What are the Ques for adjustments in the planted tank.

hn5624

New Member
Aug 4, 2017
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I have seen many people ( ok mainly Tom Barr) refer to listening to the plants and the tank for ques instead of testkits.

Stuff like
Weird plant growth ---> Nutrient deficiency
Algae ----> Not enough co2/plants
fish gasping -----> Too much co2
plants pearling ---> good saturation of CO2 and O2 in water.
Snail outbreak --->Excess food
slow plant growth ---> lack of CO2
Red growth from certain Rotalas ----> low nitrates

What are some other things that I should look out for?

For example, does
Plants closing up leaves ----> photoperiod too long (defense mechanism?)
stumpy or thin growth ----> incorrect light spectrum or lack of intensity.
Substrate pearling ----> good root O2 transportation action (im such a word smith)

I've seen the 3 examples I've posted happen in some of my tanks, and I believe I've listed the correct culprits, however this all just guesses, can anyone confirm the above.


FootNote
Substrate Pearling, legit bubbles coming up from the substrate, im assuming this is due to plant roots carrying oxygen at a rapid rate.

If anyone has anything to add feel free.
 

Dennis Singh

SynKing!
May 5, 2013
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To add a little
Plants closing up is resting period of the plant. If you turn light you can see them unfold slowly again. photoperiod too long, you must of left the light on too long and the plants were timed for resting period.
substrate pearling? have not seen this, could be sulfur bubbles, or what you said

plants pearling i'd say is light driven followed with co2 supplementation
 

burr740

Micros Spiller
Moderator
Feb 16, 2015
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Plants closing up leaves ----> normal at night when the photo period is over
Stumpy or thin growth ----> could be anything, light nutrients or co2, something bad in the water
Substrate pearling ----> No idea unless its after a water change, Sulphur(?) gas escaping would be my guess, doubt its O2
 

ForTheHalibut

Member
Oct 12, 2017
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"Substrate pearling" is a great euphemism for anaerobic substrate - will definitely use that in the future. If the bubbles are very small, as in actual plant pearling, then it could perhaps come from algae growing on the substrate surface?

Some more cues:
snail population boom -> overfeeding
bite marks in plants -> underfeeding

large spacing on the stem between leaf nodes -> inadequate light (plant growing tall to find light, or possibly surface co2 for some plants)
 

a1matt

Prolific Poster
Jan 30, 2006
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Bad odour = water change is (over) due.

I give my tank a sniff when feeding.
It should smell fresh as tap water all the time, when it starts going musty it's time for a change.

Useful for low tech tanks with water changes based on water quality not a schedule.