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  1. #1

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    Default Picking Healthy Plants


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm thinking about adding some live plants to my tanks and i was wondering what to look for. I stopped by the Pet Smart to look yesterday and the plants looked like they had algae growing on the leaves. Is that normal?

    What should I look for in a healthy Java Fern? How big are they when you get them? I've heard they grow really slowly under the low light conditions in my 2.5g tank. SO how slow is slow? And inch a year?

    The Javas I saw at Petsmart were only like 3" tall and if they grow really slowly its gonna be a while before they look like anything or provide much cover. I haven't looked at the real fish store yet. Thought I'd get some tips first before doing more shopping.
    My tank:
    20g long - 8 Trigonostigma heteromorpha, 2 Corydoras brevirostris, 2 Corydoras agassizii, 1 Corydoras trilineatus named Julian

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    generally you went to look if there are any chunks of plant missing, and make sure there are not too many brown spots and yellow spots, the yellow indicated the plant is dying.

    As far as i know, the algae on the plant is normal

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    I attached java fern to a piece of driftwood two months ago and it hasn't attached itself yet and now all the leaves have black spots. Well, they had black spots when I got them, actually, but haven't had even one new leaf.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by SkarloeysMom
    I'm thinking about adding some live plants to my tanks and i was wondering what to look for. I stopped by the Pet Smart to look yesterday and the plants looked like they had algae growing on the leaves. Is that normal?
    Algae on leaves is not a good sign and I personally never buy plants that are covered with algae. It is a good way to introduce fun varieties of algae to your aquarium. As others have said make sure that the leaves are a nice solid green color with no discoloration or holes. These areas will not grow back and will eventually die.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkarloeysMom
    What should I look for in a healthy Java Fern? How big are they when you get them? I've heard they grow really slowly under the low light conditions in my 2.5g tank. SO how slow is slow? And inch a year?

    The Javas I saw at Petsmart were only like 3" tall and if they grow really slowly its gonna be a while before they look like anything or provide much cover. I haven't looked at the real fish store yet. Thought I'd get some tips first before doing more shopping.
    You want a nice healthy bunch free of algae. Make sure that the rhizome is not planted in the show tank or when you plant it as that will cause it to rot and die.

    It will grow slower under low light, but that is all relative. Some stem plants under the right conditions will grow an inch or three a week. While it will not grow that fast it will grow.

    I have only had Java fern for a couple months now and it is in a 5 gallon tank with a 10 watt compact fluorescent. It has done well. I think that it has grown about an inch in that time. So about 1 inch every 2 months. Slow but noticeable. Mine has also propagated in that time sending out a new rhizome and leaf giving me a second plant.

    Hope that this helps.
    Last edited by hungryhound; 05-17-2007 at 10:18 PM.
    46g planted tank:
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  5. #5

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    dont know how, but my potted java fern is getting tons of new leafs. They grow easily and fast

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    I've had 4 small portions of Java Fern for lees than 2 weeks and each has a new leaf around 1", very low light but heavy fish load

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    I got my java fern at PetSmart at about 4" tall last year. It's been in a 5 gallon tank the entire time and I buried the rhizome in the gravel. It's since grown to about 8" and had brand new growths on the rhizome starting new baby javas. I ended up having to cut my java down to just those new ones because when I moved my bf didn't put my java fern in water and they hate air. So it shrivelled up in that 3 hour move. My little new growths survived though. You need to make sure it doesn't have yellow, too much brown, or spots on it. The one I purchased was a light green all the way around with about 3-4 leaves.
    I fear keeping aquariums is becoming a new addiction. -5 gallon tank-1Betta-1Black Mystery Snail

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    OK everyone. Make me jealous. Mine looked like crap when I got it and it hasn't changed any. :) And everyone says how Silver Dollars won't eat it. HA! Mine ate one whole plant in about 2 hours.

    Ya all made me mad so I'm gonna go throw my java out! That will serve it right.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry about your bad luck with the Java fern Hobbs! Sounds like you just got a bunk plant.

    Thanks to all for the good advise from those who replied about buying plants. I found a nice one today at a speciality fish shop but it was NINE bucks and I was thinking that might be too much to pay for something I might very well kill. It might have already been to tall for my tank too. It sure was pretty though. Maybe I'll think about that for my 10g later.

    And I think I'll look around at a few more of the PetSmarts and Petcos and see if any of those have decent plants. At least there they're only like $4 each. I want to see if I can even keep one alive before I invest too much $$$.
    My tank:
    20g long - 8 Trigonostigma heteromorpha, 2 Corydoras brevirostris, 2 Corydoras agassizii, 1 Corydoras trilineatus named Julian

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Ok, my java ferns are about 6-7 months old in my tank. MAYBE an inch bigger than when I got them. All that really happened is that it put out new leaves and got rid of the ones with the black spots. stays real green and put out like 2-3 babies over the course of my ownership. Not to crazy about them, but they do their job.
    -75g FW community, planted
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