Tips for growing Java Fern


New Member

I purchased a lot of java fern and most of the leaves have become tatty, browned, or developed black areas and slowly rotting away. I’ve pruned them back to just the newly emerging leaves and healthy rhizome.

I want it to be a centrepiece and want lush growth, does anyone have any advice on ideal environment for it?
Soft water, temp and tips?

Photo is before I pruned back unhealthy leaves, to give you a idea of its condition. It’s a work in progress at the moment as corona virus has delayed the 20 crypt pots that will be planted around the base and all the algae eating livestock. Ignore the heaters as new 300w heater is also in the post! Filtrarion is via sump. Lighting is 2 x PopBloom LED designed for freshwater aquariums. Dosing 2ml of liquid carbon three times a day via a doser. Water is currently hard and 8.50pH. Fert is tropica premium nutrition (orange bottle).
Substrate is quartz course sand over a laterite soil base where crypts are going.



Those look like emergent leaves, your bound to have die off because the plant needs to transition to submerged life. Nothing special for Java fern, just keep up with your maintenance of keeping the tank clean and full of nutrients.

Agreed, this is quite normal - I'm guessing you have quite low plant mass in the tank at the moment which I appreciate may be difficult to resolve at the moment, but if you have any fast growing stems or floating plants you can transfer into this aquarium, you will significantly reduce the diatom/algae risk...


From personal experience Java fern has a tendency to deteriorate and melt when adapting to very hard and high KH water, it does bounce back though once it has adapted, also Tropica Premium is lacking in Macro nutrients, you will need to dose the green tinted Specialised for those if sticking with Tropica ferts.

If you want to dose the salts directly that you are likely lacking then you can use Magnesium Sulphate, Potassium Phosphate and Potassium Nitrate to fill in the gaps that Tropica Premium lacks. The Magnesium doesn't have to be Sulphate based you can use the Chloride salt if you have it for dosing your marine tank.


New Member
Thank you!

I raided my other tank, took out some floating plants, few crypts and the Brazilian Pennywort. I’ll see if I can get my hands on some Rotala as well.


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