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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm brand new to the hobby and have had a VERY low tech 10g set up for two months. I dose No ferts, no CO2, and two aqueon 50/50 10 watt mini CFLs with a "Mr Natural" gravel substrate base. I wanted to see how successful I could be and if the hobby would stick before I invested any real money so all my Plants came from the local (south Carolina mind you) Petsmart. After a misstep with some mondo grass I bought hornwort, Italian Vals, and Red ludwigia. The ludwigia was all green upon purchase but has since but on new growth that is deep red almost purple. Is this an indication that the plant is thriving? Also, once it breached the surface can I clip and replant the red portion in hopes of growing it all solid red? Also, any advice on general tank layout is much appreciated.
 

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I love Ludwiga repens! It's natural for it to turn red when either light is high, or nitrates are low. The plant is healthy regardless of whether it's red or green. Although the new growth looks a bit twisted and stunted on yours. Perhaps a calcium deficiency, but I'm not positive.

Yes, you can trim the tops and replant. I like occasionally pinching off the tiniest topmost leaves. That causes it to branch out right underneath, making it more bushy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply and the suggestions. I also noticed how curved and withered the new growth appears. I'm almost certain it's due to lack of any type of ferts or "active" substrate. I have a few CRS in there(one is even berried!) so I'm kind of wary of dosing the water column. Any suggestions of something safe that may help? I didn't really expect much growth so I didn't put much thought into growth quality! I want to a achieve a jungle look but a major trim and rescape is just Around the corner.
 

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well without fertilizer.. it wont grow.. period.. i have 12 berried shrimp right now in a 10 gallon.. and trust me i fertilize... root tabs being the bare minimum :) not that root tabs aren't great but they are simple to use and very effective
 

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Well that certainly makes sense, I'm sure I was being a little paranoid regarding the shrimp. I presume i could order some kind of "complete" root tab from someone like root medic? Also is there a safe basic liquid you would recommend? I know this is probably very 101 type stuff for you guys, thanks for your taking the time to respond.
 

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no problem.. root medic is very high quality. i would recommend it from anyone and they are a good price for what u get.. justin at root medic does offer a comprehensive solution and he even has liquid fertilizers if u so desire.

i prefer dry salts when fertilizing. it is highly cost effective. if u use root tabs and water column ferts such as liquid or dry salt style. make sure u moniter ur nitrate levels. shrimp wont be too happy over 60ppm in my opinion. im sure there are some instances that they are but that's a safe number and u don't need to go over 10-20ppm if u don't have c02 high lights. etc etc

don't buy commercial soil fertilizers.. they contain ammonia, and or urea nitrogen.. it will be the death of ur shrimp

to give u a starting point:
myself. i have a low tech 10 gallon. i dose 1/8 tsp general hardness booster from www.greenleafaquariums.com 1/8 tsp CSM+B and 1/16th potassium nitrate 1/32 potassium phosphate weekly after my 50% water change.. that is my shrimp tank i let the food do the rest for phosphates and nitrates. i over feed a little. also i used mineralized topsoil so my roots are covered for a while
 
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