Can I Use CO2 in My Grow Tent?
Growers often wonder about using CO2 their grow tents and it’s possible but people need to be careful in having the right tent and using the right CO2 technology.
One of the best things about indoor cannabis cultivation is the control you have over the environment. This notion is particularly true for essential elements that plants depend on for growth — including light and CO2 for photosynthesis.
While tent growing is extremely convenient due to ease of setup, the practice offers less flexibility on equipment choices than traditional growrooms. Because growrooms are built with sturdy walls and can be scaled up to any size, they can generally accommodate more equipment choices than tents.
Nonetheless, as our knowledge of grow tent cultivation continues to expand, growers are always looking for new ways to tweak their grow tents to maximize harvests. Today, cultivators are looking to CO2 enrichment as a means to maximize ideal CO2 levels in grow tents. However, some feel that the structural limits of grow tents make CO2 enrichment ineffective.
What is the Benefit of CO2?
Carbon Dioxide is a critical element for successful photosynthesis in cannabis plants. According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, “photosynthesis is a chemical process that uses light energy to convert CO2 and water into sugars in green plants. These sugars are then used for growth within the plant, through respiration.” Therefore, balancing the right levels of CO2 in your growroom can be critical for attaining large harvests.
Challenges of Using CO2 in a Grow Tent
As seen with other equipment choices for grow tents, challenges of using CO2 in these setups are largely related to size constraints and the fact that they are built with fabric walls. As such, growers will have a difficult time situating a CO2 system within tents when considering other important equipment like grow lights, carbon filters, and inline fans. Also, because grow tents are made of fabric and feature zipper doors, there is concern that CO2 can easily escape before it gets photosynthesized.
Generally speaking, indoor cannabis growers have the best luck with CO2 enrichment when cultivating in sealed rooms. By not using exhaust systems or intake fans, they can regulate CO2 levels with extreme precision. Because grow tents are not sealed from the outside, and are heavily dependent on traditional exhaust systems, they can pose real challenges with CO2 enrichment.
Carbon Dioxide burners emit CO2 into a garden by way of a combustible fuel such as propane. When the propane combusts, it releases carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen to produce CO2. Growers enjoy CO2 burners primarily because propane is easier to acquire than CO2 tanks.
Importantly, CO2 burners are integrated with atmospheric sensors that send relay signals to exhaust fans. When a growroom gets to a certain level of heat and humidity, the exhaust fan kicks off while the burner kicks on.
CO2 Burners and Tent Growing
While CO2 burners are relatively easy to use, they're not recommended for tent growing. Mainly because, these systems utilize an open flame and expel a good deal of heat. Not only is an open flame a fire hazard in a grow tent, but the heat from CO2 burners will push the interior climate beyond acceptable temperatures for cannabis cultivation.
CO2 Tank and Regulator Systems
Tank and regulator systems get their CO2 from tanks that are commonly used for carbonated beverages. By integrating one of these tanks with a regulator attached to a CO2 meter, the setup automatically enriches your growroom when certain thresholds are met. Depending on your exhaust or HVAC system, these thresholds include heat, humidity, and PPM levels of CO2 in the air.
Cannabis cultivators enjoy CO2 tank and regulator systems because they operate without an open flame. So, tank and regulator systems do not pose safety risks or raise the temps in growrooms like CO2 burners. Nonetheless, there is no guarantee that CO2 is not escaping through zippers, portholes, gaps, and minute holes in the fabric walls.
CO2 Tanks and Tent Growing
While safe and logistically feasible, CO2 tank and regulator systems can take up valuable square footage in your grow tent. As such, these systems might not be possible in every tent setup due to limiting square footage.
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- How To Perfect Your Grow Room’s Ventilation System
- The Benefits of Adding CO2 During the Cloning Stage
Carbon Dioxide bags are a relatively new product to hit the indoor gardening space. With these products, manufacturers have bred mycelium that emits CO2 when it grows. Placed inside of a bag, this mycelium (the underground root-like substances of mushrooms) offers an organic, cost-effective option for CO2 enrichment.
CO2 bags are an interesting option for hobbyist growers that have small operations. Not only are they extremely small, but they don’t require new equipment purchases like more traditional forms of CO2 enrichment. Even better, CO2 bags don’t use electricity.
CO2 Bags and Tent Growing
Depending on the size and scope of your operation, CO2 bags could be a great option for tent growing. They take up very little space, are safe to use, and don’t emit any heat.
Please note, CO2 bags cannot be integrated with CO2 meters and exhaust relay switches. Therefore, they require manual labor to be used for CO2 enrichment in tents. However, if you have a small home cannabis garden, manually turning off your exhaust and adding CO2 to your tent with a bag should not be a big deal.
Summary: Is it a Good Idea to Use CO2 in My Grow Tent?
While tent cultivation has exploded in popularity over the last few years, we are still learning the different thresholds for this new type of growing. As growers’ skills expand, they will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in grow tents. While it can’t be denied that CO2 enrichment can significantly boost a cannabis harvest, many people are still on the fence about whether or not using CO2 in grow tents makes sense.
If you are interested in using CO2 enrichment in a tent, it’s advisable to purchase one of the higher-quality models. Namely because, well-made grow tents will do a better job of keeping CO2 contained, while also offering more support options for equipment. To illustrate, AC Infinity Cloudlab Grow Tents come with thickest 2000D oxford canvas with an inner light proofing layer and 150 lb. capacity steel poles. These tents will ensure your equipment is supported, while also keeping CO2 contained.
In the end, using CO2 in a grow tent is possible if you choose the right type of cultivation technology. Due to safety concerns, tank and regulator systems, CO2 bags are the best options for grow tents. Your choice between these two setups will largely depend on your budget and goals, as well as the size of your grow tent.
AC Infinity is the foremost name in air delivery systems, designing and developing the latest innovations in cooling and ventilation technology. They offer a suite of quiet inline fans that automate the growing progress and track key metrics. Visit acinfinity.com or contact [email protected] to learn more.