The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
This is an established, low tech 20 gal tall hex tank without CO2. Lighting is a Hygger 14w for 8 hours. I use low tech weekly fert after 10% water change. NO3 is 10-20. Anubius, Crypts, Crinum and even Anacharis are doing fine (although growing real slow). But the Java Fern is developing this fenestrated appearance, and some leaves have black spots. Any thoughts?
Plant Leaf Terrestrial plant Flowerpot Grass
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
Hi all,
This is an established, low tech 20 gal tall hex tank without CO2. Lighting is a Hygger 14w for 8 hours. I use low tech weekly fert after 10% water change. NO3 is 10-20. Anubius, Crypts, Crinum and even Anacharis are doing fine (although growing real slow). But the Java Fern is developing this fenestrated appearance, and some leaves have black spots. Any thoughts?
View attachment 1046091
Hi @rsieg

I've grown Microsporum pteropus (java ferns) for 14 years, specifically 'Trident' and 'Windelov' variants. What I have learned from my own personal experience, along with research on the web, was M. pteropus seem to do best with larger than 'normal' amounts of potassium (K). When plants are not receiving sufficient amounts of potassium one of the symptoms are small necronic holes developing in the older leaves. As the lack of available potassium continues the holes enlarge and eventually the entire leaf dies. Why the older leaves and not all leaves? Because potassium is one of the 'mobile nutrients' that allows plants to move a nutrient that is in short supply from older areas of the plant to areas where it is most needed for new growth. That is why old leaves are effected first.

Necrotic spots develop on older leaves

a. Margins of older leaves become chlorotic and then burn, or small chlorotic spots progressing to necrosis appear scattered on old leaf blades. Calcium excess impedes uptake of potassium
cations.... potassium deficiency

Potassium deficiency symptoms first appear on the recently matured leaves of the plant (not on the young, immature leaves at the growing point). In some plants, the first sign of potassium deficiency is a white specking or freckling of the leaf blades. With time, the symptoms become more pronounced on the older leaves , and they become mottled or yellowish between the veins and scorched at the margins. These progress inward until the entire leaf blade is scorched. If sodium cations are present and taken up in place of K+1, leaf flecking (necrotic spots scattered on leaf surface) and reduced growth occur. Potassium is phloem retranslocated from old leaves to new growth.
I was puzzled by this occurring on my java ferns for several years. There were times, especially when I got lazy on my dosing, that I would lose an entire thicket of java fern in a matter of a week or two, it was as if the leaves were melting. This is how it appeared on my 'Trident' java fern.
Plant Vegetation Terrestrial plant Tree Flowering plant


Since your NO3 is fine I would recommend increase your dosing of potassium. You can either use Seachem Flourish Potassium or if you dose dry nutrients potassium sulfate. For your 20 gallon tank two teaspoons of Seachem Potassium will add 7.5 ppm of potassium to your tank, I would start with 2X per week if you are doing weekly water changes. If you are dosing with dry nutrients 3/8 teaspoon of potassium sulfate 2X per week. After you start dosing you will likely continue to see leaves decline however in about a month you should start to see signs of new growth. Photo below is one month later.
Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Aquatic plant Flowering plant


Hope this helps! -Roy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi @rsieg

I've grown Microsporum pteropus (java ferns) for 14 years, specifically 'Trident' and 'Windelov' variants. What I have learned from my own personal experience, along with research on the web, was M. pteropus seem to do best with larger than 'normal' amounts of potassium (K). When plants are not receiving sufficient amounts of potassium one of the symptoms are small necronic holes developing in the older leaves. As the lack of available potassium continues the holes enlarge and eventually the entire leaf dies. Why the older leaves and not all leaves? Because potassium is one of the 'mobile nutrients' that allows plants to move a nutrient that is in short supply from older areas of the plant to areas where it is most needed for new growth. That is why old leaves are effected first.



I was puzzled by this occurring on my java ferns for several years. There were times, especially when I got lazy on my dosing, that I would lose an entire thicket of java fern in a matter of a week or two, it was as if the leaves were melting. This is how it appeared on my 'Trident' java fern.
View attachment 1046092

Since your NO3 is fine I would recommend increase your dosing of potassium. You can either use Seachem Flourish Potassium or if you dose dry nutrients potassium sulfate. For your 20 gallon tank two teaspoons of Seachem Potassium will add 7.5 ppm of potassium to your tank, I would start with 2X per week if you are doing weekly water changes. If you are dosing with dry nutrients 3/8 teaspoon of potassium sulfate 2X per week. After you start dosing you will likely continue to see leaves decline however in about a month you should start to see signs of new growth. Photo below is one month later.
View attachment 1046093

