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Translation: i thank Mario Larosa and Giovanni Bubici a lot for his productive and important translation work, that has maintained the original content and descriptions of the italian version of this article.


The phenomenon commonly known as "pearling" occurs more frequently after a considerable change of water in the tank. Besides this, no other effect visibly demonstrates oxygen release by aquatic plants, which is considerable during the first hours after water change, as shown in the movie. It is a wonderful scene, everything comes more alive, and thousands of oxygen bubbles from leaves and bottom substrate go up to the water surface. This phenomenon is indicative: when pearling cannot be observed in a tank for a number of days, very likely the aquarium needs a water change, or the carbon dioxide concentration in the water is too low. Water change is a very important operation because removes waste substances, inhibitors, excess elements and allelochemicals (produced by plants and algae), which are removed in nature by the normal water flow in rivers and lakes, restoring the optimal conditions for the fauna and flora. A huge literature is available on this maintenance operation, and there are basically two schools of thought: one emphasizes the need to periodically replace the water in the aquarium, and the other advocates to change water after several months. Personally, I prefer the first model, since doubtless I have observed  the validity of the second one only in ‘Low-tech’ tanks, which is instead not recommended at all for our Hi-tech planted tanks.

A good pearling occurring during the light irradiation peak (after 4-5 hours) is indicative of an intense photosynthetic activity, due to a correct illumination and optimal CO2 concentration in water. This should not be confused with the pearling occurring after a water change. Frequently, this phenomenon is not taken into account, but to my opinion it is largely more important to understand whether the amount of CO2 insufflated in water is enough. CO2 can be considered insufficient if pearling does not occur after 4 hours of light irradiation. Also, it is important that pearling occurs in all zones of the tank, since frequently emission of bubbles can be seen only near the CO2 diffusor.