Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) an Easy Aquatic Plant.
Java Fern is one of the world’s most widely used plants in planted aquariums. It slow growth, unique leaf structure, and reproduction method makes it an aquarium smash hit. Java Fern is tolerant of all lighting conditions and environmental conditions, from alkaline water to soft acidic water, brackish tanks, and even brackish. It is also easy to find in most local fish stores; but if not, there is always some available on our website.
Now if you’ve found this article, you’re obviously looking for more info on Java Fern. The easiest way to plant Java Fern is to just put it in your water. It’s easy to grow Java Fern even if it is just dropped in the water. Java Fern will grow while floating. The current can also allow it to attach itself to something that its roots can hold on to. You can also choose where it will go by burying the roots in some gravel or tying it onto a piece of wood, rock, or other decor. My favorite way to plant Java Fern is to use super glue gel. Simply take the piece of decor you want the fern attached too and make a simple bead of glue. Hold it against the glue for 30 seconds, and then let air dry for another 3 minutes. It will grow quickly if you place it in the tank. It is important to not bury the Rhizome (the twig-like part of the plant)! This rhizome is where all the roots and leaves are located. It will rot if it gets buried in gravel or sand. A great benefit to this plant is that it does not require substrate, making Java Fern idea for bare bottom tanks.
It doesn’t matter what light you use to grow Java Fern. Indeed, it will be thankful for any brightness in its life! Java Fern isn’t fussy about what kind of lighting you use or the wattage. However, Java Fern will do best if provided with a 6700k spectrum bulb. Java Fern can thrive in any light range, including low to medium-high. You can even burn it or melt it at the extreme end of the spectrum. So resist the urge to recreate the Sahara Desert over your tank. Java Fern is able to survive without much light. It can be kept in a bucket for up to a week and still live! One example: A bulb in one of my breeding tanks was burned out over several months. Yet, every time I put a light in the tank to catch the fry the Java Fern looked amazing!
Your Java Fern will start to reproduce as soon as you plant it and provide enough light. Tiny Java Ferns are formed at the edge of the leaves. Once they mature they drop off and attach themselves to wherever they should land. You can also break leaves off and let them float in the aquarium. You can also break off leaves and let them float in the aquarium. If it dies, it will immediately produce new plantslets. Sometimes it can have as many as 20 babies per plant. This is a great way for setting up a new aquarium or to propagate the plant to get a fish friend.
As an added benefit, aquarium fish love to swim through these plants. Java Ferns can make a jungle for fish to swim in. With the slow growth factor of this plant, many people only do 1 big trim every year and then let nature takes its course decorating their aquarium au natural. Most fish do not like the taste of Java Fern, so even many plant eating fish will not eat it. The leaves are very tough and thick. They can take a beating from a large cichlid or some goldfish who just like to play with them.
Sourcing some Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) shouldn’t be too difficult. Once you’ve found it, and you’ve started to propagate them, you’ll be glad you did. Each of these has a unique look to them with all the same growth requirements we already learned.
Java fern ‘Windelov’
One needs to be careful about starting up a tank with Java Fern or pruning too much at once! This plant is slow to grow and can get into trouble with algae. A good crew of algae eaters and sucker fish go a long way to ensuring it wins the battle. It can be planted with other faster-growing plants such as Vallisneria.
If you do lose the battle to algae, just pull off a couple of leaves and float them in a dish of water under some light. After it has made some plantlets, you can remove them and put them back into the tank. You may win the battle. What are you waiting to do? Grab some Java Fern, and get out there!