Plant Pearling Revisited
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Old 02-25-2007, 01:53 AM   #1
blackfly
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Plant Pearling Revisited


I conducted an experiment related to an earlier post made by me regarding this very issue. I had asked why plants pearl so much after a water change and not otherwise. I wanted to see what others said.

I was under the assumption that it was understood that when I said they pearl after a water change that it was UNBELIEVABLE. EVERY plant was pearling, and incredibly fast too. So I wanted to narrow down the parameters that made this possible.

One suggested it was nothing more than oxygen in the tapwater bubbling out but I ruled this out due the fact the bubbling is exactly where the pearling occurs on the leaves. The bubbling did NOT take place on the glass, like in carbonated beverages, so it must be high levels of photosynthetic activity.

I can add as much CO2 as I like. Not a factor.

I can add or subtract NO3 or PO3. Not a factor. Tapwater is not that rich in it anyway.

I can add O2. Not a factor.

I found the answer: Micro nutrients.

I have found that, with regular dosing, micronutrients (molybnium, manganese, copper, boron etc... all the TRACE elements) are the key. If one looks up a biology text on the subject, these trace elements are critically important in photosynthetic activity and rate as catalysts. These MUST be included as a part of the dosing scheme. I recommend high levels as at least if so, then if forgotten the plants will still do well.

I have to admit my plants do not pearl now as in a fresh water change, so something else must be lacking, but I will track it down. But I have proven to myself, conclusively, that the TRACE element factor is EXTREMELY important to plant pearling on a constant basis.

It only took 3 weeks of constant trial and error and observation, but it is worth it.

Aside, the high levels of nutrients I have does have some algae, be it green algae, but I dose Flourish as well, and I have NO string, hair or other algae. Only green algae, and this is to be expected with such a high nutrient level. But it is not that offensive.

Perfection is never attained, but the striving for is.

I hope this helps anyone. It may seem a no brainer, but I have found it to be a conclusive fact.
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:20 AM   #2
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asked and answered;

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...-pearling.html

if pearling is your objective;
Co2 is worthless without other traces
and traces are worthless without Co2.
I have a tank full of traces but low Co2,
and my plants don't pearl worth a damn.
with Light, photosynthesis is a 3 legged stool;
Co2, Macros, and Micros/Trace.
if one leg is missing, then no pearling.
if two legs are missing, low growth.
three missing legs? dead plants...
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:32 AM   #3
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How did you go about adding O2?
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:54 AM   #4
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it's about balance... it's not JUST trace elements.
did you try taking away potassium?

I guess I'm lucky because my plants pearl on the underside of the leaves all the time but some of the plants (anubias, java ferns) are doing crappy.. I'm not sure if the 'quest for pearling' is even valid.
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:09 AM   #5
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Just my 2 cents here....

After water changes for me and a little addition of excel on a barely fertilized 60 gallon tank will make my plants pearl like crazy in the winter....

Wont happen in summer though.....This leads me to believe that its the amount of dissolved gasses in the colder water...
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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IMO, pearling immediately after a H2O change is caused by nothing more than the fact that the water you are introducing is saturated with O2. Once you exceed the sturation point, all the O2 being produced by the plants is not absorbed into the water and they pearl. It's not "bubbling out" of the water.

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Old 02-25-2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfly View Post
I conducted an experiment related to an earlier post made by me regarding this very issue. I had asked why plants pearl so much after a water change and not otherwise. I wanted to see what others said.

I was under the assumption that it was understood that when I said they pearl after a water change that it was UNBELIEVABLE. EVERY plant was pearling, and incredibly fast too. So I wanted to narrow down the parameters that made this possible.

One suggested it was nothing more than oxygen in the tapwater bubbling out but I ruled this out due the fact the bubbling is exactly where the pearling occurs on the leaves. The bubbling did NOT take place on the glass, like in carbonated beverages, so it must be high levels of photosynthetic activity.

I can add as much CO2 as I like. Not a factor.

I can add or subtract NO3 or PO3. Not a factor. Tapwater is not that rich in it anyway.

I can add O2. Not a factor.

I found the answer: Micro nutrients.

I have found that, with regular dosing, micronutrients (molybnium, manganese, copper, boron etc... all the TRACE elements) are the key. If one looks up a biology text on the subject, these trace elements are critically important in photosynthetic activity and rate as catalysts. These MUST be included as a part of the dosing scheme. I recommend high levels as at least if so, then if forgotten the plants will still do well.

I have to admit my plants do not pearl now as in a fresh water change, so something else must be lacking, but I will track it down. But I have proven to myself, conclusively, that the TRACE element factor is EXTREMELY important to plant pearling on a constant basis.

It only took 3 weeks of constant trial and error and observation, but it is worth it.

Aside, the high levels of nutrients I have does have some algae, be it green algae, but I dose Flourish as well, and I have NO string, hair or other algae. Only green algae, and this is to be expected with such a high nutrient level. But it is not that offensive.

Perfection is never attained, but the striving for is.

I hope this helps anyone. It may seem a no brainer, but I have found it to be a conclusive fact.

This whole post if funny. hahahaha. The reason why you see "pearling" after a water change IS because the new water is saturated with gases. This is NOT real pearling. Pearling happens when the water is saturated with O2. High fish loads, greater flow, lower lighting, lower CO2, etc make pearling more difficult. My tank pearls tons and tons. It has nothing to do with traces. I've not dosed traces weeks at a time with no end to pearling.
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:35 PM   #8
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You can't call it a "fact" unless you have proven it over and over again with controls and an indeprendent variable.

The observed reasoning behind pearling is just as Ian and LS6Tommy said. The water becomes saturated with oxygen during photosynthesis. No more can be dissolved, so oxygen production forms bubbles on the plan't surface. Water changes duplicate this since tapwater is often saturated with O2 as well.

Some tanks never pearl, some tanks pearl constantly. Pearling is not necessarily an apex of growth that plants reach.
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Old 02-25-2007, 06:08 PM   #9
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Very true, Belvedere.

The question at hand isn't pearling in general, but the high rate of "pearling" after a water change.

Tommy and Ian provided the answer. The new water is saturated with ox yen, and as that oxygen works its way out of solution it collects on the leaves of plants.

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Old 02-25-2007, 07:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LS6 Tommy View Post
IMO, pearling immediately after a H2O change is caused by nothing more than the fact that the water you are introducing is saturated with O2. Once you exceed the sturation point, all the O2 being produced by the plants is not absorbed into the water and they pearl. It's not "bubbling out" of the water.

Tommy
this might be true if you are taking water directly from the tap....
how about water that has been sitting in a holding tank for a few days?
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:58 PM   #11
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if your quest for pearling is import then you should get it to pearl on a consistent basis and not just on a water change.

I think it's just O2 gas too. Cold water absorbs more O2 too.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triple red View Post
this might be true if you are taking water directly from the tap....
how about water that has been sitting in a holding tank for a few days?
Aged water will not cause "false pearling". Aging water helps keep water parameters constant, especially with large frequent water changes, i.e., 50 gallons several times a week......DC
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triple red View Post
this might be true if you are taking water directly from the tap....
how about water that has been sitting in a holding tank for a few days?

That's basically what I was talking about. I should have said "the H2O you are introducing may be saturated with O2". I tend to agree with you that aged water that has off gassed probably won't cause the "water change" pearling.

Tommy
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