Dissolved Oxygen: Essential for Cannabis Growth

Dissolved Oxygen: Essential for Cannabis Growth

At the molecular level, oxygen does not hold well above baseline values in water. However, with a few easy methods, it is possible to increase the quantity of dissolved oxygen in the water you feed your cannabis plants. If you get it right, your plants will be much healthier and they will grow faster. This is the goal of every grower and it should be yours too. If not, there is always marijuana delivery.

Dissolved oxygen defines the level of oxygen saturation in water, with more being the merrier. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, water has a chemical formula of H2O, which means that every oxygen molecule has two hydrogen molecules attached. Together, this makes up the composition of water. How then, if water has only one oxygen atom, can there possibly be more?

Water is healthiest when it is moving. As it tumbles and flows about, or rocks, rain, and other disruptions meet its path, more air enters the water, much like when you give it a good shake. This traps molecular oxygen inside the water and increases levels. However, unhealthy or stagnant water is not “bad” because it loses its shelf life, it is “bad” because oxygen levels deplete without water movement.

Without enough oxygen, water conditions become dangerous to plant and animal health. It becomes a haven for nefarious anaerobic bacteria to thrive. This is why we learn at an early age not to drink water from ponds or other sources of stagnant water. It can make you sick, and it can have dire consequences for your cannabis plants. The solution? Create water movement so that it constantly flows unhindered.

Benefits of Oxygenated Water

Cannabis plants do not require extra oxygen to be healthy, but they certainly do better if they have it, growing bigger, healthier, and more abundant buds. When it comes to preventing root rot, caused by anaerobic bacteria, then increased oxygen levels should be your first line of defense. Extra oxygen also stimulates root growth, particularly the density of fine root hairs responsible for taking in water.

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The process of water intake itself requires oxygen for the energy to do it. Having more oxygen molecules in the water also increases nutrient intake. If you deprive roots of oxygen, they will substitute it with another molecule, which ultimately produces ethylene. According to the Toxicology Data Network, ethylene causes cell damage and increases the risk of systematic diseases, such as cancer.

It has the same effects on cannabis plants, increasing the likelihood of serious problems. Even if plants do not develop the disease, oxygen deprivation to the root system might cause deficiencies in calcium. In these cases, adding products with high calcium and magnesium does little to help. In fact, it does nothing, since the roots are unable to absorb any of it. Adding oxygen will resolve the issue.

How to Increase Dissolved Oxygen Levels

Before you can be successful, it is crucial you understand exactly how dissolved oxygen works. Hydroponic systems use air stones and air pumps, which, although convenient and comparatively affordable, is not particularly efficient. They work, however, and come in readymade kits. If you are not doing hydroponics, using soil, coco, or another medium, then there is still a solution for you.

In reality, air pumps add very little dissolved oxygen to the water. They do replenish the oxygen that plants consume, since they are permanently underwater, but they do not replace dissolved oxygen. Instead, they feed extra oxygen molecules that prevent the dissipation of hydrogen. So they are helpful, but not the best solution.

On the other hand, aquaponics does a fantastic job of adding dissolved oxygen to the water, and it is effective in a few ways. The movement of fish shakes up the water very well. Additionally, fish breathe carbon dioxide and release oxygen. That alone increases levels significantly. Then, if you add pumps to circulate the water, the result is a free-flowing, healthy body of H2O.

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However, the primary variable that influences the amount of molecular oxygen able to exist in water is temperature. Water can hold much higher quantities of dissolved oxygen when temperatures are lower. For this, an aquaponics setup is also the best option. When water is too warm, it struggles to hold molecular oxygen well. Do not despair though. An even more effective method exists.

The higher end limits for dissolved oxygen saturation ranges from 7ppm to 10ppm in a typical grow room. In ideal indoor conditions, this number can get as high as 50ppm. A standard meter that measures dissolved oxygen levels can record ranges from 20ppm to 50ppm. These trace amounts will quickly disappear back into the environment if you leave it unattended.

However, although these numbers are small, their compound effect is enormous and makes a huge difference to your cannabis plants. This is the reason why aeroponic systems are an extremely effective setup for cloning since it provides the root system with a nearly unlimited quantity of both water and molecular oxygen.

The best way to increase dissolved oxygen is by chilling and recirculating the water. A water chiller and a recirculation pump both cools the water and creates surface turbulence. Called “fluming,” this method is quieter than air pumps and notably more effective. You could also get a Venturi system, but it requires some complicated calculations for it to work well, failure of which results in a few bubbles at most.

The trouble with Venturi systems is pressure in the air column. The deeper the location of your pumps, the less effective the Venturi becomes. Undeniably, the best way to increase molecular oxygen is by creating either a vortex or a waterfall. However, none of this matters at all if you forget about water temperature, as this is the key to success no matter the method you use.

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The Role of Water Temperature

The cooler you can maintain your water, the better it will hold dissolved oxygen, but below 16 degrees Celsius, roots slow their metabolic activity. Remember this if you are running a pure hydroponic setup, because 18 degrees Celsius is the optimal temperature. If your water exceeds 23 degrees Celsius, trouble with root rot looms ahead.

On the other hand, farming cannabis organically forbids the use of standard long-term automated reservoirs, but there is a solution. You can have a reservoir with a chiller and no mixed nutrients. Invest in a quality recirculation pump for “fluming” and increasing dissolved oxygen in the water. When your plants are hungry, you just feed fresh nutrients directly to the root system.

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Dissolved oxygen will energize your plants; leave them feeling refreshed. As indoor temperature eventually warms the water and lowers levels of molecular oxygen, the dissolved oxygen will have completed its duty of stimulating growth, improving water and nutrient intake, and protecting against aerobic bacteria. If all else fails, you can find a Santa Monica dispensary offering marijuana delivery.

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Comments (3)

  1. Avatar for Tod Tod June 6, 2019 / 2:28 am / Reply

    Wow! Your articles are straight impressive!! Crazy new innovations are going on!! Thx for the information!

  2. Avatar for Kory Kory June 8, 2019 / 1:39 am / Reply

    This is straight amazing. Kinda makes sense, more oxygen, the plants can breath and put out Carbon

  3. Avatar for antony yousefian antony yousefian July 30, 2019 / 4:03 am / Reply

    This is spot on and so you need to monitor oxygen at the rootzone. Quite frequently growers overwater and also have temps too high all impacting Oxygen levels, reducing the performance of the crop and vulnerable to disease issues.

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