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post #46 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I’m realizing that I need to fertilize much more. But in the meantime, I must thank everyone for the help and suggestions. I’m pearling!!
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post #47 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 03:27 AM
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Ok, Iím realizing that I need to fertilize much more. But in the meantime, I must thank everyone for the help and suggestions. Iím pearling!!
OP tank is pearling, interesting...
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post #48 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 05:28 AM
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I think your making a ton of assumptions. I find it implausible that a single stem or a single strand of riccia would supersaturate a 4 foot tank.

Pretty sure @Greggz has stated that he can force pearling by upping co2. If you don't see pearling in slower growing plants then in effect there is no pearling as far as the hobbyist is concerned. It's not about whether there is technically pearling for me, it's a matter of whether you see it.

If it was simply the o2 saturation of the tank, and the o2 can't be absorbed any more ALL plants would pearl. Pearling is an individual species thing. I don't think all plants produce the same amount of o2 within the same environment or at the same rate. Also if all closed-systems tended to go to oxygen saturation then you would expect to see pearling in tanks without co2 injection on a regular basis which just doesn't happen in the hobby.
I'm trying to figure out how to explain myself in a simpler manner, because I'll admit it's not intuitive. And you're rightabout photosynthetic rate playing an important role.

Let's say you have a kiddie pool that is perfectly level, and is filled all the way to the top. Maybe even some surface cohesion juuust keeping it from spilling. That pool is saturated with water. If you add just one more drop of water to the pool, some water (maybe a drop's worth, maybe a little more or less depending on the metastability of the pool) will come out. I think you're thinking of it as "If I add a drop of water to a swimming pool it's not going to overflow" when you should think of it more in terms of adding a drop of water to a pool that is already completely full.

That's the equivalent of the single piece of riccia in a fish tank. The natural state of a body of water is gaseous equilibrium with the environment, which would be 100% oxygen saturation relative to the temperature, pressure, and amount of oxygen in the air (the completely full pool in this analogy). That single piece of riccia is not adding all the oxygen to that body of water, it is adding oxygen to a body of water that is already full of oxygen.

A good way you can see supersaturation of water is just with water from your tap. Fill up a glass with cold water, put it on a stable surface and let it come up to room temperature. When you go and look at it at room temp, you'll notice small bubbles on the inside of the glass and when you give it a stir you should hear a light fizzing. That's because the water out of your tap is saturated with oxygen, and even a slight increase in temperature causes it to become supersaturated.

Of course O2 levels in a fish tank are a dynamic equilibrium. As mentioned before fish, snails, shrimp, bacteria, really anything non-photosynthetic in a fish tank will decrease O2 content through metabolic activity. If you think of those factors as driving DO down and photosynthesis/ diffusion as driving DO up, your hypothesis about photosynthetic rate is correct. When you have lots of fast-growing plants, you're more likely to reach the saturation point. Greggz' experience makes sense in this light - if the normal rate of photosynthesis is not fast enough to overcome DO depletion, there won't be pearling, but increasing the rate of photosynthesis through higher CO2 injection tips the balance towards oxygen accumulation to the point the water is saturated with oxygen.

That lovely photo you posted looks like a bucephalandra, and I'm sure you've seen anubias with bubbles accumulating under the leaves. These alone would seem to disprove that only growth rate causes pearling.


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post #49 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 11:18 AM
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I'm trying to figure out how to explain myself in a simpler manner, because I'll admit it's not intuitive. And you're rightabout photosynthetic rate playing an important role.

Let's say you have a kiddie pool that is perfectly level, and is filled all the way to the top. Maybe even some surface cohesion juuust keeping it from spilling. That pool is saturated with water. If you add just one more drop of water to the pool, some water (maybe a drop's worth, maybe a little more or less depending on the metastability of the pool) will come out. I think you're thinking of it as "If I add a drop of water to a swimming pool it's not going to overflow" when you should think of it more in terms of adding a drop of water to a pool that is already completely full.

That's the equivalent of the single piece of riccia in a fish tank. The natural state of a body of water is gaseous equilibrium with the environment, which would be 100% oxygen saturation relative to the temperature, pressure, and amount of oxygen in the air (the completely full pool in this analogy). That single piece of riccia is not adding all the oxygen to that body of water, it is adding oxygen to a body of water that is already full of oxygen.

A good way you can see supersaturation of water is just with water from your tap. Fill up a glass with cold water, put it on a stable surface and let it come up to room temperature. When you go and look at it at room temp, you'll notice small bubbles on the inside of the glass and when you give it a stir you should hear a light fizzing. That's because the water out of your tap is saturated with oxygen, and even a slight increase in temperature causes it to become supersaturated.

