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Yep, baby plants!  Remember that Java ferns are, well, ferns.  They develop spores like terrestrial ferns but they can’t scatter them as well as terrestrials.  So they often sprout while still attached to the leaf and you get this, where a baby plant develops right on the leaf.  Once the roots are about an inch long, you can usually gently pluck the baby plant off the leaf and attach it elsewhere.  Java ferns can and will scatter spores within the aquarium, too, and if they manage to lodge someplace, they can sprout and baby plants will randomly appear.  It can be hard to tell when this happens if it was a sprouted spore or a tiny baby plant broke off and drifted.

Don’t be surprised if the big leaf goes bad.  Sometimes when the spores start to sprout and make baby plants it’s triggered by the big leaf starting to go bad.  I’ve been known to keep those dying leaves floating around so they produce more babies.  But I have plant holding tanks that don’t have to look pretty that I use for that.

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