Hope this helps! -Roy
Hi @rsieg

I've grown Microsporum pteropus (java ferns) for 14 years, specifically 'Trident' and 'Windelov' variants. What I have learned from my own personal experience, along with research on the web, was M. pteropus seem to do best with larger than 'normal' amounts of potassium (K). When plants are not receiving sufficient amounts of potassium one of the symptoms are small necronic holes developing in the older leaves. As the lack of available potassium continues the holes enlarge and eventually the entire leaf dies. Why the older leaves and not all leaves? Because potassium is one of the 'mobile nutrients' that allows plants to move a nutrient that is in short supply from older areas of the plant to areas where it is most needed for new growth. That is why old leaves are effected first.



I was puzzled by this occurring on my java ferns for several years. There were times, especially when I got lazy on my dosing, that I would lose an entire thicket of java fern in a matter of a week or two, it was as if the leaves were melting. This is how it appeared on my 'Trident' java fern.
View attachment 1046092

Since your NO3 is fine I would recommend increase your dosing of potassium. You can either use Seachem Flourish Potassium or if you dose dry nutrients potassium sulfate. For your 20 gallon tank two teaspoons of Seachem Potassium will add 7.5 ppm of potassium to your tank, I would start with 2X per week if you are doing weekly water changes. If you are dosing with dry nutrients 3/8 teaspoon of potassium sulfate 2X per week. After you start dosing you will likely continue to see leaves decline however in about a month you should start to see signs of new growth. Photo below is one month later.
View attachment 1046093

Hope this helps! -Roy
Roy,
Thanks for your detailed reply, makes total sense. I was assuming since NO3 and P were ok, that K would be also, although I don't measure it (should I, and if so how?) I will dose Seachem Potassium and see what happens.
Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
Roy,
Thanks for your detailed reply, makes total sense. I was assuming since NO3 and P were ok, that K would be also, although I don't measure it (should I, and if so how?) I will dose Seachem Potassium and see what happens.
Thanks again!
Hi @rsieg

I check the NO3, ph, dKH, and dGH of my tanks monthly. Occasionally, if I detect a growth problem I check my Ca (and compute my Mg), and my Fe levels. I rely on my java ferns and Barclaya longifolia to let me know if my potassium is getting low. Let us know how the increased dosing of K does, remember watch the new growth, do not judge the progress on existing leaves. -Roy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
I was puzzled by this occurring on my java ferns for several years. There were times, especially when I got lazy on my dosing, that I would lose an entire thicket of java fern in a matter of a week or two, it was as if the leaves were melting. This is how it appeared on my 'Trident' java fern.
View attachment 1046092
Oh, I've had that happen to my trident ferns too. Once I managed to grow a huge cluster of it over several months, only to lose the entire thing when tiny bits of it started looking like that. It spreads incredibly quickly. I decommissioned the tank after that. I had no idea it was due to a deficiency, I thought it had grown so thick that it was choking itself out.

I've also had it happen to tridents that are newly added. I cut off all the affected leaves but didn't adjust my dosage. The melting did stop after awhile, I assume after the ferns had adapted to nutrient levels in my tank. Perhaps I should increase dosing for a while as I've just added some new ferns... But I feel like once a leaf starts to looking like that, the leaf is pretty much unsalvageable. The only thing we can do is cut them off and wait for new growth.
 

·
Registered
29g rimless cherry shrimp, 20g cube dwarf cichlid, 2 x 40g breeder community fish
Joined
·
695 Posts
I found I had the same exact issue as you display in the photo. As Seattle_Aquaris says, I dose extra K in the two tanks I have Java fern in. I removed the melting leaves and started the extra K and now things look good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,200 Posts
...I use low tech weekly fert after 10% water change...
What are you exactly dosing? In a low energy system the need for ferts is much lower. Most of the plants described really don't require much in that environment.

I always have high energy systems with ferns and I don't dose extra K and my javas seem pretty happy.



During a water change:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I thought plants will grow just fine in water I am guessing their nutrients will be from water (assuming non-RO) and the fertilization is just to enhance growth?

Hi @rsieg

I've grown Microsporum pteropus (java ferns) for 14 years, specifically 'Trident' and 'Windelov' variants. What I have learned from my own personal experience, along with research on the web, was M. pteropus seem to do best with larger than 'normal' amounts of potassium (K). When plants are not receiving sufficient amounts of potassium one of the symptoms are small necronic holes developing in the older leaves. As the lack of available potassium continues the holes enlarge and eventually the entire leaf dies. Why the older leaves and not all leaves? Because potassium is one of the 'mobile nutrients' that allows plants to move a nutrient that is in short supply from older areas of the plant to areas where it is most needed for new growth. That is why old leaves are effected first.



