How to keep java fern growing big and green? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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How to keep java fern growing big and green?

2 weeks old:



I'm running a PAR 38 LED light for 9h/day. I like the spot light effect so just hoping plants directly under light won't get burned. Anyways, I bought these ferns that were nice, big and green. How do I keep them that way and promote the same type of leaf growth? I'm not gonna run CO2. When I had ferns in the past, they got ugly brown, holes and short, stunted leaves that grew slowly. This is going to be my first cichlid tank:-). Having to re-learn this hobby has been fun.

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 04:53 AM
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Thanks for asking this question. I'm curious about this too. I read that java ferns should are best planted directly on a rock or wood. I recently planted one in my tank, but planted it right in my dirt. Is that bad for the fern? Should I relocate it?

Sorry, OP, don't mean to hijack your thread, I just thought it was a related question. I love the look of your tank by the way! The different levels and use of rocks and sand are great. Makes me wish I would have used some sand in my scape.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah4Life View Post
Thanks for asking this question. I'm curious about this too. I read that java ferns should are best planted directly on a rock or wood. I recently planted one in my tank, but planted it right in my dirt. Is that bad for the fern? Should I relocate it?

Sorry, OP, don't mean to hijack your thread, I just thought it was a related question. I love the look of your tank by the way! The different levels and use of rocks and sand are great. Makes me wish I would have used some sand in my scape.
Yes relocate it, tie it to a piece of wood or stone with sewing thread or fishing line, can also super glue but don't get it everywhere as it turns white underwater.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 05:06 AM
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Cool. Thanks! I'm going to do that tomorrow. I'll probably use string or fishing line, otherwise I'd have to drain too much water.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 05:09 AM
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If you put it on driftwood or a rock with superglue just pull the piece out and towel dry and put on the superglue, let it set for a minute or two and voila! you're done. No water drainage necessary.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone think I should be dosing ferts in small amounts? Or should I leave my ferns alone and just do water changes every week.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:02 AM
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Your gonna need co2 and better lighting scheme to make java fern look bright green and bushy. Uneven light won't make it easy. Also ferts will help
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 07:47 AM
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You don't need CO2 for java fern.

Ive had some growing in a low light tank for a year or so and its only about 4x the size it was when I got it but definitely bright green and bushy. Moved it to medium light a couple of months back and started dosing excel. The only difference so far is that it grows much faster.

Don't really know what went wrong with the OP's last batch. I just threw mine in the tank, no special treatment/ferts etc.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I think I'll let them be and watch how they look and grow in this tank with just routine water changes. I'll update this thread in a couple months or so.

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 10:28 AM
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You do NOT need CO2 to get Java fern big, bright, and green.

I grow it in 2 tanks, both low tech. The first is my office 65g tank. It gets weekly ferts. Grows under a single T5HO with a bad reflector. This tank grows LOADS of it. In fact I stocked my 265g with ferns I had to pull out of this tank because they overgrew everything else. My 265g tank grows them pretty well too (although not quite as well as the 65g). That tank has 2 T5HO with good reflectors 36" off the substrate. I do not dose that tank with ferts at all. The ferns are nice looking and pretty big in both tanks.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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@ bloo:

What exactly is the fert regimen u have going? Sounds like ferts or no ferts, java fern will do ok once its established.

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:22 PM
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What hasn't been asked in this thread is, what is the chemistry of the water coming out of the tap, used to change the tank water?

Most municipalities will have a in depth chemistry make up of their tap water for the asking if they're anywhere near honest. I know our previous city did so, you could get a monthly report on dissolved gasses, solids, minerals, trace elements, and possible bad chemicals.

Since we're on a well system our water is a lot more stable because of no chlorine, and seasonal CO2 because of heavy rainfall adding, but the chemistry is less friendly to plants so I have to add trace and iron supplement.

Folks whose tanks are doing great with little input other than frequent water changes are probably benefiting from the chemistry of the water straight from the tap.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
85 gallon stock tank, "pond"
5g low-tech Java Fern jungle.
2.5g +1.2g satellite stream-clay
-subsoil crypt and Fern tank.
Pendant-hooded, LED A19 bulb lighting.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainwavepc.com View Post
.... better lighting scheme to make java fern look bright green and bushy.,,,
I completely disagree

You could not have picked a better light the PAR38 LED flood for this shape tank.

What you need to know is that light comes down with a 'cone' type effect. the center will get more light that the outer ring. If your plant all the same plants on the edges they will get the same amount of light and have the same growth pattern. Any plants directly under will get more intense light.

I run two of these on my 40 and I've learned to plant to take advantage of that so I get the growth I want. The way the 'cone' of light illuminates forces us to look at aquascapong differently that complete even coverage of conventional lights.

Also, most commercial grown Java fern is grown emerged. Those leaves are a bit thicker than submersed leaves. They will die off and be replaced with Submessed leaves. Be patient and allow the plant to adapt.

Jaca fern is the focal point plant in my own display tank with the same lighting. (see my isg link)
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:32 PM
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Java fern will grow under any conditions you like but if you want it really big, green and bushy it will need tender loving care that includes co2.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 06:57 PM
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You should be fine as it is, no ferts need if your fish load is high enough, plus the water changes should be every other month or you will have problems.

when you go high light, CO2, daily ferts, this is when you need weekly water changes.
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