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Java Fern and Anubias issues

5029 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  narhay
I recently took an enormous java fern from my tanganyikan tank and transplanted it into my mbuna tank. Seems like everything would thrive in the tanganyikan tank, and wither away slowly in the mbuna tank. Lighting is pretty much the same (running 2x 54W T5HO with a single reflector). They would do this too with 2 x 28W T5NO with a single reflector, and with 2 x 40W T8, so I don't think it is the lighting. Maybe it's the diet? Somehow the plants were getting more from the extra protein from the tang tank than the vegan mbuna?

The java ferns start getting a lot of little holes in them. The holes are rimmed with brown. Other portions turn a little brown. Soon enough, the wholes start to collide and the whole leaf becomes like a lace plant. There are little brown spots on the leaves as well.

The anubias will do fine, and then it's edges will turn black and then wither away. New leafs will take its place and grow fine until they also have their edges turn black and wither away. Some of them have little holes in them as well, and some have black spots on the leaves.

I was thinking lack of potassium because of the holes, but the leaves aren't turning yellow. They're still quite green.

I have

aquarium Trace mix

if I want to dose anything. I also have some access to a variety of other fertilizers if there is something else. Thanks for your diagnostic skills.
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How big are these tanks? Are you adding any C02? Excel?

Bump - for having similar java fern issue.
ferns & anubias actually like the light a bit dimmer than most plants...
And you're missing Potassium.
It's a 75 gallon. I had 1 x 40W striplight before, and still did this. I moved that light over to the 60 gallon tanganyika tank and the plants did just fine...they would perk up in that tank if I swapped plants around, and then do what I described if I put them back.

K2HPO4 ---> some K in there
KNO3 ---> more K in there

I'm not dosing anything right now. No CO2, no excel.
Didn't mean to come off as a jerk, but as I read that now, I get that feeling. What I wanted to say is that I didn't know there was a separate dosing of K that I could do without nitrates and phosphates and what I had was adequate for dosing a low-light system.

Mistergreen, do you mean to say I'm lacking potassium and that is the root of my problems, or I am lacking potassium as a potential fertilizer?
How can I do that? In what form?
If he's adding KNO3, it's not likely he needs more K+.

Sounds more like CO2 related.
It's not just java, it's Anubias as well.

Non CO2 tanks easily can have very different CO2 levels, one larger tank might have more, via fish, less water movement etc, or organics built up, the other much less.

The light might seem pretty close, but without a light meter, and some experience with those, you really cannot say.

Seems much more like a light/CO2 related issue, and I have a ton of these plants. I do not add extra K+.

The other issue is the biomass of plants added relative to tank size.
Adding a small plant to the large tank will not have the same impact as adding a large plant to a small tank... and that assumes that the CO2, nutrients are the same.

There's just a lot more plant that has less loading of nutrients in the smaller tank. Many of the holes folks see often are CO2, the plant cannibalizes itself for carbon, K+ can do this as well, but that does not mean K+ is the only cause for it, there may be more.

I've ruled out K+ in Java fern that turns black and gets holes in CO2 enriched tanks as well as one non CO2 tank.
Had plenty of K+, the issue persisted.

Tom Barr
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.... Many of the holes folks see often are CO2, the plant cannibalizes itself for carbon...
Tom Barr
O.k., so would regular dosing of Excel to provide carbon, compensate for this effect, all other things being equal.


I'm not dosing anything at the moment. I just showed that I had a few fertilizers if I could use any of them.

And I moved all the fish and plants into a 150 gallon yesterday. I will see how they do and if they perk up at all.

This will be a good relative plant size experiment. Lighting is 2 - 36" 2x39W T5HO without individual reflectors. I reduced the photoperiod by 2 hours from 11 to 9. The plants are also at the lower half of the aquarium to reduce light exposure and photosynthetic rates. Hopefully I can toy around with the setup and positioning rather than adding CO2.
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