Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)
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Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)


Information

Common Name: Java Fern
Proper Name: Microsorum pteropus
Category: Ferns and Mosses
Temperature: 18 - 30 C
PH: 5.0 - 8.0
Lighting: Very Low
Growth Rate: Slow
Difficulty: Very Easy
Origin: Southeast Asia
Position in Aquascape: Mid-Ground
Description  
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Java Fern takes up most nutrients through its leaves. Make sure there are sufficient nutrients in the water column, especially with higher light levels. Nitrate deficiencies will lead to black areas on leaves. Thomas
 
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First plant i had in my tank, So easy to keep, do not bury the roots it needs to feed from the water colume, Pretty hard to kill, Over a year mines now a huge 14 inch center piece. Deano Deano's comment is definately right; do not bury them in the gravel. All the aquariums do this, i guess because there only there for a few days before being sold. They often look unhealthy in the shop, but once home in your tank on some driftwood they look great and make a full recovery. A really nice, easy to care for plant. They can get quite a bit of algae on the leaves, but most types of catfish/loaches will eat it off without damaging the leaves. Nick I picked up this plant a couple of months ago, and it adds a very nice green colour amongst the other plants. I weigh it down with a rock so that the roots stay above the gravel. Every once in a while it gets knocked free and I have to set it back. My kulhi loaches are always hanging out in there. It is a pretty addition to my tank! Dominique Takes cold water ok. Mine survived temperatures close to freezing (no joke). William I transplanted a few very small (<.5") java ferns from my momma leaf(they grow on the underside of large leaves) into my girlfriend's 10 gallon tank. They grew like crazy in a crack in some driftwood and loosly rooted in the gravel (they send out roots above the substrate). If you have lonely driftwood in the tank, shove the roots of the java fern into any crag you can find and it'll do the rest. Evan This was my first plant as well. I bought one with the intent of tying it to a small rock to anchor it. Through mishandling I ended up breaking it into four pieces with only a couple of leaves each. Now, a year later, I've got four big, healthy plants spread about over two tanks. This is a slow grower but give it some time in a mature, well-lit tank and it will sneak up on you. Mister Priapus I bought a ready matured driftwood piece with java fern and moss on. Recently i have had problems with high phosphates in tap water and the algae has started growing all over the edges of the leaves, they're starting to look like moustaches! Although i have alot of new shoots coming out and unrolling which is good. Java fern is also quite hardy as when it gets damaged by snails or boisterous fish it just heals over the damage and carrys on! Very nice plant indeed. David Slade I have a small tank with a driftwood and lots of Java Fern in it. This tank has no filter and aeration at all. I just change the water 50% once a week. The water is crystal clear and the fish are healthy. Thanks to the fern, it balances the ecosystem in my litle tank. edison This one is a slow grower for sure. I attached some small baby cuttings on to some drift wood, and it did nothing for months...just now it is starting to produce new leaves and attach itself. Hopefully it will pick up the pace! justin I've found that my Java Ferns take off rather slowly when first tied to rocks/wood. After a few months they really pick up the pace and start growing. I started out with one plant, about four leaves. Today that plant is hovering around 25 leaves or so and doing quite well. Anyone growing this plant will find it quite hardy and easy to care for. None of my fish bother it and some enjoy resting on it (Oto, Kuhli Loach). Burks Easy plant to care for. I had bought a fern an!d had propagated it into about 10 plants now. Also I have some baby plants along with them. If you get them in less then perfect condition, just wait about 2 weeks and it should be looking alot better James A true low light plant. I had a 30watt & 18k lums. bulb on a 29 gal. tank and they started to turn yellow and brown from to much light. I switched to 20watts & 2,700 lums.. Now they are growing new leaves daily. some are even planted. Bigger substrate. knuggs
 
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Java fern can be a quick growing, gorgeous plant. Provide it with heavy current, high CO2, and high light, and it will grow like a weed. Otherwise, it kind of just sits there.
 
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my java fern is ill and nobody seems to know what it is. i believe it may be a disease, though i have never heard of it in an aquatic plant. none of my other plants are affected, but ferns in multiple tanks all got it. the ferns developed brown splotches on the leaves, the splotches spread, eventually the leaves rotted away. the rotting splotches have a crips outline, they dont really fade into the healthy tissue; there is a clear division.
 
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This is a wonderful plant. I bought a small one at my favorite LFS down south and it flourished under 2wpg with no ferts and no CO2 for the first few months, but then I had to leave the tank in my room mates care for several months and it became choked with algae and stopped puting out new leaves. I moved the tank u north and over the first month it put out one leaf then all leaves paled and turned yellowish white and eventually melted. I finally thought to test my PH and as it turns out it's coming out of the tap at 8.4+ so I've done water changes using bottled water and intend to replace it and see if the new one will fare better. The 'Windelov' variety I purchased last week seems to be doing just fine and is beginning to grow new leaves already.
 
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I attached a couple of older leaves to a 30cm long piece of bogwood. I under a year it has covered the whole piece of wood. My pride and joy. I will now put it with current and allow it to get more light, to see if it grows faster. If it takes hold, then I will try to have it grown outside the water.
 
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Hi, I've just joined The Planted Tank forum and have a question about the 10 Java ferns in my tank. I have wedged them in cracks in the artificial rocks I bought. They seem secure, but am wondering if I need to tie them to the rocks with strings. It has been hard for me to tie the plants securely due to the odd shape of the rocks so perhaps keeping them wedged in the cracks is enough? Any advice is most appreciated.
 
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This is supposed to be an easy plant to have, but in my high tech tank mine just slowly died. Maybe I just bought a bad fern, I'm not sure but in my ten gallon 3.8 wpg diy co2 and black flourite sand tank it just slowly died.
 
Vic
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One of the aquarium plants all around. I kept some in low tech conditions, and it continued to thrive. Can be kept in low and bright light settings, however in the latter, algae can become a problem. The rhizomes of this plant can be anchored to rocks, driftwood, bog wood, etc.; eventually the rhizomes will latch on. The leaves of this plant are very durable, making it a good choice to put with herbivorous fish. Despite being a slow grower, it is still worth checking out.
 
Vic
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One of my all time favorite aquarium plants because of it's beauty and easiness. This plant can do well in subdued lighting in the absence of co2. It is important that the rhizome of the plant must not be planted underneath the substrate, otherwise the plant will rot. For an attractive aquascape, the rhizomes of the plant can be planted on either driftwood or bogwood. Unlike most other aquarium plants I have encountered in my experience, the leaves of java fern are a lot less fragile and a lot more sturdy, making it a safe plant for plant eating species. Propagation is interesting, new leaflets grow on the bottom of developed leaves. Overall, a very good addition to a planted tank... If only it was not a slow grower.
 
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Will this grow in brackish water?
 
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I love this stuff... great for covering driftwood. I have never seen this stuff grow slow at least not in my tanks. I usually keep it till it engulfs the driftwood piece then take it and sell it to the fish store for good money. The down side is this plant does not seem to take well to tank changes. Once living in one tank if moved to another tank even with similar params it will loose lots of leaves. They typically recover within a few weeks to a month but its an odd reaction to being moved.
 
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hello so far these plants have not had much luck with me i got them a couple of weeks ago and was wondering if i should take the rubber bands they put around the roots off and why my leaves have brownish black spots. my Armano shrimp seem to love them.
 
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It looks like this plant will grow out if water from that picture. Maybe try growing it emersed or in a pot and transplanted it into the tank later.
 
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I have almost no nitrates in my tank and so this plant got very sickly, I was doing too many water changes. Now I'm adding Seachem Aquavitro Synthesis and it's doing much better.
 
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Gosh, the comments here surprise me. This is an exceedingly easy plant. Give it light (it doesn't have to be a lot). It grows. It is a fantastic plant if you are just starting out.
 
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Sensitive plant lovers look away now - what follows is pretty cruel but with a happy ending ;-) In 2011 I accidentally introduced some leeches into my 50 gallon community tank with live food. Ugh! I decided to break down my tank and set it up anew minus the leeches. My tank was established in 2000 and by 2011 was very heavily planted with a cross section of plants that (a) were cheap and available from my LFS and never labelled so chosen blind (b) survived my general ignorance and lack of plantmanship (c) survived being nibbled or uprooted by my fishes and (d) were happy with fairly low light most of the day but with a burst of sunlight each evening when the sun was at the right angle. Because I was freaked out by the leeches (not actually that harmful to my fish and even enjoyed as a snack by my clown loaches) I decided to boil the substrate and inorganic tank furnishings to make sure no adult leeches or eggs were reintroduced into the rebuilt tank. I was going to throw away the bogwood and plants but decided instead to try cleaning them (and if they did not survive being cleaned then I'd have lost nothing). I soaked my bogwood and plants in a solution of hot (60C) bleach - the sort you use for toilets. I left them in the cooling bleach solution for 24 hours. Afterwards I rinsed off the bleach in a succession of hot (40C) salty baths over the course of a week, one bath a day for 4 hours, before being left in tubs of unheated fresh water. Finally, I visually inspected every mm of bogwood and plant for animal life before putting them back into my new tank. Result? Almost all of the plants died -- no surprise! But none of my Java ferns (four different cultivars) died and some of my hydrophilla survived too. All of the plants looked bruised and sorry for themselves but perked up within a couple of days in the new tank. After a month or so most of the leaves had died back but the Java ferns sprouted 'babies' on the dying leaves so I replanted the babies. The hygrophilla developed brown areas of softened stem every 2 or 3 inches or so along the stems and broke into short lengths which I simply pushed into the substrate in the hope the 'cuttings' would regrow. Nine months later I am looking at my tank which is totally leech-free (hurrah) but also stocked with big clumps of Java ferns (four clumps 30cm tall, 20cm wide not counting the bogwood substrate) and hydrophilla (three clumps 40 cm tall, 15 cm wide growing in the gravel substrate) -- my fish have been breeding in the plants each month for the last three months. Success! Java ferns are the guaranteed indestructible plant. I love them (and so do my fish). The hygrophilla amazes me even more as they don't have a reputation for such toughness (unlike Java ferns). Anyway, I thought I'd share my experience with you all as a tale about the amazing endurance of these plants and to encourage you not to despair if your ferns 'die back' -- they can regrow and will do so if you let them 'do their thing' and just help them along by tying 'babies' to bogwood where you want a big clump. You might have to endure a few weeks of your tank looking sorry for itself but be patient and nature will do the rest. By the way, to my infinite relief, the bleach had no adverse effect on my fish - I guess the frequent rinses cleaned off the bleach. Phew! Now I only feed dried or frozen foods as I could not face going through that again. Details: tank = 1m long x 50cm deep x 50 cm high (c. 50 gallons). Decor = gravel substrate, ceramic tunnels, coconut shells, bogwood, plants. 2 Interpet power filters in opposite corners. Water = matured tap water with dash of dechlorinator; moderately hard; 7.5pH, 0 ammonia; 0 nitrite; 15 nitrate; daily 4-8 gallon water changes; lights are 3 Ikea Kvart spotlights (3 x 40 Watts) plus sunlight from window 4 hours per evening; no added fertilisers or CO2. Fish = 2 x 9" clown loaches, 4 X 2" angels, 1 x 6" kissing gourami, 1 x 5" blue gourami, 2 x bronze corys, 4 x peppered corys, 6 x otocinclus (species?), 5 x lemon tetra, cherry barbs (they keep breeding so I have no idea how many are in the tank), 4 x danios, 5 x dwarf neon rainbows, 1 x congo tetra (my lone surviving elderly congo thinks he's a neon rainbow and swims with them displaying to the male neons all day long, a bit odd but he seems happy) - most of my fish were bought in 2000 or else have been born in the tank hence I have an odd mix of big old survivors and lots of smaller home-bred fish (I don't raise the fry they just survive by hiding in the plants until too big to eat). Regards, Jordi (UK)
 
