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PO4 and red pygment correlation?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by ibanezfrelon, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    I am doing some research to complete the article about reddnes in aquarium plants.
    The article covered nitrogen role in clorophyl production , as well as some oher aspects usualy mentioned in this topic ( iron, high light , co2 etc) .

    One thing i did not cover is low PO4 and its possible correlation with reddnes in aq plants..
    ..I was told that low PO4 can lower the apsorption of nitrogen making the plant turn red even if nitrogen level itself is not low..
    Is there something in this? I havent been able to find any info on that subject...
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No PO4, Doesn't Matter How Much NO3

    Hi,

    I have never noticed the less Nitrogen makes plants redder, I really do not buy it. :confused:

    However, were it true that less Nitrogen makes plants redder, then reducing Phosphorous would make sense since Phosphorous is most limiting. :eek:

    Without sufficient Phosphorous, no matter how much Nitrogen is available, the Nitrogen cannot be used. :)

    I suspect this is where the phosphate causes algae comes from... :gw But that is another thread... :rolleyes:

    Biollante
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If they tell you this, make them back it up with somethign like research, logic, chemisity......something.....anything.

    Simply because you have high N or P, this does not mean the plants are somehow UNABLE to control what they take in/keep out.
    That is just outright gibberish and speculation.

    Plants are very good at this.
    As long as large extremes are avoided, light/CO2 are going to be the main players.

    But if you have large extremes....then it's nothign to do with some ratio...rather, one of the nutrients are limiting which makes them independent, not related to a ratio.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. mi5haha

    mi5haha Prolific Poster

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    water hardness, blue light spectrum, suitable light intensity. these are something to do with the redness of aquarium plants.
     
  5. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Thanx for your replying guys!

    Biollante# low nitrogen realy does work , i have done it several times in my tank.. ...by lowering no3 dosing to 5ppm it made my limnophilla aromatica from green to red in few week time..
    ..and after dosing 20ppm of no3 it rapidly turned green again.
    Rotala needed even more time and lower no3..
    It's a pretty solid method , not recomended though from gardener's point of view as we know that bottoming out nitrogen leads to trouble:gw
    ...but for a fotosession requirements a few weeks of low no2 is no trouble, at least in my tank..
    ...i guess those few weeks would vary from tank to tank , depending of how much nitrogen your supstrate releases , how strong the lights are , co2 etc..

    mi5haha# i have mentioned all those things in my article , thnx:D

    To explain a bit more... ..the ARTICLEwas wrote a few month ago , i wrote it mostly because of the ''more iron = red'' myth wich is often mentioned over here.
    Now i was asked to tweak it (the article) up a bit , so i'm trying to see if i've missed something:rolleyes:
    I have heard PO4 being mentioned a few times in correlation with plants turning red but i've found no explenations of such correlations.
    I have never tried limiting PO4 in my tanks , only NO3 so i cant writw my experience with that subject..

    ...and that's why i ask you; is there a theoretical posibility of red and PO4 correlation?
    Has anyone noticed a change in plant coloration after limiting PO4 for some time?
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've not found any facts supporting these either.

    Red light perhaps, GH perhaps, but not hardness in general........some species grow better at lower KH's, but this is not a hardness issues related to color, suitable light intensity, well....I suppose.
    Sort of goes without saying.

    How about good general growth conditions rather than something special?????
    I've not preached much else and I've had little issues with color,go figure.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

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    Once I had Rotala rotundifolia growing at the surface directly under flourescent lighting where it displayed a solid red. Couple days later the shoot grew slighly away from the bulb (but still at the surface) where it got much less light. There it took on a greenish colour. Afterwards the shoot turned back towards the higher light area where it got pinkish again right as it looked before.

    I'm sure at least for some plants light intensity has something to do with colour appearence. Conditions remained as stable as good I could manage. Likewise, the position of the whole shoot
    didn't change during the time of observation.

    Sorry, no experience with PO4 levels and correlation with colour.

    Regards, Detlef
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I still think most hobbyists want to believe that there is some secret to redder growth and they should instead focus on good general growth of all plants.
    Just choose a plant that will stay red no matter what instead, seems far wiser.

    Ahh what do I know:

    [​IMG]
    Rotala from the wild at 20 ft depth:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    O i agree with that , dont get me wrong , i'm not trying to promote limiting any ferts in order to change the plant coloration.. ..no sir..
    ...the point is to break some myths , maybe start a discusion in that direction etc..
    Personaly, i like my plants green and healthy a lot more than red and stressed so...

    IMG_2971.jpg
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, but I do not think you will get much resolution through the discussion really, and often times, it promotes some of the old myths.
    Unless someone is planning on trying to do some serious studies etc. We happened upon that with N, and there's some strong logic to that with Chl a.

    I do think the spectra of some light bulbs(GE's 9235K, 8800K CSL, Giesemann middays, etc) and some intensity increase can increase red color.
    But without good data for intensity, eg using a par meter and keeping the same distances from the light sources........there's a large errors and assumptions many hobbyist make, then we get these people runnign out using 3-6 w/gal of T5 lighting.

    Dammit.

    Which is the opposite of what we should be doing and telling folks to do.
    Red plant addiction is not good and leads many down this path, which I think it not the best path for most goals.

    More light = more CO2 demand and if limit N as well, then you are not getting what you need from all that nuke power lighting you just added for more red color.

    So these things are LINKED, you have a trade off when you jam all that light in there.
    You cannot do the N limited method as easily. Some assume/think they are, but fail to account for the N from fish and sediments.
    They often do not measure their light either with a PAR meter.

    CO2 is tough to get a handle on for many or really get good reliable data for/from hobbyists.
    Then testing and keeping N low is tough as well.

    I just do not see folks really doing thois critically, few have in this hobbyi the last 20 years, I doubt many will suddenly start now.
    More likely someone will see more light = redder colors and then they will try that and fail.
    Then if they do stay with it, we will have to unlearn and reprogram them to use lower light.

    Been here, done this.....way too many times over the years.
    Likely better to try different bulbs and different species of plants to get the desired look.
    "Generally" this does more harm than good ....is my point.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. mi5haha

    mi5haha Prolific Poster

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    Suitable water hardness actually can slow down the growth of some aquarium plants. so within limited water hardness range (in condition that the aquarium plants can grow normally in that water hardness), let's say under 12 GH for some species, it grows slower than that in GH6 water. so it is getting more light before it reaches the water surface to be trimmed.

    420nm blue spectrum has something to do with stimulating the generating of anthocyanin. it will not require much blue spectrum, but it would be better with some in lighting.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, but hardness in general is not the issue with "redder" plants.
    It is a still a generalized growth issue and it actually does not slow most aquatic plants down, just a few, and if you add CO2...........then this is hardly an issues except for a few species.

    In research, harder waters grow plants better, not worse, but often such systems lack added CO2, which would enahnce/add even more DIC in it's most preferred form.
    There are MANY examples of this.

    But.the topic is color variable red plants and what shifts there coloration.
    Higher GH's seem to help some IME, but hard to say.

    It might just be a function of bette roverall growth at higher GH's.

    KH?
    That's a function of DIC mostly.
    So little as far as color variation.

    Do you know the anthocyanin pathway?
    Look it up.

    Plants produce this in the newest tissue 1st.
    So growth rates are a function of rednees in tip growth.
    Slower growing plants have less red tip growth.

    Chl has not been added yet.
    At slower rates of growth, the chl is added and has a chance to be added sooner in terms of development.

    This is not so much a direct function on light intensity, as it is a direction function of rates of growth. Growth and light intesity are related/closely proportional, but only when CO2/nutrients etc are non limiting as well.
    As CO2/nutrients limit plant growth, the ight becomes a lesser influence.

    Since anthocyanins are mostly reduced carbons...........and related to growth rates.......CO2 is the more typical critical nutrient for aquarist.
    As far as blue light, plenty of foklks have added atinics with 420 and 460 nm wavelengths without much success.

    That's testable.
    The generally well balanced bulbs, seem to have the best effect IME/IMO.
    But........you can mix and match with mutli bulb fixtures pretty easily, and many have.

    I guess if the bulb lacked any Blue range...then sure, but those tend to ugly CRI's.
    So few buy those anyway.

    Still, this all gets back to the basics of growing plants in a managable way, rather than pushing everything towards the idea that redder plants is some super goal aquarist should embark on and tweak their N, raise the PAR/add more light etc.
    I think seeing what you can do with less light is wiser, then, after you have mastered that and exhausted those options, then try a little more. Seems like a lot of work and headache for such little gain.

    Adding to this are folks and their Photoshopping to intensify red colors in the pics.
    Unless you see it in person, be suspicious or color.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr











    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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