What's wrong with my Java Fern? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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What's wrong with my Java Fern?

I have a huge clump of Trident Java Fern growing on some drift wood that I've had for at least five years, and it's always done very well. Recently, it seems to have gotten some kind of disease where it's just started to turn black and die. I went through it about a week ago and pulled out any that had any signs of the disease and threw them out, but now it's already showed up again like gangbusters. It hasn't affected anything else in the tank, but I'm scared it will. All the other plants and fish in the tank are doing great. Does anyone have any idea what this is?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 03:33 AM
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The black areas and yellowing looks rather like my java ferns do when the tank is low on nutrients. I don't know why, but my regular java fern and windelov fern are among the first plants to look pale or yellow when my fert dose isn't sufficient.... just an idea.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 03:35 AM
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Hi @Svham,

I too have had that problem in the past and and at first thought it was a disease. It would happen to both my 'Trident' and 'Windelov' variants. I would remove all the affected leaves, sometimes leaving just a bare rhizome. New leaves would emerge, grow fine, and then the symptoms would show up again. Eventually I found adding Seachem Equilibrium would minimize the outbreaks, now it only shows up when I let my dKH / dGH get too low. I don't know if it is the calcium, magnesium, potassium, or manganese that gets too low and causes the outbreaks, I suspect it is potassium. I hope this helps!

Does this look familiar?

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ09 View Post
The black areas and yellowing looks rather like my java ferns do when the tank is low on nutrients. I don't know why, but my regular java fern and windelov fern are among the first plants to look pale or yellow when my fert dose isn't sufficient.... just an idea.
I'm ashamed to say that I don't dose any fertilizers in this tank. I've never had any trouble with it before,and it's always been super vigorous. However, I have added a ton of new plants recently, so you may be on to something.

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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @Svham,

I too have had that problem in the past and and at first thought it was a disease. It would happen to both my 'Trident' and 'Windelov' variants. I would remove all the affected leaves, sometimes leaving just a bare rhizome. New leaves would emerge, grow fine, and then the symptoms would show up again. Eventually I found adding Seachem Equilibrium would minimize the outbreaks, now it only shows up when I let my dKH / dGH get too low. I don't know if it is the calcium, magnesium, potassium, or manganese that gets too low and causes the outbreaks, I suspect it is potassium. I hope this helps!

Does this look familiar?
I know for a fact that my dKH/dGH are always very low, almost zero. The tap water here is very soft. It does look similar to your pics. Looks like I really need to start adding ferts. It's just strange that it's done so well in this tank for years, and now it's falling apart all of a sudden.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svham View Post
I'm ashamed to say that I don't dose any fertilizers in this tank. I've never had any trouble with it before,and it's always been super vigorous. However, I have added a ton of new plants recently, so you may be on to something.

Bump:

I know for a fact that my dKH/dGH are always very low, almost zero. The tap water here is very soft. It does look similar to your pics. Looks like I really need to start adding ferts. It's just strange that it's done so well in this tank for years, and now it's falling apart all of a sudden.
Hi @Svham,

I agree, it is likely that the addition of "a ton" of new plants has depleted what minimal nutrients were available in the past causing the symptoms to occur.

Roy_________
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2020, 09:54 PM
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I realize that this is a necro-thread post but perhaps others will benefit from the information above. I did..or hope to.

My ferns and crypts have taken a sudden nose dive. The only thing that has changed is that I added a couple more Pothos to dangle in the tank. I already had two other Anthurium dangling their roots in the tank. I dose with Thrive daily. The house plants and also the stems at the back of the tank are growing great but I suspect that they are out competing everything else. I am pulling most of the house plants out for now. It was a pretty bad die back...yellow leaves and melting.

I am starting to see that planning which plants to use is critical. Too many fast growers and the slow ones can suffer.

Fast vs slow vs algae...Balance!

Last edited by mourip; 10-20-2020 at 09:54 PM. Reason: wording
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