Of course O2 levels in a fish tank are a dynamic equilibrium. As mentioned before fish, snails, shrimp, bacteria, really anything non-photosynthetic in a fish tank will decrease O2 content through metabolic activity. If you think of those factors as driving DO down and photosynthesis/ diffusion as driving DO up, your hypothesis about photosynthetic rate is correct. When you have lots of fast-growing plants, you're more likely to reach the saturation point. Greggz' experience makes sense in this light - if the normal rate of photosynthesis is not fast enough to overcome DO depletion, there won't be pearling, but increasing the rate of photosynthesis through higher CO2 injection tips the balance towards oxygen accumulation to the point the water is saturated with oxygen.

That lovely photo you posted looks like a bucephalandra, and I'm sure you've seen anubias with bubbles accumulating under the leaves. These alone would seem to disprove that only growth rate causes pearling.
I appreciate the science lesson, but again your assuming 100% saturation in all tanks that pearl which is a false assumption.

You gave two examples (@greggz tank and the OP) and why they donít pearl and they both actually can and do. So during the course of this conversation they both became oxygen saturated?
Look, Iím not saying all these things like o2, depth, temp, livestock, etc donít play a role, but they are not the over-riding reason you see ďreal pearlingĒ in a tank, itís the rate of growth. In the example with the riccia, if that was true and one drop of o2 ďpushed the water over the edgeĒ, EVERY plant would pearl if they are alive and ďbreathingĒ You canít freeze those plants and then say the riccia o2 pearl is breaking the threshold. That is not plausible to me. What is plausible is different o2 production rates, not necessarily growth rates. Thereís a difference.

Thanks for the photo comment. Actually the plant in the photo is Bolbitis H. and Iím not sure what you implying because the bubble is on the outside of the plant that itís from the o2 in the water? Whether its riccia, bolbitis or rotala all pearls kinda cling to plant leaves after they come out until they deattach and float up. Some plants release the bubble right away others can stay attached for hours.
Hereís a good example of pearling inside the plant before it comes through:



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post #50 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 02:02 PM
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@OP, Those shots of the plant pearling, were they taken just after a water change? Just asking, because tap water is super saturated in O2, so most plants will pearl for an hour or so after a water change, simply because there's so much O2 in the water.
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post #51 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
You gave two examples (@greggz tank and the OP) and why they don’t pearl and they both actually can and do. So during the course of this conversation they both became oxygen saturated?
Look, I’m not saying all these things like o2, depth, temp, livestock, etc don’t play a role, but they are not the over-riding reason you see “real pearling” in a tank, it’s the rate of growth. In the example with the riccia, if that was true and one drop of o2 “pushed the water over the edge”, EVERY plant would pearl if they are alive and “breathing” You can’t freeze those plants and then say the riccia o2 pearl is breaking the threshold. That is not plausible to me. What is plausible is different o2 production rates, not necessarily growth rates. There’s a difference. [/IMG]
Different plants also have different rates/thresholds of pearling.

Cabomba Furcata starts pearling before anything else in my tank. Then it's Rotala Macranda Variegated. And some plants rarely pearl.

Now is that because of the plant itself? They are prone to pearling? Or is it the state of health and growth rate of the plant? Maybe a bit of both. But I can tell you there are known good pearlers out there that pearl well in almost any tank. Others rarely pearl.



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post #52 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 06:33 PM
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Different plants also have different rates/thresholds of pearling.

Cabomba Furcata starts pearling before anything else in my tank. Then it's Rotala Macranda Variegated. And some plants rarely pearl.

Now is that because of the plant itself? They are prone to pearling? Or is it the state of health and growth rate of the plant? Maybe a bit of both. But I can tell you there are known good pearlers out there that pearl well in almost any tank. Others rarely pearl.
Agreed, I could have a tank of stems and some riccia stones on the bottom and the only thing that might be pearling is the riccia even though I have some fast growing stems in there. If the tank is o2 saturated and can't absorb any more where is the o2 going from the stems. Different plants will pearl at different times depending on their internal mechanisms and rate of oxygen production.
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post #53 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE!!!! PH drop!! (Results of CO2 indicator are VERY different from kh/ph co2 calculator

Ok so as I said before...I’m pearling. A LOT. Posting pics. But now I’ve heard several people say that I should be looking for a 1 point difference in PH between de-gassed vs gassed tank water. My de-gassed tank water is testing at 7.8/8. Gassed tank water is 6.6/6.8. So that’s actually more than a 1 point difference in gassed vs de-gassed water. Is that ok??

It’s funny... my tank ph actually hasn’t changed that much! What’s different is that I’m now measuring the de-gassed tank water so I know what’s going on. And I think that even though the amount of cO2 is the same, the diffusion is better, and hence, I’m seeing more pearling.

I’m hearing that more serious hobbyists ultimately purchase a CO2 tank setup. I’m looking into that. Anyone have an opinion on the Co2 art kits?

Also, I’m going to buy the Apera digital tester but I’m wondering if anyone can recommend one that’s easier to use? That one looks quite difficult!

Finally, I want to say that the pictures you guys are posting are amazing! I think it was Greg that posted the pic of the red cabomba? That was stunning.
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post #54 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 05:11 AM
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Ok so as I said before...Iím pearling. A LOT. Posting pics. But now Iíve heard several people say that I should be looking for a 1 point difference in PH between de-gassed vs gassed tank water. My de-gassed tank water is testing at 7.8/8. Gassed tank water is 6.6/6.8. So thatís actually more than a 1 point difference in gassed vs de-gassed water. Is that ok??

