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Adding Co2 on a budget

Updated on December 13, 2011
Co2Boost Bucket & Pump
Co2Boost Bucket & Pump | Source
The Boost Buddy
The Boost Buddy | Source
ExHale Co2 Cultivator
ExHale Co2 Cultivator | Source

Are you looking for a way to improve you indoor crop? If you currently do not have Co2 take a look at Co2Boost Buckets. They are perfect for the gardener on a budget. The bucket system pumps Co2 through tubing directly to your plants. No need to worry about Co2 monitors, tanks, regulators, etc. Those items can easily add up to over $1,000 for just the equipment, not to mention Co2 or propane tanks (for Co2 burners). The buckets pump just enough for your plants and will not reach dangerous levels for you and your family. 

If you are on a tight budget there is The Boost Buddy Co2 bags. Co2 bags are perfect for small spaces under 4'x4'. Since Co2 is heavier than oxygen just hang them over your plants and let gravity do the work! Areas over 4x4 should look at the adding a Co2Boost bucket or using multiple bags. The Boost Buddy is also great as an accessory for the Co2Boost bucket system.

The cheapest Co2 bag on the market right now is the ExHale Co2 Cultivator. Although they are inexpensive, the old saying,  "you get what you pay for", rings true. On a side-by-side comparison The Boost Buddy wins hands down. The Boost Buddy has a thicker high quality plastic packaging and has a larger patch to let Co2 escape. The ExHale has a thinner plastic packaging, which is more likely to tear or puncture and let bad bacteria in. 

The label and instructions leave much to be desired for the ExHale. We actually had to make an instruction sheet to include with them because we were getting so many questions about them. The Boost Buddy has a full label with detailed instructions. We should also mention that the label actually sticks while the ExHales will often fall off during the life of the bag. 

Now down to the dirty details: the substrate. Both use a similar method to make Co2.  They both have a compost based substrate the mushroom spores grow on to create the Co2. However, the difference lies inside... The Boost Buddy uses more natural ingredients to make their substrate. Another important difference is that The Boost Buddy uses pasteurization (like how milk is processed) to kill off any baddies while the ExHale is sterilized at a higher temperature. When something is supposed to naturally produce Co2 we prefer the one not heated to excess. 

The final comparison is customer service. Again, Co2Boost's The Boost Buddy is the winner. We couldn't even get the makers of the ExHale Co2 Cultivator on the phone. We left voicemails and emailed them, no response. The wonderful guys at Co2Boost answered all phone calls and emails. They also have a Twitter and Facebook account for even easier access to them. Overall, the Boost Buddy bags are higher quality and are backed by a company who actually cares about their product. 

For those of you who have no money the cheapest and simplest way to add Co2 is to move your workout equipment into the same room as your indoor garden. The Co2 exhaled while you exercise is a free way to give your plants a boost. It's like having an extra Co2 bag or two!  Besides, the higher temperatures of your grow tent/room will make you sweat more! The only downside is that you are introducing more humidity into the air so you should monitor that closely when you first make this change. Whether or not you decide to do this a dehumidifier is a great investment for any garden. Anyone who has lost a crop to mold will attest to this. 

We hope that you have learned something new! Look out for more of our articles to find out other interesting information and tips!


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