aquarium pearling

This page shows aquarium plants oxygenating under high output fluorescent lights and with CO2 added to the water.

The tank is newly set up, the plants are mostly foreground plants sparsely planted, hair plug style, in anticipation of rapid growth.

The lights come on and shortly the plants begin forming tiny bubbles. By early afternoon the plants begin to pearl tiny bubbles, usually on the bottoms of the leaves, apparently there are more stomata on the bottom. Often a single stoma will be so active that it produces a continuous stream of tiny bubbles. Rapid too, like a gas leak.

At water changes when the level drops below the filter's outflow then the outflow becomes a waterfall and that waterfall veritably shoves air into the tank. And the new water contains a lot of air. The filter for the tank is a closed system. The water being drawn into the filter has air in it. Air collects in the filter then sparges again visibly throughout the tank again. The air circulates with the water and builds as the plants oxygenate. Eventually the  tank becomes so effervescent it appears the fish will be lifted right out of the tank and the surface is covered with bubbles. Disconcerting for the fish at feeding as the flakes float on top of the bubbles. For hours the bubbles make a lid for tank. The lights go off in stages and the activity slows and stops.

This lily is a survivor from the disaster. It used to send out a thin leaf on a flimsy stem that reaches from the bottom to the surface. It never got this large or this many leaves and there were never this many of them and it has never oxygenated until now that I recall. Something happened there underground that changed it. 

This plant is rampant and must be constantly controlled. I have not noticed it oxygenate before when it went uncontrolled and took over the whole tank even so far as to restrict the space for fish to swim to an area of about one cubic foot. 

The moss that is growing on the gravel and on the wood is oxygenating too. 

I intended to get some riccia fluitans, and I thought I did, a floating species held down for ground cover and usually chosen for its pearling, but I neglected to include it with the order. Just as well, it is a bit of a tedious plant to anchor and it outgrows its setup so quickly in its continuous effort to break out and float off. It is beautiful in patches but it is a relatively high maintenance plant, and it is unlikely to have survived the delivery incident that kept the plants in darkness over the weekend.  

No comments: