Greggz 120G Rainbow Fish Tank (Saturday Maintenance 11-21-2020) - Page 119 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1771 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
I increased flow in my tank and saw an immediate decrease in pearling. No obvious signs of reduced plant health or growth, but less pearling overall.
Yes I have seen the same as you and Immortal1 above. Less turbulence = more pearling.

Another interesting thing about pearling. I can induce it quite easily by raising either PAR or CO2. Increase both and I can make the tank look like soda pop if I want.

Now has the O2 level changed? I don't think so.

If you look past the science of it all, I do think pearling is a signal. For me, it tells me I'm pretty much at the optimum amount of light/CO2 for my tank, and pearling in general means happy growing plants.

If I crank things up to induce really heavy pearling, I can't sustain that for very long without other issues creeping up. Too much light could produce algae, and too much CO2 will send my Bows to the surface.

So I look at pearling as another one of many things to pay attention to. I don't know how to describe what is the right amount of pearling in my tank, but I know it when I see it. Too little gets my attention, and so does too much.

Curios how others view it?

P.S........And another thing is that some plants just pearl more than others. If you look at this picture the Mayaca and Furcata are pearling quite heavily. They do everyday. Others it's much more subtle. So it can really vary depending on what you have in your tank.

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post #1772 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
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So, i'm convinced it has to do with the local water O2 concentration relative to that specific plant and how fast it is producing O2 vs the rate at which O2 is dissolving.
My take on this is still based SOLELY on how fast the plant is producing O2 and has nothing to do with O2 concentrations. Heavily flow might simply dissipate the fragile bubble quickly (before we visibly see it exiting the plant.)

The cut stem example does not change the O2 concentration around a previously non-pearling plant, but we see the bubble because its exiting so quickly.
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post #1773 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by asteriod View Post
My take on this is still based SOLELY on how fast the plant is producing O2 and has nothing to do with O2 concentrations. Heavily flow might simply dissipate the fragile bubble quickly (before we visibly see it exiting the plant.)

The cut stem example does not change the O2 concentration around a previously non-pearling plant, but we see the bubble because its exiting so quickly.

Rate of dissolution is faster with the decreasing concentration of the compound (in this case O2; see Noyes-Whitney equation). Around the leaves (and directly at the surface of the leaf), the concentration of oxygen is very high due to its continuous production. As the local concentration of O2 increases, the rate of O2 dissolution decreases and at a certain threshold we start to see a bubble forming. Increasing flow simply allows for a much faster equilibration of the O2 levels between the vicinity of the leaf surface and bulk of the water in the tank, resulting in less pearling.

Edit:The cut stem is the same thing, instead now you're forcing all the produced oxygen leaving through a very small surface area (diameter of the stem), rapidly increasing its local concentration to the point that the rate of formation is faster than rate of dissolution. Additionally, by cutting the stem, you remove any "barrier" between O2 and water, so the apparent rate of production will be even faster. In the leaf, O2 still has to pass the epidermal layer.
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Last edited by acino; 10-30-2018 at 06:54 PM. Reason: edit
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post #1774 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by acino View Post
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Edit:The cut stem is the same thing, instead now you're forcing all the produced oxygen leaving through a very small surface area (diameter of the stem), rapidly increasing its local concentration to the point that the rate of formation is faster than rate of dissolution. Additionally, by cutting the stem, you remove any "barrier" between O2 and water, so the apparent rate of production will be even faster. In the leaf, O2 still has to pass the epidermal layer.
Yes, exactly which supports what I've been stating. The idea that plants pearl because the tank is supersaturated with O2 fails on many levels IMO.
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post #1775 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 07:02 PM
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Yes, exactly which supports what I've been stating. The idea that plants pearl because the tank is supersaturated with O2 fails on many levels IMO.

Then I apologize, because I misunderstood your post it seems. Plants do not pearl because the tank is supersaturated with O2 (although it will probably be very close to it), but because the water is locally supersaturated with O2.
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post #1776 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by asteriod View Post
My take on this is still based SOLELY on how fast the plant is producing O2 and has nothing to do with O2 concentrations. Heavily flow might simply dissipate the fragile bubble quickly (before we visibly see it exiting the plant.)

The cut stem example does not change the O2 concentration around a previously non-pearling plant, but we see the bubble because its exiting so quickly.
Yeah that's an interesting theory. I do agree heavy flow probably just makes pearling harder to observe, as bubbles dissipate quickly.

And in the simplest of terms, the plant is converting CO2 into O2. And that goes along with what I mentioned above. Increasing light/CO2 drives plant growth harder. Result is more intake of CO2, more output of O2, more pearling.

Now how or if O2 concentration has any effect on pearling, honestly I don't know. I keep heavy surface agitation in my tank at all times, trying to max out O2 and CO2. If I stopped the surface agitation, would it change the amount of pearling? Don't know.

