Tips on getting Alternanthera reineckii "red"?
I have some Scarlet/Red Temple and it's growing great. Only problem is, no red at all. Pretty sure I have intense light, my Red Flame sword is almost black! I'm doing pressurized CO2 with EI dosing, but is this a case of too much nitrogen?
Any tips on getting this plant to redden up more?
Add some blue LEDs that peak around 425nm.
I wouldn't think your light is too little; you don't mention what it is, but as you have CO2 and EI dosing and as I know you are experienced I would assume it is adequate. [And by the way, red-leaf plants need more red light since they are reflecting that to appear red.]
So that brings us to the cultivar. If you check our profile, Alternanthera reineckii, you will note there are several and some have olive green leaves. Have a read of that and see if perhaps this may apply.
I might suggest iron, but not knowing how much you may be dosing now I wouldn't recommend increasing it as this can cause other problems. Plus the fact that your other red-leaf plants are OK as you have said, leads me to think it is not light or nutrient but cultivar.
Byron, thanks for the suggestions. I don't think iron is the issue either. The light's ok. Twin T5HO, one a "red" plant bulb, intensity is right at 45 mmol/m2/sec PAR at the substrate. Unless something's mutated, I don't think it's the cultivar - it's red in two other tanks. After further research, it seems that this plant needs really high nitrogen to turn red, unlike some other plants that turn red when nitrogen-deficient. I'll try upping my nitrogen fertilization slightly and see what happens over time. I'm under-dosing the dry fertilizers in this tank slightly, so that might explain the problem.
ETurn up the nutes, EI is all about making sure there is plenty of everything in the right proportions. In my understocked tanks, I would add more N (I think you want 20-30ppm nitrate for EI, but I could be wrong.) Tom Barr seems willing to help aquarists, maybe shoot him an email?
Thanks, I'm on Barr's forum, so I may post something there!
In my tanks with 5-10ppm nitrate, I've dosed potassium nitrate up to 25ppm, and within an hour they dropped back down. I wouldn't advise keeping them at 30, but dose up and see how far it drops back down. I'm afraid this topic is now running in two different threads, but they're too different to merge. Hmm.
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