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Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default Dying Java Ferns

    0 Not allowed!
    Morning! I have a lot of Java Ferns in my 55. They have been thriving--several of them have leaves over 6" high, and they are growing fast, for Java ferns. The past couple of weeks, I have noticed a big die-off, though. The leaves are turning brownish, developing holes, and dying. The only change that I know of is that the thermostat got a little out of whack for a while and the water got a bit cool, now fixed. But that wouldn't bother them, would it? I have also been gradually reducing my stocking levels in an attempt to reduce nitrates (algae is a bit out of hand).

    Set up is gravel over organic soil/bentonite. Ferns afixed to rocks and "lucky bamboo" stems. No ferts or CO2 injection; the plants seem to get adequate nutrients from the fish and soil. Nitrates around 30 ppm (working on lowering that); all other parameters good. I have had this set-up for over a year; the bamboo was added last August. Temp stays within a few degrees of 75, except the past week or so when it dipped down into the high 60s for a few days. Lots of other plants, including various crypts, ambulia, rotala, and a few anubias, and some tall lucky bamboo. All seem to be thriving except the ferns.

    Any ideas what might be happening?

    Do not rejoice over me yet, o my enemy, for even if I fall, I will rise again. Even when I dwell in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Micah 7:8

    55 Gallon Southeast Asia Community Aquarium

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Ontario, Canada

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    0 Not allowed!
    Could be a lack of C02 in the tank or a potassium deficiency. How do the roots look?
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    At one point my healthy java ferns started getting holes in the leaves and browning up. I started adding Flourish once a week. problem solved. They are gorgeous and growing again. Might be something to consider.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, apple & nerite snails
    15 g FW planted:crown tail betta, neons, pygmy cory, clown pleco,apple & nerite snails
    90 g FW planted:congos, rainbows, roseline sharks, swordtails, ottos,krib pair, ABNP, peppered cories, apple snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Have you recently added snails to your tank, maybe some hitched in on new plants? They could be eating your leaves.

    As for the Flourish suggestion, I notice that if I go too long between doses of Flourish Comprehensive, my java fern leaves begin looking like that, too. After I dose again, they start to look better.

    If I go too long between root tabbings, my crypts start suffering, as well.

    I have a coldwater tank, but I don't think that's the problem. I have some java ferns that have remained beautiful and healthy for the entire time I've had them. If coldwater was the problem, all of them would be affected.

    It could be, too, that the leaves only last for so long then die off and should be removed so that new growth can take their place -- kind of like a natural growth cycle that happens with most plants.

    Try dosing with Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive and see what happens.

    20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.

  6. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    No snails or other new critters (unless they're microscopic). Lighting is a 22" CF and a 22" t5, both 6500K, that I've had on the tank for over a year, both bulbs recently replaced, so I don't think it's that.

    I don't think it is just old leaves dying off, either. It seems to be affecting all the leaves, big, small, and in between.

    I am a little reluctant to add flourish, since in my experience it helps some plants, but kills others. Has anyone tried it with rotalla or ambulia? I know it wiped out some cabomba and anacharis pretty fast in another tank.

    The thing that puzzles me is that, with the exception of changing my lightbulbs recently, reducing stocking slightly, and adding the ambulia, nothing has changed. At least, nothing I know of. And the other plants seem to be just fine, so it's hard to think it's a fertilization or CO2 issue... But *all* of the ferns are struggling and/or dying.

    Maybe I need to travel to Delphi and consult the oracle, but it's so hard finding a goat to sacrifice these days...
    Do not rejoice over me yet, o my enemy, for even if I fall, I will rise again. Even when I dwell in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Micah 7:8

    55 Gallon Southeast Asia Community Aquarium

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    ...are ferns prone to some sort of desease? It almost looks like some sort of infection, like the leaves are rotting alive.

    Do not rejoice over me yet, o my enemy, for even if I fall, I will rise again. Even when I dwell in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Micah 7:8

    55 Gallon Southeast Asia Community Aquarium

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    ...also, I was talking about Fluourish excel. I have never tried "comprehensive." Should have read your comment more carefully.
    Do not rejoice over me yet, o my enemy, for even if I fall, I will rise again. Even when I dwell in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Micah 7:8

    55 Gallon Southeast Asia Community Aquarium

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    A little further from sanity

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    0 Not allowed!
    It could be you reduced the stock enough the plants aren't getting the nutrients they need anymore. Maybe reducing the stock and adding more plants was too much for the java ferns.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

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    0 Not allowed!
    Excel, which is not a fertilizer but a carbon substitute, has been said to "melt" some plants if overdosed, but I use it almost daily and it does not affect Java ferns. Try Comprehensive - that's a fertilizer, quite different from Excel.

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