The Planted Tank Forum banner

New red plants from LFS, green new growth

1605 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jrman83

I just upgraded my tank to a 40B. I made the switch to AS Amazonia. Replaced my GLA ceramic diffuser with a Cerges reactor, and upgraded my lights to a BML 6500 Dutch XB hung 5" above water. I'm at 75% light power, 6 hour photo period. CO2 at lots of bubbles per sec. PH and KH chart says I'm close to 30 ppm. Drop checker yellow green.

I bought a few stem plants from my really great LBS. they were very red when bought. I've had them 4 days, and new growth is green. Is this a sign of too low light or low CO2? Or can't one tell at this point.


Rotilia roundfolia
Ludwigia palustris
Bacopa amplexicaulis
Nesaea pedicellata

All showing loss of red. New growth green.

1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Nesaea pedicellata (if that is indeed the true ID of the red Ammania being sold in LFS) is difficult to get to grow underwater, much less have any sort of color.

Palustris is weird and can sometimes just be green from what I understand, idk anything about that bacopa, and Rotala rotundifolia is now as colorful as colorata.

If anything though, I noticed my plants get redder when they have good ferts as well as co2 and light.
To keep these plants red you need high light. CO2 has nothing to do with color. If there is not enough CO2 then plants simply stop producing new leaves and do nothing.

6 hours of light a day is way too short. 9-10 hours is more appropriate.

Also, as HybridHerp mentioned Nesaea pedicellata (now called Ammania pedicellata - Nesaea is no longer the correct name) is a difficult finicky plant to grow that needs high light and good ferts or it will shrivel up and die.
My AS is still cycling so I haven't stared dosing. I'm in the whole sale water changed to keep the NH4+ at bay. I did drop in a dose of Plantex for good measure one day ago.
I've read that when staring up a new tank, especially with AS, one should limit the light to 6 hours, then slowly increase the photo period. Is that correct or should I increase it to 8 hours and watch the plants?
Drop the Bml down 4inches. And run it at 100% for 8 hours. I had trouble reaching reds in my plants even using a finnex planted plus and a finnex epoch 26w 10k

Switching to a Bml Dutch 6300k 90' spread for my 25g mr aqua cube made a big difference. I run my lights from 930 to 830 with no algae problems. My plants show all colors reds orange pink green bright green vibrant velvet red. I will be switching to Rex grig reactor.
And I dose pps pro ferts.

Plants include
Ludwigia brevipes
Rotala Singapore
Rotala h ra
Limnophila aromatica and hippuroides
Alternantha reineckii variegated
Syngonathus Madeira
Blood stargrass
Erio parkeri
Hygrophila pinitifida

And I know the 40 breeder and 25g mr aqua are the same height.
See less See more
Don't forget that plants do transition when moved, especially to different water perameters. I bought a couple of stems of Ludwigia Repens which had the bottom
part red and about 2" of the top was geen from when it was in the LFS floating
in their tank. The part which grew in my tank was green again so it had three different sized leaves in two colors. Threw it out after 60 days of no change towards red.
But that was a while back and since I've read a few times that it sometime takes
more than that for a plant to settle in.
Also plants like Swords, Crypts, Aspongens and such do have better developed root systems...but most stemmed plants take in more ferts from the water than roots.
Unfortunately I'm not familiar/w the versions of those plants you have to speak from
experience. My Ludwigia Repens gave credit to what some people said about it being
fickle. Having color changes at random and such.
But you might get a red plant that is true aquatic and true red like Alternathera reineckii and see what it does in there. Get this...I have one in a 10g tank under
T5 light/w EI ferts and Excel and one in a 10g tank under T8 light/w low EI and
no Excel and that one is more red than the one in the T5 tank.
But mostly I'm saying it seems to be an easy grow plant in a variety of conditions.
Either way, I'd give your plants at least two months before making any decision
on them.
See less See more
I got some Alter. reineckii at the same time. It's growing red. I'll get some photos and put them in the journal I'm in the process of creating. I think I'll increase the light slightly and continue to watch and be patient. Also I'll try to get true ids of the plants. My LFS has a great reputation for high quality plants and fish. There sale/display tanks are amazing, but sometimes do miss label things.

I appreciate all the advice. I didn't think there would be a simple direct answer. But all your advice does help point me what to do next.
Any plants will color according to your light and how much iron you can supply. Some green plants can be light green in my tank and dark green in yours. Though the red color is carried through gene, if you can't supply enough iron and light then you will most likely not reach a nice red color. New growth can be very pale in red, sometimes even starting out green. As the new growth grows taller, the more light it will receive and it will shift it's color to yellow. Then pink to orange and red. In some cases, if you are unable to supply your water or your tank with enough potassium. Your plants may grow very pale and weak looking. That may effect their colors too as well. The best way to have tall plants looking red is to trim the top of the plant off and replant it. The more you are able to trim it every time it gets tall enough and replant, the more red your plants will be.
I wouldn't drop a BML XB to directly on the tank nearly AND put it at 100%. That would be too much change IMO. My non-XB BML hangs about 3" above my 75g and I still get over 50PAR at the substrate and fall-off at the glass is not too much.

I would just bump up a little in % and see if it improves. You may need to give the plants a little more time to show how they are going to grow in your tank. I also would leave it at 6hrs and if things aren't doing well go up one hour. Keep doing that until you reach 8-9 hours. None of my high light CO2 tanks are above 7hrs, FWIW.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.