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Old 08-15-2006, 12:37 PM   #1
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Sunset Hygro Growth and observations

Well I got some sunset hygro a while ago and have made some steady progress. At first the leaves on the lower part of the stems would fall off and still do a little. I had thought about removing the lower stems and replanting but wanted to give it a chance to acclimate. By doing so, where the lower leaves fell off, new shoots started and it is lookig very thick and full. Now this doesn't work with elodea bacause the lower stems just rot but I think that is the main difference between bunch plants and true stems. My sunset hygro is now growing in leaps and bounds and unless anything happens to the lower parts, I think I will just trim the tops and let the bottoms fill out more and more. Hopefully they will continue to fill out as I trim the parts that reach the top of the tank.

I love this plant and love most of them now that AA had given me the tools I need to help them thrive.

The newest growth was nothing but bare stems about 4 inches up.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:04 PM   #2
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how high are your nitrates? i also had this plant and it grew insanly fast. the same way as yours but at every single new leave a new stem would sprout out. i found when my nitrates were up this plant would remain green. but the lower my nirates went the redder it would get. when my nitrates got around 5 or so it would almost be a pinkish colour. really amazing plant. but make sure it has lots of room to spread casue once it grabs hold it doesnt stop.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:07 PM   #3
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I happen to love sunset hygro and I've had great success with it. I started with one stem, which shortly became a forest. The best part about the plant IMO is the coloring on the tops of the leaves.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:12 PM   #4
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My nitrates stay between 10-20ppm. The top I just cut off had turned a brilliant orange and red and even the white veins started to turning pinkish. It only happened when it reached the surface and since I cut it and replanted it is has lost the red and orange colors. I love the white veins and is why I really like them also. It really provides a good break in a mostly green plant.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:14 PM   #5
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It is a great plant. Fills in nicely to hide stuff, you can abuse it and it just keeps going, and it is great to look at as well. My nitrates are always high. Mine just turns red at the top as well.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:35 PM   #6
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Here is the reds from the top I cut off.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:54 PM   #7
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oh ok well here is a comparison of what it looks like when the nitrates are lower.
most of the stems in the middle are the sunset. but as u can see it changes colour further down. not just on top. this plant loves low nitrates.

and here is a top pic of it right near the top. stunning.
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:02 PM   #8
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I think higher light plays a big part as well. I think it gets more pinkish/red when the lighting is higher.
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:06 PM   #9
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my lighting is at about 3 WPG. i dont think it is any higher than that. what is your at fish4all?
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:08 PM   #10
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Ok, the colors come out from both, mine just come out from the lighting. I have seen others that come out from low nitrates. That is not on dispute here. The one I cut off yesterday had 3 leaves sticking out of the water under 4w/g and didn't turn pink so maybe the pink is the low nitrate color and the orange and reds are from lighitng. Whatever it is, I love the plant and keep the pictures coming. I will make a profile from this as soon as I have enough information. Nitrate levels and light levels would be very helpful also, mr funktastic and Jchillin and anyone else who posts pictures. Hint, Hint.

My nitrates are kept higher and I won't let them get too low because I have many other fast growers in there as well. Wisteria, Water Sprite, Corkscrew vals and fast growing crypts. I also have R. Rotundafolia in there and it is struggling right now so I need the higher levels to help it out a little.

Mine is between 3 and 4 w/g NO, dual 40 watts shop light tubes over two 10 gallon tanks. Medium light. One daylight bulb, 6500K and 1 Plant gro bulb unknown K.
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:11 PM   #11
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alright well here are my tank specs.
60 watts or t-8 lighting(hagen bulbs so technically t-10)
only dosing flourish trace 1 per week
20 gallons
max of 5ppm of nitrate
this was my tank before. i have since ripped it appart and redone it completly. cutting out most of the hygro. but it was always an redish orange colour on the lower stems and a bright red pink on the top. hope that helps
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:19 PM   #12
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I will ask Wizz what his colors are and get him to add his if he will. Maybe he can add some color causes.

