The java ferns in my tank are all quickly browning, leaf by leaf.... they've been in the tank for at least a year with no problem.
What is going on? Do I actually need to change the bulb or something (it's 2 and a half years old)? I doubt that's this reason.
All of the java ferns in the tank are quickly browning, not just one patch.
EDIT: The majority of the java ferns in my tank are now over 80% brown, just over the past four days. I'm also having a sudden death problem on all of my Taiwan moss, though it's not as severe as the java ferns. If anyone knows what's happening, PLEASE tell me.
I feel your pain having gone through this a few times over the last four years; here is a thread
that is a couple of years old that may help....you will find my post (#6) about 1/2 down the first page. Most recently it happened again about 2 months ago. It wiped out about 80% of my 'Trident' and 'Windelov' before I got a handle on it. The good news is your plants can recover.
My first thought was it was a disease but I no longer believe that. Replacing the lamps in my fixtures had not effect; my most recent outbreak happened with lamps that were two months old. My third thought was that it might be 'seasonal' but I had some tanks remain unaffected and other tanks suffering with the problem. Now I am strongly leaning toward nutrient deficiency, most likely one of the following:
I suspect it is a deficiency of one (or a combination) of the nutrients above. We have very soft water where I live (<1.0 dKH; <3.0 dGH). Whenever I have the 'melting' problem occur it is usually due to my laziness. Typically when I do my water changes I add sufficient Seachem Equilibrium to raise my general hardness to at least 4.0 dGH (which was recommended by Tom Barr at a talk at our club a couple of years ago). I also add a small amount of baking soda (NaHCO3) to raise my carbonate hardness to 2.0 dKH. When I fail to add those nutrients eventually the 'melt' will show up and remind me.
My plants are all now recovering, here is what I did.
1) Removed any leaves that show any brown discoloration at all (so I can see if the deficiency continues or is resolved). Don't worry if the green rhizome ends up with no leaves; they will grow back
2) 50% water change to 'reset' the tank
3) Continued my normal fertilization (EI) dosing
4) Added sufficient NaHCO3 to raise dKH to 2.0 after every water change
(I use this baking soda / dKH calculator
5) Added sufficient Seachem Equilibrium to raise dGH to 4.0 after every water change
(I use the Seachem calculator
6) I also added 1/8 tsp MgSO4 (Epsom salt) and 1/8 tsp CaCl (calcium carbonate/Dri-z-air/dissolve in before adding to tank) per 15 gallon weekly after doing my water change. Adding equal amounts of MgSO4 and CaCl helps to maintain the 3.3:1 Ca:Mg ratio.