Redness in plants

abcemorse

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Sep 8, 2008
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I've read/posted in several discussions online about what brings out the red in red plants. Some say low nitrates, Tom's 180 refutes that claim. Is it light? Iron? Just solid growth?
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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If you look at that behemoth update pic, there's a huge red plant on the side where there is hardly any light. Growth is slow, but color development is nice. Depends some on the plant. I generally just make sure nutrients are in good supply all the time. In otherwords, I focus on general plant health/growth, not reds specifically.

You can play around with dfferent color bulbs to get a different color for plants also.

Most of red in the color are anthocyanins, which are mostly carbon.........so seems to me CO2 has a dominate role there. Low N just means less Chlorophyll since Chlorophyll has a lot of N and limiting N=> less Chlorophyll. Which does not seem like a good thing to me personally, particularly if you bottom out on N, do not test much or test very poorly, have high light also.................

So there are risk associated with that, I think it's fine if you have low light.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

2wheelsx2

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Apr 4, 2006
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Good timing, I've posted about my problem in other forums without many ideas, and I might as well add it here. I think I've taken care of most of the factors, but seem to have problems in one of my tanks in particular. Here are the details:

I have L. Aromatica and L. Arcuata in my 20 gallon. The L. Aromatica is growing well (no algae, about 1 inch every 2 weeks, lots of leaves) and so is the L. Arcuata (1 inch every week). However, there is no red colouring at all in the L. Aromatica and only a small bit of red in the L.Arcuata at the tips in the top half of the plant.

The tank parameters are:
20 gallon tall
Pressurized CO2 using a ceramic diffuser
Water circulation/filtration with Fluval 204 and Hydro Koralia Nano
Florabase substrate that is 3 years old
EI dosing with dry ferts along with Flourish and Flourish Iron
50% water change every week
65W PC lighting through a glass top (Coralife fixture)

In contrast, my 15 gallon long at work with the following parameters is able to have pinkish tops in the L. Aromatica:
15 gallon long
Excel dosed 3 times a week
EcoComplete substrate (< 1 year old)
Water circulation/filtration with Rena Smartfilter 30
EI dosing with dry ferts and Flourish and Flourish Iron
50% water change every week
28W Coralife T5 fixture through a glass top

The Rotala Rotundifolia in the 15 gallon is also showing lots of red in the top half of the plant also. Can it be just a difference in the type/age of the substrate?
 

2wheelsx2

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Oh I forgot to add the the 20 gallon is running a 10000 K Coralife PC bulb, while the T5 in the 15 gallon is running a pair of bulbs - 1 Colormax (pinkish) and 1 6700 K.