Why don't my plants ever pearl? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Why don't my plants ever pearl?

I have a 55g with injected co2, milwaukee controller/valve. My tap PH is 8.3, I have it lowered down to 7-7.1 with co2 injection. kH is about 14. My plants never pearl, and if I up the co2 anymore the fish will start gasping. So, how to get plants to pearl?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 09:05 PM
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What are you doing in terms of fertilization? And how much light do you have over the tank? Also, what's your stocking level?

I've gathered from reading in the forum that pearling is caused by oxygen saturation due to lots and lots of photosynthesis and photosynthesis requires, of course, light, CO2 and nutrients. It sounds like you have the CO2 part of the equation covered with a pressurized system, but the other two components might need "tweaking."

Also, if you have a heavily stocked tank, the fish may be using up the oxygen making it harder for your tank to reach the saturation point necessary for pearling.

Disclaimer: I'm new to this, and my plants have yet to pearl...so take my advice with a grain of salt. But I'm working on it!

29 g planted community tank, 2.48 WPG, DIY CO2, Greg Watson ferts -- Tank Journal Here! -- 5 gallon planted Marineland 5 gallon hex with 15w 6500k CF, Excel, 100% flourite substrate -- RCS & male dwarf puffer -- Tank Journal Here! -- 2.5 gallon planted MiniBow w/10w 6500 k CF, Excel -- mystery snail & RCS -- Tank Journal Here!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 09:41 PM
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Another thing, some plants pearl more than others. I don't think I've ever seen an anubia "pearling" for example . The pearlweed however (Hemianthus micranthemoides,) is very aptly named!

Also, a happy lotus has a "bubbly" personality . . . Clickable thumbs. Apologies for the less than pristine glass. I took these on the fly just a few moments ago.




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55 gallon - Hi-Res — 2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish
10 gallon — lo-tech; 1.8 wpg DIY CF light; no CO2; Aquaclear mini; Schultz substrate; java fern; java moss; 7 Neon Tetras; 1 flame dwarf gourami
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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I have seachem's complete line for fertilizing and 4x55 AHSUPPLY lights giving me 4 WPG. i hvae like 7 loaches, 15 rummy nose tetras, 5 SAE, a roseline shark, two bristlenoses and a vampire shrimp, not too much.

i should add that if i leave hte co2 on longer my plants WILL pearl, but it will be an unhealthy amount of co2 for the fish. also my bubble rate is off the charts, but my ph controller is there for that reason. are plants more likely to pearl at a slower bubble rate rather than a steady stream in which the bubbles arent even, persay, bubbles?

i figured it doesnt matter since either wya the water is getting co2. and my diffuser is a venturri that red sea includes with their co2 yeast kit (cept im using hte venturri on my injected setup)
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 12:14 AM
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What are your nutrient levels?
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 02:50 PM
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Sounds like light and co2 are okay. I, with Rex, suspect nutrient deficiencies like NItrate, potassium, Iron, etc.

-Ernie

29 Gallon Tank: 110W PC Lights, Milwaukee MA957 CO2, Fluorite/Sand Substrate, Checked into E.I. Rehab


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate your input guys. I haven't yet tested the nutrient levels, but maybe I can give you guys an idea of what I have. I follow exactly this dosing chart by Seachem:
http://www.seachem.com/products/planted.html (look in the left hand column, very bottom it says "Plant Dosing Chart. Click here."

Again my tank is 55g, and its not really THAT heavily planted, maybe 60-70%. I will take a photo and link it here and also test nutrient levels.

I only have test kit to test for Iron (Red Sea Fresh Lab Deluxe). Is there something else specific I should test for?

Thanks again..
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 12:27 PM
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Test kit for nitrate is the one I use most often. I kind of use it as an indicator for the other macros like potassium.

It looks like your ferts dosing should be sufficient . . . and expensive. I use watson ferts and get lots of pearling . . . .

Another question: how is your co2 diffused? Have you read/heard about tom barr's theory of microbubbles? It's basically an argument that by "blowing" tiny bubbles of co2 around the tank the plants will benefit . . . . I think there's some truth.

co2 revelations part 1
co2 revelations part 2

-Ernie

29 Gallon Tank: 110W PC Lights, Milwaukee MA957 CO2, Fluorite/Sand Substrate, Checked into E.I. Rehab


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I didn't know it was nitrates I was supposed to be testing for I'll do that when I get home.

My CO2 is diffused via a venturri that comes with the Red Sea fermentation method kit. It is diffused exactly the way you mention, tiny bubbles are blended and are output right under the spray bar of my xp3 (horizontal) and the xp3 is running full blast. The bubbles dont really go all over the whole tank though, just go up, hit the jetstream, and bounce around in that area.

The seachem nutrients are expensive no doubt. I just started my tank in January and got these seachem's during bigals free shipping event. I do want to get the PMDD nutrients but at the time I didn't have the patience to decipher what I need.

I will also take off my glass tops today, maybe that is diffusing too much light. Any other ideas?
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 11:28 PM
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The red tiger lotus I gave will pearl pretty crazy. I get a good amount of pearling with most of my plants. I also you GW ferts and have a pretty easy time doing it.
My anubia pearl, not like the rest of the plants where the bubbles shot stright to the surface. If I look under the leaves of them there are these huge bubbles just chillin. My petite nana also do the same with much smaller bubbles.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 03:38 AM
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I think if you have a glass top and the water right up next to the glass, you can gas the fish. I'm not sure if it is how much co2 or the way you aren't able to add O2 like with the water exposed. I can mist a bunch of CO2 until it is visually annoying and the UNDERstocked fish don't notice. It gets annoying to look at though. I don't know if my experience is normal or just mine own.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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im not completely following what you mean, but my glass tops are by no means airtight... if that matters
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 02:47 PM
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If there is a lot of current in the tank, any pearling might not be noticeable as well.

Pearling is neat, but don't put so much stock in it that your only goal is to have your plants pearl. They're not really an indication of plant health, just an indication that the water is saturated with oxygen. Depending on your situation, you can have very healthy plants and happy fish and never have plants pearl.

"Good judgment is the result of experience, experience is the result of bad judgment." --Mark Twain
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 03:45 AM
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Years ago,when I first got into co2..I had heard about pearling and wanted good plant growth as well.
WHat I got was great plant growth but no pearling..The only time I would get pearling was when would change the water..Some told me that it was only loose bubbles from the water change but I knew better..I even went so far as to think it was from osmotic preessure being les during he water change and "squezing" the o2 out..LOL..Boy was I having too much fun back then...
What I think it was at that time and in aother tank which had the same problem was probably three-fold.#1.when I changed the water I would hit saturation point on the o2.and the plants would pearl.#2.I was not fertilizing as I should of been...#3.my lighting was not good enough..
as an example of #3.I had a 240 gallon once,,which eventually spplit a seam..UGGHHH..and had much light over it..enough to get good growth,but no pearling..well.I also had a 1000w MH light over it which I did not use much but I did notice that when I did the plants would start to pearl profusely.
Start with this..change yor water...30% or so should be enough,,and see if your plants start to pearl.this will at least let you know that they are close to being at a point where they will pearl..will be an interesting experiment..
And for the record..I never really did get a straight answer as to why they pearled after a water change.
and my anubius hastofolia pearls both under the leaves and in a stream...
Good luck,
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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yes my plants did actually pearl after a water change, and then a day after a water change they continue to pearl, i bet however they dont pearl tomorrow. the algae was really pearling

i guess its a nutrients thing but i am not spending more money on seachem's line!
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