Java Fern Question - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
uncskainch's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 659
Send a message via AIM to uncskainch Send a message via MSN to uncskainch Send a message via Yahoo to uncskainch
Java Fern Question

My 29 gallon tank (lightly planted from Petsmart before I knew that I needed better light) is limping along with the 15w bulb that came with it until I save up the cash for a 65w Coralife fixture. In the meantime, nothing is (predictably) growing very well. The cabomba is tall and leggy, and the water wisteria, while nice and green, is growing at a glacial pace. I have a swordplant with a nice rosette of new growth in the center, though, despite the unhappy elder leaves (which, truth be told, looked pretty rough when I first brought them home).

The only real unqualified success story is my java fern (planted in the gravel at the base of my driftwood again, because I didn't know better at the time!). It has put up one new leaf from the rhizome and yesterday I noticed that the tip of a leaf has formed a plantlet touching the driftwood.

My question is, will this plantlet attach to the driftwood on its own, or do I need to eventually cut it off and tie it to the driftwood? Also , should I leave the fern where it is at the base of the driftwood for now, or should I move it? The rhizome is covered only shallowly and I had thought about moving it, but since it seems so happy growing where it is, I'm torn about what's best for the plant.

Also, I assume there's no real point in dosing Excel or getting CO2 going until I have more light? I am lightly dosing regular Flourish and I have a Flourite substrate. I've assumed that dosing Excel or using CO2 wouldn't make much difference until I get more light in there, but if I'm incorrect, please let me know!

Thanks for any tips. I may pick up a couple more java ferns or other ultra-low-light stuff while I wait to buy my new lighting -- I'm trying to at least have SOMETHING planted while I limp along with 1/2 a watt per gallon! Of course, my java fern seems to be trying to help me save for the new lights by reproducing itself without me having to buy more!
uncskainch is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 04:25 PM
Wannabe Guru
Aphyosemion's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,073
Send a message via Yahoo to Aphyosemion
Your java fern will attach to anything that is close enough for it to grab. If it is touching the driftwood and you want it to attach there, just let it be and it will take care of things itself. Otherwise, you can just pinch the plantlet off and put it where you want it to go. I have even just placed small weights on java fern to hold it in place til it grabs on.
As for the Excel, I am not entirely convinced of it's effectiveness, but I add some to my one tank that doesn't get CO2 just to make sure there is some kind of carbon source for the plants. Ironically, it's a tank full of java ferns, which I call my Java Jungle. In that tank I have a tall, central stack of rock, which is held together by java fern roots and rhizomes.
Just make sure to dose the Excel lightly. I have heard of people overdosing with it and having bad things happen, like dead fish. The same goes for ferts in a low light tank. Dose very lightly and cycle regularly to prevent buildup. You probably still won't get fast growth in your plants in a low light tank, but slow growth is better than none.

Two 1 GA desktops, a 5 gallon, a 2.5 gallon, a 10 gallon, a 20 gallon, a 25 gallon, and two 75 gallon tanks, all planted.
I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
Aphyosemion is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 04:43 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
hoffboy's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 308
I use cotton thread to attach Java fern to wood and rocks. By the time the thread disintegrates, the roots will long since have gotten hold. It seems like all the fern that I've had only sends out new branches from one end, so if you tie it on to the end of a piece of wood, make sure the business end is pointed toward the middle of your wood so it doesn't grow out into your substrate or wherever. (I hope that made sense...)
hoffboy is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
uncskainch's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 659
Send a message via AIM to uncskainch Send a message via MSN to uncskainch Send a message via Yahoo to uncskainch
Thanks for the advice. I need to trim and replant some cabomba when I do my water change this weekend -- I'll relocate the Java fern slightly so that the end of the rhizome that is growing will take on the driftwood and not the gravel, and I'll tie the plantlet to the wood with some cotton thread, just to help it attach where I choose. And I'll be careful with the ferts while I wait for the funds for new lighting! I'm excited that at least the java fern is doing well while I wait!
uncskainch is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome