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All Java ferns have been doing since...


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5.5 gallon fish tank. 1 betta. 1 pleco.

HOB + Sponge. 

The water smells earthy and good; smells like a healthy fish tank. 

I have been doing fish keeping for awhile now (still a beginner- lol), however this has me baffled and I dont know what to do anymore.

Every single java fern I get, from anywhere can either be from petco, petsmart AND independent seller.

The tank is beautiful nice and clear. then 30 days, once that 30 days comes in. (experimented with leaving it alone for almost 2 months, the water was so thick, i couldn't even see the fish anymore lol[joke but it was bad.]).

seems like a bacterial bloom happens, the water becomes so foggy. do water changes weekly 10%, add new water into my tank. (can't use tap water because the water quality is really bad, so spring water with Prime.)

All my java fern end up with that fuzzy white stuff and little cotton balls on the tips and they just end up dying.

I brush it off, then siphon or the HOB picks it up- place it back in.

my java fern are not planted, they are wedged near rocks with lots of breathing room. its not a crowded fish tank. 

I have taken them out of the tank, hydrogenproxide them (comes back and worst.)

I have gone to the extreme, brush them out, then bleach for 5-6 seconds pull out. put into a replacement tank and transfer over a couple days over.

My plants only get 3 hours of light from the fixture it has. 


I just dont know what do anymore. 

I use testing strips, the carbon is a little high though. (dont know what to lower it.)


sigh, what can I do. Stressed enough about this issue. 


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Going to need some more information.

What is the photo period? Wha are your water parameters in the 5.5 gal? How often / how much do you change water? What animal life is in the tank besides the plants? How well cycled is it?

What you are describing sounds initially like it may be a cloud of bacterial bloom. I fI recall, it is heterotrophic, and arises because your ammonia processing bacteria  and nitrite processing colonies are deficient. As it congeals, you may get these slimy, fuzzy bacterial concretions in your photo.

You say you have a HOB and a sponge. Are you somehow decimating your bacteria colonies? Are you changing or washing out the HOB media? Are you squeezing the sponge filter to death? I run several 5.5 gal tanks. I rarely change water or squeeze sponges. I just top water off.

I recommend you use FritzZyme 7 Nitrifying Bacteria for Freshwater Tanks as directed for your tank size. It will bringing some bacteria in cyst form that will help to establish the tank better. Dr. Tim's Nitrifying liquid bacteria bottles are also very good. I cannot personally vouch for others.

(1) Build healthy, thriving nitrifying bacteria colonies. Use FritzZyme 7, or similar product.

(2) Add lots of healthy plants, and maintain a regular photoperiod with a light timer. When you add Java Ferns, do not bury the rhizome (twiggy / stalk). Just set it on the bottom, and put a small stone or piece of wood on to keep it from floating.

(3) Add some snails. Give the tank a few weeks to balance.

(4) Add fish. 

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thank you so much for your time and reviewing this!! i super appreciate!

The photo is my java fern, they have this white thick slimy build up.

using a testing strip from Bosike Bosike Testing Strips
water parameters:
Hardness is 0
nitrate 0
nitrite 0
Cl2 0
Carbonate 80
Ph 6.8

I change the water once a week, 10% of the water and place new water.
Betta and Pleco are the livestock.

It has been running for 3 months, no fish in the tank for a month. then with the fishes 2 months. (i went from a 1 gallon fish tank.)

On the HOB. 
Fluval Biomax Media (dont change) Polyfill  (to get the junks- replace that once every 2 weeks or once i see it really gross)and a media sponge
I rarely clean it. I mostly leave it alone.

I take it the sponge out once every 3 weeks a small squeeze in a bucket and place it back in. 

I only have 3 to 4 hour lights on java fern, on low light. They are not burried, i just have a small rock just holding it down. the rhizomes have a lot space breathing room. 
(that was my fist mistake when i first started, i burried them and killed them with in a week. lol!)

My betta is really aggressive with snails, he attacks them but he won't attack a baby pleco😆

I didnt know about FritzZyme 7!
Is there anymore recommended products.  This whole time i've been thinking its been algae on that photo and using Algae Killer from Api. (didnt make anything go away.)
I will be buying the Aquarium Co-Op Fertiziler, using the Leaf Green from Api. (i feel like its not doing much.)


I apologize, english is not my main language! I try very hard for sentence structure. 😄

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I had to remove all the snails along time ago.

My betta will get bored and nip at the snails eyes then just play with them until they died. 

I ended up getting a Pleco, and the betta doesn't bother it. 


There is no snails in the tank, the tank has been stable until recently, now seems like an Bacteria Bloom, however I am worried about my java fern (if you look at the photo, the roots/rizhomes are ALL strong, but there is a little white slimey and goey covering them. 

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