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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought some red plants for my 20 gallon long. I always hear that red plants, "need extra iron to stay red." If that is true, tell me if you think I'm already adding enough iron, if not how much more should I add? 3 times a weeks I add 1/16 teaspoons of plantex B and 1/32 teaspoons of Iron Chelate 11% DPTA. Other possible useful info,new plants LUDWIGIA sp 'red' and Ludwigia Repens Rubin, 30inch planted plus 7 hour photo period, pressurized CO2, carib sea floramax substrate capped with black sand.
 

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I don't believe it is true that naturally red plants need extra iron to stay red. I think that is a myth. If you fertilize so that none of the basic nutrients needed by the plants, including iron, is in such short supply as to limit the growth rate of the plants, the naturally red plants should be red. It may be that those plants need more red in the spectrum of their light in order to be as red as they should be, but I don't think iron is a determinant of the color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't believe it is true that naturally red plants need extra iron to stay red. I think that is a myth. If you fertilize so that none of the basic nutrients needed by the plants, including iron, is in such short supply as to limit the growth rate of the plants, the naturally red plants should be red. It may be that those plants need more red in the spectrum of their light in order to be as red as they should be, but I don't think iron is a determinant of the color.
Thanks Hoppy. If you research online, you'll find a ton of info that suggest red plants need extra iron. I guess that will be one of those myth's that will never die. I'm just glad I don't have to change my dosing amount, because my tanks are exactly how I want them!
 

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I don't believe it is true that naturally red plants need extra iron to stay red. I think that is a myth. If you fertilize so that none of the basic nutrients needed by the plants, including iron, is in such short supply as to limit the growth rate of the plants, the naturally red plants should be red. It may be that those plants need more red in the spectrum of their light in order to be as red as they should be, but I don't think iron is a determinant of the color.
+1 I also believe a little red spectrum in lighting helps!!
 

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I agree with Hoppy, more iron is not needed to grow red plants.

Interestingly, red plants react to stress by turning more red. Low nitrogen conditions (along with low other nutrients) tends to cause an increase in redness. Extremely bright lighting is also a form of stress that causes a change in the intensity of red. High levels of iron also cause stress to plants and may also result in a change in color. Perhaps this is how the myth of iron and red plants got started?
 

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I agree and disagree. I mean, I agree that red light makes the reds in plants pop, reflecting that red light, but to keep them red, you need 'too much' lighting. Intense lighting will cause your plants to turn red regardless, except at a spectrum of let's say 7000k, the reds will appear washed out compared to a lower spectrum. You would still require intense light. As for iron, idk, I am trying it in one of my tanks, the reds are very red, (no red LEDs to reflect it). I'm not sure if this is because of the amount of light I have on that tank, or if it could be attributed to the xtra iron I am dosing. The plants grow on an angle, also indicating 'too much light'. A consultant at BML once described red plants as being 'sunburnt' if that makes any sense.
 
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