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Java Fern Holes in Leaves

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I have Java Fern in my tank, most is attached to driftwood, a little on small rocks and some in the Fluval Stratum substrate in the tank. Light is on for two 4 hour periods a day and I never read any Nitrite or Nitrate in water with test strips, KH and GH fairly high water neutral. I noticed after a few months of strong growth that the leaves were developing holes, This was also happening to some of my crypts but not to the same extent. I got some Easy Green (previously I had only used root tabs) and started weekly dosing 4 weeks ago. About week 2 of dosing I reduced the light periods from 4 to 3 1/2 hours to help with new algae growth. 


Would there be any reason besides mineral deficiency that the ferns developed holes? (Stocking is cherry barbs, panda corys, one hillstream loach and Ramshorn snails) How long should it take to observe new growth with Java Fern, and should I just keep dosing and expect that to work?


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I'm new to aquatic plants but here's what I've learned: holes in the leaves (unless they are damage from fish) are usually a Potassium deficiency. Where the spots are darker, I would lean toward a deficiency. It also could be melt, which can happen for months after being added to a tank, but where you are experiencing it on two different types of plants, and Javas are Potassium hogs, I think that's it.

Adding fertilizer will help, but it will only affect new growth, so you have to add it and then wait and have patience to see how it is working. The leaves with holes are still effective at providing nutrients, so don't trim them off unless they are turning yellow or mushy and are obviously dying. Keep an eye on new growth.

If you are still reading nitrates at 0ppm, then you may need to dose more EG to get that number up.

Here's an article about high Nitrates, but it also covers low Nitrates:


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