Itís funny... my tank ph actually hasnít changed that much! Whatís different is that Iím now measuring the de-gassed tank water so I know whatís going on. And I think that even though the amount of cO2 is the same, the diffusion is better, and hence, Iím seeing more pearling.

Iím hearing that more serious hobbyists ultimately purchase a CO2 tank setup. Iím looking into that. Anyone have an opinion on the Co2 art kits?

Also, Iím going to buy the Apera digital tester but Iím wondering if anyone can recommend one thatís easier to use? That one looks quite difficult!

Finally, I want to say that the pictures you guys are posting are amazing! I think it was Greg that posted the pic of the red cabomba? That was stunning.
Yes. My water before injection is 8.2 and I inject co2 down to roughly 6.5-6.6 pH.

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post #55 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 04:30 PM
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Man, I feel like everything I post on your topic is harsh, but here it goesÖ Most of those plants have algae on them, and it looks like most of the pearling is coming from the algae, and not the plants. I HIGHLY suggest you get some fertilization going, because the CO2 alone is not going to grow plants. You need some Nitrates and Phosphates in your tank, or the algae is going to get out of control. Take that with a grain of salt, but like I said before, pearling is not the indicator of a healthy tank. Algae is a plant just like the others, and seeing pearling algae should be a major concern, not a cause for celebration.

Again, sorry for being harsh. Youíre still so focused on the pearling that itís getting you excited over the wrong things.

Regardless of my soapbox rant, Iím happy that youíre noticing a ph drop, and are getting better CO2 distribution. Itís a critical element in planted tanks, so youíre definitely on the right track.
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post #56 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 04:51 PM
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At the end of the day, you are never going to get LONG TERM consistent good co2 using DIY on a 55 unless your job title is CCO (Chief Co2 Officer)
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post #57 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Different plants also have different rates/thresholds of pearling.

Cabomba Furcata starts pearling before anything else in my tank. Then it's Rotala Macranda Variegated. And some plants rarely pearl.

Now is that because of the plant itself? They are prone to pearling? Or is it the state of health and growth rate of the plant? Maybe a bit of both. But I can tell you there are known good pearlers out there that pearl well in almost any tank. Others rarely pearl.
My explanation from a saturation-theory standpoint would be that Cabomba furcata seems to have the types of leaves that would catch bubbles easily. And if a tank did reach saturation then the first plants (or algae) to visibly pearl would be those that grow fastest.

Here's an observation: Land plants (both trees and herbs) photosynthesize at a faster rate in the morning than in the afternoon. The prevailing theory is that is due to stomata closing to prevent evapotranspiration in the heat of the day. Of course in aquatic environments we have no reason to believe that is the case, but it would seem that photosynthesis should at least happen at a consistent rate throughout the photoperiod (if not faster at the beginning). So if oxygen saturation played no role, one would expect pearling as soon as the lights come on, or at least as soon as they reach their brightest point.

My experience has been that plants are much more likely to pearl at the end of the photoperiod, suggesting something about the conditions in the aquarium at the end of the photoperiod promotes pearling. Have you noticed when pearling is most prevalent, and do you have a theory as to why?
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post #58 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 11:41 PM
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My explanation from a saturation-theory standpoint would be that Cabomba furcata seems to have the types of leaves that would catch bubbles easily. And if a tank did reach saturation then the first plants (or algae) to visibly pearl would be those that grow fastest.
It sounds like your saying that plants catch "pearls" form the water as opposed to being released by the internal tissue of the plant? That's what I would consider a form of "fake pearling" similar to when you pour tap water into your tank during a wc and everything "pearls"


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post #59 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 11:42 PM
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My experience has been that plants are much more likely to pearl at the end of the photoperiod, suggesting something about the conditions in the aquarium at the end of the photoperiod promotes pearling. Have you noticed when pearling is most prevalent, and do you have a theory as to why?
I agree pearling usually peaks late in the day.

As to why, not sure.

But honestly, matters little to me. Like much of this hobby, I try not to get too caught up in the science. I prefer to think in terms of cause and effect. I add more PO4, the flowers get huge and more showy. I add less, they are less vibrant. The science of what is actually taking place means little.

And not to say I don't enjoy these conversations.....I do. But with no scientists conducting controlled experiments, not sure we really every get any concrete answers.

In the end, in this hobby we rely mostly on anecdotal evidence.
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post #60 of 67 (permalink) Old 11-04-2020, 11:50 PM
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@Asteroid I'm thinking actual pearling, just the bubbles that form are being caught in the upper leaves.

I thought of an interesting experiment that might settle it, you can buy 95% pure O2 (meant for inhaling) from drug stores. Might be able to supersaturate the water with O2 overnight then see whether pearling is induced earlier in the day than normal.

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