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 species of plant are very easy to maintain and require little effort. 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 Ferns, that are approximately 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. Texas holey rocks measure approximately 5″ to 7″. They’re excellent for Cichlid and Goldfish aquariums because they balance the pH and the hardness. Other porous rocks include Okho stone, smooth rivers rocks, lava rocks and Okho stones. Besides rocks, plastic castles or stones could 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. The best thing is to use super glue gel, found at a hardware store. The gel is not very runny. Use original super glue. Make sure it has cyanoacrylate, which is a liquid acrylic and the key ingredient. It creates an acrylic bond between the plant and the rock. Gloves are welcome to keep your hands from sticking together.
Let’s get started.
Step by Step: Gluing Plants to Rocks
1. Open the super glue gel by puncturing the top with the screw-on cap. 2. Prepare the plant. Take the tag off and gently, but firmly, remove it from the pot. 3. As much as possible of the plant rock wool (the cotton-like material around the roots), be removed. You should get to the root level. You can remove it with very gently running water, too. Use your hands to clean the roots. Anubias can only be one plant in a container. Java ferns are two or more plants in a pot. 4. The rhizome is the longest lateral portion of anubias between the roots and the leaves. You can also locate the new growth of tiny bud-like leaves growing out of one end of the plant. More leaves grow out of the rhizome. This rhizome is what supports the plant. If you want to plant it in gravel instead, don’t cover the rhizome. 5. Place your plant in the most suitable part of the rock. A natural crevice or dip works well. 6. You can dry the roots of the plant by rubbing them with a paper towel or a hand towel. 7. Apply a thin layer glue to the rock, about the same length as the rhizome. Make sure it is slightly thicker than the original. The super glue gel works well because it doesn’t move down the sides or stays put. 8. For about a minute, press the roots and plant rhizome vertically up against the rock. All these roots will eventually grab onto the rock and hold on to the plant. 9. Find the next rock and the next plant to do this with, and just repeat. Try to do these within about 10-15 minutes because these are water plants that dry out quickly. 10. Place them in your tank once they’re dry. They will continue to grow and give you that jungle look over time!