"Unlike other Rotala species it is relatively undemanding, although it needs good light to produce red leaves. It forms side shoots willingly, becoming compact and bushy. This also means that it is hard for light to reach the lower leaves, so the plant should be pruned frequently. Also known as Rotala indica."
I have 5W/gal and my Rotala grows pinky/red where it gets full light. I also have some stems that are partially shaded by ones above, and these grow bright green instead, due to the reduced light.
Even with 5W/gal (power compacts), the colour is nowhere near the extreme red when I first recieved them, but I actually prefer the colour now.... it looks more natural to me as I'm not a fan of neon coloured plants!
The growers must be using high intensity MH lights or similar to achieve such intense colouration.
Lights are only a part of the equation. I've been growing stellata for some time now. It needs lots of everything...nitrates, phosphates, micros, and iron. Phosphates and iron are the two most important. Lots of people will run low phosphates in their tanks thinking that it will keep algae at bay. That couldn't be further from the truth. I run 2-3ppms a lot of the time and the plants love it. Another tip for stellata is that it likes warm temps. I keep my tank at 80 degrees and it goes nuts for it. Your lighting ought to be sufficient considering the size of the tank.
With the indica try running the tank with 5 ppm or lower nitrates and keep up on the iron dosing. IME rotalas of all kinds show more color in this environment. The catch 22 is that they won't grow as quickly.
Another thing you don't mention is if you have pressurized CO2? That's a big factor as well and is a sound investment if you are serious about the hobby. The initial cost is rough, yet maintenance is virtually nothing.
*plant snobery side note* There is no such thing as E. stellata. The proper name is now Pogostemon stellata. If you want to be even more of a snood the plant we all refer to as 'broad leaf' stellata is actually just stellata and the other should be referred to as 'narrow leaf'. Okay...I"m done with my curmudgeoning now
No pressurized co2. I DIY my tank keeping it steady at 45ppm in the morning and ending at 27 ppm at night. Tank pearls everyday!!! Growth is great. I'm now trying to manipulate the full colors out of my plants.
I didnt know your plants were supposed to pearl everyday. Mine only do it when I od a water change, does this mean I am not getting a good suppply of co2. My co2 ppm measures at 35.
That is not pearling. That is the gases in the water clinging to everything when the tank is being refilled. Notice the glass, filter inlet/outlet, and heater "pearl" also.
It is not necessary to produce pearling everyday. I turn my tank down just a smidge under the rate that causes pearling and my plants are healthy and grow just fine. If you have 35 ppm then you are fine with CO2.
Its been about 3 weeks and my stallatas dont seem to be getting any red in them. I added a light fixture that pumps 4.7 wpg, less than a week ago. My nitrates are at 20 phosphates 1.5-2 and potassium is getting in there too.. I dose my trace with the csm+b plus extra iron pretty hard to hopefully put more iron into the tank. I put 1 tbs + 1tsp into 250ml and dose 15ml into the tank from that. I dont know how much iron is in the tank, I guess im reliant on the csm+b to put enough iron in there.There is no negative effects to my tank the way I dose it but doesnt seem to help them either. I have my temp at 83 deg. Any clues?