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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have no idea what is going on with my Java Fern, but it's pathetic ever since I moved it to my 125g 4 months ago.

I don't use c02 or excel, and I'm wondering if that's the issue? I want to stay low tech with no c02 if possible.

These small plants were just picked from a larger plant after they were pretty much about to detach from the parent plant. I glued them to the driftwood. They were nice and bright green, but now are completely brown.

The other plants pictured are what all of my ferns are doing.

Parameters are all right. Temperature is 82. Light is 2 30" Finnex Planted Plus 24/7s on the 24/7 cycle.

I'm adding a finnex planted plus 48" Monday. I'll be using it for 6 to 7 hours on a timer.

Ferts are Gla Micros and macros dosed on Monday and Tuesday. Water changes are done on Thursdays and Sundays.

Any help? I want the huge fern forest I see people having.



 

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Hi Aparker2005,

Is it possible that you have soft water where you live like we have in Seattle?

I had a similar problem with my java ferns ('Trident' and 'Windelov'). The plants would grow fine for a while then over a period of a few weeks holes would develop with some areas of the leaves turning brown / paper thin - almost melting (see photo). The rhizomes would remain green and healthy and after I trimmed off the affected leaves within a couple of weeks a new flush of leaves would start to appear.

I first tried increasing potassium (K) but there was no change or improvement. After a couple of years I think I have possibly determined my problem and a remedy; I have had little to no 'melt' in the last 12 months. My water here in Seattle is extremely soft. In the last year I have increased the amount of DIY Equilibrium I add during water changes along with some extra calcium (CaCl2+2H2O), magnesium (MgSO4+7H2O), and CSM+B during the week.

Here is the problem I had before increasing my hardness.
 

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Hi Aparker2005,

You can always check with your local water utility for information about their water, they have to test it at least a couple times a year. If you are on well water you might want to get a H2O test kit for dKH and dGH. I grew up in the St. Louis area and our water was not very hard because it come from the Missouri River. If your local water source is a river you may have softer water than you think. If the water source is well water it is likely fairly hard, Missouri and Arkansas both have large deposits of limestone so groundwater is typically hard.
 

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Hi Aparker2005,

Here is a link to the State of Arkansas website with contacts where you can get drinking water quality reports for various cities in AR.
 

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That could be. Here in Arizona we have rock hard water, and I've grown JF in low light, no CO2 tanks for years. It grows so fast that I moved it out of one tank but did not see a small plantlet stuck somewhere, and it started taking over again not long after. It's my favorite plant; a good friend of mine gave me a small piece of hers 18 years ago a few months before passing away. I've had that plant and it's plantlets in various tanks in one form or another continuously since then.

(Edit--I should note I've grown it in high light CO2 tanks as well. I did see it grow slower in this tank, and that used RO water so the hardness was much lower than what we call the "Liquid Rock" that comes out of our taps.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I'm still having issues with my leaves turning brown. They're shooting out new plantlets but even those turn brown and die.

I've never had any ferns do this, and none of my other plants are.

I added a 48" Planted Plus light yesterday, but I don't think light is the issue. Any ideas?
 

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Hi Aparker,

Have you addressed the Ca, Mg, K issues in post #4 on this thread? If so the problem will subside although leaves that have been damaged from the deficiency likely will not recover and will die. Once the nutrient issue is resolved I usually see new leaves emerging from the rhizone in a week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The ferts I'm using from gla should cover all of those right? Micros and their macros? The plants I have coming from the rhizome, the babies that is, come up green and thick, and after a few weeks, start turning brown and melting from the rhizome up the leaf until I have to remove it.
 

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Hi Aparker2005,

Regrettably regular dosing levels are not always sufficient to resolve deficiency issues. Recommended dosing levels are usually sufficient for 'average' water conditions and 'typical' plants but water conditions vary greatly throughout our country and some plants have requirements for more (or less) of certain nutrients that recommended dosing levels do not always address.

The Macros may be supplying sufficient potassium (K) depending upon your dosing level and the degree of the deficiency but possibly not. As for Micros - when I was working to resolve the leaf necrosis problem in my tanks I was dosing CSM+B (Micros) at the recommended EI dosing levels and the problem still persisted; that I why I recommended additional Ca and Mg. It was not until I increased my dosing levels of the three nutrients (K, Mg, Ca) that the problem disappeared and has not returned.

Where you able to contact your water district and acquire your water analysis? Here is a copy of my local water analysis showing the various ug/l nutrient levels of my water which which helped me to determine where possible deficiencies were likely. For example my Ca levels are about 7800 ug/l which is about 7.8 ppm - below the minimums of 10.0 ppm - 20.0 ppm that if find recommended. My Mg level was 931 or 0.93 ppm - also well below the 2.0 ppm to 5.0 ppm which are well below the 2.0 to 5.0 ppm levels I find recommended.
 

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Is your tap water from a well or from a river? River water is almost always very soft, and well water is almost always hard. When I lived in a small town one state north of you, our water was well water, and very hard. Now, my water is river water and very soft, but before my last big move, in the same county, my water was mostly well water and hard (about 4 miles away).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Also, I'm wondering if it is the super glue almost? All of the Java ferns have done this since I've started using super glue gel.

I'm also considering dosing more. We have the same water of course in my 20g, no super glue and no ferts though, and Java fern does great in that tank.

Could the glue be the culprit? Or does this seem more of a fert/water issue still?

Also concerning water changes using the ei method. I do 2 water changes per week. Do I continue to add ferts through the week even on Thursdays small water change, and then do the regular large water change and no ferts on Sunday?
 

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Having read through the responses I have to admit that Java Fern is one of the few plants that doesn't grow well for me. Las Vegas water is hard and high PH, but none of the other folks I know with Java Ferns in the tanks have any problem except that it takes over their tanks. If anyone has a stroke of genius, let me know.
 
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