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Can the red in some plants be used as a NO3 Indicator?

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by ceg4048, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

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    Hello,
    Ever since implementing the EI procedures I've noted that some plants which normally have a red element to their color pattern such as the "Sunset Hygro" have suddenly lost this red component. A NO3 test typically confirms (as accuracy permits) higher NO3 levels than when I was not dosing per this procedure. If I refrain from dosing the KNO3 to allow the NO3 concentration to fall and if I maintain all other dosing per EI such as micros and KH2PO4, by the end of the week, I notice the red/pink returning to some of these plants.

    Naturally the all-red plants such as Alternanthera are not affected, only those which have a variagated red component. E. x Barthii, which at much lower NO3 levels sprouts new leaves having a deep red color changes at higher indicated NO3 levels such that the new leaves emerge a pale beige and the mature leaves loose all their red. Again, as the NO3 level drops the new leaves appear to regain some of the red.

    Is this color change a coincidence with some other factor or is there a relationship between the red/pink colors and NO3 levels. If so can this "behavior" be used as one of the reliable visual indicators of a falling or a "threshold" NO3 level?

    Cheers,
     
  2. GreenStuff

    GreenStuff Prolific Poster

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    Re: Can the red in some plants be used as a NO3 Indicator?

    That's a good question. I have noticed the same thing in my tank since implementing EI, and since I can't trust my NO3 tests, it would be nice to judge it by something, .......other than my fish dieing. :eek: (Kidding.)
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: Can the red in some plants be used as a NO3 Indicator?

    No, you are correct.
    We fanatisized about making plants redder years ago, then we figured it out.

    Low but stable N will allow plants to maintain a red color, the problem is, bottoming out the NO3 wills tunt the plants at higher light.

    Be careful not to do that.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Urkevitz

    Urkevitz Junior Poster

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    Re: Can the red in some plants be used as a NO3 Indicator?

    Would cutting No3 additions in half be a good way to bring out reds?
     
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