Questions about dwarf red tiger lotuses - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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I have 3 dwarf red tiger lotuses (or are they lillies, I keep forgetting). I was originally told by my lfs that they needed LOTS of light because they are red. They have been doing very well in my 30g tank with 60w of light. I also use Flourish excel, Flourish potassium daily, and Flourish root tabs. However, their coloration is ALL reddish fuschia (with tiny speckles of brown), and NOT the dark brownish (brick red) of the bigger ones I see in those knock-out gorgeous planted display tanks. Is it the co2 that does this? Or age and size? My plants are fairly new and only have leaves about 2 and 1/2" at largest. They haven't started growing towards the water surface yet. Is related to the coloration/ lack of co2?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 05:39 AM
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It might not be just the nutrients, there are different cultivated varieties and species of Dwarf Lilies available. Most common available are the varieties of "Tiger Lotus" and N. Stellata. The Tiger lotus tends to have a speckled colors of brown and/or red while the main leaf color can vary from light/dark green and red/brown.

Maybe some extra iron could produce more red/brown, but I am not sure.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 08:05 AM
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Tiger lotus is not a dwarf, there is no such thing as a dwarf Tiger Lotus. Under proper light and nutrients, they get quite large. If you have 60 watts of flourescent light, they would do OK, but better with C02, they are also heavey root feeders. If you have 60 watts of incadescent light, then your light level is far to low.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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I have been told they are called (and have seen them called) dwarves. But I guess whoever identified them as that was mistakes. The lighting I have is regular flourescent (two aqua-glo tubes). I don't use co2 for several reasons- one is because I would need the expensive setup with co2 tank for my 30g tank (which I will be upgrading to 100g shortly), and I don't have the $. Also, I don't have the expertise for handling such a setup right now (maybe somewhere down the road...). And I've heard that adding co2 lowers the pH level, which really concerns me. My fish are well adapted to the tap water pH of 8.0-8.2. I don't want to stress them out by changing that, or have to adjust the new water every time I add it.
So, it sounds like the way my lotuses look now is pretty much what I've got to work with. They're still beautiful.
If anyone else out there has any tips for making these grow healthy and strong, please let me know.
Thanks!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonder woman
If anyone else out there has any tips for making these grow healthy and strong, please let me know.
Thanks!
Mine have really exploded when I started dosing potassium and nitrate. Be careful what you wish for though...


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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I've been dosing potassium (Flourish) daily for about 3 or 4 months. I'm a little worried about the nitrate though. I thought nitrate was BAD for the aquarium. I keep my nitrates as low as possible (although there's usually a tiny bit of it). Also, I've got cories, and I think (being bottomdwellers) they are ultra sensitive to it. Here's a question: since I have plants, is there anything specifically I should be testing the water for (besides ammo, no2 and no3)? I have a phosphate test, but I'm either doing it wrong, or i never have any.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:11 PM
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Nitrates are baaaad. Well not for plants They are one of the macro nutrients, and if there aren't any, plants will grow thin, pale and slow.

In non-planted tanks, NO3 levels can accumulate, and therefore they are considered a bad thing, which is relieved with water changes (or -yuck- chemicals). In a planted tank, especially with lots of light and plants, nitrates tend to run out, which isn't good because it limits plant growth and can lead to algae outbreaks.

I think levels less than 20 ppm NO3 are great for most fish, although some more sensitive ones like discus (corys... could be) like them even lower. The usual recommendation for planted tanks is 5-10 ppm, no harm to any fishies. Keep in mind that for us, the gov has determined that it is safe to drink up to 45 ppm :shock:

Phosphate is another one of those macros, and if the test kit is right and they are zero in your tank, it might be good to carefully bring them up just a notch. Do some training in a bucket before going wild in your tank

Seems like potassium is under control... daily dosing?? I am so lazy... I dose once a week, and often skip a week (for potassium!). I think it gets stored in plant tissue, and once healthy levels are reached, one can step down a notch.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Wasserpest, you helped clarify a few things. I'll go back to checking my phosphates. And if I need to add, where can I get it? To build back nitrates (if I really have 0 or near 0), do I just forgo a water change or two? Or do I need to add it seperately also?
As for the daily dosing, I'm using Flourish Excel and Flourish potassium, and both bottles require 3 drops (1 per 10g) daily. I have a 30g tank.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:54 PM
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To dose phosphates, you can either buy some fleet enema 8) or get KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate) and mix a stock solution. It is really important not to overdose, unless green water is your thing :mrgreen:

Quote:
Originally Posted by wonder woman
To build back nitrates (if I really have 0 or near 0), do I just forgo a water change or two?
Nah, in a planted tank this won't work. If your tank is low on nitrates, skipping water changes will not increase them. Keep doing water changes! If NO3 levels are way less than 5 ppm, dose some KNO3 and see if plants react positively.

Don't fix anything that ain't broken... unless you are the adventurous type. If you are happy with plant growth, keep doing what you are doing. If plants look unhealthy, you might want to look into some CO2 first, then think about NO3 and finally PO4.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 10:56 PM
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If you want to see how "red" your lotus can get, try a blackout.

After 5 days, my Lotus increased in red 100 fold....

mostly the underside, but still an interesting sight.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Wasserpest-I guess when I really think about it, i'm happy with the plant growth I'm getting (except my couple of little vals that don't seem to do anything). What I'm NOT happy with is that they aren't growing fast enough to out-compete the algae. I've got some BBA and some greenish short furry stuff that slowly coats my plants. And I had the impression that one of the best ways to get rid of algae was to boost your plant growth. And this is only a 30g. I'm really worried about what will happen when I get the 100g I'm looking for.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 11:17 PM
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So it looks like you are NOT quite happy

Not knowing the reflectors, I would call yours a low light tank. Naturally in a low light tank plants grow slower. Which can be a good thing.

I think that by adding some CO2 you can get the greatest gain in overall plant health in your situation. This would also help in reducing algae.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I'm quite realy for the co2. I'm hoping to have a new 100g all set up within a few weeks. At that point, I'm probably looking at $100+ for co2 (the cheaper units being DIY), and that's a lot of money to spend on something I don't know how to work. I think I'll do a lot more research 1st before I go into that. The other thing that scares me about co2 for tanks of this size is the pressurized co2 tank itself. I'm not sure if I'll know how to operate it properly, or it it will be safe in my home. Probably just irrational fears fuelled by lack of knowledge and experience, but I'll tackle it eventually. Huge planted tanks just look too gorgeous not to try. And they're so much better for the fish!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 11:52 PM
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You are looking at probably around $5 for a DIY setup. (DIY = do it yourself :mrgreen: not everyones thing!). Plus the reactor/diffusor/whatever you use to dissolve the CO2. Once you get really really tired of sugar yeast water you will probably start to oogle at high pressure setups.

But cost isn't an issue if you are able to drill a hole through a plastic cap

Here is some interesting reading to get you all excited!
http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your help. i know I'll get up the courage to tackle this at some point. That's why I'm SOOO thankful for people like you, and this forum. Thanks again!
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