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Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering what red plants would be good for a low tech, dirted (natural sandy loam with lots of iron), planted tank with driftwood, limestone and red clay sandstone. No added ferts, co2 or anything else. This is my first planted tank been up and running for about a year. My water is like liquid rock and in normal range by API test kit. All of my plants and fish are doing awesome. There is a year old Aponogeton madagascariensis that has gone out of control!! Has out grown my 75 gal tank. Anyway, I'm asking because I really can't afford to do the trial and error thing so was wondering if any of you could give me any ideas. Thanks in advance. Any info will be greatly appreciated! :D
 

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you might try red ludwigia,maybe Alternanthera reineckii ,I think ludwigia wants harder water than I have,and AR grows pretty slow.
 

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You have to understand that there are no guarantees when it comes to what plants can grow or not as there are a lot of variables that can influence the outcome.

That being said, if Aponogeton grows maybe you can try Nymphaea zenkeri
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you, Thank you! MtAnimals, dukydaf I really appreciated it!

You have to understand that there are no guarantees when it comes to what plants can grow or not as there are a lot of variables that can influence the outcome.

Yeah, I realize that. I gave as much info as I could. I was just wanting to know where to begin without wasting too much money before I found out. My tank is as low tech as low tech can be! I did forget to add though, I'm using cheap, diy plain white LED strip for lighting. lol. But hey, if it works, it works. lol It's going splendidly, looks amazing and I'm getting so much enjoyment out of it! And that's what it's all about!!!
 

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Red ludwigia might work but it does need moderate lighting to do well.
I would recommend Bronze Crypt Wendtii. With good ferts it should get quite red and does not need a lot of light.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Monster Madagascar lace

First picture was taken back in Nov. This one was taken today, three months later. The crazy thing is taking over!
 

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But hey, if it works, it works. lol It's going splendidly, looks amazing and I'm getting so much enjoyment out of it! And that's what it's all about!!!
Yep, ultimately you should enjoy your aquarium. That is some growth there :) Looks nice. Just be aware that mature Nymphaea will also grow quite big and even send leaves to the surface.

Another lotus I like is the Nymphaea micrantha . It has pretty interesting leaves even in low light and breeds easily. ( Nymphaea micrantha "Gefleckt" - Tri-coloured lotus - Flowgrow Aquatic Plant Database )
 

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Thank you everyone for the info. I really appreciate it. :D

Yep, ultimately you should enjoy your aquarium. That is some growth there :) Looks nice. Just be aware that mature Nymphaea will also grow quite big and even send leaves to the surface.

Another lotus I like is the Nymphaea micrantha . It has pretty interesting leaves even in low light and breeds easily. ( Nymphaea micrantha "Gefleckt" - Tri-coloured lotus - Flowgrow Aquatic Plant Database )
Yeah that is a pretty one. Thanks. I've thought about getting nymphaea for a long time but I know how they grow. I have large ones in my pond outside. I just wondered how people do them in their tanks. All the pictures I've seen, they just have leaves at the bottom. Is it alright to trim some of the ones that reach the top if they caused too much shade?
I'm wondering also, is safe to trim some leaves off the Aponogeton. They are blocking an awful lot of light. If not, I may have to get rid of it. How much bigger is it going to get? It's sending up two more leaves and a flower bud just since I posted that picture two days ago. I never realized they got soooo big. lol The way I originally had the tank set up was to have a large open area. That spot ain't so open anymore. I love the plant and I really hate to say this but it's starting to become a problem! :(

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I just wondered how people do them in their tanks. All the pictures I've seen, they just have leaves at the bottom. Is it alright to trim some of the ones that reach the top if they caused too much shade?
Aponogeton
I think 75g is big enough for your one specimen that is well maintained. As with most plants it responds to shading by sending ever longer leaves, so if trim it regularly you will have a smaller plant for longer. You can absolutely trim any leaf that is heading for the surface. Once it gets there it will start to send mostly leaves for the surface. One specimen can easily occupy half of the surface if left alone. Once they have surface leaves and high levels of phosphates they will likely flower.

So the trick is to keep it from getting to the surface. If however a plant is too big for your aquarium you can easily cultivate smaller bulbs. Nymphaea micrantha creates small bulbs at the merge between the petiole and the leaf blade, right at the water surface. Nymphaea zenkerii will create new plants from its root system or on the side of the original bulb.

I cannot help you with Aponogeton as I stayed away from it and most Echinodorus sp. for some time now :) In theory cutting the old leaves with a sharp pair of scissors should not hurt.
 

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Here's another vote for red tiger lotus and Ludwigia red. I have both in my low tech Goldie tank and they are both doing very well! Low surface current is important for the tiger lotus though, it doesn't like a lot of movement with its big broad leaves.

Bump: Here's another vote for red tiger lotus and Ludwigia red. I have both in my low tech Goldie tank and they are both doing very well! Low surface current is important for the tiger lotus though, it doesn't like a lot of movement with its big broad leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all. I really appreciated all your help.

Can you control Aponogeton growth the same as stem plants by trimming? My "guess" is no, but I am new to aquatics. My only experience is with terrestrial plants.

dukydaf - Thank you for the opportunity but I don't have enough experience in the planted tank genre. I used to be an amateur botanist for a new plant ID app that began a few years back. Until college professors joined in. They were getting into molecular structure and the like. Way too technical for an old self-taught gardener/landscaper. lol That was fun though.
 
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