Which species of Microsorum pteropus for the 'bushy' look in a small tank?

Wookii

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I regularly see lovely aquascapes with large bushy areas of thin leafed java fern (microsorum pteropus). However I can't seem to find out which variant most use, and which would have a shorter leaf more suitable for a smaller tank? As far as I can tell, the candidates are Narrow Leaf, Needle Leaf or Trident. Can anyone help narrow down the choice?
 

Sammy Islam

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I've tried growing most java ferns we generally have available. IMO java fern is harder to grow correctly than the internet makes out, it's hard to get it bushy and healthy.

I have had most success with tridant, it's really grown well in my scape and I don't really trim it either. Just grows into a massive clump and is good at growing into and filling free space. It's also great for shrimps as it gets so bushy it offers them really good protection and food.
 

Wookii

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I find that the Windelov variety looks very bushy and has short leaves suitable for a nano tank- in fact, I have some in a 20l, a 30l, and a 90l.

Thanks @lilirose - I'm really going for the straighter narrow leafed look though to be honest, I'm not a fan of the look of the Windelov, far too chaotic for my OCD :D
 

Wookii

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I've tried growing most java ferns we generally have available. IMO java fern is harder to grow correctly than the internet makes out, it's hard to get it bushy and healthy.

I have had most success with tridant, it's really grown well in my scape and I don't really trim it either. Just grows into a massive clump and is good at growing into and filling free space. It's also great for shrimps as it gets so bushy it offers them really good protection and food.

Thanks Sammy. Is it trident that you have in this scape?:



How long do the leaves tend to grow?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Can anyone help narrow down the choice?
Microsorum pteropus "Philippine" if you have <"hard water?"> "Trident" and "Narrow" are both still produced by Tropica, so maybe easier to obtain.

None of the varieties do very well for me, and even the type struggles in low nutrients and soft water. <"Bolbitis heudelotii"> actually grows much better for me.
I'm not a fan of the look of the Windelov
I'm not a "Windelov" fan either.

cheers Darrel
 

Wookii

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Hi all, Microsorum pteropus "Philippine" if you have <"hard water?"> "Trident" and "Narrow" are both still produced by Tropica, so maybe easier to obtain.

None of the varieties do very well for me, and even the type struggles in low nutrients and soft water. <"Bolbitis heudelotii"> actually grows much better for me.I'm not a "Windelov" fan either.

cheers Darrel

Thanks Darrel. I do plan to make the transition to RO water in the next few months to get my water hardness down to the 6-7dGH region (mainly for the benefit of the softer water fish I want to keep), so that might be a factor too,

I can't find a great deal of info online about the "Philippine" variant, but the FloGrow site suggests a leaf length of up to 30cm, which will be too large really for my tank - I need something that is closer to 15-20cm (I appreciate that I can probably trim to maintain a target size though).
 

milla

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Thanks @lilirose - I'm really going for the straighter narrow leafed look though to be honest, I'm not a fan of the look of the Windelov, far too chaotic for my OCD :D

What i think your looking for is the Dwarf Needle Leaf that tropica used to produce early 2000's . Grows 10 -15cm max.

I have some going in a low light tank. I maybe willing to rip some out for the right donation to UKAPS ;)
 

Wookii

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What i think your looking for is the Dwarf Needle Leaf that tropica used to produce early 2000's . Grows 10 -15cm max.

I have some going in a low light tank. I maybe willing to rip some out for the right donation to UKAPS ;)

Many thanks for the offer @milla thats very kind of you - do you have a picture of it?
 

zozo

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Marcel (@zozo ) grows (or grew) it.

I did and maybe still do have some growing emerged as well, but don't know for sure. Young plants are difficult to keep apart. And I never really got it to prosper, sub nor emerged form.

What I could find back in the day I got it is, in its natural habitat the aquatic form, grows in brackish water. And that's likely the reason why it's a fussy one in freshwater, but seems to do better in extreme high gH. What I do not have, I'm stuck with 4 to 5 gH from the tap.
 

zozo

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the Dwarf Needle Leaf

There are 2 varieties a smaller one the true Microsorum pteropus Needle Leaf and the much taller one goes in the trade as Microsorum pteropus Taiwan.A young specimen of Taiwan can easily be mistaken for a needle leaf they are about identical. :)
 

milla

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Thanks - it's hard to judge scale from a photo, but the leaves look a fair bit wider than trident and standard narrow leaf - is that right?

the picture is as near to real size as i caould get. max 1cm wide 15cm long.
Was bought from Aquaessentials as Tropica Dwarf needle leaf

for scale :

lowl ight.jpg
 
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zozo

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The true needle leaf doesn't grow a wider leaf than about 5mm wide, but can easily grow > 30cm tall. It also likes to fork the leaf tips as a trident does.

Taiwan grows about 10mm wide leaves and can grow > 50cm tall. Yet not seen it fork its leaves.

In the picture below taken during a water change, you see the true needle leaf a few years old and as wide as its leaves will get, above it the Lilaeopsis brasilliensis to compare size. :)


I now there exists an article dedicated to alleged Java fern needle varieties.. I see if i can find it back.. It has a lot of pictures and explains all the difference to determine what is what. It's German origin article, but I don't remember in what language is. I believe it was English. I'll find it back... ;) I bookmarked it. but forgot on which computer.

Edit - Got it... Unfortunately, it's in German. But google translate might do good enough, but google translate might do it...

http://aquascaping.flowgrow.de/aqua...-needle-mini-oder-taiwan-javafarn-was-ist-was
 
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Wookii

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The true needle leaf doesn't grow a wider leaf than about 5mm wide, but can easily grow > 30cm tall. It also likes to fork the leaf tips as a trident does.

Taiwan grows about 10mm wide leaves and can grow > 50cm tall. Yet not seen it fork its leaves.

In the picture below taken during a water change, you see the true needle leaf a few years old and as wide as its leaves will get, above it the Lilaeopsis brasilliensis to compare size. :)


I now there exists an article dedicated to alleged Java fern needle varieties.. I see if i can find it back.. It has a lot of pictures and explains all the difference to determine what is what. It's German origin article, but I don't remember in what language is. I believe it was English. I'll find it back... ;) I bookmarked it. but forgot on which computer.

Edit - Got it... Unfortunately, it's in German. But google translate might do good enough, but google translate might do it...

http://aquascaping.flowgrow.de/aqua...-needle-mini-oder-taiwan-javafarn-was-ist-was

Thats a great resource on the species, thanks @zozo
 

zozo

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Also see the flow Grow plant database on the M P Phillipine variety, not sure how well they documented it in English. If you switch the language to German then for most plants you get a much more detailed description.

https://www.flowgrow.de/db/wasserpflanzen/

The English translation of their database is still work in progress.

IMHO you won't find a better-detailed and more elaborated database...
 

Sammy Islam

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Thanks Sammy. Is it trident that you have in this scape?:



How long do the leaves tend to grow?

Yup i've got trident, it grows well and doesn't mind being near the top of the tank nearer the light. It's pretty maintenance free, i just pull out any dying/dead leaves from the undersides and waves my hand around it to get out any debris and that's it. I've probably trimmed it once only to give the rotala more room. The leaves don't get that big and it definitely grows outwards rather than upwards.

I've always admired those big lush java fern bushes, proper jealous of anyone that can grow them like that. I like the narrow variety as it's easier to grow and faster. But in reality i've failed even when i've managed to get my hands on a big portion to start with.
 
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