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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I know the root of getting red plants isn't something cut and dry that's easy to figure out.
However, after running my fixture at 100% for a week and a few days with no results, I'm kind of at a loss for what I might be doing wrong.

I have a DIY led fixture over my 55 gallon with 42 3w luxeon sunplus cool white stars, 8 3w luxeon sunplus deep red stars, and 8 3w luxeon es true cyan stars. Spread out evenly across the length and front to back.
Typical light percentages are a string of 12 cool whites, the deep reds and the cyans running at 100% with the other 36 cool whites running around 15%.
This provides a tank that's relatively bright and it has grown plants fine, just not much red if at all from plants other than AR mini.

However, just to see what would happen I put the 36 led's up to 100% for a bit, and I had more or less the same result with Rotala Macrandra mini showing a little red, but still green/pinkish.

I know par can't be visualized because things seem brighter than they actually are. The thing is, during this time the tank was so bright I almost needed sunglasses just to look at it.
And I know a week and a few days isn't enough to determine if something is working. However, the plants grew like crazy with no red developing the closer they got to the fixture.

I am running a glass lid because my fixture is sitting right on top of the rim. Could it be stripping out enough of the light to prevent proper light delivery?

The main point of the post is how the light can't seem to make plants turn red even less than 10" away from it. However, these are my parameters for ferts and co2.

Nitrates, phosphates and iron are EI dosed once a week on an alternating schedule and potassium is dosed 3x a week. Something which I'm trying out after watching a video from Filipe Oliveira. Substrate is inert and has root tabs placed 3 in a line front to back and every 8 inches along the length of the tank.

N = 5-10 ppm

Co2 could be an issue as I don't have the ability to test the PH because my water has a KH of between 0 and 1 with a starting PH of about 6.5. However, I don't see any of the typical low co2 signs going on at the moment outside of purely the plants not being red.

Thanks for any input on what could be the issue.
 

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Hello all,

I know the root of getting red plants isn't something cut and dry that's easy to figure out.
However, after running my fixture at 100% for a week and a few days with no results, I'm kind of at a loss for what I might be doing wrong.

I have a DIY led fixture over my 55 gallon with 42 3w luxeon sunplus cool white stars, 8 3w luxeon sunplus deep red stars, and 8 3w luxeon es true cyan stars. Spread out evenly across the length and front to back.
Typical light percentages are a string of 12 cool whites, the deep reds and the cyans running at 100% with the other 36 cool whites running around 15%.
This provides a tank that's relatively bright and it has grown plants fine, just not much red if at all from plants other than AR mini.

However, just to see what would happen I put the 36 led's up to 100% for a bit, and I had more or less the same result with Rotala Macrandra mini showing a little red, but still green/pinkish.

I know par can't be visualized because things seem brighter than they actually are. The thing is, during this time the tank was so bright I almost needed sunglasses just to look at it.
And I know a week and a few days isn't enough to determine if something is working. However, the plants grew like crazy with no red developing the closer they got to the fixture.

I am running a glass lid because my fixture is sitting right on top of the rim. Could it be stripping out enough of the light to prevent proper light delivery?

The main point of the post is how the light can't seem to make plants turn red even less than 10" away from it. However, these are my parameters for ferts and co2.

Nitrates, phosphates and iron are EI dosed once a week on an alternating schedule and potassium is dosed 3x a week. Something which I'm trying out after watching a video from Filipe Oliveira. Substrate is inert and has root tabs placed 3 in a line front to back and every 8 inches along the length of the tank.

N = 5-10 ppm

Co2 could be an issue as I don't have the ability to test the PH because my water has a KH of between 0 and 1 with a starting PH of about 6.5. However, I don't see any of the typical low co2 signs going on at the moment outside of purely the plants not being red.

Thanks for any input on what could be the issue.

You know.. that is one thing I've seen over the years that is baffling to me.
Seen or heard the some "led setups reds no problem" some just the opposite..


Doesn't appear to have any identifiable difference in setups.


ONE thing to keep in mind though is color is not the sign of health but of ...err.. annoyance.


Those pigments generally are created to protect plants from damage.


Some setup even under high light LEDs refuse to be "annoyed" and produce an abundance of ancillary protective pigments..


Next up is Nitrogen starvation causing less chlorophyll formation (ratio of green to red decreases).


Then there is just genetics. Even the same species can be more or less disposed to create color..



There is some evidence it can be increased by running more heavy in the more irritating blue spectrum.


Or iron
Or magic..;)




The sunplus series casts sort of a softer light due to the wide beam angle as well.
That said, I've personally managed to produce some color out of "ordinarily" all green plants w/ mostly just led intensity..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You know.. that is one thing I've seen over the years that is baffling to me.
Seen or heard the some "led setups reds no problem" some just the opposite..


Doesn't appear to have any identifiable difference in setups.


ONE thing to keep in mind though is color is not the sign of health but of ...err.. annoyance.


Those pigments generally are created to protect plants from damage.


Some setup even under high light LEDs refuse to be "annoyed" and produce an abundance of ancillary protective pigments..


Next up is Nitrogen starvation causing less chlorophyll formation (ratio of green to red decreases).


Then there is just genetics. Even the same species can be more or less disposed to create color..



There is some evidence it can be increased by running more heavy in the more irritating blue spectrum.


Or iron
Or magic..;)




The sunplus series casts sort of a softer light due to the wide beam angle as well.
That said, I've personally managed to produce some color out of "ordinarily" all green plants w/ mostly just led intensity..
Thanks for the reply.

