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That, my friend, is a new Java fern baby. Congratulations! Java ferns multiply by shooting fronds off of their leaf tips. The fuzzy brown are the roots that branch off of the mini rhizome. You'll eventually be able to reach in and gently peel the new plant away.

It helps to start with a big, mature Java fern. I have a couple in my EBA grow-out tank...


Then, if it is appropriately "distressed," young fernlets will grow off of leaf tips...




Perhaps excess nitrate buildup helps? I am not entirely sure. I just notice that in any clean, controlled aquascaped environments, my Java ferns do not multiply. But in this greatly overstocked tank I get new ferns every month.



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I think fish folk is correct. They seem to send off those plantlets when in distress. You fern looks like it might have some diatoms, maybe is fairly new to the tank too. That’s probably causing the plantlets to grow. I’d pull them and plant them. The tank pictured in my sig has a lot of Java fern and about 30%, maybe more, we’re grown from little plantlets like yours. 

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