Red Plants, their specific requirements
Subject: Red Plants, their specific requirements
> I would like to take one of my systems and limit the
> plants to only those with red or almost a red color.
> I would like opinions based on experience about what will make R
> macranda respond in the strongest manner?
In my tanks, R. macrandra grows best potted with potting soil,
laterite and micronized iron. It is in a 55G tank with 4 4' T-8
full spectrum 5000K bulbs over it, supplemental CO2, pH 6.6-6.8,
moderately hard water, and Tropica Master Grow trace elements. It
also grew well with Duplaplant 24 drops. It definitely seems to
need high iron content both in the water and the substrate to grow
really large leaves and show its best bright magenta color. In my
experience there's no happy medium with R. macrandra. If it's not
happy, it fades away. Given conditions it likes, it's almost
weed-like, needing weekly trimming to be kept in check.
I also grow Ammania (gracilis, I think) in this tank. However, it
seems to be just as happy directly in the substrate. (#1 aquarium
gravel with laterite and substrate heating) This plant took a
long time to acclimate to the conditions in my tank, but now grows
Of course both R. rotundifolia and R. wallachi get nice rosy tips
if given lots of light and iron too.
There are several nice red Echinodorus, my fdavorites are the red
x red Ruby Mellon Sword, and E. 'Rubin', which is similar to E.
horemanni (red) without the accompanying size problems.
I have a large variety of C. wendtii (red) that is very striking
and a strong grower. It does OK in almost any conditions... treat
it well and it will reward you with size. C. blassi is another
red Crypt that I'm quite fond of.
Of course Ludwigia sp. are a red "stand by", but I can't use them
due to the copper levels in my tank water. Alternanthera does
well if given _lots_ of light and the iron it needs.
There's also quite a pretty Red Marble Val, but I've never done
very well with it, probably also because of the copper levels I
have to deal with.