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I want my Rotala Macrandra to look like the pros'

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  • I want my Rotala Macrandra to look like the pros'

    Hi,

    My Rotala macrandra grows healthy but does not look its best. My reference is this article.

    I am dosing:
    1/32 tsp Plantprod Chelated Micronutrient Mix 3x/week (I also add 1/32 tsp Iron Chelate 13% once or twice a week)
    1/8 tsp KNO3 & 1/32 tsp KH2PO4 3x/week
    1/4 tsp Barr's GH Booster after the weekly water change
    10ml Seachem Excel daily
    and I inject ~45 ppm CO2.

    Some pictures:

    Out of the water, just to show the healthy root system and ramifications:



    In the water. Leaves are smaller than they should (I think!), they're a little twisted, and definitely not as red as I'd like.



    According to what I read on the internets, I should have <10ppm NO3 and >1.5ppm PO4 to get the red. Also I should have Iron. But to go <10ppm NO3 I would have to change my fert scheme (with my current one I am typically way above 20). Anyone has experience making these plants beautiful at >20ppm NO3?
    Last edited by Florin Ilia; 11-06-2011, 06:21 PM.
    Nothing is simple.

  • #2
    This is also a plant that needs low GH and KH, typically less than 4. If it's higher, the plant might have difficulties. It will grow, but will not be very pretty. NO3 levels etc. are not that important, as long as there is enough.

    The stunted leaves might also indicate a CO2 deficiency.
    regards,
    dutchy.

    My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:
    http://www.barrreport.com/album.php?u=21013

    Comment


    • #3
      My GH is around 9 and my KH around 5. Would that explain the non-red color and the small, twisted leaves?
      Nothing is simple.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Florin Ilia View Post
        My GH is around 9 and my KH around 5. Would that explain the non-red color and the small, twisted leaves?
        I had the same tap water parameters and had a tougher time, but.that was 15 years ago.

        I have soft water now and I added a few ratty stems from a LFS, it's growing back but takes some time.
        Settings on cameras and the light colors from bulbs may have some impact, less the cherry red and more the organge hues are what I have seen in person, but rich sediment does seem to help IME.

        I top it and allow the rooted portion to regrow, this seems to help. It's not a competitive plant regarding CO2, nor is magenta.

        I've had nice color from magenta, the cherry color in the one pic.
        I'm hesitant to judge color from pics off the web due to modifications.

        If all we see is the top 6cm of a stem, that is not very telling, nor if the plant is only kept for a few weeks.months.......and if there's not a lot of for sale at the local plant club meetings with that same consistent cherry coloration.
        In outdoor flow through toughs, potted in soil, this plant does quite well.
        www.BarrReport.com

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        • #5
          I really have no problems with growing plants, but the tank also has GH 9 and KH 5, I couldn't grow it well until I dropped both these values.
          regards,
          dutchy.

          My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:
          http://www.barrreport.com/album.php?u=21013

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dutchy View Post
            I really have no problems with growing plants, but the tank also has GH 9 and KH 5, I couldn't grow it well until I dropped both these values.
            I have not seen anyone that has either, I'm not saying it cannot be done.....but I've not seen evidence yet...........
            www.BarrReport.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tom Barr View Post
              I have not seen anyone that has either, I'm not saying it cannot be done.....but I've not seen evidence yet...........
              Well then, you guys should ask His Majesty ceg4048 from UKAPS forum. He insists that the KH in his tanks is 15 and the GH above 25 and RO is not needed if the water is that hard. Nice for the plants, huh!
              There is the tread link.http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=18155

              I just decided to shut up. Did not seem sensible to keep posting when there is this kind of expertise out there.

              Comment


              • #8
                He's absolutely right, there is no one disagreeing with that but as he also said; some species do require soft water. Species like Tonina's and Syngonanthus, perhaps even L. pantanal really dont seem to grow well in hard water. The Rotala macandra seems to be one of those species that dont reach optimal growth in hard water. Why? I dont know sadly (tricks like very high light and No3 starvation don't count)

                I have got pretty hard water myself, just like most people I can grow alot of species without problems. But Tonina's etc just wont grow and melt down to the grown, I've tried several different species all with the same effect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the record, here's a Tonina fluviatilis from the same tank where the macrandras fail to be red:



                  It doesn't look that different from the pics I've seen on the net.
                  Nothing is simple.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aquadream View Post
                    Well then, you guys should ask His Majesty ceg4048 from UKAPS forum. He insists that the KH in his tanks is 15 and the GH above 25 and RO is not needed if the water is that hard. Nice for the plants, huh!
                    There is the tread link.http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=18155

                    I just decided to shut up. Did not seem sensible to keep posting when there is this kind of expertise out there.
                    I know Cecil

                    A simple thing is ask him to grow some Rotala macrandra and see. the species he has do do well in harder KH's, I have not found GH to be a factor nor has the local clubs where some have added a lot of GH booster.
                    Then he'll know or remain unable to grow it(thus while not absolute.........at least he will likely fail with a nice stand of this species). Who knows, maybe he will not, but he will never know unless he tries with that plant.

                    Try it and see, or show me the pictures of the plant in your tank.

                    I did this with many species living to Davis CA, never managed well with R macarandra, but pretty much everything else, Erios, L pantanal, Tonina etc, R wallichii.......etc etc........KH was about 7.
                    www.BarrReport.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Florin Ilia View Post
                      For the record, here's a Tonina fluviatilis from the same tank where the macrandras fail to be red:



                      It doesn't look that different from the pics I've seen on the net.
                      Yes, this plant is fine in higher KH/GH's, here's my tank from Davis which is 17KH and 15GH, I cut this in 1/2 with RO.
                      So about 7-8KH and 7GH(measured in tank)







                      Mg was about 25ppm. Pretty high Mg......
                      www.BarrReport.com

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                      • #12
                        I ordered a RO/DI unit. If I can get my wife not to throw it out when she sees it , then I'll see if softer water makes a difference.
                        Nothing is simple.

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                        • #13
                          Just worry about KH...try for 1-3 degrees or 20-60ppm of alkalinity.
                          www.BarrReport.com

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                          • #14
                            Thanks, I'll do that.

                            Is there any way to remove KH from the water other than the RO/DI device?
                            Nothing is simple.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Florin Ilia View Post
                              Thanks, I'll do that.

                              Is there any way to remove KH from the water other than the RO/DI device?
                              HCL acids etc.........not a pretty way to do it...........burns and seers the nose and lungs.
                              www.BarrReport.com

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