how to add co2 to hydroponics (Carbon dioxide): 15 Steps

Do you want to know how to add co2 to the hydroponics system? Read here to learn everything you need to know about this.

If you are a farmer by occupation or an avid hobbyist, you must be familiar with the famous hydroponic technique called Hydroponics.

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Hydroponics, Bubbleponics, and Aquaponic deliver extremely oxygenated nutrient boost water directly to the plant in the exact proportion it is needed just like nutrient water for plant growth.

You must be wondering if water is there, oxygen is there, the nutrient is there, and sunlight or artificial light is there, but does your plant have the crucial element for photosynthesis, carbon dioxide?

Let’s discuss how to add CO2 to your hydroponics system. Which technique do we need to choose?                    

What is the Purpose of Carbon Dioxide in Plant Growth?

A plant grows every second through a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis combines carbon dioxide with water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll (plant green pigment) to produce sugar and oxygen.

how to add co2 to hydroponics
how to add co2 to hydroponics

This sugar is stored energy that plants use to grow, and oxygen is used by every living thing, including them and us, for growth.

That is why you are growing your plant in your hydroponics system or any ordinary pot filled with soil or water, and you need Carbon dioxide for their growth and development.

How Much CO2 Does a Plant Require to Grow?

According to many plant cultivators and botanists, our plant requires atmospheric carbon dioxide in the concentration range of (1000- 1500) thousand to fifteen hundred parts per million for optimum growth.

Gardening in an open atmosphere produces significantly more carbon dioxide than this range, but when it comes to confined gardening, places like our hydroponics system plant need more carbon dioxide than is naturally present.

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How Can We Add Carbon dioxide to hydroponics?

You’re mistaken if you think you can simply dissolve this gas in water so plants will get it. It will absorb water, but it will also turn that water acidic, which will disturb the p.H of your plant, and instead of growing, it will die.

The plant absorbs carbon dioxide from tiny holes on their leaves called stomata; thus, we need to spray carbon dioxide on them from above so plant leaves can absorb them before the water absorbs it.

But before spraying them from above, we need to produce them artificially with safe and cheap methods so they will neither disturb our budget nor our health.

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    Methods to Produce Carbon Dioxide

    We can use six methods to produce carbon dioxide, among which the first three are possible for commercial carbon dioxide producers.

    Fractional distillation of Carbon dioxide from the air
    Carbon dioxide production through combustion
    Fermentation
    Using Dry ice
    Using carbon dioxide bags
    Composting

    1. Fractional Distillation of Carbon Dioxide from the Air

    In this method, commercial producers use fractional distillation to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of air at a very low temperature.

    Then compress this gas into cylinders and sell them in the market. We can spray this carbon dioxide on our plants growing in the hydroponics system so they can grow in a better carbon dioxide atmosphere.

    2. Carbon Dioxide Production through Combustion

    Again, it is a commercial method and should not be performed at home or in growing places at any cost as it has fire hazards in production.

    Commercial producers burn fuels to produce carbon dioxide and then collect it through a downward delivery method. It is then compressed and similarly supplied to us for further use in hydroponics.

    Carbon monoxide, a fumeless toxic gas, is also produced in this reaction; thus, never try this procedure yourself.

    3. Fermentation

    Here, carbon dioxide is produced by microorganisms, just like we have carbon dioxide through respiration. This method’s amount of carbon dioxide is so low that it won’t benefit our hydroponics even if we recreate it in our homes.

    4. Using Dry Ice

    Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide and introducing it to our field sublimates from its solid to gaseous at room temperature. Many commercial growers use this very cheap method in their hydroponics but with protection.

    5. Using Carbon Dioxide Bags

    These bags are frequently available in good gardening stores that prefer modern farming techniques, or you can order them online.

    In these bags, fungi and organic matter react and produce carbon dioxide, which we can use for spraying over our hydroponics plants.

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    But on average, four to five bags are required by planters to get effective results.

    6. Composting

    It is again a multi-purpose method as farmers can get composite to grow seedlings and carbon dioxide as a by-product to increase CO2 concentration in hydroponics ’ plant growing environment.

    Again, like fermentation and carbon dioxide, they don’t generate much carbon dioxide for use in hydroponics.

    Factors Necessary for Adding Carbon dioxide to the hydroponics system

    There are some important factors we must consider for adding carbon dioxide to the hydroponics system.

