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Old 07-17-2005, 04:08 AM   #1
Cichlid Freq
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Help with Java Fern


I am having a problem with the 2 Java Ferns I have in my 55 gal. The tank specs are as follows:
Lighting 2x65 watt pc
pH: 7.8
Nitrates 5ppm
Phosphate 5ppm
amonnia undetectable
temp 79F

I dose every every according to the EI method. I do not have pressurized co2 but I dose every day at 2x the recomended dose of Flourish Excel.

The problem I am having is that since the day I got them the 2 Java Ferns I have in the tank are slowly withering away. When I got them the leaves were a nice dark green color, now they are developing holes in them and are developing black spots on them . The are not planted in the substrate in the tank but are tied to 2 small rocks I have placed on the back part of a piece of driftwood. Does anybody have any idea what I can do to turn this situation around?

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Old 07-17-2005, 04:54 AM   #2
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for one, java fern likes high nitrate. 5ppm means that you are basically bottoming out. you should get it up to 20ppm base, and then continue dosing as usual.

probably has no impact on the java fern health, but the PO4 is too high. this may be a mere coincidence, but i just had a high PO4 problem and my Java Fern looks like it is withering away too. back when I had low PO4 (1-2ppm) the fern flourished. i know the "word on the street" is that high PO4 has no ill effects, but I have slightly been doubting that lately. either way, you could do with dosing less PO4. if you are at 5ppm now, then cut back by 1/2 and see what happens. test every few days until you get a good trend of keeping PO4 at 2ppm.

the only other factor that helped my java fern was lowering the temp, but it was from 85 down to 78, so yours is already at that lower temp that seems to work well.

edit>> should also add... the black spots could be BBA (black-beard algae). my fern has it too... never could get rid of it. still trying.

by you saying that holes are developing means that you probably arent dosing enough K. and by seeing that you have low Nitrates makes it seem that way too. How much of KNO3 (assuming that is what you are using for NO3) do you dose, and for how many gallons of water?
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advise, I did a large water change today so I will see what that does for it. I did notice today while doing the water change that there are alot of plantlets developing on the bottom of the leaves so it can't be too unhappy in the conditions. It ust seems wierd that there has been absolutely no new growth in either plant since I added them over a month ago. Also there seems to be no progress in them attaching to anything; one of them is tied to a piece of drift wood, and the other is tied to a rock. How long do these take to start to attach to anything? Also are they particular about what types o ricks they will attach to? Right now the one is tied to a pretty smooth piece of river rock.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:01 AM   #4
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i wouldnt think they could attach to anything that wasn't rough textured. the roots need to grip on to it by wrapping around something.

do you have access to African Roots? those work great for any plant that you want above substrate level. you may want to call around to some LFS's (big stores like Petco and Petsmart probably will not have them) to get some. They sink well too.

i would think after a month the roots should be on tight.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:04 AM   #5
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That kind of goes with what I was saying before thay they are not growing at all, not the roots, not the leaves, not anything.... I am having the same problem with Java Moss not attaching to anything, and from what I understand it will attach to anything. But that is for a new thread.
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