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Red Plants

1704 Views 11 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Blackthumbwoes
What are some easy to grow red plants? I'd like a couple red accents in the tank, and was just wondering which ones are red. (I know some may or may not be red depending on conditions, are there any that are always red?)

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I think for the most part most of the red stem plants will show thier true potential under their favorable conditions. Low KN03, a good iron source, and plentfull light will usually do the trick. I say usually because I have all these and my reds are still not at their best :icon_conf

The macrandra is a red stem that is naturally red but if water isnt quite fertile it will fade to a very light red/yellow color and got into a meltdown. It does take some care in order to keep it red and healthy.

So I think for the most part most stems wont "always" stay red under any condition. I may be wrong though!

A tiger Lotus will stay red for the most part as long as its roots are getting feed. This of course isnt a stem plant, but a beautiful center piece or midground one at that.
Ludwigia repens
Ludwigia repens 'Rubin'
Ludwigia arcuata
Ludwigia palustris

Those are all easy reds.
If you're using "red" loosely and just mean brightly colored, what about ammania gracilis.
I think this is the next area I should experiment with. I still have troubles keeping red plants consistently red.

I see some people with tanks that are mostly healthy very red plants. It looks really impressive.
IME the key to getting really red plants is light. TONS of light will get you plentiful reds. Nutrients are less of a factor.
Ammania gracilis was the most "not green" plant I could grow with about 2 wpg other than bronze crypts.
my alternanthera rienekii has stayed pretty red in med/low light conditions and min fert.

To date the best reds I've seen consistently came from lower lighting and low NO3.

Maintaining low NO3 is easier with low light.
When you add higher light to a higher NO3 tank, what happens?
Less NO3 due to faster growth rates, so the effect si redder plants, but the faster growth rate and uptake of NO3 can cause issues in many tanks and is harder to keep at low levels without more issues, than the low light tank.

You can see this in nature, you can see in the rivers/lakes, wetlands, shaded areas etc.

Here's a Ludwigia repens from about 20 ft down in a very low, but consistent NO3 (0.2ppm)

The light is low, the water filters it and the other plants shade it.
Still pretty red. the plants near the surface in richer conditions: a nice non stressed green color.

Neil Frank's R macrandra is super red at 2w/gal on a 135 gal using standard T12 lights.

He kept 5ppm or less NO3 in the water column and dosed every other day.

Tom Barr
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Ludwigia repens from about 20 ft down in a very low
What does that mean...20 feet down? Your aquarium is 20 feet deep? Or is it growing outside in water 20 feet deep? Can someone translate Barr speak for me? :smile: Who's Neil Frank?

I agree the common Ludwigias are pretty easy to keep constant red. Alternanthera and Rotala indica have been real easy for me as well.
Yep, he's talking about in the wild:
You can see this in nature, you can see in the rivers/lakes, wetlands, shaded areas etc.

Here's a Ludwigia repens from about 20 ft down in a very low, but consistent NO3 (0.2ppm)
(BTW, interesting thread! I'm learning a lot. Thanks, y'all. :))
I'm still learning a great deal about plants, and i have been wondering about the red stem plants. I've tried a few times and mostly ended up with mulch. I irritatingly low NO3 most times and i thought i starved them for it and thats why they melted. Looks like i might have had one small step in the right direction. i think i shall order some more from work and try again. Keep up these interesting threads that i never would have thought to ask :).

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