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re: "Easy" red plants

Does anyone grow the red Mayaca sp. sold by Florida Driftwood?  Is it as
easy as regular Mayaca fluviatilis?  I'm curious, because Mayaca
fluviatilis grows extremely well in my tank, but I haven't had much luck
with red plants.

My latest "red" plants were some Proserpinaca that I collected in April.
They were green when collected but new growth was deep red.  Eventually,
they stopped growing and shed leaves from the bottom up. Since I've
read that red plants turn green with nitrate, could the problem be
nitrate deficiency? Despite the fact that I add KNO3?

I put some of the same plants in my greenhouse, and they are doing very
well and staying green. The greenhouse plants are in tupperware containers
under the bench, where they get fertilizer rich runoff from the orchids

I guess I should invest in a nitrate kit.

Aquarium specs:
20 gallon tank, 55 watt PC, KH 4, 1 ml flourish and 1 ml flourish Iron
daily, 50% water change weekly.  After water change, I add 1/8-1/4 tsp
KNO3, 1/4 tsp K2SO4, 1/4 tsp MgSO4, and 1 tsp pulverized dolomite.  I
replaced the DIY CO2 with a compressed tank about three weeks ago.  Fauna
includes 4 Heterandria formosa, 10 neon tetras, 3 Otocinclus and a handful
of shrimp.

The thread algae that used to plague the tank is completely gone.  A small
amount of blue-green was eliminated by 48 hours of darkness.  Now the only
algae is a small amount of green spot on the glass.


Nicholas Plummer
nplummer at duke_edu