Java Fern (Microsorum petropus) is an easy-to-acquire aquatic plant.
Java Fern is one of the world’s most widely used plants in planted aquariums. It slow growth, unique leaf structure, and reproduction method makes it an aquarium smash hit. Java Fern is tolerant of all lighting conditions and environmental conditions, from alkaline water to soft acidic water, brackish tanks, and even brackish. It is also easy to find in most local fish stores; but if not, there is always some available on our website.
You’re probably looking for more information on Java Fern, if you found this article. It is very easy to plant Java Fern. All you have to do is add it to your water. Really – even if you just drop it in, it’ll start growing. Java Fern can be floating or attached to something by the current. You can also choose where it will go by burying the roots in some gravel or tying it onto a piece of wood, rock, or other decor. Super glue gel is my favorite method to plant Java Fern. Make a simple glue bead from the decor piece you wish to attach the fern to. It should be held against the glue for at least 30 seconds. Then let it dry in the air for 3 minutes. It will grow quickly if you place it in the tank. You must make sure that the rhizome, the twig-like portion of the plant, is not buried. This rhizome is where all the roots and leaves are located. If it is buried under gravel or sand it will rot. Java Fern can be used in bare-bottom tanks. This is a huge benefit.
When it comes to growing Java Fern, almost any light will do. It will appreciate any light that is available to it. Java Fern isn’t picky about which spectrum of lighting you’re using or even the number of watts. Java Fern is most at home with a spectrum 6700k bulb. Java Fern can thrive in any light range, including low to medium-high. At the very high end range of light, you can actually burn or melt it. Refrain from trying to recreate the Sahara Desert in your tank. The Java Fern can survive on very little light. Many aquarists have left it in a bucket for weeks and it still has life! The bulb in my tank was drained for many months, but the Java Fern still looked fantastic every time I turned on the light to catch the fry.
Your Java Fern will start to reproduce as soon as you plant it and provide enough light. Tiny Java Ferns are formed at the edge of the leaves. When they reach maturity, they will drop off and attach themselves to where they belong. You can also break leaves off and let them float in the aquarium. You can also break off leaves and let them float in the aquarium. If it dies, it will immediately produce new plantslets. Sometimes it can have as many as 20 babies per plant. This is a great way for setting up a new aquarium or to propagate the plant to get a fish friend.
As an added benefit, aquarium fish love to swim through these plants. Java Ferns can make a jungle for fish to swim in. With the slow growth factor of this plant, many people only do 1 big trim every year and then let nature takes its course decorating their aquarium au natural. Most fish do not like the taste of Java Fern, so even many plant eating fish will not eat it. The leaves are very tough and thick. They can take a beating from a large cichlid or some goldfish who just like to play with them.
Sourcing some Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) shouldn’t be too difficult. Once you have found the Java Fern and begun to propagate it, it is worth knowing that there are many other Java Fern varieties available. These include Java Fern Trident and Java Fern Needle Leaf. Java Fern Windelov’ and Java Fern Narrow Leaf. There are also other lesser-known varieties. Each of these has a unique look to them with all the same growth requirements we already learned.
Java fern ‘Windelov’
One needs to be careful about starting up a tank with Java Fern or pruning too much at once! It is a slow-growing plant that can be difficult to control. A good crew of algae eaters and sucker fish go a long way to ensuring it wins the battle. It can be planted with other faster-growing plants such as Vallisneria.
If you lose the battle against algae, simply pull off a few leaves and let them float in some water. Once it makes some plantlets, remove those and start them in the tank again free of algae, and hopefully winning the battle this time around. So what are you waiting for? Enjoy Java Fern!