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Hi there. So I have a few java ferns in my little Fluval Spec aquarium. They are sprouting tons of brown fibers that I believe might be rhizomes from what I've read. They've been present for a few months now and continue to become thicker and thicker. I think I read somewhere that eventually the leaves will turn brown and fall off, and that I can plant the dead leaf with rhizomes to grow even more ferns. However, the leaves don't seem to be dying, just getting hairier and hairier. Anyone got any pointers on how I should manage these things? Should I trim them or just leave them the heck alone? Photo attached... thanks!!

 

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Mine float around and attach to everything.. What starts as a little piece of what you think might be dying matter turns into a bush attached to a piece of driftwood in no time. I got a small piece accidentally in a shipment of plants, I now have good quantities in 8 tanks from that small bit.

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lol Those "brown fibers" are actually its roots not the rhizome. The rhizome is that green horizontal structure underneath the leaves and above the roots. Java fern propagate by growing plantlets on new leaves. It's pretty neat. You will see what I mean soon.

By the way, nice looking java fern. it looks healthy and strong. good job

EDIT: on a second look, you already have plantlets growing from other java fern leaves. Nevermind, I thought that it was a mature plant. I honestly, do not know what to do here. You can either leave it or cut off the leaf that its growing on and plant it somewhere. I'm not sure.
 

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I'm over run with the stuff; the plant I have was given to me in 1997 and all the Java I have is from that initial rhizome. That plantlet will probably pop of by just giving the smallest of tugs. When I want it to spread I trim up the roots a bit and then just tie it with some black cotton thread to some wood or something. And off it goes...

One other thought, even if you don't want it to spread either remove the plantlet or trim the roots. Otherwise they can become wrapped around the leaves and stems and if they start trying to attach there it will tear up your leaves.
 
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