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Controllable CO2 For micro grows

Discussion in 'Stealth / Micro / Cab Growing' started by Shugglet, Dec 26, 2016.

  1.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    So in my recent adventures Ive been working with sealed small cabs so CO2 has been a necessary issue to address. And I preferred something that was small and concealable and cheap.

    I feel I finally may have come upon a solution that others here may find adaptable to their setups.

    I started off with a simple Fluval Mini CO2 supply designed for aquarium use.

    https://www.google.com/webhp?source...=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#tbm=shop&q=mini+fluval+co2

    I also got a cheap solenoid for about $10

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/351833595674?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    I also got a bubble counter.

    Went to lowes and got a $5 fitting to connect the fluval directly to the solenoid and now I have a cheap ~$45 CO2 injector system that can be hooked up to a timer or a monitor. The threaded co2 cartridges can be found for fairly cheap online.

    I understand that this isnt practical for many growers but for small cab grows, I feel its a far better solution than any yeast or other diy supplements.

    If anyone has any questions let me know, I will update if I have any issues with it but just thought someone might find this useful.
     
    Ryante55 likes this.
  2.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    So I need an actual regulator before the solenoid it would appear. My fluval is more of a simple needle valve I think. More money lol... Will update once I have it working as intended.
     
    Ryante55 likes this.
  3.  
    heckler73

    heckler73 Well-Known Member

    Pics of the setup would be great. Was that too subtle of a hint? :D
     
  4.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    Lol. I figured this wold be asked. Once I get the new regulator (and no doubt required extra fitting lol) on and working I'll update everything.

    Cost is coming up a little higher than I wanted but there is still the stealth factor that may be appealing to a lot of people.
     
    heckler73 likes this.
  5.  
    heckler73

    heckler73 Well-Known Member

    That's good news, then.
    It's difficult enough to picture a bunch of parts in a system from verbal descriptions when sober, never mind while stoned.
    I actually just scored a little flow valve that one of the engineers was tossing out at work because he thought it was broken, and I immediately thought, "hey, this will be a great CO2 valve for my micro box." :D
    However, I use the yeast method. It's reliable, but to be able to limit the flow (and stop it during dark) would make it more efficient. So I am curious to see your system for comparison and inspiration.
     
  6.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]

    There you have it. I did have to modify a flare fitting to make it work with the regulator, but there are no leaks. Anyone interested in this can feel free to ask questions.
     
    BiBMaster23 and 727stoner like this.
  7.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    If you went with a timer for control you could probably set this up for under $100.
     
  8.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    Information that will be pertinent to anyone doing this.

    The Fluval mini has a male thread of 1/8 inch. My regulator threads matched up with a 5/8 flare fitting, ymmv.

    For your co2 cartridges, a 12g cart has 413 cubic inches of co2 and a 16g cart has 551cubic inches of co2.

    For an example, if your grow cab has 10cubic feet (a cube with 2.15ft sides) a 16g cartridge would fill the space from empty to 1500ppm 21 times. Considering it will only be on with the lights I would think these cartridges should last a rather long time for a small cab, a sealed PC cab could potentially last an entire grow on a single cartridge lol. Considering the cartridges can be found for ~$1 a piece its really not that bad of a deal. Naturally even a small paintball tank would be far superior, but it also needs to be refilled and is far bigger, so there are some trade offs.

    I have mine hooked up to the cheapest (~$200) analog co2 monitor I could find. But you could potentially use a flowmeter and timer for a far cheaper solution, albeit less accurate.

    I would certainly recommend this method over bio method for anyone wanting to add co2 to their grow.
     
    Budbob Spliffpants likes this.
  9.  
    heckler73

    heckler73 Well-Known Member

    How about refilling CO2 paintball canisters? ;)
     
    giantsfan24 likes this.
  10.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    I mentioned it in the post above. Nit nearly as stealthy and you do have to go take it to get refilled. Mainly the fact that it's far bigger than these.

    But if space isn't an issue I'd definitely say go for paintball tank.
     
  11.  
    heckler73

    heckler73 Well-Known Member

    A tangle of valves isn't very stealthy, either. That's why I figured a paintball tank would be better. I'll have to sit down and calculate it, but I think your idea might be worthwhile, in the long run. Especially if the goal is to make a GArduino-style system, anyway.
     
  12.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    This is way smaller than any paintball tank. Also, I just went with fittings that were available. If you can find a 1/8in FIP x whatever size your regulator fitting is, you could get away with one union, cutting down on size. Or you could use 90* bends and any piping you need to fit it where you need to have it.

    Again, paintball tank is a great alternative, but these take up so little space that they can be incorporated into something as small as a PC grow box.

    I will be very curious to see how long a single cartridge will last on average.
     
  13.  
    heckler73

    heckler73 Well-Known Member


    I am also curious...obviously, it would set a basis for calculations. Sixteen grams equals...? 21 blasts in 10 cu.ft.?

    What is this "analog CO2 monitor" you mention? Does it have a name?
     
  14.  
    Shugglet

    Shugglet Well-Known Member

    The info is in the posts above but a 16g co2 cartridge contains 551 cubic inches of co2.

    The monitor is a hydrofarm apceco analog co2 controller.
     
    heckler73 likes this.

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