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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the same amount of lighting and schedule, same ph and same CO2 bubble count albeit on more often due to degassing, is there any particular water parameter that leads to less or even no pearling.

Plants pearled for many months but seemed to stop. KH steady between 2-3, all other test including phosphate 0.

Really, the only variable has been time and the addition of Aquavitrol Envy in addition to Excel and flourish. Added water lettuce a few months ago too. The tank was set up this time last year and pearling stopped several months ago.

Found plenty of references regarding water changes, but I do not notice that although I only do 15% and have been since the start.
Prior to the change over to sump, I would always see small bubbles at the surface but not streaming from leaves like in the first 6 - 8 months.
 

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Phosphate 0? You probably just answered your own question. Plant will have a hard time or will not grow without phosphates.

Plants need Light, C02 and nutrients.The nutrients needed are N,P,K,Ca,Mg,Fe and Trace (Cu,Mn,B,Mo,Zn, etc)

In order for plants to grow they need a good amount of the macros:

P from Phosphate (P04) is one of the macros that is always almost 0 if not dosed on a regular basis. N can come from the fish waste, plant matter, etc. As it comes from NO3 which is nitrate.

Ca,Mg and even K can come from the tap but can easily be dosed using what they call a GH Booster.

Fe or Iron can sometimes come from the trace.

So how much do you need?

1-3 ppm Phosphate
5-20 ppm Nitrate

The amount varies depending on the light and C02 factor. High light and high C02 Dosing means you need to have all of the nutrients in non-limiting amounts. Meaning an abundant amount to make sure that plants have all what they need to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Phosphate 0? You probably just answered your own question. Plant will have a hard time or will not grow without phosphates.
I had not tested phosphate in a while so I just did and it is actually somewhere between .05 and .1 according to the SeaChem test kit. Color matching is not within my core competency, especially yellow green, and the wife refuses to look at anything fish related. It was more yellow and closer to zero, but I just put in a few Flourish NPK tabs the other day so perhaps these are starting to dissolve. I had not used them in a few months so the timing would be correct.

BUT, I keep cutting back the stem plants in order to keep them below the water line, and even had to completely remove water sprite after it began to shade the living room. Growing does not appear to be as much as an issue as the lack of pearling.

Perhaps the water lettuce, which grows at a ridiculous rate, doubling every week, is acting like a phosphate sponge for what little phosphate there is. That is why I added it in the first place. I harvest the old plants, leaving the new ones. Introduction of these plants also times out correctly with the lack of pearling.

I will test in a week to see if the root tabs do anything substantial to the phosphate level. I can also get the liquid stuff if not. Thank you very much for your suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cjp999, I think that is right. I had put a few tabs in when I originally planted and then just sat back and watched. I really don't follow any dosing schedule other than "when I remember" so I will do what you say. I did use Flourish regularly but only every other week or so. Thanks again.
 

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cjp999, I think that is right. I had put a few tabs in when I originally planted and then just sat back and watched. I really don't follow any dosing schedule other than "when I remember" so I will do what you say. I did use Flourish regularly but only every other week or so. Thanks again.
You had pearling with just dosing Flourish every other week? Do you feed a lot to the fish? Does your tap water have fertz already? Just surprised that you would see pearling for any sustained period of time with so little dosing, so I'm assuming the fertz are coming from some place also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You had pearling with just dosing Flourish every other week? Do you feed a lot to the fish? Does your tap water have fertz already? Just surprised that you would see pearling for any sustained period of time with so little dosing, so I'm assuming the fertz are coming from some place also.
I originally planted flourish tabs together with the plants. I had so much pearling from one plant that as the plant swayed in the current, the bubbles on the surface made a figure eight.

Only RO water with Seachem Replenish. Yes, I was feeding twice as much as I do now. I just enjoy watching the fish eat frozen brine and bloodworms. I was alternating every other day between the two, now I just do one of each one day a week, with flake food once per day on the other days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
cjp99, here are a few photos showing how fast the plants grew early on. After November, I thinned the tank substantially and cut down on the food to combat the hair algae, which is mostly gone now.

I made the mistake of just dropping plants where I thought they looked good, rather than based on height. But honestly, I never had this type of growth even under my old metal halide lights a few decades ago.
 

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Wow, that looks great! Clearly you have a lot more plant mass now, but if growth is still good and you don't see signs of deficiencies, maybe just don' t mess with success. I'd hate to see you add more fertz just to induce pearling and suddenly run into other issues.
 

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Do you agree with the previous 1-3ppm phosphate recommendation? I have tried to keep phosphate down as best I could. Going from .05/.1 to 3 is a huge increase.
I dose at relatively high levels using EI, but it's been so long since I came up with my current dosing schedule that I honestly have no idea how much I'm putting in. :surprise:.

Sounds like that would be a big change for you. Can't say I'd recommend it if you are successful with your current dosing. If you want to experiment, it's up to you. Just keep an eye on how algae and plants respond.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok thanks. So the bottom line is that as the tank matures and the plants grow, increase the dosing levels to maintain the same levels as in the beginning. I guess?
 

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Ok thanks. So the bottom line is that as the tank matures and the plants grow, increase the dosing levels to maintain the same levels as in the beginning. I guess?
I would say that if you initially had good results with a newly and lightly planted tank, then you should expect to have to increase amount of fertz as the plant mass gets bigger (really it's the amount of daily growth that matters, not the plant mass).

But...in your case you seem to still have a well balanced tank that grows well and does not have algae issues, so I wouldn't necessary recommend changing anything.
 
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