Looks like your is a combination of both. A little more light than I have and low nitrates. Mine is also young so we will see if that has any effects on it.

All I know is yours has awesome colors, and I love the foxtail? in all it's glory.
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:29 PM   #13
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I've noticed the colouration has very little to do with nitrate levels. This is purely observational, but it looks to me like the further from the root structure the leaves are, the redder they get. This might be a side effect of the virus in the veins (this prevents chlorophyll from functioning in the stem, hence the "white" veins). I've also noticed it seems if one gets within 3-4" of the surface it get's a really bright red colour, so 2 things, either light level increases (or the red spectrum which is filtered out near the top level of the water) This could be tested by putting a 100w incandecent at the side of the tank by the leaves and see if the leaves start turning red. it could also be caused by the proximity of the O2 at the waters surface, or perhaps O2 levels all around.
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:46 PM   #14
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Well we will see. I am going to let 2 of mine grow on the surface for a while and see what happens. I think the side lighting thing is worth a try also. I am also going to set up a tank, a small on with just sunset hygro and see what happens when I use very little light, just ambient, and low nitrate levels. If it gets the reds then it has to be both. Maybe, just maybe, the virus works best in high light with red spectrum and low nitrates to allow the leaves to "sunburn" giving them the brilliant colors. We will see. Maybe I will take some and grow it emersed in my new setup just to see what happens there also. Somehow, if i can, I will figure out what causes it.
Maybe the virus is a new type of chlorophyl type creature and needs specific things to thrive and produce the colors.
Sounds like a good research paper, anyone taking botany? lol.

Any pictures wizz for the article? Sorry Mr. forgot you tore down your tank.

I guess I wll have to also try iron because I have found 2 artciles that say high iron levels help with the colors.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:07 PM   #15
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My tank lighting is only 1.75 wpg ( 130 watts over 75 gallons ) and my sunsets have red tops also. The ones closer to the top and the ones only halfway up.

So high lighting isn't it. CO2 isn't it. Being closer to the light isn't it. Low nitrates isn't it, mine are about 10-15 ppm.

I do dose 7.5 ml of Flourish 3 times a week, plus other ferts and Excel. I have no iron test kit so i don't know my levels.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:14 PM   #16
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Well it could still all be it. Maybe your spectrum is deeper penetrating with some color of light. Maybe your tank water is much clearer than most. Maybe your nitrates are more readily usable, who knows. All I know is there have to be contributing factors because I have seen wild pictures of them with all greens, red, pinks and even yellows, (although I don't think yellow is healthy). I am still reasearching to find some true information but there has to be contributing factors.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #17
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I have low-light (1.5wpg). What I noticed (and remember, all of my hygro is from the original stem in the first pic) is mine gets the color variables when the leaves get half way to the top of the tank. The leaves at the bottom, especially new growth, are always a light or dark green.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:28 PM   #18
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No decent ones of that plant. I have 1 stem left in my tank, but I can't take any pictures, I just ripped out a Uruguay sword which has been bothering me for a while (was @ about 30" tall and the root structure was poking out everywhere (about 2sq feet @ 2" thick), not to mention it took up a huge chunk of my tank.).. needless to say, my tank is a floating debris field..
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:35 PM   #19
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Here's mine, under ~2.4wpg over a 55g....the leaves get pinker closer to the surface, which is why I thought lighting had something to do with it. Its also not low nitrates because mine are always 10-15ppm.



sorry its a little blurry...i'll have to get a better picture tomorrow...and get a shot of my group of sunset
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:21 PM   #20
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From what I've read, good reds can be brought out in plants using one or more of the following:
Nitrate Limitation
Increased Lighting
Increased Iron

In addition some plants seem to respond to all of those methods, while others respond best to only one or two. I suspect that with this particular plant, there is more than one method to induce the beautiful colors. It's probably just that it's easier to use different methods in each of your tanks.
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