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Discussion Starter #1
I got a bunch of sunset hygro about a year ago from a friend, after I'd spent months looking for it when I saw it in a display tank at an LFS. The stuff in the display had beautiful bright pink leaves with white veins, with the bottom leaves on the stems being more green, and the tops more pink.

The stuff I ended up getting is entirely lime green, the veins are only visible on the very top four leaves or so, and it rarely gets any pink at all, just a faint tinge on the uppermost leaves and not until those leaves reach the surface or start growing out of the tank. It grows like crazy; I am throwing it away by the handful every week.

Is something wrong with my hygro, or did I just get some that isn't very nice? I've heard the pink is caused by a virus. Is that actually true? Is there anything I can try to get mine to color better? I've got pressurized CO2 (not sure exactly how much is in the water right now, I'm running it on some improvised equipment until I can replace pieces that broke or went missing in the recent move...), 3 wpg light that runs 10 hours a day, and I'm dosing with some dry fertilizers that a local greenhouse made up for me. Without digging out the bag, I'm not sure what all is in it, but I know it's got iron and trace minerals and phosphate and nitrate. I'm not seeing any deficiencies in any plants that I can tell, and my red ludwigia is nice and red. Just not the hygro.
 

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How old are your bulbs? What type of light is it? Light is a big deal with that plant.

Since you don't know what kind of ferts you have you may not have enough traces. They make a big deal with color. If your Ludwigia is repens it's one of the easiest to maintain it's color. I dose extra iron even with my traces. I dose it every day.
 

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Mine has no trouble at all Sunsetting, and my tank is far from a showcase for good growth yet. Are you sure it is Hygro Sunset?
 

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Hi Ariel301,

I have to agree with Tex Gal. My Sunset gets some pink, and the veins show up OK but not until my stems get near the surface. I have a little over 2 WGP in a 16" high tank. I dose extra Iron along with CSM+B micros.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The bulbs are about three months old currently; I change them every six months, as that's how long they seem to go before getting dimmer. I'm using shoplight fixtures I bought from Home Depot with 6500K bulbs, also from Home Depot. It's 160 watts on a 55 gallon tank. I've had the CO2 (pressurized) shut off and not using fertilizers right now, since I lost most of my plants to a stressful move, a filter failure, an algae outbreak, and a snail infestation, all right in a row in the last few months. The hygro and the ludwigia are the only plants I have left, and not enough of them to use up the fertilizers or CO2, so I don't want to encourage the algae to grow back.

The hygro was entirely green when I got it. I don't know what sort of tank it was kept in before.

Yes, the ludwigia is repens, and I know it's an easy one. It grows like crazy for me. I love that stuff.

It has crossed my mind that this may not actually be sunset, but I don't know what it would be otherwise. It looks like sunset, just not pink. I'll try to get a picture today.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also, does anyone know whether the pink is the same as other red plants, where it's controlled by light and nutrition, or like I have been told by some, that it's caused by a virus carried on the plant? (I've had a hard time believing that one since I heard it.)
 

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When I setup my 29g I added the Sunset and the Ludwiga repins at the same time; prior to setting up the pressurized co2. The Ludwiga was very red when it arrived. The Sunset showed color on the top set of leaves. After adjusting to my tank the Ludwiga turned completely green, but the the hygro still showed its sunset on most stems.

After co2 was added both showed better color and growth increased. I don't think co2 is required though to get color from the hygro.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got some pictures of the sunset hygro, but I can't figure out how to post them on here...
 

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I had some sent to me as a freebie in a S&S transaction. Wasn't even sure what it was until I PM'd the seller. lol

I have some in 3 low light, non-CO2 tanks here at the shop and it shows loads of pink/red. Took some home for the display (higher light, CO2 and ferts) and it grows like crazy but shows little color other than green.

SteveU
 

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I had some sent to me as a freebie in a S&S transaction. Wasn't even sure what it was until I PM'd the seller. lol

I have some in 3 low light, non-CO2 tanks here at the shop and it shows loads of pink/red. Took some home for the display (higher light, CO2 and ferts) and it grows like crazy but shows little color other than green.

SteveU
I was going to mention I have seen it in quite a few low light tanks with great color. It's interesting it shows less color in high light contrary to normal thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You know, after looking at some pictures of the green hygro, I think that may be what I have. How disappointing. I guess I'm back on the search for some actual sunset hygro. Thanks for the help!
 

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Don't be too bummed. Hygrophila polysperma is a great plant, and you will never run out of it. It grows great! You can sort of direct it under a limb of DW and it will grow horizontally and sprig up new vertical shoots too. Great fast growing nutrient sponge too, though it can grow well without fertilization.

Good luck with the search. Do you have a journal going yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, it grows like crazy. I'm literally throwing it away by the handful every week because no one local wants any. I'll have to start posting it on here. I do get those horizontal growing shoots in the shade, it's almost like runners. This stuff will grow in a bucket or a goldfish bowl with almost no light; I had it growing inside a wet/dry filter inside a tank stand with no light at all except what came in through a crack, for a few weeks and it was perfectly healthy!

I don't have a journal going yet. I took some (bad) photos of my tank and am planning on getting that going soon. The tank is a mess from several disasters in a row plus rescaping, so I'm more or less starting it over right now. I guess that's a good time to start a journal on it.
 
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