I wanted to make this topic for a while now, but have been conflicted about it because....well, because I'm lazy (shocker.) :P
But now that I have more free time on my hands, I'd like to get this topic started.
What I'd like to discuss/debate about is Pearling. What is it? Why is pearling considered the epitome of plant keeping? Will simply adding co2 to your tank make your plants "pearl"? All these questions will be answered in this thread. Hopefully. I will try to make this topic as entertaining as much as possible. I've been researching and reading other topics/pages about pearling, and I swear, it sounds all too sciency for my stupid brain to pick up. So, with that being said. Let's begin.
Pearling...what is it?
Well, according to google searches, pearling is when plants make so much oxygen (through photosynthesis) and the water column becomes so saturated with oxygen, that the plants end up farting bubbles out of their leaves. The bubbles, looking like "pearls" I guess, is how the term was derived. Basically, plants absorb light, consume nutrients, fart out gas, fish are happy - in a nut shell. (heh heh... nut.) :roll:
Why are people so proud when they can get their plants to pearl? Like. Seriously. Get off your high horse. What's the big deal?
I find that I find pride in myself when I get my plants to pearl. Maybe it's all hype, and maybe I'm just riding the hype-train. But when you work really hard at finding the balance between nutrients/light/co2, and you get your plants to fart out that oh-so-healthy-gas, well, you'd be proud about yourself as well, wouldn't you? You would. See, I knew it. HAH!
Oh, well... my tank pearls all the time, when I do a water change!
......No. That's actually NOT pearling. Infact, I call this "fake pearling" . . . when you add new water into your tank, that new water is saturated with oxygen, which then starts to form on all the surfaces of things, plants, driftwood, rocks, heck, sometimes even on fish.
....Okay, so what about this plant here? It's putting out a bunch of bubbles!!
That may not be pearling...or at least not in my books. This happens when a plant's cells become damaged, and oxygen that is produced from the plant go directly into the water column, which MAY look like it's pearling, but it's really not. This can be noticeable when you snip off a plant, and you start to see bubbles escaping where you had just cut. You can also see this in holes of the leaves. So, while the plant IS putting out oxygen, it's still not considered as pearling (in my opinion).
Well shoot... so what DO you consider pearling?!
I've posted videos about it before, but really... I'd like to ask you all for a second opinion, if this is actual pearling or not...?
Okay, so... I have live plants, fertilizer, high light, and all that fun jazz. Will my plants pearl?
Maybe. But having co2 will definitely make pearling a lot easier.
Okay NOW I HAVE CO2!! But my plants aren't pearling! YOU LIED TO MEEEEEEH!!!
Hold your horses there buckeroo... just because you added co2 (either pressurized, or through a sugar+years DIY method), that won't really assure you pearlage. It's all a matter of balancing all the factors to optimize the growth of your plants. Once you've figured that out, then you'll see your plants pearling in no time. Find out what ferts to dose, and how much light you're using. Make sure co2 levels are decent, but not so much that you're killing your fish left and right (no one wants that. NO. ONE.) And soon enough, you'll have a happy thriving tank with plants that are farting their hearts out. Happy little pearly farts.
Welp, that's all I have. Please feel free to continue and discuss/debate on this topic, as I would love to hear what you all think about pearling.