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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I set up a new 10 gallon tank about 3 weeks ago now. All i have in the tank right now is the windlov java fern. i plan on adding a few plants over the next couple weeks. The fern is getting black spots over the leaves. Is it dying? i am new to having a tank so any input is valued.. I had it planted in florite substrate for a few days then read your not supposed to plant them. So pulled it out so its sitting on top of the substrate now in hopes that the spots would go away. They don't seem to be getting better. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Also i have been noticing a brown film covering the walls of my aquarium, my airstone, heater and what appears to be on the plant now. Im not sure if its some sort of brown algae or just sediment from moving the substrate around. It looks kind of hairy on the airstone. Im not sure if this is the reason my fern is doing poorly or if its another issue on its own. Should i empty my tank wash it and try again?



Heather
 

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Film is diatoms, harmless. Just leave it be, they will disappear sooner or later.
If the spots are on the underside of the leaves and somewhat in line with the leaf its normal, they're like buds for new plantlets.
If it's random sizes and both sides of the leaf it's most likely a deficiency.
 

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Black spots are commonly seen with potassium deficiency.
The spots themselves will not get better, but the new growth will grow without black spots.

Black spots could also be any of several algae. Some dark algae are closer to brown or blue-green, but could look black or almost black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys for your responses. I did a little more research based on what you said. Which brings up a few more questions.. Lol as for the Diatoms. I should just leave them be and they go away? I was also reading diatioms are a sign you need to put snails and catfish in your tank. I am very hesitant to do this because i do not believe that my tank has cycled yet. I read that its a sign your cycle is almost over. Does anyone know how credible that statement is?

As for black algae I'm not sure its that because its only on the plant. Its not everywhere. Does this species only grow on plants or does it spread through the tank like green algae (all over). I can take pictures if they will help diagnose the problem with my fern. Its my first live plant ever. I've had it a week and Im sad its doing so poorly. :( thanks again for your time.


Heather
 

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I rescued about 25 pieces of java type ferns from big box pet store, $1.
All this stuff looked terrible, black spots and holes, could not be sold.
6 months have passed, all damaged has been replenished with new plantlets from leaves.

Problem was this didn't provide instant beautiful plants.
Had to sit it and forget it for a while.
 

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get some cotton thread or mono fishing line and tie the rhizome to a rock of piece of wood. plant will attach over time. my windelov was exhibiting similar spots/patches before I did that. like others have said, new growth shouldn't have the problem.
 

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That looks more like an algae, not potassium deficiency.

Ditto windelov: Java fern grows tied to things, not planted in the substrate, though if the substrate is very open (gravel, coarse sand) it can do OK.

The leaves grow upward from a stem, and the roots grow downward from the same stem. This stem should not be planted below the substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your input. I'll have to find some wood to tie it to. It was buried for about 5 days until i noticed the spots. Then i set it on top of the substrate not buried. Its just sitting there now. Could the spike in diatoms be effecting the plant? It looks like there is some on it.
 

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I was expecting something terrible.
That doesn't seem bad at all.
As long as it doesn't get worse all should be fine.

Side note: After purchasing java ferns from others on this forum.
Some has came in beautiful got moved to my tank and remained great.
Others have went through a major change darkening and loaded with new plantlets.
No complaints here either, forum members have treated me well.
It may have to do with the environment change they are put through.
Who's to say what ferts if any they have been exposed to / even CO2?
Reading that some is grown emersed, dumped in our tanks is a big change.

Out of 5 tanks that contain java fern of some type none has kicked the bucket.
 

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I dont think it looks bad at all. Get a nice piece of driftwood you like and tie it to it. Then just leave it for a while. Java fern takes a while to get settled once it's moved. Once it's settled it will begin to grow. In the mean time add more plants. That's your #1 defense against algae
 

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After tying it down, and after the tank is cycled, I would invest in a couple of Ottos. They love keeping plants clean, especially the broad leaf variety. Just remember that this hobby demands patients. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's a great suggestion. I've actually been looking at them. I just inherited a turtle. I've been trying to set the tank up perfect for the little guy. Ive been doing some research on which fish are good tank buddies for painted turtles. Ottos seem to be a little slow and i don't want them to get eaten by little Franklin Squirtle turtle. he is only about an inch and a half maybe 2 inches. I read tetras are good mates. And that turtles love plants. Which is why i picked up java fern. He keeps attacking my airstone hose so i know he will chase whatever is in there. Tetras don't eat algae though. :/
 
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