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Growing red plants

Art

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    So @Marian Sterian made a great post on Facebook where he said that red plants require at least .05 ppm Fe daily and at least 80-100 PAR at the substrate. I agree with this although I've never studied it enough to pinpoint a specific Fe and PAR range. He doesn't mention nitrate limitation and I've never, intentionally, done that.

    What do you think about growing red plants that are healthy and colorful? Agree with his comments?

     
    I think the idea of having to dose Iron for red plants came about due too get colored plants more colorful you have to increase the par. In doing so they require a ton more Iron. If you dont add it they will get pale and yellowish.
    There are so many this vs that in this hobby. Each side fights against each other!!!! In the case of nitrate limitation, it only works with certain species. The reason Ludwigia pantanal and meta get so intense redish, pink, almost white is due to sevier nitrate limitation. These plants grow like weeds with proper amounts of nitrate. The, I guess natural or normal color is bright orangeish red.
    Most of the more experienced people and tanks we see grow many species at the same time. Adding to this the majority of species in this hobby do better with soft water. Almost everyone knows its easier to dose lean and see better results in soft waters. To acheive that sweet spot so as all plants grow nicely and look good people tend to dose on the lean side. On the other side of the pedistal is dosing at eI levels or above. If all nutrients including light and co2 are provided these tanks are more impressive than lean tanks.
     
    I agree with what he's saying. He actually shoots down the myth that red plants need a ton of Fe.

    Translated
    Aquarists often consider that they need special conditions compared to the green ones or that to water them an additional dose of iron is needed.
    Well, as long as a fertilization formula that already contains iron is dosed and adds at least 0.05 ppm per day, no extra iron is needed. This is an age-old myth...

    .35 Fe/week isnt high by most standards. The suggested dose of mine adds .45 (EI used to be 1.5/week before it was changed to .6 a few years ago)

    Basically he's discounting the idea that red plants need high Fe then goes on about lighting and the shortcomings of cheap leds

    My philosophy on red plants is this. Grow them healthy and use a light with strong red and blue in the spectrum. Thats how you get colors to pop. Also agree that 80-100 PAR is plenty with the right colors in it. Which is also what he emphasizes, quality of light over quantity
     
    Completely agree with above. Even with high PAR (180ish) I only dose standard GLA micromix as per EI and am getting beautiful reds. I don't dose any extra FE.
     
    I'm immediately skeptical about any generalization about "red plants". It ignores the fact that many red plants have very different requirements.

    It's like making a prescription for what to feed green animals. The diet for a green tree frog vs. a bamboo viper are going to be very different, because they are different species. Same goes for red plants IMO.

    Rotalas and Ludwigias and Nymphaeas have no more in common than any green plants have in common.
     
    So @Marian Sterian made a great post on Facebook where he said that red plants require at least .05 ppm Fe daily and at least 80-100 PAR at the substrate. I agree with this although I've never studied it enough to pinpoint a specific Fe and PAR range. He doesn't mention nitrate limitation and I've never, intentionally, done that.

    What do you think about growing red plants that are healthy and colorful? Agree with his comments?

    I've grown many red plants over the years, and I agree. As long as Fe is not limiting plants will colour beautifully.
    Macros have bigger effect on reds imo, I have tested all the way from (0.016 Fe to 1 Fe weekly.) Plants grew well at most doses. As long as other toxic micros aren't too high, B got very toxic at higher doses, seems zinc as well if I remember correctly.

    Micro toxicity is of very limited concern if you use any decent amount of remineraliser however. When I was running around 0.5gh I had to dose micro and Fe very sparingly, but I had very colorful, clean and SLOW growth. Something I haven't been able to recreate with other methods.

    Anyway, in my opinion as I'm sure is the same with most others, is focus on co2, maintenance, water changes and stability, and strong light. The plants will reward you. Ive played with ferts for a good while, but it only shows results if you get EVERYTHING ELSE right.
     
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