08-05-2010, 10:22 AM
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Yea, pet stores are stupid sometimes...
They call any fish a dwarf because if you put it in a 10 gallon tank for it's whole life, it won't grow past 6-7 inches long.
They don't realise the power the tank size has over growth rates.
Also, on the note about light...
Believe it or not, every frequency of light has some affect in plants.
I read a study, where they used LED lights to limit the bandwidths of light plants recieved.
Part of the results said that even green light is useful to plants, but they only need a tiny amount. The trace of it does provide more photosynthesis, but providing more green light to an otherwise balanced light source has little effect.
They also noted that while the dominant photosynthetic frequencies are red and blue (660nm and 440nm- nanometers are a measure of light wavelength) the addition of blue beyond a certain point also had little effect (in terrestrial plants) and that the red frequency (660nm) was the only color that could be added to an otherwise balanced light source to increase growth.
They noted that the plants with red or yellow leaves didn't need more red or yellow light (respectively), but they needed more of the other spectrums. They evolved to be red, green, or whatever, because that light was lacking in their own enviroment.
They speculated that plants like Alternanthera evolved in areas of dense vegetation- most of the red light was absorbed by the plants surrounding them. They evolved to better absorb green light, since it was reflecting off of the other plants.
FYI: This doesn't change a single thing about Byron's suggestions, just wanted to pass on some interesting info that I collected when I was doing research into LED's.
Alternanthera is a good filler plant, but Echinodorus species work well as background plants too.
Along with Hygrophila Sp. (most of them)
If you want a red accent and the Alternanthera doesn't work out, get some red Ludwigea, it's dark green on top of the leaves and a deep maroon on the bottom.