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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 09:40 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 7
I believe all of those can be grown above water (Never tried the Bolbitis species but I believe they do in theory). As for water...

Yup, all the javas grow under water, as well as emersed (I use them in humid terrariums as well). Add Phillipine, Red, Needle leaf, and at least one other definate form (a dwarf sized narrow leaf). Just from this one type of fern you have a great variety of sizes and shapes to choose from!

As for the Bolbitus, you might want to check out this thread. The Bolbitis typically seen in the hobby (Bolbitis heudelotti) is happy underwater given the right conditions (water flow, lots of light, and CO2). I don't see the other species around so I can't comment, but I know I'm looking for it for my terrariums, not aquariums Niether is good for low light tanks tho.

None of the Selaginellas are truely aquatic... they like it wet in terrariums (challenging outside humid tanks) but are not IN water, just next to running water. S. willdenowii and a couple other more commonly cultivated species are often incorrectly sold as "aquatic" tanks... they just take a long time to die They spread across substrates, and will scramble across rockes and what not around water, and as long as they are kept on moist substrate with humidity, they will be happy plants. The peacock fern is typically S. unicata, also a bit blue but much smaller (creeps along ground, S. willdenowii grows up tall to around 4ft)

Trichomanes javanicum is a similar case of false advertising. I've had a lot of luck with this filmy fern in nice rainforest terrariums, and they tend to have been "aquatic" rescues that were on the verge of death. "Wet" and "aquatic" do not mean the same thing They are slow growing, just sit the rhizome on top of a substrate (think epiphyte) and keep it humid (be patient!). I believe I've seen a Trichomanes species sold either on here or APC that was supposed to be ok aquatic, but it's rare and I don't really know much about it... and I'm not sure I'd recomend it for a low light tank like Java ferns.

Malay and Thai ferns likely includes the "Java" ferns (the species grows all over that area), as well as Trichomanes species and Selaginella species can also be found in those areas. There are LOTS of ferns from that area, some may be aquatic, many found in wet areas, and a lot are misrepresented and sold as aquatic.

Just not too many low light and aquatic ferns in the hobby. I love low tech low light tanks, and Java fern varieties are a staple. Along with crypts, I'd also recomend most of the aquatic mosses and anubias! There are a number of other specifically low light plants too depending on what you mean by "low".
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