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Very fragile, be careful when handling
 
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I have two normal ferns and a "Windelov" fern in my 5 gallon cherry shrimp/nerite snail aquarium and I notice that the "Windelov" seems hardier. The regular ferns have a lot of black patches on the leaves that the windelov ferns never developed. I also notice that a lot of the new leaves come in half transparent but that they become normal overtime. A very pretty and hardy plant.
 
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I bought 5x 6" X 6" mats of standard java fern. It developed black patches and died. Its been many months and it never came back. Disappointed...
 
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how many K does this plant need (color temp)
 
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Not necessarily a slow grower...mine is growing noticibly in my fertilized 5 and 30 gallon tanks, with the plant in the 30 gallon growing a plantlet.
 
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It can be nice, especially in a low light setting(it's awesome in a low tech tank for helping maintain water quality). In a medium light, low tech tank it grew pretty fast and put out tons of new nodes. I had trouble keeping up with the rate it was putting out new plants. It also has a habit of accumulating tank debris and always needed a good vacuuming. I ended up getting rid of it because it looked too messy without constant attention.
 
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I find that not to be true at all. Usually too much lighting will make the leaves sick. I pulled them out of my moderate-high lit tank into a moderate-low lit tank and the all turn lush and started growing again. High light will kill it. mrbelvedere is WRONG!!
 
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marko probably has too much light!
 
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Not too may Aquarium plant like it above 8. Some pond plants are OK but even they prefer it at 7.2-7.6 like Koi like but most aquarium plants get sick in that range. It might be cheaper to acidify the water before adding it. I only use distilled water for priming equipment.
 
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shepower1 - no
 
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coryplaty - Typical 6500-6700K "plant" bulbs work, even cheap 6500K "daylight" T8 or T5 will work so long as you do not use HO versions. I have mine under LED lighting which they love. HO T5's were burning them.
 
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Carson Albright - not a good choice for high tech tanks. They like low tech moderate to low lit tanks. Mine are lit by LED with no CO2 injection or oxygen/venturi injection and love it.
 
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jordi - the clown loaches were loving eating your plants as well. About the only way you can hurt them is to dump a bunch a ground coral in or crank up the light too high.
 
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Wasserpest - No, LFS are idiots. They tell you to bury everything which is not the case. Do NOT trust them! They will say that for Banana plant and Onion Plant too but they should only be 1/3 buried. You can do the same for Java Fem or attach them to rocks or driftwood using string (which will naturally break up over time) or a rubber band (which you must remove later on). Yeah, a healthy Java Fern has a deeper and darker green then typical aquarium plants. With Java Fern the rules is three leaves or more and it can probably still live. I just have a cheap ass whisper 40i in the tank with the Java Ferns. I removes the crappy biobag and dumped saome Fluvals Biomax media behind it's plastic "biofilter" and and can now go much longer between eater changes. You are right about the light, if it is too much light the leaves will turn yellow and then develop large spots before dying.

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