    Adding Carbon dioxide to the hydroponics system
    Tips For Adding Carbon dioxide in the hydroponics system

    1. Using Grow Lights:

    Plants absorb carbon dioxide in bright sunlight and incorporate it artificially into our hydroponics environment. We need to use bright LED light panels to increase their absorptivity.

    These grow lights come with different lights which absorb carbon dioxide as needed by the plant in that particular growth age and support photosynthesis in hydroponics plants, even on dark and rainy days.

    2. Seal Your Growth Space with Proper Ventilation:

    To preserve added carbon dioxide, we must seal that area so that it doesn’t harm us and provide proper ventilation through fans. So carbon dioxide and air reach the whole plant from root to shoot.

    3. Using Cooling tubes:

    These tubes are placed over grow light, so carbon dioxide only stays over the hydroponics system and doesn’t spread throughout the area.

    Cooling tubes and grow lights are placed inside reflecting hoods. Due to this, air only exchanges above your system and does not leak our artificially supplied carbon dioxide from the hydroponics growing site.

    4. Temperature:

    As carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas or, in a scientific way, greenhouse gas, it requires a high temperature at an additional time as well.

    Thus, we need to maintain our room temperature near thirty to thirty-five degrees centigrade on their excellent concentration in the growing atmosphere.

    Grow lights also maintain the growing site temperature; otherwise, we need to seal it to confine carbon dioxide.

    When to Add Carbon Dioxide to our hydroponics System?

    A plant covers six stages of growth, from seed to seedling to the full-grown plant producing its offspring, which we call fruits, vegetables, etc.

    From the seed to the seedling stage, it doesn’t require that much sunlight or carbon dioxide, but once its leaves are grown, it requires both.

    So when seedlings have leaves in our hydroponics system, they start their Vegetative Stage, and carbon dioxide is essential for them.

    We need to supply carbon dioxide to them during the day only, so they can properly grow in daylight.

    Then when the plant is in its reproductive stage and has flowers blooming, it doesn’t require that much carbon dioxide so we can supply them moderately with it.

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    Method and Procedure: how to add co2 to hydroponics

    Carbon dioxide is a denser gas than air, so it will quickly reach our plant if we add them through spraying from the top, and when adding this carbon dioxide, we must take proper care through relevant protection, so we do not inhale it.

    • Always estimate the amount of gas required by checking the dimension of your grow space. Then set a flow rate of supply with the help of a regulator of your carbon dioxide cylinder. 
    • The CO2 Regulator hydroponics emitter System and CO2 Remote Sensor Monitor & Controller are readily available on amazon. You can connect them with your carbon dioxide cylinder and provide them safely.
    • You can easily set a timer on your regulators. Set a timer so that whenever the level of carbon dioxide is below a thousand ppm, the cylinder regulator sprays it with the help of a nozzle.

    If your hydroponics growing site is not sealed, double the set volume as gas will also escape the growing site at the same level.

    Precautions while Adding Carbon Dioxide to hydroponics

    • Wear a mask while visiting or working on your hydroponics sites.
    • Never inhale while adding carbon dioxide as it is toxic for humans.
    • Always check your CO2 Remote Sensor Monitor & Controller to check their environmental concentration, as overfeeding will also damage your plants.
    • Keep your living spaces far from or safe from the hydroponics site.
    • Use proper ventilation and fans in your growing sites for better circulation of carbon dioxide.

    FAQS of How to Add CO2 to your hydroponics

    Q: When Should We Add CO2 To Our Hydroponics System?

    We should add it after the seedling is transported or developed in our hydroponics system.

    Q: How Much Co2 Is Needed For Plant Growth?

    We need at least a thousand to fifteen hundred parts per million for their optimum growth.

    Q: At Which Temperature Is Carbon Dioxide Added To Hydroponics ‘ Growing Site?

    It is best added when the temperature is thirty-five degrees centigrade.

    Q: Does Adding Additional Carbon Dioxide Improve Growth In Hydroponics?

    Yes, it increases growth by thirty to forty percent, and plants show a faster growth yield.

    Q: Can We Add Carbon Dioxide To Hydroponics Nutrient Water?

    No, we can only spray them on plants; adding them to water will disturb the p.H of the system.

    Final Words

    For healthy growing plants, it is a must to add CO2 to your hydroponics system; otherwise, the plants may suffer in their yield in indoor gardening or our confined hydroponics growing sites due to their absence.