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Re: KNO3 and K2SO4

Paul wrote:
> My guess is that your macandra is redder with the potassium sulfate than
> with the potassium nitrate because it was somewhat nitrogen deficient.
> Plants getting enough nitrogen are greener and grow faster.  Thus, it is
> not surprisng that they may develop less red color.

My experience as well. I have been a messing with the low NO3 for awhile to
play with the color idea. Nice thing is less algae! But you can also run the
risk of N deficiency if you let it get to low. An idea is to use the KNO3
then let the NO3 drop and wait a bit to observe color changes while adding
with K2SO4. Or switch a tank with high NO3 with one that is lower.
> Don't go too far with this notion that plants perfer ammonia to nitrate.
> They may take up ammonia faster than nitrate when given both, but they do
> very well with nitrate, only, and can take it up even from very low
> concentrations.
> I have a suspicion that all the Rotalas grow best when nitrogen levels are
> low, and some time I would like to test this idea.  They seem sensitive to
> heavy additons of nutrients, reacting by growing tiny, distorted leaves.

I tried to grow R. indica for some time with higher NO3(via KNO3) stuff
always melted back and always had a problem with R macandra till I let the
NO3 fall off and just let it get nice a red. It would grow at higher NO3's
but had better color at lower levels. R. wallichii certainly falls into this
pattern as well. 
Tom Barr