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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have pearling today within 15min of my mid day lighting burst. Happening on about 5 stems each of Ludwigia and Blyxa. Pearling ranges from tiny consistent streams that look like threads all the way to singular infrequent bubles. I am taking this as a good sign. I was planning on a 3 hour burst today which i started yesterday.

Tank specs here:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/showthread.php?t=58478&referrerid=23533

Any advice or suggestions?

Kim
 

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Sounds like you are on your way to a nicely planted tank. Pearling so soon is normal. In fact, you may see more pearling when you do a water change too.

3 hour burst period should be more than enough. I need to set up my burst, but I think some set it for just a couple hours burst.

Can't wait to see updates
 

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Yes, a 3 hour burst is a pretty serious blast of light. Watch for the tiniest algae showing up. At this phase of the tank development you MUST catch the algae when they try to appear. If you can see them it's almost too late, in many cases way too late.

I'd strongly suggest you add Amano shrimp. They will take care of the algae BEFORE you ever have a chance to see them. Yes I know I sell them, but that's really the best advice. I say don't wait but get Amanos even if you have to buy them from a LFS at $3 a piece.

If your plants pearl strongly that means they are eating very fast. Probably you know but once again - plants will stop eating if one of the fertilizers gets depleted. For example you may have a tank full of Nitrogen and Phosphorus, but if the plants have eaten all the Magnesium they will not touch the N and P until you add Mg. If you think that plants can eat fast and grow fast you should see algae doing it - they will make use of the N and P (in absense of Mg) and have a field day. You will be sorry you didn't get those stupid Amano shrimp or that you didn't adjust your light quickly.

All of these possible headaches are controlled with the light. That's why it's wise to start really carefully - with a burst of maybe only 1 hour. That will give you time to catch the bad trends. But throughout all that fun make sure that your CO2 is completely consistent. Check how fast it flows every single day. CO2 has a tendency to change its flow in the first several days after setup.

See! It's very easy!

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Niko! I have reduced my overly ambitious light level. The only algae I have seen came with the Blyxa.
I would love to buy some shrimp from you unless its not worth it for you. How many would you suggest?

Also, I have read alot about ferts though I can't say I have digested it all! I have Seachem to get started but am trying to decide between EI or PMDD. What is your opinion? I'm reluctant to go with EI given the huge water changes. I would rather conserve if possible, not due to cost but trying to be more ecologically minded-given our droughts and the like. I can be pretty observant so I like the idea of "reading the plants" but when will i begin a fert regime?

Kim
 

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Kim,

It is best to use dry fertilizers. You can buy them online dirt cheap and they will last much longer than any watered down nice looking bottles.

If your 75 gallon tank is currently 100% algae-free then 15 shrimp will be a good start. But if ANY algae shows up you must reduce the light and move mountains to try to procure more shrimp.

--Nikolay
 
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