Java Fern Woes

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Java Fern Woes

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-04-25, 12:47

So, last year, I got a really beautiful java fern plant from lilfishie, and it's been "surviving" but not "thriving"...

When I first got it, the leaves looked like your typical java fern. Nice tall leaves... then after a couple months, the leaves turned into what look like tridents, the single leave would branch out into three other points, making it look like a three pointed trident. It looks really cool now!

Unfortunately, I've noticed that after a leaf has reached its full size (about 15 inches tall or so), the leaf starts to turn yellow/brown and slowly dies (it usually takes a couple weeks for it to die) to the point where it just detaches from the rhizome. I'm trying to figure out why it's doing that...

There ARE new leaves growing though, it seems like for every leave that dies, there's always 1 new growth that replaces it. And it seems like only 1 leaf dies at a time, so I'm rather confused as to why it's being like that.

I have it in my 55 gallon tank that currently has two t5HO lights, and a 48" Monster Ray (I doubt the monster ray does anything for the plants, but I figured I'd mention it anyway)

I don't dose that tank for any ferts, and the other plants in that tank seem to be doing well, besides the java fern.

I'm guessing that the java fern just doesn't like too much light, and maybe the t5HO lights are too much for it? Although, I'm not entirely sure about that.

I do, do like 60-70% water changes weekly, sometimes I skip a week or two, but nitrate levels never go above 50ppm. Which, I think is adequate enough for my plants to absorb, so it's not like I'm causing some kind of nutrition deficiency... or am I?

Heeeeeeeeeeeeelp!!

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Re: Java Fern Woes

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-25, 14:10

Interesting Poke. Lighting shouldn't be a factor unless the monster ray is producing some odd spectrum deforming the plant?! This fern grows fine in high light as long as there is enough nutrients. Which-could-be-happening-here.... If your basting light, and the water column gets all the nutrients sucked out from all your plants then yes you'll have a deficiency. This would make since if for every new leaf grows and one dies back then perhaps this environment is at its growing limit.
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Re: Java Fern Woes

Post  bronzefighter on 2014-04-25, 14:40

I've got some Windelov that's growing in my Malawi tank. Extremly hard, high PH, and lit with a 48" MonsterRay. It does grow, albeit slowly.

Can you post a picture of the leaves? Going along with what Chad said, you might have a nutrient deficency- one other than nitrates.
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Re: Java Fern Woes

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-04-27, 00:53

Nutritient Deficiency, most likely. Yes. I'm guessing potassium, although there's really no way for me to "measure" which nutrients I could be lacking in.

As for the Monster Ray, I only started using that light on my tank for a month now... so this "ordeal" has been going on, long before I used that light, in addition to the two T5HO lights (that I got from fishNAbowl... which are amazing still. LOL).

Here are some photos of the java fern. Notice how the leaves are no longer "singular" blades, but rather a "three pronged trident-like" shape... I also took a picture of the "oldest" leaf that's "dying"... there's some new growth already, but it's so hard to photograph =P

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Re: Java Fern Woes

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-04-27, 01:20

PokeSephiroth wrote:Nutritient Deficiency, most likely. Yes. I'm guessing potassium, although there's really no way for me to "measure" which nutrients I could be lacking in.

As for the Monster Ray, I only started using that light on my tank for a month now... so this "ordeal" has been going on, long before I used that light, in addition to the two T5HO lights (that I got from fishNAbowl... which are amazing still. LOL).

Here are some photos of the java fern. Notice how the leaves are no longer "singular" blades, but rather a "three pronged trident-like" shape... I also took a picture of the "oldest" leaf that's "dying"... there's some new growth already, but it's so hard to photograph =P
WEIRD!!! You just made a new species. You get to make your own scientific name for this plant. Angelogarcilliotic M. Java....? Common name: giant trident.  Lol that is weird though....

I have heard of mutations but only under odd lighting... Was hoping others would chime in.
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Re: Java Fern Woes

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-04-27, 01:25

It very well may have been from lighting... I'm not sure. Here's so more backstory.

I received this java fern from lilfishie, and if I remember correctly, she had it in a low-lighted tank. I can't remember if it was just above the substrate, or if it was attached to a rock/driftwood... it was most likely just above the substrate. Anyway...

I do remember that lilfishie uses RODI water, so that may have also played something into how this Java Fern grew. . . All the leaves were straight blades, until after about 4 months of me owning it, it started making new leaves that had the three pronged trident leaves. And then all of a sudden, the oldest leaves would start to die off, while it still grew new leaves. Really weird...

When I transferred the java fern into my 55 gallon tank, the lighting I had on that tank was just a regular daylight T8 bulb, that I've had for...a long time. I figured, since java fern was such a low light plant, that I didn't have to worry about providing more light for it. So, I had that old light for about 8 months, and then I switched over to the t5HO that I got from fishNAbowl.

My other plants in the tank seem to be doing well, so I can't imagine that it's a nutrient deficiency, but I could be wrong, since different plants need different nutrients. It's just... mind boggling.

If I got the chance to name it, I'd call it Java Fern sp. Derpicious Very Happy

...........well, seems like I'm not alone. I just did a quick google search, and looks like people have been experiencing this too with their java fern.
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Re: Java Fern Woes

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