Am I missing something? Cant get plants to pearl - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Am I missing something? Cant get plants to pearl

So this is my first experience with CO2 and I recently bought some new plants. When I initially placed them in the tank, my baby tears and my other plants (see below) all started to pearl beautifully. Was the first time I have ever seen it and I LOVED it! At this point I was running one bubble every 6 seconds (5 gal).

Well they only did that for ONE day, That was about 2 weeks ago and I have been trying every which way in between since then to get them to pearl. My pH before I add CO2 is about 7.6 (dK = 4, GH ~ 80) and I can pump the CO2 alllll the way to 2 bubs a second and down to almost a 6 pH, with medium to hi light and very little response from any of my plants (S.repens will sometimes make very small bubbles under the leafs).

My baby tears appears to be melting in very few crowded spots, but it isnt dying. My repens is getting brown algae spots on them, but is growing ok. (I rub these off daily) I use the EI dosing index with liq ferts from Nilog, 50% water change weekly. I tried varying the lights schedules (from 7hrs to 10hrs), tried doubling the light they received but still nothing. Turning my CO2 on earlier in the day well (2+hrs) before lights come on. Moving my diffuser and filter return, trying to maximize the time the bubbles stay submerged. Aerating/not aerating (still do it nightly) My R. Ludwiga is coming in nicely (but rarely pearls) and my micro sword has no issues. Is there something im missing here? Any suggestions? Thanks!

FLuval Spec V:
Substrate: Mixed First Layer laterite + Floramax + FLourite sand : 1" sand cap
Fluval 88g CO2 .5 to 6 seconds a bubble
Ferts: EI dosing, Half squirt of Nilog's liquid ferts (Macros M,W,F; Micros T,T,S)
Fugeray Planted + Clip on (10", 5watts)

Plants: S.Repens, R. Ludwiga, Anubas nana, Java moss, Micro Swart, dwarf baby tears,
Fauna: ghost shrimp, 2 bettas.

Current setup (pretty eclectic but just seeing how things come in)
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 10:25 PM
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You should get a Co2 drop checker to test your Co2 levels in the tank. You can also get a cheap power head with the intake set above your diffusser bubble stream to help break up your bubbles even more. It helped dispersion for me without having to up bubble count.

you can see in the picture that the bubbles are fine and at every inch of the tank thanks to the powerhead (petco 160 costs 9.99).



powerhead intake over the diffuser



Co2 drop checker indicating a perfect amount of Co2 for me 2bps in a 29g tank.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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But I test the pH with a test tube? And I dont have to wait 15-30mins for it to show what is in teh tank? A checker is just for convenience, doesnt change the actual result. My pH hows me well above 30ppm...

I just installed a new canister filter and moved diffuser under the intake, im hoping it helps, but wanted to pick ppls brains to see if there is something else im missing, because with my pH going that low, I really expect it to be diffusing well >.<
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 11:58 PM
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Plants don't have to pearl to be doing well and growing. My baby tears grows very well and only really pearls after I trim it.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Ah kk, thx for the input

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 01:10 AM
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another consideration is your substrate; baby tears have shallow roots for the most part and do best in fine grade soils. I have had best luck with Amazonia powder in particular. Normal to see some melt when the baby tears adjust to your tank especially if you bought from a store as it was probably grown emersed.

Baby tears is more of a fert and CO2 demanding plant; lighting is not as important for it to grow and do well. The same can be said for S. repens.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, i was thinking my sand was too deep and was going to remove some. Amazonia is on the list, possibly just redo the substrate

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 08:25 AM
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When I started my iwagumi tank with carpet of baby tears, they didn't pearl until a month after I planted them. I think your baby tears just need to adjust to its new substrate. My baby tears pearl everywhere after that! It looks like you have everything you need. Just give it a few more weeks.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Alright ill give it some more time. The only other variable left is my substrate, so if im still not going anywhere i might try out some amazonia. Thank you

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 02:14 AM
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I hope you realize that pearling is simply the plants giving off more oxygen than is currently present in the water column. That's why you see the oxygen bubbles. But like someone above said, you don't need to have pearling for the plants to do well. Pearling is simply just oxygen bubbles.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Right i understand that, but i expected good healthy growth to = pearling. Glad to know its not necessarily that way. Thx

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterN1986 View Post
I hope you realize that pearling is simply the plants giving off more oxygen than is currently present in the water column. That's why you see the oxygen bubbles. But like someone above said, you don't need to have pearling for the plants to do well. Pearling is simply just oxygen bubbles.

once your water is saturated 100% with oxygen then the air given off by the plants cannot absorb into the water anymore so it bubbles to the surface. you need a ton more plants.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ah ok. Yeah i didnt really think that my quantity of plants was too low. Good info
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