So What Makes Red?

Philosophos

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It's not light intensity, I definitely agree with that. Is it non-limiting growth from stable nutrients? Is it low nitrates? Is it stimulating carotenoid growth through specific spectrum?

I have a tank with EI going and sufficient light/co2 for good growth. The plants grow fast, they are healthy, algae is low, but they do not turn red. I also have an aquarium with low light, poor nutrient balance (but plenty of nitrates) no added CO2 and a little fluorescent t-8 managing 1.5wpg. Rotala turns red when I move it from the good quality tank to the poor one.

Is this one of those currently unanswerable questions? For all my efforts looking, I have yet to find a definite answer.

-Philosophos
 

Tom Barr

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Some plants do, here's a few EI tanks:

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etc.

I've seen really red plants in non CO2 tanks, same for low light tanks, I've seen red plants in high light tanks also.

I have not found some specific answer, but I have been able to change some species to redder coloration, mostly via NO3 limitation, and doing that with lower light yields the best result.

Higher light + low NO3 is harder to maintain and issues are more likely to occur.
Some just do the limitation for a short time, get the effect, then bump the ppm's back up before the plants get too stunted or have too many issues.

Regards,
Tom barr
 

mi5haha

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Oct 12, 2008
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Philosophos;36992 said:
It's not light intensity, I definitely agree with that. Is it non-limiting growth from stable nutrients? Is it low nitrates? Is it stimulating carotenoid growth through specific spectrum?

I have a tank with EI going and sufficient light/co2 for good growth. The plants grow fast, they are healthy, algae is low, but they do not turn red. I also have an aquarium with low light, poor nutrient balance (but plenty of nitrates) no added CO2 and a little fluorescent t-8 managing 1.5wpg. Rotala turns red when I move it from the good quality tank to the poor one.

Is this one of those currently unanswerable questions? For all my efforts looking, I have yet to find a definite answer.

-Philosophos

a lot of theories: light duration around 12 hours; wavelength (12000K or higher), cold temperatures (18 degrees Celsius); low N; high K; even L-L-Glutamine; sugar lotion; hard water; Each has its own successful case, but the success cannot be widely repeated.
 

TheKillHaa

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Oct 31, 2007
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this was like that always, under very high light, nutrients and ferts in ground... (inert sand + fluorish tabs).
blixa feeds mainly by roots.

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saludos!
 

Spork

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Apr 24, 2009
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The one thing that I forget about is soil ferts. Can you use regular house plant fert sticks (some I guess are better than others). I have used pond soil for the most part and just forget to add stuff to it over time. Is there a plant fert stick that you can recommend for use? Flourish tabs are hard to come by in my area as most of the Chain stores have stoped stocking SeaChem products (shocks me seeing that they are a Georgia company and they will not stock them).
 

TheKillHaa

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i havent good xperiences with sticks, but i havent made more attempts neither. u used plant gro. but i dont know really if should be used in acuarims, rates of nutrientes are too different for our purposes.

i buy my 90% of acuariums supply via internet.
 

Tom Barr

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Soil can make some differences, and I think it offers a more stable supply of nutrients. Certainly makes it easier on the aquarists to dose the water column and offers a backup, or even a main supply.

Does it help the color? I'm not sure.

Most of the color advice is........as wisely mentioned, hard to repeat.
It's a subtle thing and has several components that can influence it.

My Bylxa got really red when it was limited, it virtually never gets red in my ADA As tanks.........and grows much faster.

I'm very careful, not to believe too much on line with pictures, they can be changed and altered, and my/our own sense of color dependents on the intensity of the light also, darker lighting will = more intense reds to our eye(same for fish), and our own perception day to day is also different.

This is a human nature, computer setting, photographic art, psychology test now..........no longer a plant science thing.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Philosophos

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Panda, maybe I should stick some B. japonica in my aquarium to test it out. I already dose for 5ppm+ of iron with a little over 3wpg 10,000K/7600K CF.

So what's the deal with root tabs in general? Has anyone compared any brands under proper controls? Is nutrient rich substrate just a fail safe for sloppy column dosing?

It looks like my easiest option is to strap a big DIY CO2 system to the small 10g, dose excell and start EI on it. It's already low light, showing red. I'll calibrate my NO3 test kit, and see exactly where its at. From there, a month of EI followed by a crash on NO3 dosing should show something.

What kind of low-end NO3 levels would you recommend, Tom? I had about 10-15ppm in mind.

-Philosophos

*EDIT* well scrap the first two paragraphs. Looks like you answered my questions before I could even hit the post button... *gets out the bug detectors and aluminum skull cap* Quite seriously though, stuff like this is why I've started posting here over anywhere else.
 

Philosophos

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Looking back over my fert notes, it seems I've been dosing ~2.85ppm phosphates. Meanwhile I'm putting in ~19.5ppm NO3. Should I start by perhaps dialing back the phosphate to something more like a 1.5ppm dosing, and see if that slows the NO3 uptake enough to show red?

-Philosophos