|MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology|
I am working on a science fair project to see what absorbs the most carbon dioxide in a closed system. I am testing plants, salt water and grass. My system is a 20 gallon aquarium that is sealed with a sheet of clear plastic on the top and clay around the edges. I put a carbon dioxide meter in the aquarium and sealed it shut for 24 hours. As expected, the CO2 level stayed relatively constant at around 6-700 ppm. When I put a big potted plant into the aquarium and sealed it, I expected the CO2 level to decrease because plants use it to grow. I was surprised to find that the CO2 level increased at a steady rate (about 200 ppm/hour) for the duration of the experiment, about 24 hours. Can you explain why that would happen? Could decomposing matter in potting soil cause this effect?
Re: What is the effect of a plant on CO2 level in a closed system?
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