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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to planted tanks and am in the process of recovering some plants that i have. I recently switched to LED lighting and am using whites along with blue and red's. I noticed that when the lights are on for some time (especially the red & blue with the whites) my hairgrass starts pearling. Or so it seems. Sometimes big bubbles and sometimes small consecutive. A LOT TOO!
I'm just curious as to where the actual bubbles come from on the plant because it looks like they spring up from the substrate / roots and not so much the hairgrass itself.
If bubbles are coming from under the plant at the root level, is that still pearling or something else?
 

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My substrate "bubbles" occasionally as trapped gas is released, but usually it's in pretty big bubbles.

Plants that are "pearling" will usually show little beads of oxygen on the leaves/stems. There is also "streaming" which usually is oxygen being released from some damaged tissue in the stem.

I'm still learning about this stuff, so someone else may chime in with more info.

Here's a video I took last year with one of my plants (Hygro) releasing a steady stream of bubbles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E80C-iwaaMM
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My substrate "bubbles" occasionally as trapped gas is released, but usually it's in pretty big bubbles.

Plants that are "pearling" will usually show little beads of oxygen on the leaves/stems. There is also "streaming" which usually is oxygen being released from some damaged tissue in the stem.
It seems like i have trapped gas in the substrate because bubbles are big. There are small ones as well though. But how does gas appear in substrate to begin with? It should still be photosynthesis because i only get big (& small) bubbles near plants. My entire tank isnt planted yet. Hoping hairgrass will carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, i am running about 1-2 bubbles per sec of CO2. I havent uprooted and replanted anything in a while to have broken roots but who knows. Maybe there is a few.
 

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It seems like i have trapped gas in the substrate because bubbles are big. There are small ones as well though. But how does gas appear in substrate to begin with? It should still be photosynthesis because i only get big (& small) bubbles near plants. My entire tank isnt planted yet. Hoping hairgrass will carpet.
What type of substrate are you using? Often times the matter in your substrate will break down and dissolve into the water column. As a byproduct of the decomposition there is gas that sometimes will get trapped in your substrate if the substrate is very compact (I.e. sand). Over time the gas bubbles get so big that they force themselves up to the surface often times around your roots since that's an easy way to escape. Gas is common with soil substrates as these carry a lot of organic compounds. If you place your hand in the tank and press on your substrate you'll sometimes see that bubbles come up - that's the gas that's trapped in your substrate. Nothing to worry about if this is the case - it's indicative that your soil is doing what it's designed to do.

On the flip side it can also be something bad. If you smell rotten eggs when the bubbles come up, chances are there's some anaerobic bacteria that's feeding on your soil/detritus in the substrate. If this is the case it often indicates that there's low 02 content and you'll need to aerate the substrate (you might want to take the fish out first). This is common with densely rooted plants. We'll need more information from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What type of substrate are you using? Often times the matter in your substrate will break down and dissolve into the water column. As a byproduct of the decomposition there is gas that sometimes will get trapped in your substrate if the substrate is very compact (I.e. sand). Over time the gas bubbles get so big that they force themselves up to the surface often times around your roots since that's an easy way to escape. Gas is common with soil substrates as these carry a lot of organic compounds. If you place your hand in the tank and press on your substrate you'll sometimes see that bubbles come up - that's the gas that's trapped in your substrate. Nothing to worry about if this is the case - it's indicative that your soil is doing what it's designed to do.

On the flip side it can also be something bad. If you smell rotten eggs when the bubbles come up, chances are there's some anaerobic bacteria that's feeding on your soil/detritus in the substrate. If this is the case it often indicates that there's low 02 content and you'll need to aerate the substrate (you might want to take the fish out first). This is common with densely rooted plants. We'll need more information from you.
I'm using a mixture of fluval stratum substrate and eco-complete substrate mixed with black gravel. There is no sand like substrates that can trap gasses it seems. the pieces are all a couple mm thick so the bubbles can escape if they need to. I'm not sure what you mean by densely rooted plants, most of my base is not covered in plants but i am hoping to get it densely covered in hairgrass. The parts that do have hairgrass... some spots are dense it appears but other parts do not look dense and they still have the big & small bubbles flowing up. I haven't smelled the bubbles but from the looks of the hairgrass, they appear to be doing better than they were. Not 100% sure yet though... need time to see difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The new light has been on for about week or two. glass is going green as seen in video. is that your standard algae? i know its a pain to get rid of. im guessing the only way to not have it is to start the tank off with water at plant level or only if more plants are present to compete for nutrients because my ottos dont seem to help effectively. My lights are on for 4 hours and then off for hour or so and back on for another 4. what else can i do to minimize it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I also think you have pearling. You could use more plants to take care of your algae.
I'm thinking the same but plants arent cheap :icon_smil
I was hoping the amount of hairgrass i have now can run off to carpet the tank.
Any idea how long thats supposed to take?
im keeping an eye out for the for sale section of this forum for a good deal.
 
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