I was puzzled by this occurring on my java ferns for several years. There were times, especially when I got lazy on my dosing, that I would lose an entire thicket of java fern in a matter of a week or two, it was as if the leaves were melting. This is how it appeared on my 'Trident' java fern.
View attachment 1046092

Since your NO3 is fine I would recommend increase your dosing of potassium. You can either use Seachem Flourish Potassium or if you dose dry nutrients potassium sulfate. For your 20 gallon tank two teaspoons of Seachem Potassium will add 7.5 ppm of potassium to your tank, I would start with 2X per week if you are doing weekly water changes. If you are dosing with dry nutrients 3/8 teaspoon of potassium sulfate 2X per week. After you start dosing you will likely continue to see leaves decline however in about a month you should start to see signs of new growth. Photo below is one month later.
View attachment 1046093

Hope this helps! -Roy
Hello, if a Java Fern grows to large, if I cut the leaves will it grow back or that it? or will it grow new leaves?

What are you exactly dosing? In a low energy system the need for ferts is much lower. Most of the plants described really don't require much in that environment.

I always have high energy systems with ferns and I don't dose extra K and my javas seem pretty happy.



During a water change:

what you mean by low and high energy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
I've grown Microsporum pteropus (java ferns) for 14 years, specifically 'Trident' and 'Windelov' variants. What I have learned from my own personal experience, along with research on the web, was M. pteropus seem to do best with larger than 'normal' amounts of potassium (K). When plants are not receiving sufficient amounts of potassium one of the symptoms are small necronic holes developing in the older leaves. As the lack of available potassium continues the holes enlarge and eventually the entire leaf dies. Why the older leaves and not all leaves? Because potassium is one of the 'mobile nutrients' that allows plants to move a nutrient that is in short supply from older areas of the plant to areas where it is most needed for new growth. That is why old leaves are effected first.
Hi Roy

Don't mean to hijack but I'm starting to wonder if what I'm facing recently is a simple issue of nutrient deficiency. If the problem was contained to just that one plant I would understand, but it appears to spread to neighbouring plants that are initially healthy as well. Last night I noticed a bit of necrosis on bolbitis which I added recently, but it also appears to have spread to the neighbouring anubias angustifolia, which has been doing fine the whole time. I've cut off all the leaves showing symptoms.

I wonder if it's an issue with the grower, or the store from which I bought them. The ferns are from Tropica. In recent months I've encountered this melting very shortly after introducing them to my tank. The symptoms are less like OP's and more like in your pictures. I haven't actually bought any trident ferns from another shop before so I don't know if there's just a problem with Tropica's tridents.

I've also bought Philippine java fern from the same store, but from a different grower, and at the same time as the trident ferns and which were kept in the same tank as the tridents which eventually started undergoing necrosis. The Philippine ferns have not shown the same issue since introduction to my tank. Anyway it does eventually stop... but having to constantly pull them to inspect the individual fronds is quite annoying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
Hi Roy

Don't mean to hijack but I'm starting to wonder if what I'm facing recently is a simple issue of nutrient deficiency. If the problem was contained to just that one plant I would understand, but it appears to spread to neighbouring plants that are initially healthy as well. Last night I noticed a bit of necrosis on bolbitis which I added recently, but it also appears to have spread to the neighbouring anubias angustifolia, which has been doing fine the whole time. I've cut off all the leaves showing symptoms.

I wonder if it's an issue with the grower, or the store from which I bought them. The ferns are from Tropica. In recent months I've encountered this melting very shortly after introducing them to my tank. The symptoms are less like OP's and more like in your pictures. I haven't actually bought any trident ferns from another shop before so I don't know if there's just a problem with Tropica's tridents.

I've also bought Philippine java fern from the same store, but from a different grower, and at the same time as the trident ferns and which were kept in the same tank as the tridents which eventually started undergoing necrosis. The Philippine ferns have not shown the same issue since introduction to my tank. Anyway it does eventually stop... but having to constantly pull them to inspect the individual fronds is quite annoying.
Hi @chicken.nublet

Many of the plant species we use in our tanks are 'marginals' which means they grow along the shores of lakes, rivers, etc. As 'marginals' they are capable to growing both submerged or emersed. Many aquatic plant nurseries prefer to grow their plants emersed (out of water) because the plants grow faster, don't grow algae on the leaves, and in some cases are easier to ship. Java ferns, Bolbitis, and Anubias are all species that are typically grown emersed.