After doing some more research into light and red plants, even looking at possibly trying out a t5-ho fixture. I saw some posts from Tom Barr that more or less say the same thing. Some plants that should turn red, just don't turn red, even in the wild with the high intensity from the sun. Even though we think they should be red given the intensity.

The blue spectrum technique is something I've been thinking about, however my color spectrum is already on the cold side with the sunplus stars.
Do you know if the full spectrum blue & red LED's would do the job? And if so, could the magenta color be tamed to be more pink/white with added green LED's?
Or would the green spectrum in the sunplus LED's be enough to balance it out on its own.
 

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Thanks for the reply.

After doing some more research into light and red plants, even looking at possibly trying out a t5-ho fixture. I saw some posts from Tom Barr that more or less say the same thing. Some plants that should turn red, just don't turn red, even in the wild with the high intensity from the sun. Even though we think they should be red given the intensity.

The blue spectrum technique is something I've been thinking about, however my color spectrum is already on the cold side with the sunplus stars.
Do you know if the full spectrum blue & red LED's would do the job? And if so, could the magenta color be tamed to be more pink/white with added green LED's?
Or would the green spectrum in the sunplus LED's be enough to balance it out on its own.

If you want to try something.. I'd give these a shot 8 of em..



https://www.stevesleds.com/Hyper-Violet-V40_p_255.html


Annoy your plants..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you want to try something.. I'd give these a shot 8 of em..



https://www.stevesleds.com/Hyper-Violet-V40_p_255.html


Annoy your plants..
I will look at picking those up.
I do have a question about the beam angle being 60 degrees. Is my fixture going to cause a problem with them being mounted ~4-4.5 inches from the water surface?
In my fixture I have the LED's mounted in a 16-18" area on either side of the middle divider, so with 8 of the violet LED's I would space them 4-4.5" apart, 4 on each side. Would this provide enough coverage? Or would I need to lift the fixture up a bit.
 

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I will look at picking those up.
I do have a question about the beam angle being 60 degrees. Is my fixture going to cause a problem with them being mounted ~4-4.5 inches from the water surface?
In my fixture I have the LED's mounted in a 16-18" area on either side of the middle divider, so with 8 of the violet LED's I would space them 4-4.5" apart, 4 on each side. Would this provide enough coverage? Or would I need to lift the fixture up a bit.

My bad, thought he switched to wider angles on those.
Anyways 410-415 10 for $10.. Consider it a temporary experiment.. ;)
112408859259


Steves recommends 415-425 for corals but you just want to coax some colors out of freshwater..


Being so eye dull and you having soo many whites doubt if it will shift things visually too much, well at least not into a "bad" territory.

I'd not mess w/ anything much in part till there is some proved benefit.

Get a stick of aluminum 350mA driver and just stick all 10 on.

no need to spend $8/diode on second best atm..
https://www.ledsupply.com/leds/ultra-violet-uv-high-power-led-star
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
My bad, thought he switched to wider angles on those.
Anyways 410-415 10 for $10.. Consider it a temporary experiment.. ;)
112408859259


Steves recommends 415-425 for corals but you just want to coax some colors out of freshwater..


Being so eye dull and you having soo many whites doubt if it will shift things visually too much, well at least not into a "bad" territory.

I'd not mess w/ anything much in part till there is some proved benefit.

Get a stick of aluminum 350mA driver and just stick all 10 on.

no need to spend $8/diode on second best atm..
https://www.ledsupply.com/leds/ultra-violet-uv-high-power-led-star
Thanks for the help.

Ordered a few sets because of how cheap these packs are, at least if they're short lived I have some replacements.

We'll see if I can nudge the plants into doing something :wink2:

Edit 1:
Just got the LED's installed. I will check back into this thread after a little bit of letting things grow with them.
Currently running my fixture at 20% for the whites 1000ma drivers, 100% for both cyan and deep reds 700ma drivers, and 100% for the violets 350ma driver.
I've been running this intensity for a couple of weeks now and since upping K and P dosage in the last few days my plants are starting to get redder growth, but the rotala rotundifolia is still green and not yellowish this is probably a nitrate issue, but we'll see what the violets do for them.

Edit 2:
I'm currently reconstructing the light so that I can run the cool white LED's at 100% without it being extreme lighting. It's intense lighting, but not extreme as running 24 CW on each side at 100%.
Changed to 6 CW per side, 5 along the back evenly distributed with one in the front for visual reasons. Colors haven't changed.

The reason for this change is to let the plants tell me how much light they want for not green coloration, that is if the plant has the capability to be other colors. If they start coming in with green coloration, I'll add 1 or 2 diodes to each side until the output is adequate.

Since installing the violet LED's my rotala rotundifolia that was sold to me as rotala rotundifolia 'red' has turned yellowish, rotala macrandra mini has turned redder, AR Mini's new growth has been coming in much deeper red. The rotala might not turn completely red without nitrate limitation, but a different color then just green is nice either way.
This coloration is with the same settings as the last update.

Edit 3:

Changed lighting intensity to 30% for the CW because even with the fewer diodes it was still too much for algae, for the few days that I've had the CW's running at 30% the algae has started to die off already. Current settings CW 30%, DR 70%, Cyan 15%, Violet 100%. Aside from the CW the others were tuned for coloration.

Changed the violet string to a 700ma driver just because I had one lying around, so it's now working at the full rating. When I turned the light back on the water turned into soda water from the plants pearling so much.
DR + Violet isn't for everyone, but personally I really like the effect. Being able to tune them separately I've been able to get my red plants to look almost fake they're so red while the greens are still showing through strong.
 
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