How to Plant Anubias or Java Fern on Rocks
Anubias or Java Ferns are excellent options for low light tanks. Unlike most freshwater plants, they can go in aquariums that feature African Cichlids or Goldfish. These two plant species are easy to care for and not demanding at all. You can leave them in the pot, attach them to driftwood, or, like we’re doing here in this week’s blog, plant them on aquarium rocks. They’re the hardiest and easiest to work with.
If you prefer a video format of this tutorial, watch the video at the bottom!
Gathering your Supplies
– Anubias or Java Fern that is about 3″ – 4″ tall and potted. – Texas holey rock, or any aquarium rock with structure. Super Glue Gel
It’s best if you have small plants that are about 3″ – 4″ high in their small black plastic pots. The Texas holey rocks are around 5″ – 7″ long. They’re excellent for Cichlid and Goldfish aquariums because they balance the pH and the hardness. You can also use Okho stone or smooth river rocks. Plastic castles and stones can also be used. It should be weighted so it stays in place.
To attach, you could use thread, fishing line, or a rubber band to tie. These aren’t ideal. Super glue gel can be purchased at hardware stores. It is not super thick. It is best to use the original super glue and not any other type. You need to make sure that it contains cyanoacrylate. This is a liquid acrylic, and the key ingredient. It bonds the rock to the plant by creating an acrylic bond. Gloves are welcome to keep your hands from sticking together.
Let’s get started.
Step by Step: Gluing the Plants to the Rocks
1. Open the super glue gel by puncturing the top with the screw-on cap. 2. Prepare the plant. Remove the tag and gently but firmly take it out of the pot. 3. As much as possible of the plant rock wool (the cotton-like material around the roots), be removed. Get to the roots. You can remove it with very gently running water, too. Use your hands to clean the roots. Anubias are just one plant in a pot. But with Java ferns, you might find two or three separate plants in one pot. 4. The rhizome is the longest lateral portion of anubias between the roots and the leaves. The new growth of tiny, bud-like leaves can be found at one end of your plant. More leaves grow out of the rhizome. This is the part of the rhizome that supports the plant. You can plant it in gravel, but don’t cover its rhizome. 5. Locate the best place to plant your plant. It is possible to use a natural crevice, or dip. 6. Dry the plant roots by dabbing them on a paper towel or hand towel. 7. Place a thin layer on the rock that is about twice the length of its rhizome. The super glue gel is great because it stays in place and doesn’t run down the sides of the rocks. 8. Press the plant rhizome and roots vertically above the rock and hold them together for about a minute or two. Eventually, all these roots are going to grab onto the rock and hold the plant. 9. Find the next rock and the next plant to do this with, and just repeat. These water plants dry quickly, so it is best to complete them within 10-15 minutes. 10. Place them in your tank once they’re dry. They will continue to grow, giving you that jungle look.