Unfortunately when plants are grown emersed the leaves form a cuticle layer that minimizes the moisture the plant loses through transpiration. That cuticle layer is great for the plant when it is emersed but when the plant is submerged the leaves with a cuticle layer cannot 'breath' efficiently and obtain the carbon dioxide (or oxygen at night) needed for plant growth and health. However, as a 'marginal' plant it has adapted over the centuries to deal with being submerged. The plant will slowly kill of the old leaves, re-absorbing the nutrients they contain, and use those nutrients for growing new leaves without a cuticle layer that can breath underwater. If you plants are relatively new, and the leaves that are dying are leaves that were on the plants when they were purchased, that is what is happening. Hope this helps! -Roy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
I thought plants will grow just fine in water I am guessing their nutrients will be from water (assuming non-RO) and the fertilization is just to enhance growth?

Hello, if a Java Fern grows to large, if I cut the leaves will it grow back or that it? or will it grow new leaves?
Hi @GreenViews

Most water has very little of the necessary nutrients for plant growth. Plants in rivers and lakes usually derive the nutrients they need from the soil.

Yes, if a java fern grows too large you can remove some leaves from the rhizome and it will grow new leaves, however the new leaves will likely become as large as the ones you trimmed. -Roy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What are you exactly dosing? In a low energy system the need for ferts is much lower. Most of the plants described really don't require much in that environment.

I always have high energy systems with ferns and I don't dose extra K and my javas seem pretty happy.



During a water change:

Hi Asteroid,
I use 1/2 tsp of Flourish and 1 pump of Thrive-C weekly after 10% water change. This seems to keep P and NO3 in reasonable range.
R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,200 Posts
Hi Asteroid,
I use 1/2 tsp of Flourish and 1 pump of Thrive-C weekly after 10% water change. This seems to keep P and NO3 in reasonable range.
R
In low-tech (low energy) it's rare that a short fall in some fert is the issue, especially in your case where your dosing a complete fertilizer and your saying N&P are good and other plants are fine. It won't hurt anything to increase your thrive dosing a bit which has K. Needing a dedicated K fertilizer would be very unusual with your tanks perimeters. Low tech is low and slow. More important discard damaged leaves, increase water changes a bit. Important to keep leaf surfaces as clean as possible.

In most cases things that look like fert deficiencies turn out to be something unrelated to fertilization.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
In low-tech (low energy) it's rare that a short fall in some fert is the issue, especially in your case where your dosing a complete fertilizer and your saying N&P are good and other plants are fine. It won't hurt anything to increase your thrive dosing a bit which has K. Needing a dedicated K fertilizer would be very unusual with your tanks perimeters. Low tech is low and slow. More important discard damaged leaves, increase water changes a bit. Important to keep leaf surfaces as clean as possible.

In most cases things that look like fert deficiencies turn out to be something unrelated to fertilization.
why should he discard damaged leaves? Whats the correct way of discarding damaged leaves? by cutting the damaged part of by cutting the complete leaf off the stem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,200 Posts
why should he discard damaged leaves? Whats the correct way of discarding damaged leaves? by cutting the damaged part of by cutting the complete leaf off the stem?
Several reasons, the damaged leaves will never repair themselves, unhealthy leaves provide food for algae and other aquarium pests. Also by removing the leaves you allow the plant to utilize resources for new healthy leaves. Leaves should be cut as close to the rhizome (stem) as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Several reasons, the damaged leaves will never repair themselves, unhealthy leaves provide food for algae and other aquarium pests. Also by removing the leaves you allow the plant to utilize resources for new healthy leaves. Leaves should be cut as close to the rhizome (stem) as possible.
So let me see if I understand you correctly...
In the plant world if a leaf is damaged its better to snap it off than to keep it because it takes resources for no reason? or are there exemptions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,200 Posts
So let me see if I understand you correctly...
In the plant world if a leaf is damaged its better to snap it off than to keep it because it takes resources for no reason? or are there exemptions?
Not sure I understand your question. Are you suggesting it's better to keep a damaged leaf? Brown or damaged leaves do not heal so no point in wasting resources maintaining it. Any damage is also contributing to waste load in tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Not sure I understand your question. Are you suggesting it's better to keep a damaged leaf? Brown or damaged leaves do not heal so no point in wasting resources maintaining it. Any damage is also contributing to waste load in tank.
no I am asking if cutting damaged leaves is for all plants, aquariums or none aquariums plants, or is it just aquarium plants? Also, can't we keep a leaf if it has damaged parts like brown tips? still looks ok, am I wrong?

a for cutting the leaf from the stem, I am confused . At which point do I cut, point 1 or 2? please see image of this peace lilly.

Terrestrial plant Plant Leaf vegetable Flowering plant Creative arts
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top