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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while back, i had a low light, low tech planted tank(just one T8 bulb) the tank was dirted and the ferns where burried in the substrate up to the rhizome, and my ferns wheren't growing fast, but they where relatively pretty...

then i made a DIY hood with 5 CFL's, decided to go with an inert substrate, since i wasn't gonne plant anything in the substrate anymore and dose some macro's occasionally, i got myself a nice piece of wood and bound anubias and java fern on the wood with some fishingline.

The anubias and even the crypt in the inert substrate are doing good, but the java ferns are... well... i'll show a picture and you can judge yourself..




Its been going like this for a few months, they grow new leaves pretty fast, but the leaves turn brown and hard very fast aswel.
 

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Without more tank info it's hard to help, but here is how I see it.

Remove 2 of the lights, then evenly space out the three over the tank. This will disperse the light throughout the tank and get the strong light from over the plants.

The leaves that are covered in algae need to be either cleaned or trimmed. Leaves that are caked with algae will not grow properly because they need light. All the dead leaves need to be trimmed and removed as they are contributing to the excess organic waste in the tank which is contributing to the algae problem. Leaves are not burnt. If they were, there would be no green peaking out among them.

You can keep the Java fern, just give it living conditions that it likes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Without more tank info it's hard to help, but here is how I see it.

Remove 2 of the lights, then evenly space out the three over the tank. This will disperse the light throughout the tank and get the strong light from over the plants.

The leaves that are covered in algae need to be either cleaned or trimmed. Leaves that are caked with algae will not grow properly because they need light. All the dead leaves need to be trimmed and removed as they are contributing to the excess organic waste in the tank which is contributing to the algae problem. Leaves are not burnt. If they were, there would be no green peaking out among them.

You can keep the Java fern, just give it living conditions that it likes.

the other plants are not bothered by the algae at all.. not even the anubias and they are slow growing aswel right?

okay err tank info..

30cm high, 30cm deep, 100cm wide(total of about 100 liters)
parameters are:
0 no3
0 no2
7 ph
180 kh
120 gh
77f

i've got 4 ram cichlids, 10 corydoras, 3 Siamese Algae eaters.

substrate is completely inert, no substrate dosing.(i dont know all the names in english but i added the symbols so that should say enough :p

this is what i dose:
Kalium (K)
6,6 %
Magnesium (Mg)
0,5 %
Iron (Fe)
0,10 %
Mangane (Mn)
0,03 %
Boor (B)
0,02 %
Zink (Zn)
0,006%
Koper (Cu)
0,002%
Molybdeen (Mo)
0,001%
Stikstof (N)
0%
Fosfor (P)
0%
 

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How long are you leaving the lights on for? Java ferns only need about 6 hours.

If these is the only plants you have in the tank, there is no need to dose the substrate because they are attached to the wood. However, you still need to clean up the plants and tone down the lighting.

If you want fast growing plants, those require more work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How long are you leaving the lights on for? Java ferns only need about 6 hours.

If these is the only plants you have in the tank, there is no need to dose the substrate because they are attached to the wood. However, you still need to clean up the plants and tone down the lighting.

If you want fast growing plants, those require more work.
I didnt want fast growing plants, its my low tech tank with anubias, moss and some crypts(to hide some equipment :p)

6 hours is really low though, i cant enjoy the tank very much then.. the lights are on for about 14 hours now xD... so i guess i can tune it down a bit and trim the leaves.. but still.. 6 is very low, i like walking past it and look at my fish
 

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Not much I can do to help then. You can try some floating plants to act as a filter, but I'm not convinced that would help either as a 14 hour photo period for any tank is too long.

If the plant doesn't like what you are doing, it will not grow and thrive.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not much I can do to help then. You can try some floating plants to act as a filter, but I'm not convinced that would help either as a 14 hour photo period for any tank is too long.

If the plant doesn't like what you are doing, it will not grow and thrive.

Good luck!
my high tech pressurized does fine with that long of a period and the lights are a LOT brighter?

Would adding some DIY co2 help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know about the CO2 as I don't use it. I have 3 low tech tanks all of them produce good growth so I don't bother.

If you're convinced that a 14 hour photo period works, then do it.
i've lowered the light time to 3x3 hours with intervals so i can enjoy it in the morning and in the evening, so to 9 hours ^^ we'll see what that gives first, thanks for all the replies man!
 

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In my experience, java fern does turn brown with too much light. I tried putting some outside this summer in a unused horse trough, and it looks a lot like your pictures (minus the algae). Also, sometimes when java fern leaves turn brown they produce baby plantlets along their edges.

I have had java fern do quite well and in low and medium light tanks, and leave my lights on for 6 to 8 hours a day.

The idea of using floating plants to help dim the light may be worth a try, but if you have a lot of current in your tank this may not work so well.

Good luck!
 

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My Windelov and Trident ferns are reacting the same way to higher light, minus the algae. I'll have to take them off the top of my driftwood and keep them tucked underneath in the shade, where I'm seeing the greenest and fastest growth.
 

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Here is a crooked picture of my little, messy ( because it wouldn't be my tank if it wasn't messy) nano that I started almost a month ago.

The light over this tank is a Fluval Eco which is set to two clicks from being off. This tank gets 6 hours along with ambient, filtered sunlight in the morning and the ferns do just fine along with everything else.

Java ferns are not hard to please.
 

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Just to dispel a little myth. Java Fern like any other aquatic plant will grow faster and fuller under high-light. When a plant is said to be low-light it just means it doesn't REQUIRE high light.

According to your setup you have five 23 watt CF bulbs on your 100 liter. That's about 25 gallons and your running a long light duration. So that's a high light tank, your not running co2 nor are you fertilizing on a regular basis. That won't work in the long run for any setup. Algae will grow over everything and prevent any growth which wont be much since your not dosing and running co2 under high light.
 
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