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Hi Folks,  

My java ferns' outlook is looking bleak (I hope it makes a comeback). I spoke to the staff at my local aquarium shop about the java fern and they suggested my lights might be burning the fern... This is our first tank and we bought a starter set from petsmart that came with stock led lights... could these be causing the issue? I currently have the timer set to 4 hours of light and 4 hours of darkness, cycled twice a day. This is a  20 gal tank and gets feed 2 pumps of easy green everweek, with 2 pumps of iron every other week. Should I look at a co2 bubbler... are there any other options I can do to help the fern out? Also, what can I do to help my plants grow? Thanks

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I think I see some Java  fern next to the Sprite. I does look like it’s not happy but give it time and it will recover. I see a nicely planted tank that’s going through the early awkward stage. Algae is starting to grow and plants are converting to underwater growth. I’d manually remove as much algae as possible and trim off any dead or dying leaves so the plants put energy into new growth. I’d also add more plants. I think everything gets easier with more plants. Swords don’t have a conversion period so they might be a good option. 

Edited by Patrick_G
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On 3/3/2022 at 9:13 PM, Patrick_G said:

I think I see some Java  fern next to the Sprite. I does look like it’s not happy but give it time and it will recover. I see a nicely planted tank that’s going through the early awkward stage. Algae is starting to grow and plants are converting to underwater growth. I’d manually remove as much algae as possible and trim off any dead or dying leaves so the plants put energy into new growth. I’d also add more plants. I think everything gets easier with more plants. Swords don’t have a conversion period so they might be a good option. 

I totally agree. It's absolutely a great start. Remove the algae by hand, get some fish and/or inverts in there, and you'll get more nutrients to your rhizome plants and other water-column feeders. I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet. Plants can often rebound and surprise you.

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On 3/2/2022 at 3:26 PM, Chris2022 said:

Hi Folks,  

My java ferns' outlook is looking bleak (I hope it makes a comeback). I spoke to the staff at my local aquarium shop about the java fern and they suggested my lights might be burning the fern... This is our first tank and we bought a starter set from petsmart that came with stock led lights... could these be causing the issue? I currently have the timer set to 4 hours of light and 4 hours of darkness, cycled twice a day. This is a  20 gal tank and gets feed 2 pumps of easy green everweek, with 2 pumps of iron every other week. Should I look at a co2 bubbler... are there any other options I can do to help the fern out? Also, what can I do to help my plants grow? Thanks

1324726609_image0(3).jpeg.34c1e7956fa3eb30d3a1dbcc3088042d.jpeg

The issue with kit tank lights is that they are so dim it is difficult to grow plants. No way thay could be bruning the plant. Java fern is a low light plant (grows in shade in the wild) so the weaker lighting should be fine. 

My first guess was that it was that the emersed leaves were dying, but if its already been 8 weeks so that may not be it.

Co2 makes plants grow faster but it won't stop it from dying. Java fern is a slow growing plant w/ or w/o co2 so co2 isnt particularly useful. Id upgrade lighting b4 messing with co2.

 

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On 3/3/2022 at 4:47 PM, Kirsten said:

Are there any fish in the tank? 8 weeks seems like more than enough time to cycle a tank. And is the java fern in the picture? I'm seeing some crypts, some water sprite, maybe a buce, and a whole lot of brown algae. If this is a current photo, I'd say the algae's what's hurting the plants more so than the stock lighting. 

The java Fern is in the log to the right. I got some oto's to help with the algae and dialed the easy iron back. 

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Got it. Yeah, you might want to cut it with the fancy, dialed-in ferts for a bit. Honestly, my epiphytes are still at like 1 for 2 even with an over-stocked tanked and Easy Green. They'll survive, but with a lot of brown and holes. But you should seriously consider at least some inverts. There's only so long you can keep any plant in a fully immersed system without some CO2 in the form of fish exhalation, solid waste, or otherwise. I wish I could send you some of my endlers, they'd make quick work of everything.

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On 3/4/2022 at 6:53 PM, Kirsten said:

Got it. Yeah, you might want to cut it with the fancy, dialed-in ferts for a bit. Honestly, my epiphytes are still at like 1 for 2 even with an over-stocked tanked and Easy Green. They'll survive, but with a lot of brown and holes. But you should seriously consider at least some inverts. There's only so long you can keep any plant in a fully immersed system without some CO2 in the form of fish exhalation, solid waste, or otherwise. I wish I could send you some of my endlers, they'd make quick work of everything.

 

On 3/3/2022 at 6:20 PM, Kirsten said:

I totally agree. It's absolutely a great start. Remove the algae by hand, get some fish and/or inverts in there, and you'll get more nutrients to your rhizome plants and other water-column feeders. I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet. Plants can often rebound and surprise you.

Removing the algae by hand turned out to be very challenging. I can't add fish. The otos have ich, so it will probably be 4-6 weeks before I can add more fish. How many endlers would you keep in a 20 gal tank? 4-5?

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image.jpg.68e20ba8c19827d889d3ae90cddb4b4b.jpgIf you keep only males (they’re the pretty sex in this species although I love the girls too) they are pretty compact fishies, in a twenty gallon standard you could keep as many as twenty or even a few more with the plants if they’re the only critters. They don’t mind colder temps and even slightly softer water than your average Livebearer. They are in the short list of species that I consider “unkillable.” 🙂 and they love an algae snack between feedings. 

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I will second what others have said about this being early days for your tank and plants. Your plants look good for the stage they're in!

Removing dead and tattered leaves is good, it allows the plant to stop using energy to save leaves that are goners and encourages the plant to grow new ones.

You could keep a lot of endlers in there, especially as the plants grow. 

Edited by PineSong
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