Is pearling important?
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:37 AM   #1
bonaparte
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Is pearling important?


Is pearling a goal? Because I have absolutely none going on and I'm a little worried.

My tank is about two months old now and most of the plants in there have been there most of that time. It's heavily planted with crypts, java ferns, petite anubias, a sword and a few others. Everything is doing great except for the water sprite: I've heard they don't like root tabs too much. I'm using those plus Excel, currently nothing else for ferts. Ammonia and nitrites are 0/0, and I'm working on managing my nitrates. It's a 29 high and I'm doing a 3-4 gallon water change 3X a week. There's an Eheim 2215 pushing the water around, so a definite current is visible in about half of the tank. (In case it matters, I've got 3 panda corys, a baby ancistrus, 10 cardinals, 5 Foersch's Barbs and 4 amano shrimp.)

The plants are healthy, the fish aren't gulping air from the surface, and my new tank brown algae is mostly gone.

Should I care that the plants aren't pearling?
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:56 AM   #2
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I believe healthy plants + growth are way more important than pearling. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:01 AM   #3
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If your plants are happy, growing well, and you don't have much algae, then it doesn't matter if your plants pearl or not.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:18 AM   #4
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My plants have never pearled. Ever. You'll be fine. From what I understand you need good co2 (which I have) good lighting (which I have) and good hertz, which I don't use. So yeah. It's just for aesthetics. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:39 AM   #5
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some plants just dont pearl too
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:54 AM   #6
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stupid question: what is pearling?
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:11 AM   #7
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short answer, plants produce o2 during photosynthesis. pearling is when you can see the bubbles coming off of the plants
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timwag2001 View Post
some plants just dont pearl too
That's what I was thinking; isn't it mostly just faster growing stems and things that pearl? Do things like swords and crypts and javas ever pearl?
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:17 AM   #9
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My java fern pearls, swords pearl really well. Anubias does too but not as much. I only saw false pearling from the high gas content of the tap water collecting on the plants during water changes until I got CO2 though. I don't know what is going on but this week I did see some pearling on the red lilies even when was no CO2 going into the tank.

Pearling is pretty but not important.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:00 AM   #10
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Not pearling doesn't mean plants not growing.
All of my tanks never pearling as well, because i have strong flow from canister, the flow debit about 10-20X tank volume per hour. But once I turn off the canister, they pearling like crazy
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:53 AM   #11
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As another member mentioned previously, pearling is simply the result of energy metabolism within the plant (photosynthesis). We breath in o2 for use in what is known as electron transport during our energy metabolism. The o2 molecule picks up a carbon and is transported out of the body as co2. Plants, on the other hand, use co2 during energy metabolism and transport o2. This process of releasing o2 is what we call pearling.

I see pearling regularly, but I do not gauge my success by it. good growth and limited algae are the goals!

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Old 03-26-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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A 3-4 gallon water change 3x a week seems extremely excessive. But if you like doing it and your tank is in good shape, then by all means keep it up
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:19 PM   #13
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oh! thank you! i was so confused, ty
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktownhero View Post
A 3-4 gallon water change 3x a week seems extremely excessive. But if you like doing it and your tank is in good shape, then by all means keep it up
Well, I kinda thought so too, but the pros at my LFS and a general tank maintenance book I picked up both said that frequent, smaller water changes are more beneficial to the tank's ecosystem than less frequent (1X/week) changes of 25% or so.

What do the pros here say about this? (Is there a water change thread?)
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:55 AM   #15
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I've had limited pearling from the tops of my anachris stalks and especially in the floating riccia fluitens at the surface of my tank right next to the light. I know I need more light, but for now that's the best I can get.

Growth and color are the greatest achievements, but getting good pearling is kind of like a feather in the cap of most freshwater planted aquarists, in my opinion.
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