I do know I tried it briefly one time and it sent my Bows to the surface quite quickly. Don't underestimate how much O2 surface agitation creates.
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post #1777 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
If I crank things up to induce really heavy pearling, I can't sustain that for very long without other issues creeping up. Too much light could produce algae, and too much CO2 will send my Bows to the surface.

So I look at pearling as another one of many things to pay attention to. I don't know how to describe what is the right amount of pearling in my tank, but I know it when I see it. Too little gets my attention, and so does too much.

Curios how others view it?
I don't believe that CO2 and O2 in the water are mutually exclusive. I believe with heightened aeration that high levels of both can be achieved.

I also believe(suspect) that higher lights and CO2 that induce more pearling means that the plants are creating more oxygen. And this can translate to more O2 in the water.

The problem with high/fast CO2 injection is that it necessarily happens before lights go on when the plants have a chance to create oxygen.

If there is little water movement around the plants, the O2 may actually stay "adhered" to the plant leaves and there could be less surface exchange and poor distribution of the O2. IOW, there is more O2 in the tank, but unless there is circulation, it is effectively not released from the plant. So this contributes to "lag" in O2 production. CO2 turns on, O2 begins getting displaced, and O2 may not be available and distributed for another couple hours after lights on.

Since I began using a venturi to inject air to the tank through the night, I have not seen my fish with increased respiration. I can drop the pH 1.5 before lights on and the fish are breathing slowly and relaxed in the morning.

Since the plants are taking O2 from the water when lights are off, if high levels of CO2 is causing respiration issues, I believe the real issue is that O2 was already low when CO2 was turned on, and the rapid pH drop only makes it worse. Its my belief that with excessive aeration through the night, that O2 can be in a high state before CO2 turns on and there won't be any respiration issues.

This problem of morning low O2 from plant consumption is going to be even worse the more growth and plant mass there is. High light and CO2 means more growth, but also that the plants are stealing more O2 from the water at night. I don't think the animals should ever be in a situation where they can't breathe, but I also think its possible to overcome that problem AND still inject high levels of Co2.



Ive tried various methods of aeration. HOB and bubble stone seem to be no comparison to a power head w/ venturi that makes the tank look like a snowstorm. The problem with the venturi is that its pretty horrible for a display tank; you're not going to want it running when lights are on.

To summarize, I believe with exceptional aeration it is possible to run more CO2 without any adverse effects on the fish.


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post #1778 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 08:13 PM
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Then I apologize, because I misunderstood your post it seems. Plants do not pearl because the tank is supersaturated with O2 (although it will probably be very close to it), but because the water is locally supersaturated with O2.
Well that's actually very vague, because what is causing the local water to be supersaturated? The plant that "pearls" from the cut stem pearls where it wouldn't before because of the speed of O2 release. Or are you saying the local water that's rich in O2 is from the pearling production?
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post #1779 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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I don't believe that CO2 and O2 in the water are mutually exclusive. I believe with heightened aeration that high levels of both can be achieved.
Chris this is true, CO2 and O2 are not mutually exclusive. You can have plenty of both, but even at peak oxygen levels there is a limit to how much CO2 you can inject.

For instance, in my tank I have constant surface agitation to create O2, then run heavy bubbles at night to further increase O2 levels (similar to your venturi). My tank is completely degassed of CO2 by the morning, and I don't think it's possible to have more O2 than I create in my tank.

But even then, there is still a limit to how much CO2 you can inject. I have tested this a few times as mentioned above to understand more about pearling. I ran surface agitation plus a large volume of bubbles, then cranked up the CO2. Plants pearled like mad in no time. More like the whole tank pearled. But fish also went to surface.

Just saying no matter how much oxygen you create, there is still a limit to how much CO2 you can inject.

But getting the discussion back to growing plants in an aquarium. I believe the topic is a good one, as I am sure many don't understand that creating more O2 does allow for a higher level of CO2, which is good for the plants. If you have fish, provide plenty of oxygen even during the CO2 period, and don't worry about off gassing. Treat CO2 like it's free. You CAN keep a healthy stocking of fish in a high tech tank.

And pearling, regardless of how we might argue about it's causes, is one of many clues available to fine tune our system. Personally the exact science means little to me, I'm more interested in figuring out what my tank is telling me.
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Last edited by Greggz; 10-30-2018 at 10:26 PM. Reason: typo
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post #1780 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 10:47 PM
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Question!

I saw posts concerning temperature. I run my tank at 72-74F and so it's lower than some. How does that affect plant growth? Slows it down?

