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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, i'm wondering why my plants don't seem to be pearling very well.

This is my setup

Tank - 33g long (48x12x12)
Lighting - t5ho 2x54w
Co2 - 10lb pressurized running through a rhinox 3000 ceramic diffuser (3-4bps), bubbles flow into the powerhead and get blasted around the tank.
Filtration - Rena XP1 and a hydor koralia 1 powerhead.
Substrate - Eco complete black

Lights are on for 10 hours a day, with a 2 hour break in the middle. Fertizling using the EI method, i am not however, using k2so4. I've read that you don't really need to add it?

Ive got 6 bunches of some type of Rotala, 4 bunches or some type of longer grass, and 8 pots of dwarf hairgrass, planted in about 150 small bunches, and 4 bunches of blyxa. I've noticed that the rotala ends up getting pearls, but only near the end of the day, after its had co2/light for almost 8 hours. The hairgrass hardly pearls at all. Hairgrass seems to have some new growth in the last few days, not much for the rotala, and the blyxa looks as if it is dieing off. What do you think the problem could be? I water change 50% once weekly, and im staying on top of the fertizling. I was having some issue with algae, but built some posts off the back of the tank to hang the lights higher off the surface. They were about 4-5" off the water, now they are about 12-14".

Any help or suggestions would be awesome.

Thanks a bunch, Tyson.

PS, I have had NO luck getting certain plants to survive. Had failed attempts with glosso, blyxa, and hc. The hc mostly got pulled up by the fish. I've tried blyxa over 5 times now, and can't even get it to survive for a month before dying and melting away. :(
 

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It's not that you don't need K2SO4. True there's K in the other 2 compounds, but from what I understand K is generally the rate limiting compound in photosynthesis. Other than that, are you T5HO bulbs new and in a good spectrum?

Try adding K2SO4. It might help.

Also, do you condition your water? I know vancouver water is extremely soft, and I need to raise the Ca and Mg levels. Does Surrey need that?
 

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you may have raised your lights too high now, try lowering them to about 8-10 inches off the water surface and see how it goes from there. Also with your co2. you listed your bps, but that isn't that accurate for an actual dissolved co2. for pearling you'll likely want to push 30 ppm (as close to what your fish will let you).

To get that reading you'll need to have a drop checker and have it show a light green yellow colour. Or you could take Aquaflora up on their offer and use their dissolved co2 reader, since you are in the lower mainland.
 

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And are you using the right lights? Your light should be peaking at the blue and red ends where photosynthesis takes place. So around 3000k and 5000-6000k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My lights are fairly new, maybe 2 months old or so, and they are 6700k.

I didnt mention in my initial post, but i do have a drop checker in the tank that is a greenish/yellow color. More on the green side though.

My water is sometimes conditioned with Prime, not every water change though. Measured the lights, 11" off the water surface.

I may get some k2so4 and try adding that as well then.

Thanks for the replies.
 

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Pearling is not apparent in high current tanks. You have a power head and an XP1 in the tank. Can you post up a pic? If the tank is densely planted, you might be able to see some pearling in the low flow areas. Otherwise, the current is moving it before you can see the bubble form. The only time I see pearling is because I turn my pumps off to feed the fish or do some trimming and forget to turn them back on for a few minutes.

Pearling is not a good indicator of healthy plants, so I wouldn't obsess about it.

As for K, the potassium sulphate is needed if you are relying on fish load for part of the nitrates and phosphates. If you are dosing enough KNO3 and KH2PO4 from a full EI dosing, the K is pretty much taken care of. It doesn't hurt to add some (it's the cheapest beside Epsom salts anyway), but I'd say in your case, that has nothing to do with your problems. Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for the issues, other than the fact that some people just can't grow some plants. I cannot grow Tonina and HC to save my life, but my other plants grow like weeds. Even my red Cabomba is bushy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ive done a couple quick tests.

ph - 6.8
gh - 100
kh - 80

Plugged the info into an online co2 calculator and it came up with 21ppm. Ive slightly tweaked the co2 to get it closer to the 30ppm range.

2wheelsx2, i will get some pics up tomorrow evening, too much studying to do tonite hehe.

Thanks for the respone.

Tyson.


EDIT - The plants have pearled nicely in the last hour or so. 10 hours after the lights/co2 came on (including the 2hr break).

I'll just keep an eye on things and try my best to do some minor tweaks here and there if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah, ok then, thanks.

Would it be worth me also dosing some iron into the tank? iron chelate or whatever it is... Would that help bring out the red in the rotala and such?
 

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If you CO2 is spot on, there are two things 3 things which promote red in plants:

1. Having the right spectrum light. If all your lights are 10000k you probably won't see very good reds.
2. Nitrate limitation. Dose for 5 ppm.
3. iron. DPTA iron is preferred as it's more stable.

One other thing is some hardness, but I see your measurements are good, so that shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, thanks. My 2 bulbs are 6700k, so that should be ok correct? I'm going to test my nitrate levels today.

Ya, it seems my hardness level isn't too bad.

Tyson.
 

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6700 should be pretty good....there are certain bulbs that are better than others too. That's what I was told when I was having trouble with my L. aromatica (still am to a degree). Basically if you start out with the reddest plants and get lights in the right colour to bring out reds, limit nitrates and dose iron, you're golden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Seems better today than it has so far. Here's a few pics.

Drop checker, does this look alrite?


FTS, tough to get decent pics of this tank due to the length, and where i have it placed :)


I really dont think these are 'pearls', looks more like trapped gas heh.



Any thoughts?

Tyson.
 

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That's pearling, drop checker looks pretty much bang on.. drop checkers are never 100% accurate, but as long as your fish look fine then your good.

plants look really healthy good job
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks a bunch for all the replies nicklfire. I'm not gonna change anything for a few days and see how it goes. My rotala has grown quite a bit in the last week, probably about 2" in height. :)

Couldn't get a good shot of my blyxa, but the new growth in the centre appears slightly brownish already. Damn you blyxa, damn you. haha
 

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What did you think Pearling was then if you didn't think that those bubbles to which you showed in these pictures were?
 

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Thanks a bunch for all the replies nicklfire. I'm not gonna change anything for a few days and see how it goes. My rotala has grown quite a bit in the last week, probably about 2" in height. :)

Couldn't get a good shot of my blyxa, but the new growth in the centre appears slightly brownish already. Damn you blyxa, damn you. haha
welcome to the drawback of high co2, its just begun for you, i can imagine you'll be trimming a hell of a lot now :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Captured: I thought the pearling was only on the top of the leaves towards the light, and more toward the tips. Not on the underside and everywhere :)

Ya, i think a lot of trimming is in my future :D
 
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