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Re: Easy" Red Plants

Kirk M Wrote:
>Are there any relatively "easy" aquatic plants out there?  I have tried,
> without success to, grow Rotala Macrandra.  I have used all the parameters
> that others say they are having success with, but, it always greens out,
> withers, and dies, starting with the lower leaves first. It grows "ok"
> not beautifully) in my smaller, lower light tank (65 watts CF on a Eclipse
> III hood with retrofit), but always dies out in about 2 weeks from
> placed from the 37  into the 75 gallon, with 160 watt CF & NO fluorescents
> .  The water parameters are exactly the same, as are the CF bulbs.  I dose
> with PMDD daily, minus the KNO3, as my nitrates are always in the 5-10ppm
> range, and I do add MonoPotassium Phosphate and Flourish Iron seperately.

In my experience with Macrandra it is sensitive to cold, changes in temp,
and likes water movement. I grow a lot of it and it sounds like your
nutrients are there. I use a lot of iron in the substrate and that seems to
make a difference with that plant as I tried it without and just water
column ferts and it did not do as well. I add a lot of micros daily and a
good amount of CO2. I grow it in just over two watts per gallon and it grows
like a weed. It sits right in front of the outflow in the two tanks I grow
it in and gets a lot of water movement. You might want to try Alternanthera
Reineckii (http://www.tropica.com/productcard_1.asp?id=023), It is a
beautiful red plant and not real demanding. There are a few different
varieties, the commonly named "roseafolia" listed on the above link to
Tropica would be my recommendation. Regards, Don Matakis