How does one bring out the intense reds of Pogostemon stellatus, colors like that of Jay's and Amano's?
Mine stays yellow most of the time. On a good day, this is about as red as it gets. Not complaining really, but would like better. :biggrin:
I've tried dosing a lot of traces but not much improvements in colors unfortunately. I've also tried lowering NO3; and it rewarded me with crumbled tips. :x So, how do Amano and Jay achieve these intense colors? They really are pretty.
I think it is the Macro levels that will bring out whatever color. NO3 has been known to cause red plants to be green when it gets in higher levels. Even under good light. Try bumping up or down NO3 levels and see what happens.
Let the plant get sick... it only gets really really colorful when its on its way out due to macro starvation. The next step after that intense color is usually stunted IME, but its beautiful in that week of glory before it crashes, might be fine for generating good photos I've had mine completely deep red/purple, but thats the last you'll see of it... its a little better than standard stellata in this regard (which also looks best on its death bed)... You need to walk this fine line where you don't quite kill it but come close...
Less light, fairly dense fish load/feeding.
Very little KNO3 dosing.
Low light CO2 enriched tank.
This keeps a stable low level of N for the plant without killing it.
It's fairly pink/red in natrual waters in Australia, many plants are in natural systems, but the system provides very low but constant N sources for the plant.
A low level drip/dosing pump etc can come close to mimicing this. But you have to be careful with the rate also, too little kills the patient, too much does not give any effect.
Some can slow the NO3 uptake down by limiting PO4, (but not letting it drop to zero for more than a day or so).
I'd not bother and just get a real red plant that has intense colors without almost stunting it.