I'm curious bc my scenario is cooler temp with medium-high light. Would my plants benefit from an increase to the 76-78F tange? I know that there would be less O2 as a result of the warmer water, but I don't know what else would be affected.
What temperature is there in the summer time and do your plants grow the same? I can see difference in growth speed and shape between winter and summer temperatures.
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post #1781 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 11:30 PM
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What temperature is there in the summer time and do your plants grow the same? I can see difference in growth speed and shape between winter and summer temperatures.
In my apt it didn't matter how hot it got because I keep my A.C. cranked, so if anything the heater may have even had to kick on in the summer to maintain the 72-74 range. I keep my A.C. at 68 because power is cheap in the PNW and I like sleeping in cold. I keep a window cracked all winter long even if it snows.

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post #1782 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Chris this is true, CO2 and O2 are not mutually exclusive. You can have plenty of both, but even at peak oxygen levels there is a limit to how much CO2 you can inject.

For instance, in my tank I have constant surface agitation to create O2, then run heavy bubbles at night to further increase O2 levels (similar to your venturi). My tank is completely degassed of CO2 by the morning, and I don't think it's possible to have more O2 than I create in my tank.

But even then, there is still a limit to how much CO2 you can inject. I have tested this a few times as mentioned above to understand more about pearling. I ran surface agitation plus a large volume of bubbles, then cranked up the CO2. Plants pearled like mad in no time. More like the whole tank pearled. But fish also went to surface.

Just saying no matter how much oxygen you create, there is still a limit to how much CO2 you can inject.

But getting the discussion back to growing plants in an aquarium. I believe the topic is a good one, as I am sure many don't understand that creating more O2 does allow for a higher level of CO2, which is good for the plants. If you have fish, provide plenty of oxygen even during the CO2 period, and don't worry about off gassing. Treat CO2 like it's free. You CAN keep a healthy stocking of fish in a high tech tank.

And pearling, regardless of how we might argue about it's causes, is one of many clues available to fine tune our system. Personally the exact science means little to me, I'm more interested in figuring out what my tank is telling me.
What is the extent of your surface agitation? With how much more sensitive the angels are to CO2, versus say my barbs, I know I need to find a better balance between surface agitation and CO2 levels. While my plants thoroughly enjoyed the CO2, the angels made it very clear that they did not.

I do have a sump, but my main drain extends to about 2.5-3" above the bottom of my sump, so the surface agitation in my sump is kept to a bare minimum. Only a slight drop - less than 1/2 an inch - occurs between where my water enters and my filtration compartment is. Similarly, I designed my piping in my overflow box to minimize the water drop to keep CO2 from gassing off. But now with more sensitive fish than barbs and plecos, I need to keep a wary eye on O2 levels in the tank. I did use to run an airstone in the sump at night with my old non-solenoid powered regulator, which I can employ again at night, but I am trying to strike a balance between surface agitation in the tank and not gassing off too much CO2. My source of CO2 is incredibly cheap, but I wonder if after a certain amount of surface agitation that striking proper CO2 levels will be incredibly difficult.

I also am now having to be wary of the fact my water has zero buffering capacity, as evidenced by the test done on my water today at the LFS stating I have a KH of 0. I know my township recently switched from using anthracite coal to activated carbon (yes activated carbon at a water plant), but at this rate they might as well be pumping R.O. water to our house.
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post #1783 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 02:45 AM
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Then why we can have only one plant pearling and not the others?

That would not work because in air are other gasses that do not dissolve so the reactor would be overflowing with air. Though, it would work with pure O2, but who wants a pressurized O2 tank and more complications.
All plants are not the same.

All of the other components that make up "air", damn air.
I'd not be willing to have an extra tank of oxygen around.

Just kick me to the curb, I can take it.
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Growing is not that difficult.

Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 10-31-2018 at 02:46 AM. Reason: edit
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post #1784 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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New version of the tank info spreadsheet just went up to the Google Drive.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CI...JZdxESN07exBsu

I have to thank @Ken Keating1 (and keep an eye out for his coming journal, should be a good one!), as he helped greatly in reformatting the sheet to make it a bit easier to follow.

So now we are on to Version 3.0. As always, customize to fit your needs, and glad to hear any suggestions. And like the last one, cells outlined in red are calculated from other entries.



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post #1785 of 3595 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 03:28 PM
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So now we are on to Version 3.0. As always, customize to fit your needs, and glad to hear any suggestions. And like the last one, cells outlined in red are calculated from other entries.
Suggestions hmm,

pH Drop 1.35 cell -> in red it is calculated
pH High -> 2 decimals as other pH numbers
Ca TOTAL 35 -> 2 decimals as every other number around
PPM per Dose -> Dose ppm
Weekly PPM -> Week ppm
Weekly PPM Totals -> Week Total ppm
Optional, if it was my table I would have all Micro ppm the same decimals for readability, hmm.
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