Brighter and brighter lights will never bring out the reds in aromatica unless you keep the nitrates low, like around 5 ppm. It's a bit of a tricky balance so as not to let them bottom out completely.your telling me your getting your aromatica that pink from one of those coralife regular t5 18x2 $40 fixtures with one poor narrow ass reflector? I got my coralife 65x2 PC positioned right over mine and its not that pink. Im thinking about trying one of those for the back of my tank (Stems) and moving the 65x2 PC over the foreground.
Your test kit is probably working just fine. There aren't usually many nitrates in the water column when using the mineralized soil method because you don't need to dose them and the plants use them up. Plants can uptake nutrients from their roots and / or from the water column. In your case they are feeding from the nitrogen in the soil. The lack of nitrate in your water column is certainly the reason you are seeing such vibrant reds in your aromatica.Me again, with my funny newbie's experience of plant keeping.
I just checked my nitrates and it come up as 0 on API test. It may not be an accurate reading though. Can anyone suggest better test? I am not dosing anything as of yet. Also I was wondering if reds on my L. Aromatica have something to do with the AaronT's method of mineralizing the soil. (Many thanks for all your help!)