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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a standard 55 gallon with some rock and driftwood and two java ferns. I use flourish excel every other day and flourish root tabs. I just got a 48" aquatic life t5 HO fixture with a 6000 k bulb and roseate bulb. The fixture has been on the tank for about 3 weeks now and the plants haven't really done anything except green up a little. Not really sure why thre not taking off considering they are one of the easiest plants to grow. Any help would be appreciated
 

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Dosing C02 always helps but it's more likely that your java fern isn't getting enough nutrients from the substrate. If you're using regular gravel then try adding root tabs under them. Or you could replace the substrate with a planted substrate containing beneficial nutrients.
 

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And keep in mind that it takes some time, up to several weeks or more, for plants to settle into their new environment, start to root out properly, and begin to develop some good growth.
 

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If you plant more than the actual roots of Java Fern they will die.
It is a Rhizome type plant which has what looks like a runner connecting the leaves at the bottom. This part must not be planted but only the actual roots which hang from it.
Then if a Java Fern grows one full leaf a month, it is taking off. Of course a larger one may have more than one leaf at a time comimg out. That root thing is why some just tie it to a piece of wood as it does well that way. A picture of the tank might help but if you only have those two plants and a few fish you might not need ferts.
The root tabs are incompete and don't do much of anything for the Java fern if it is on wood.
 

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I have the exact same light fixture. You really need to upgrade the bulbs to two 6700k bulbs. I did and can really tell the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have the exact same light fixture. You really need to upgrade the bulbs to two 6700k bulbs. I did and can really tell the difference.
Ya rick dale I've heard about this a lot online, will do this when I get some money. The ferns have been in the tank for 3 or 4 months now and were living under a single t12 bulb so when upgrading lights I figured they would take off. The roots of them are about half in Sand and half out and yes I'm using sand as my bottom substrate. They are growing just very slowly. I would add some pictures but idk how to do that from an iphone
 

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I don't totally agree with getting rid of the roseate bulb. Depending on the bulb, plants use part of the red spectrum for growing. It might not look as bright to your eyes but my understanding is humans don't perceive red as being as bright as other colors. I could be wrong on that though. ?? But that doesn't mean the plants aren't using it as good as or even better than 6500k.

Java Ferns are really slow growing so not sure what kind of growth you're expecting to see. They're not like some fast growing stem plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I'm not really familiar with too many plants considering I'm new to it. But knowing javas are slow growers that makes me feel better. The plan in the future is to replace both bulbs with 6700k bulbs and then rigging a red led or another single tube t5 with a roseate bulb and connecting it to my aquatic life fixture
 

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At least from what I've read/seen Java Ferns are very slow growing. When I got my first one it was like watching grass grow .. only slower. :eek: But then I had low light so take that into consideration. Not sure how fast/slow they grow with high light ... whether you can see growth in days or weeks. ???
 

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Java fern is easy, because it doesn't require high light, co2, regular dosing regimens, etc. but it is also slow growing, just takes time. Try tying it to the driftwood, rather than rooting it in the sand, my experience has always been that the plants on driftwood did better than plants on the substrate, for Java fern.
 

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I have a 55 gal with java fern (swords, stems, anubias as well) and followed a similar path bought a nice dual t5 ho fixture and was using excel daily and flourish twice per week with not very noticeable growth for about 6 months. None of the plants flourished but they stayed alive. I saved up and got a pressurized co2 and dosed the dry fertilizer EI regime (KNO3, K2PO4, KSO4, plantex, seachem iron) and that made all the difference in the world. The java fern took off and after 6 months a three inch rhizome had grown enough to completely cover an 18 inch driftwood log with leaves extending nearly to the surface. I recently had to remove it b/c it was crowding out my fish. I would save up for a CO2 system if you want a jungle look, the excel will keep the ferns alive just fine but you won't get fast growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ya I been thinking about CO2 but it seems there is so many systems out there mainly DIY ones. Is there any good ones you can buy right off the market? Or is DIY ones the way to go?
 
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