Using CO2 without controller!? help me

Discussion in 'Advanced Growing Techniques' started by boognar, May 17, 2010.

  1. hey im about to get a 20pound co2 and regulator. Will i be in danger if i dont have a controller? Im not looking for some1 to say buy 1, im looking for people in the same possition or they r experienced in this area. and also do i have 2 have a carbon filter? im experiences in growing just not co2 so let me know what your helpful thoughts are on this.:smoking::smoking::smoking:
  2. You need a pet bird!

    Coal miners used to have a caged canary to detect poisonous gasses. Birds are far more sensitive to air borne pollutants and gasses than mammals! The canary would pass out, or die, long before the miners had a clue about anything being wrong with the air! If the canary keeled over, everyone left the mine ASAP!

    Some friends of mine used to raise finches and other exotic birds (had over $1,000 in birds). A BIG fire happened miles away form their home, but they still lost about 1/4 of their birds to the smoke.

    Granny :wave:
  3. no, you don't "have" to use a controller. you can just use a timer/repeat cycle timer.
  4. Get yourself another mechanical timer, turn your exhaust off when you turn your co2 on. You will have to read up on co2 assimilation and the time estimates for how long it takes plants to use the extra co2 based on room size, amount of co2 injected, age of plant, etc. Heat build up might be a problem for you if you cycle your exhaust for > 30 mins. Run some tests while you are available to intervene before leaving it unattended. Otherwise you might overheat your grow room and/or waste your co2.

    So, no you don't have to have a co2 controller but without one you might not see the anticipated co2 effect if the plants aren't using up what you are giving them before cycling the exhaust on.

    I am in exactly the same boat - don't have the $500 to spend on the controller. I quit using my co2 rig except for a time and a time again when I have time to manually go at it. Honestly, without a controller I don't see the use of trying it personally, so I quit using mine and instead focused on plenty of fresh air in and better gardening practices. Think about it. Outside air in which all natural plant growth occurs uses the co2 that is in the natural air and it works fine for most plant species of any type. Good plant horticulture practices. That's the ticket my friend. :hello:

    Just MHO. Good luck.
  5. I would not run CO2 without a digital controller. There are just too many variables at play to effectively keep your PPM in the optimal range without constant monitoring. It will save you money in the long run anyhow, in the form of fewer tank fills. Filling tanks gets expensive, and unless your grow is fairly small, 20lb tanks don't last too long. You may look into a burner in the future.

    Don't get a CAP PPM-3. Very cheap construction and wiring connections. I had two units fail in as many weeks. Go with Sentinel or some other reputable brand.
  6. Never turn your exhaust off to inject CO2. Your exhaust should only be off when the right temperature is reached. If you cant maintain proper temps then you better have that exhaust going.

    Don't sacrifice proper room temps for CO2 enrichment.
  7. You can run it on a timer and do some rough calculations on how much you need to inject or bleed into the air.

    Some is better then none.

    You have to control the leaks and airflow, plus restrain yourself from opening the door to stare at your crop.

    Get a controller when you have complete control over intake and exhaust and an airtight room.
  8. i agree with rump, toledo and jollyrancher. you can get by with a timer but without a good monitor your just guessing. and you want your co2 to maintain a certain level (usually 1500 ppm) or you're really just wasting time and money. but like jolly said, some is better than none, i guess. i recomend the sentinel chhc-1
  9. I have the same co2 set up but can't afford a meter.Became a pain in the ass trying to keep temp right.A smart grower told me if you have a window ac.You don't have to run fans very much.Just keep them cool and let them breath up that co2.So I set up a shed grow and use co2 outside now.Working good!WB
  10. im in the same boat as you. i have experience growing but new to CO2. personally after reading a lot about it, i dont think it would be worth it without being able to measure the levels. im told 1500 ppms is where it's at. and damn them control units are fucking pricey. i did however see in a magazine an alternative way to measure that is much mroe affordable. these syringes that you just suck the air in with them and it turns a color indicating the CO2 level. you could get a few of these and do some testing, find out how long you need to turn the tanks on for the proper levels. then you will know how long to have the tanks on to get roughly the desired level of CO2. im sure you could find the syringes on the net somewhere. i never used them or know anyone that has but seen them in a magazine and thought damn thats a cheap alternative. would be nice for someone with an actual control unit to test and see how accurate the syringes actually are.

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