Red plants for low tech tank?

EA James

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Hi all,
Currently researching plants for my planned rescape, most of which will be epiphytes with a few stems at the back in pots as i have sand in the tank.
I'd really like a variety of colours, especially some nice bright red but i think from what i've read that red plants require co2 to achieve good colour.
Are there any that you'd recommend? I like the look of Ludwigia Palustris and i've seen a few bucephalndra that look almost red
Also i don't really want anything to 'needy'
I have moderatly hard water @ 283ppm total hardness, Lighting Fluval Aquasky and most of the other plants will be low/medium lighting
Thanks all
 

Sarpijk

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I have a red tiger lotus in my low tech cube and it is great for adding a touch of red to the tank.

Lagenadra is another option as Darrel has already mentioned. If you have an aquasoil type substrate I would also be tempted to try any of the Alternathera sp.
 

EA James

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I have a red tiger lotus in my low tech cube and it is great for adding a touch of red to the tank.

Lagenadra is another option as Darrel has already mentioned. If you have an aquasoil type substrate I would also be tempted to try any of the Alternathera sp.
I have sand, plan is to grow a couple of big stems in pots filled with Tropica soil hidden behind the hardscape.
I'll have a look at Alternathera
Cheers
 
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I would try and get some AR that is already submerged grown, it can be a real pain to acclimate in low tech, and even high tech. Right now I’ve stopped CO2 and I have some AR mini that is growing VERY slowly, but still looks red and healthy.
 

EA James

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@Mr.Shenanagins i love AR! Trouble is the majority of the plants i'm going for will be easy low light plants so i i'm guessing i wouldn't get the best out of it?
I think i'll save that one until i have a bit more skill and knowledge under my belt, i'm only about 18 months into planted tanks and 2 years into fishkeeping do very much a beginner
 

sparkyweasel

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Alternanthera is worth a try. I've had it succeed in low-tech, also had it fail in low-tech. So far I haven't been able to figure out why. I agree with Mr.Shenanagins about getting some that's been grown submerse if possible.
 
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AR like to be planted and left alone, so if you can get submerged version or tissue culture it should grow okay. Another option for some reddish color is bucephelandra, low tech friendly. However, the redder versions are usually pricier. Also, hygro compact leaves can turn a reddish hue with decent light. I had some in a low tech with just an 8 watt light and the new baby leaves were a nice red.
 

zozo

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Last year i bought a Echinodorus ozelot Red.. As the name says, until now it is still pretty Red...
 

alto

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Both Rotala rotundifolia and R Vietnam H’ra will display red tones in low tech, obviously not as vivid as with high light but you should see more color as the plants grow into the upper third of the tank, and especially as they trail across the top of the water (now accessing both high light and CO2)

L palustris is the most deeply coloured red plant in low tech though I’ve occasionally seen very nice Nymphaea lotus (zenkeri)

There are a few bronze to pink cryptocoryne varieties as well

I’ve not seen any Alternanthera reineckii variants grown low tech that actually thrive, though it’s quite possible for the plant to survive, I suggest choosing a basic version rather than the often more sensitive ‘mini’ or ‘ Rosanervig’ variants
Unless you can source a submerse plant that is grown in near identical conditions and you’re able to transport in water (A.r. leaves are very soft, bruising easily), I’d recommend a strong, well grown emerse plant that has the energy reserves to transition to your aquatic conditions

If you set up the aquarium so that it runs with a substantial bioload (and filter accordingly as it sounds you’ll have limited plant mass, also low tech generally means slow growth), CO2 produced by the fish can effect noticeable growth improvement in plants
 

EA James

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@alto Thanks for the detailed reply, I've seen a crypt called 'flamingo' which had a nice shade to it. Would that suit?

I think i'll leave the AR then as nice as it looks i'm pretty sure it wouldn't end well, thanks for the info on that :thumbup:

Looks like the L palustris is more in my favour.
The tank is already set up, its been running about 18 months now. This was my first planted tank which as nice as it looked wasn't planned and i just bought £100 worth of plants online and put them in anywhere, 18 months on it hasn't really done much and a lot of the plants have not survived. Although im still very much a beginner i feel more confident in what i want, now the research to get there!
With the help of this forum i feel quite positive, so thanks, i appreciate it :)
 

EA James

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@alto Thanks for the detailed reply, I've seen a crypt called 'flamingo' which had a nice shade to it. Would that suit?

I think i'll leave the AR then as nice as it looks i'm pretty sure it wouldn't end well, thanks for the info on that :thumbup:

Looks like the L palustris is more in my favour.
The tank is already set up, its been running about 18 months now. This was my first planted tank which as nice as it looked wasn't planned and i just bought £100 worth of plants online and put them in anywhere, 18 months on it hasn't really done much and a lot of the plants have not survived. Although im still very much a beginner i feel more confident in what i want, now the research to get there!
With the help of this forum i feel quite positive, so thanks, i appreciate it :)
 

alto

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Cryptocoryne ‘flamingo’ is a demanding crypt - while some seem to grow it easily enough, there are many instances where if melts away (with no regrowth)
If you can get it for a reasonable price, give it a go - just ensure good light and flow and nutritious substrate

It’s usually worthwhile to try a variety of “easy” plants and others that are less “easy” but you like, you may get some surprises in which plants thrive

Given that you’re restricting plants in CO2 and light, make sure the substrate is “welcoming”
And begin with the healthiest plants possible
 

EA James

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@alto just to give you an idea of what i'm going for, this is the scape that gave me inspiration to re do mine
upload_2020-4-26_11-14-40.png

So as you can see most of the plants will epiphytes with 2 or 3 big stems at the back and a big bunch of giant vallis on the back right corner
The plants i've been looking at are all in Tropica's easy range and to be honest there is a good enough selection on there to fulfill my dream! As i have sand the stems will be in plastic pond pots filled with Tropica substrate hidden behind the hardscape.
I'm tempted to try a couple of 'medium' range stems as they'll be in good substrate but still not sure, i just want it to be right but sometimes doubt my ability!
I have good flow from my FX4 and i'm currently looking into Ei dosing with a lot of help and patience from @Zeus. so hopefully with all your help it'll turn out good.
I'm really thankful for all your help :thumbup:
 

tiger15

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@Mr.Shenanagins i love AR! Trouble is the majority of the plants i'm going for will be easy low light plants so i i'm guessing i wouldn't get the best out of it?
I think i'll save that one until i have a bit more skill and knowledge under my belt, i'm only about 18 months into planted tanks and 2 years into fishkeeping do very much a beginner
Like yours, I have medium light and most of my plants are easy low light epiphytes attached to rock. I keep large cichlid that dig, so I have no substrate rooted plants and my substrate is inert gravel barely covered the glass. I always experiment with color stems, a couple at a time, to see how they fair, most don’t do well or stay red due to insufficient light. Presently, I have Ludwigia repen and Hygrophila polysperma, both easy, doing fine but don’t get much red except near the top. The reddest plant I have success with is Nymphaea dwarf lily bulb. I planted my bulb and stems with inert gravel in perforated hydroponic pots so the roots can reach out to feed.

My next experiment is to try an AR as its red color is most intense. According to Dennis Wong, AR is not as difficult as many believe. I just ordered a regular AR in the mail, and plan to pot it and place up high in the rock hill to reach more light and see how it will do.

https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/blogs/freshwater-aquarium-plants-guide/how-to-grow-ar
 

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