Since tomorrow is 14th February which is the Valentine's Day, we could not help ourself but keep thinking of some...red plants! Because you know, of course we dont plant roses in aquarium fish tank! Hehe
So here we would like to share to you guys some tips on how to care and handle this red plants for your aquarium tank.
Believe it or not, red aquarium plants aren’t always red and don’t always stay red. Some are downright difficult to care for.
You might start out with red leaves that turn green or introduce a green plant that you can’t quite figure out how to turn red.
There are other possibilities, too. Maybe you managed to get your plant from green to orange or brown but want the deep red or bright purple color you expected. You’re not alone! It truly is not always easy to get the desired color.
In order to understand what’s going on, let’s break it down piece by piece. The first thing to consider is why plants turn red in the first place.
Why Do Plants Turn Red?
There are a few reasons why this happens. We should note that it really depends on the plant species you’re dealing with but here are some general explanations.
Pollination. Remember that some of these plants grow so tall that they grow above the surface and flower. Some plant species developed red leaves to attract insects to pollinate their flowers.
Protection from the sun. It might surprise you to learn that plants can get sunburned, but they can! While all plants need the sun to survive, too much direct sunlight damages the leaves. The red coloring develops as a sort of natural sunscreen.
Nutrients. Depending on the plant and the nutrient, the red color can develop from too much or not enough of a particular nutrient.
For example, iron can cause plants to turn red but it’s also necessary for the formation of chlorophyll which turns the leaves green.
Limiting exposure to nitrogen and phosphate can also turn leaves red while an increase can turn them green or brown. This isn’t necessarily ideal, however. Plants need a sufficient supply of nutrients and denying them can cause long term problems.
How Can I Get my Plants to Turn and Stay Red?
There are a few things you can try to get your plants to grow and stay red. Again, these are just general guidelines and how effective these interventions vary from one species to another.
Increase light. Sometimes, all it takes is an increase in the level and quality of light to get a plant to turn red. Use caution, though. For some plants, this can actually cause harm.
Provide adequate nutrients. Before worrying about changing the color, you need to make sure your plants are strong and healthy. Making sure they have everything they need to thrive is the best way to do that.
Check the carbon dioxide. Some plants require an increase in carbon dioxide to turn red. If the levels in your tank aren’t high enough, you may need to infuse the water with more.
How to Care for Red Aquarium Plants?
Caring for red aquarium plants is basically the same as caring for any plant with a few extra steps added in.
Here are some things you should do to make sure they thrive.
1. Research to find out what lighting requirements your plants need and make sure you have the right setup in your tank. Bear in mind that some plants require much more light than others and arrange them accordingly.
2. Check your water parameters and make sure they match with that your plant needs to thrive. Most plants require a particular pH and temperature range. Knowing what your plant needs are the first step. Then, correct as needed.
3. Trim away any brown or dying leaves to prevent them from breaking down and affecting the overall health of the water. You should do this when you first get the plant before you’ve even placed it in the tank and continue to check it on a regular basis.
4. Prune new growth on a regular schedule. Some of these plants can grow very quickly and the leave at the top can prevent the bottom plants from getting what they need. Trim new growth as needed for the look you’re trying to achieve.