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An Article on Red Aquatic Plants

Winter is on its way, with Christmas not far behind…so its time to add some colour to your life!
Nature Aquariums are particularly vital additions to the home during the long, barren, frosty winter months: they add colour, vitality and energy to our homes in a way that nothing else can.
Professional aquascaper and founder of The Green Machine, James Findley has recently been experimenting with red plants in the Nature Aquarium –
his recent scapes ‘Crimson Sky’ and ‘Arizona’ demonstrate what can be achieved with red hues.
Arizona Aquascape uses red plants the create a vivid crimson carpet
So this month we are taking an in depth look at some of the best red plants.
The first plant under the spotlight is a stunning, high impact, dramatic plant: Aponogeton crispus ‘Red’ 
James used this plant to great effect in ‘Nature’s Chaos’ in which he used it to re-create the impression of a volcano. James also used it in ‘Through the Eyes of a Child’ to add some drama to the layout.
This plant has long, slender red leaves that grow very tall. It will add colour and drama to your layout as soon as it is added.
Nature's Chaos Aquascape by James Findley
This is a miniature version of the well known Alternathera and has a slower growth rate and more compact form.
James has been experimenting with this plant and using it as a carpeting plant to create lush, red carpets in his layouts.
You can see the beauty of this plant in ‘Crimson Sky’ and ‘Arizona’.
If you want to use it as a carpeting plant, trim it well to create a carpet about 5-10cm high.
It can be used to add a subtle hint of red to your layout, or to create dramatic, artistic, modern layouts by using it as a carpeting plant.
Crimson Sky Aquascape Fish Tank by James Findley
Red plants add complexity and colour to your layouts. They are also very useful for creating structure in the layout by adding focal points.
Focal points should usually be added according to the Golden Ratio, or Rule of Two Thirds, which basically suggests that focal points are best placed in points at two-thirds of the space. For more on this please read our article on layout rules and composition.
Red plants will only develop a deep red colour if they have the nutrients they require. Red plants require a slightly different balance of nutrients than green plants so it is well worth investing in a good quality fertilising regime.
ADA ECA is particularly useful as it is an additive designed specifically to provide red plants with the nutrients they require in order to develop the deep, bright red colours that they have in nature.
Red plants offer the aquascaper a whole new palette: a whole new material to work with, opening the world of imagination and creation even further.
So, if you haven’t already experimented with them… now is the time!
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