to be durable and precise. The unit comes with a flow gauge that has the ability to release a maximum of 15 CFH and a low of 0.5 CFH. In addition to this, it has a maximum of 4000 PSI.
It comes with a 6-foot power cord with a 110V plug. Adding to this, it also comes with a 10-foot 0.25-inch air hose. With these measurements, it can connect to 20 or even a 50 pound CO2 tank directly.
3. Pro CO2 Hydroponics Regulator Emitter System
The brand is kind enough to point out that the CO2 regulator is not to be used as an aquarium regulator. There is one that is perfect for use with aquariums. This unit has been designed with al brass. Additionally, it comes with the ability to control the flow of CO2.
From the factor, the regulator comes with a 10-foot long air hose in addition to a power cord that is designed with a 110 power plug. The CO2 regulator can handle 4000PSI with great ease and can release between 0.5-15 Cubic foot per hour of gas.
4. ProLabs CO2 Regulator w/ Solenoid Valve
Looking at the features this unit comes with; they are almost similar to what other units in the industry feature as well. The regulator comes with up to 4000 PSI and a flow rate of between 0.5-15 cubic feet per hour. It is worth noting that the unit does not come with an air hose.
On the flip side, the regulator does come with a 4-year warranty that needs a 110V electricity socket to work.
If you are looking to have more control over the CO2 levels in your grow room, it is imperative that a tool that will monitor the CO2 levels. For this, the CO2Meter Rad-0501 will work wonders for you.
5. CO2Meter RAD-0501 Monitor and Controller
With this monitor, you could keep an eye on the gas levels in your grow room. You can mount this unit in your setup and plug it directly to the regulator and electricity. How this unit works is that it automatically shuts down the flow during the night. Immediately the sun goes down, the unit huts down. This ability is courtesy of the inbuilt light sensor. Also, it can shut down when the CO2 levels reach their maximum. As a matter of fact, with this controller, you get a chance to be picky with the CO2 PPM. It is adjustable with 50PPM increments ranging from 100 to a whopping 9950.
6. Ready Made CO2 Generator
Now the other way you can regulate your CO2 levels is by getting an all-in-one setup as earlier stated. You can choose to go this way probably because you find it all too tiresome to build your own setup or you probably just want to have more humidity and heat in your grow room. Whichever the case, the below CO2 generator will come in handy.
7. CO2 Generator – Liquid Propane LP – Autopilot APCG8LP
The autopilot APCG8LP is a popular CO2 generator. The unit is powder coated and comes with steel enclosures that burn natural or propane gas. Your choice of gas depends on your preference. They both will provide you CO2. You should, however, note that this unit has been built for 14 feet by 14 feet room. While it is running it has the ability to raise the temperatures by a whopping 10 degrees or more.
To ease your safety concerns, the unit is able to turn itself off when it topples over. When using this generator, it is also advisable to make use of a CO2 controller to ensure that the unit only runs when it is needed. The unit has the ability to provide 22 cubic feet per hour of carbon dioxide.
Accessories To Use With Our Regulator
1. Cyl-Tec 20 lb CO2 Tank – New Aluminum Cylinder with CGA320 Valve
This is a 20-pound tank. With this amount of CO2 at your disposal, you will grow and also have the chance to carbonate beverages as well if you like. The tank keeps the CO2 at 1800 PSI. It comes with a carrying handle and features a brass bulb with a male thread all ready for your CO2 regulator.
2. AcuRite 00613 Indoor Humidity Monitor
If you are having issues with the humidity levels in the grow room, it is imperative to monitor it and vary it as needed. This unit will help you keep an eye on the humidity levels as well as the temperature. It is battery operated, designed to be easy to read and best of all, wireless.
3. Amflo 24-25E-RET Blue 120 PSI Polyurethane Recoil Air Hose 1/4″ x 25′ With 1/4″ MNPT Swivel Ends And Bend Restrictor Fittings
Simply put, this air hose is built using polyurethane and has male end connections designed for attaching to air powered tools a well as outdoor and indoor applications. The hose can withstand a working pressure of about 120 PSI and a temperature range of between -30 and 150 degrees F.
4. Exhale 365 – Self Activated Co2 Bag Homegrown for Grow Rooms & Tents
If you have decided to start small, and there is nothing wrong with this, the Exhale 365 will work for you. This unit can service a room that is not larger than 4x4ft. The bag lasts up to 6 months. All you have to do is hang it slightly above other plants.
By now it should be clear that using CO2 to reap a larger harvest of cannabis is one of the smart moves you could possibly make, since you’ll get bigger buds (and a bigger bang for your buck). The best part is that it is easy to do and straightforward. You can decide to build your own setup with the regulator, controller, and tank with great ease or get a ready all-in-one unit. Whichever meets your fancy, we hope this guide has shed insight on the process of getting the best possible equipment. You might need to invest in a bud trimmer after, since you’ll have a lot of buds to harvest and trim.