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Re: Red Plants

An update on r. macranda that used to be green, and now is growing red.

A few notes . . . previously I had some of my light strips lined with 
aluminum foil because they were old and discolored or were plain old black. 
The light strips over the 29 gallon growing the r. macranda were new.  After 
reading some back-and-forth on white vs. aluminum long ago, I decided a 
brand-spanking new light strip would be sufficient. Apparently not. Someone 
mentioned foiling their light strips a few weeks ago when we were discussing 
lighting intensity, and I decided to give it a go on the new white light 
strips. Major difference, according to r. macranda, anyway.  However, it was 
much healthier when it grew green as opposed to red. The leaves were large, 
symmetrical and the stems were thick and rigid. All stems rooted and were 
healthy, with the exception of the old leaves which were melting. (Growth 
prior to being planted in my tank)

Now, while the leaves are very red, the stems are thin, though more branchy. 
Some leaves are growing out very small. I first thought if the light 
increased sufficiently and thus nutrient demands increased (and resulting 
nutrient deficiencies), this may be causing some of the growth 
differences--but I'd expect to see at least as fast vertical growth as 
before, if not faster, and this is not the case. I began to increase Flourish 
supplementation almost immediately after noticing the coloring differences. 
Just today I supplemented with some commercially sold fertilizer (for lack of 
time and planning) with n-p-k, magnesium, sulphur & iron. Obviously I don't 
yet know whether this will help.

Thus, the only thing I can really add is that aluminum foil used on Perfecto 
light strips will increase light reaching the plants.


>  Hi everybody
>  I,ve been reading here some articles about red plants and lighting
>  because Iīm thinking of setting up a mini dutch tank, maybe without any
>  fish at all or maybe with a couple that provide to the tank a nitrogen
>  supply.
>  I think is very interesting to be able to mantein red plants  with
>  2watts per gallon as Tom Barr says, I didnīt know it. I always though
>  that those kind of plants require a intense lighting. I suppose at least
>  the bulbs in this tank are rich in the blue zone of the spectra and with
>  high šK.
>  Anyway I would like to know the 3 or 4 most importante things to take
>  care when you are trying red plants. some points I find important are:
>  1.- Lighting, amount of watts and kind of bulb. (blue espectra) itīs
>  maybe ok a coral bulb like blue moon?
>  2.- Substrate, kind of soil, added clay, what kind of substrate
>  fertilizer? whatīs first? whatīs upper?....
>  3.- Fertilizer, whatīs better?, tablets, liquid. Especially Fe rich in?
>  or maybe K rich in...?
>  4.- Water quality (I suppose kh5 and gh9 as Tom Barr has, must be
>  correct)
>  I also have very often disccusions with friends about RFUG, I guess a
>  fertilized substrate is better, but I think that filter system moved
>  with a pump doesnīt have interference with CO2 addition, mantein warmer
>  the roofs and many other advantage (and disadvantages of course) but I
>  would like to know what do you think?
>  Thanks a lot
>  Alvaro Robles - "Poe"