I was told at the LFS that the red plant I bought was a red ludwigia. I've been watching the odd post here and there about other people's ludwigia and wondering why mine looks just a bit different. I figured it was due to low light. Today I also noticed that it has come unstuck, yet again, from the driftwood that I attached it to. I would just plunk it in the substrate but getting it closer to the light seemed like a better option... that and the stems are just not sending out ANY roots so the darn things will not stay in the sand.
Today I finally got around to trying to properly ID this plant. Step one, check out all ludwigia varieties... there are a number. No real match. Next step, red aquatic stem plants... found one and did some relative images and, BINGO! plants that look exactly like mine.
Nesaea, red leaf. African plant... possibly flowering.
Apparently it is very difficult to grow and requires high light levels (I assumed being it is red)1
My next project (java mat) ended up being delayed for a number of reasons.
The dwarf hygrophila are getting out of hand now and I feel that my tank is nicely stabilized so I will be pruning some back and NOT replanting all the cuttings. I would like to free up some space for a couple more plants and relegate the DH to background duty from now on.
I know that any aquascaper will probably say that fewer species of plants look better, or might even be more natural, but I like the varied greens and the odd reds and just figuring out what works for my tank setup. The other advantage I think that I am seeing is that there is no single draw on nutrients that a more homogenous plant cross section might have. My nitrates have yet to cross 5ppm and I don't perform large water changes unless necessary, (twice so far while getting fish setup). I'm not certain which variety is responsible for that, probably duckweed is top of the list.
Fertilization has been minimal but I may step that up from once a week to twice a week and see if there is any noticeable difference... there is just so much plant material now that I anticipate more ferts would be prudent.