View Full Version : What should I do with this Java Fern?

04-22-2010, 11:33 PM
I went to my LFS to get my first plants. I wanted a Java Fern and some Java Moss. I got a bundle of moss, but the only java fern they had was in bad shape. I bought it anyhow. What the heck, it was only a couple bucks. Here's what it looked like when I first put it in the tank:
It had a total of five leaves. The largest most intact one had lots of brown spots. All the others had decent coloration, but were largely eaten away. A few brown roots float aimlessly between the leaves.

Here it is today, 17 days later:
The big leaf's brown spots have spread across the majority of it, and chunks of it have started to fall off. The other leaves all look more or less the same - still good color, still chewed up. There is no noticeable new growth.

My question is, what should I do with this plant? I have no problem with being patient if people think it may eventually start growing some new healthy leaves. However, if it's a lost cause, I'll just start poaching the LFS for a new, healthier specimen.

J Pribb
04-23-2010, 12:31 AM
I would say 17 days is a bit to soon to see some growth yet. Its still in a shock/crossover period.

I would trim the big dead leaf, just pinch them stem as close to the base as possible. This will help stimulate a bit of growth also.

Any other plants in the tank? Just my .02

04-23-2010, 12:36 AM
The java moss I bought the same day seems to be doing well. It is growing upwards and outwards, and the lines are branching off each other.

04-24-2010, 03:10 AM
Be patient and let it try to recover. Pinch off the worst leaves, especially the one that's almost all brown. It'll fall off on it's own shortly anyways, but it's not helping water quality.

Mine turned very black and blotchy when I first got it, but several months later it is now putting on beautiful new leaves.

04-24-2010, 03:19 AM
I moved a big peice of Java Fern to another tank, and some of the leaves got all gross like yours, I snipped them off, and they grew back. Change in water I guess?

04-24-2010, 03:21 AM
I'll pinch off the worst one - any special technique to this, besides doing it as close to the rhizome as possible?

Should I pinch the green but chewed up ones, or leave them be for now?

04-24-2010, 03:26 AM
I didn't snip all of mine at once. I waited until each leaf grew worse. But I hate trimming my plants back to bare rhizomes. LOL I have scissors, but as black as that one is it may just twist off right at the rhizome.

05-12-2010, 04:57 PM
update with a new question.

My fern did indeed grow a new leaf. It's strange looking, though:
First of all, it's missing the tip. Perhaps one of the fish took a nibble on it?
The top half of the leaf is semi-transparent green, and the bottom part is a rather unhealthy-looking light green. What's going on here? From what I've read, leaf discoloration/transparency is normally a sign of nutrient deficiency. I'm not dosing anything, I was hoping I could grow a few beginner plants without having to worry about that sort of thing yet. Is that what's going on, or something else?

Lady Hobbs
05-12-2010, 06:46 PM
I'd cut all the dead stuff away and give new strength to new growth. It will not improve so no need to keep old, dead leaves like that.

05-12-2010, 07:22 PM
I can certainly do that now that there's at least one leaf growing.

Also, as you can see there are a number of roots just flailing in the current. I know eventually the plant will attach itself to the driftwood, but I don't think it'll be with the existing roots, not the way they are now. Is there something I should be doing with them?

Lady Hobbs
05-12-2010, 09:05 PM
No, leave them. They gather nutrients from those roots.

05-28-2010, 01:48 PM
It's been almost two months on this plant now. It has not grown any additional leaves, and the one leaf it did grow sorta split at the top (you can see it starting to do so earlier in this thread) and is now showing hints of turning brown. I'm about ready to give up on it and find a healthier one to start with. I'm just hoping that I can do better with a healthier one. My java moss isn't doing anything spectacular, either... starting to wonder if I'm a plant killer.

05-28-2010, 01:55 PM
I would find healthier java fern and toss this one. I would be happy to send you a cutting or two next week.

05-28-2010, 03:41 PM
that would be awesome!