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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Red Plants

How do you keep Red Plants Red? I have red ludwiga, that was gorgeous. It overgrows my tanks but lost the red coloring and are green. Ditto for some other crypts that I had.

I was under the impression that perhaps increasing the intensity of the lighting would help. However I am running 250 watt MH bulbs over the tank (55 Gal with two bulbs 6500K) to see if this is true. However I seem to get a lot of growth, a lot of pruning. I even cut back my CO2 injection but the growth is phenominal. However unlike my reef tanks, my bulbs are about 12 inches off the tops of the glass. Mainly to cut down on heat.

It has been sugessted that perhaps I need to add more blue to my fixture, but I don't see how that can help.

I have also religously went with flourish, flourish excel, flourish, potassium, iron and all of my planted tanks have a flourite substrate.

My fish all seem to breed in the tank, (6 Pearl Gournimis, 6 Rainbows and 4 apistos) and seem happy enough. When I went to the new lights I had an algae outbreak and i have started using almost a 60 percent RO/DI mix and my tap reads out 43PPM TDS. I do have a timer to turn on airpumps at night when my lights go off. This also turns off my CO2 solenoid.

Am i really missing something? I can get my lotus to Turn dark purple, my cacomba has bloomed over the last year. But I keep losing the red plants (Well they turn green).


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 08:54 PM
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I thought you needed lower nitrate levels for red plants to show up their redness.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-09-2005, 03:15 PM
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Keeping the red


I am new to this also, but from what I understand you need good daylight(6500K) and iron fertilzer. Hope to research this soon and post any info I find.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 01:08 AM
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Keeping them in the red

A nutrient rich bottom, iron-rich fertilizer, and CO2 fertilization will help according to The Aquarium Plants Manual by Scheurmann(A Barron's book).

Hope this helps.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 01:20 AM
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I have a plain gravel substrate, NO3 = 20+, 2-8800K and 1-5000K lamps, 3WPG, CO2 injected, 5dGH, and Flourish traces. I started some cabomba furcata a few weeks ago and it's holding its red.


Last edited by TWood; 11-18-2005 at 10:45 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 01:11 AM
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There are two main ways.
One provide everything for the weeds. PO4, lots of it, NO3 at 20-30ppm, lots of K_, lots of traces, light can be most general ranges.

The other is lowering NO3, problem is, get too low and you get algae and poor stunted growth, adding more light makes this more tricky, so adding less light helps keep the NO3 more stable at lower levels without crashing the tank.

Fe and high light have less to do with it.
See APD post from years ago.

Also, a ref from David Spencer also suggested the same thing with some aquatic plants(UC Davis).

Tom Barr

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 01:25 AM
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Hmm I have a problem too. On my ludwiga arcuata the older leaves are red but the new shoots are greenish-red. I heard that the younger the shoots/leaves the greener they are and they turn darker when they age.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 03:39 AM
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i have amm. gracilis, great leaf rotala, ludwigia repens and some brownish-red cyrpts under 1 9235K and a 4100K bulb in a 20 long. flourite is the substrate and no co2. plants are holding red and getting redder as they grow. i must be doing somethign right.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 11:53 AM
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I've had mixed results...I have an average of (I suppose) 20-30 ppm NO3 and at least 5 ppm PO4 (off the charts out of the tap) L. aromatica is green (unless its a subspecies or variant), but my Tiger lotus, Bacopa 'araguaea', and Ludwigia 'rubin' show nice deep red/brick.

I'm guessing its the phosphate...

When I had L. aromatica before (high nitrates but even lower phosphates) I still had the deep purple undersides.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 07:50 PM
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what you have are 2 very hungry plant types with extensive rooting systems, which means you have to feed the roots too. I am not sure how old you substrate is? I am betting that you should feed them nutrient balls once a month. I had this problem as well, but not after I used Ferka Rosetta tabs made just for very hungry plants. You can try other products to feed them and see some results immediately.
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