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I have java fern in a 20 gallon long with NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light for Planted Tanks, Full Spectrum Freshwater Fish Tank Light, 12 to 18-Inch, 12-Watt as the light source. The moneywort and anubias and java moss grows fine along with a few other plants that i dont remember their names. And duckweed so much duck weed (i dont corral it so its all over the top of the tank except for the sponge filter bubble areas.)

The issue is my Java Ferns keep turning brown and leaves die and develop holes in them and they keep propagating  off at the tips of their leaves. I dose easy green and flourish potassium and run nitrates around 20 ppm. 

Are the roots (not the rhizomes) supposed to be buried in the substrate? Are they getting to much light? (if so how can i shade them) 

any tips will be helpful. (they were attached to a rock but i took them off when they started looking horrid and now they rest on the substrate like the Anubias. 


I run CO2 and the substrate is black sand with root tabs.

ph is a 7.6 

water temp is 76F

ammonia and nitrite and chlorine 0 tank has been up almost a year.

Inhabitants are mystery snails, bladder/pond snails, ramshorn snails, cherry shrimp, 2 assassin snails, and a betta. I cant find mylasian trumpet snails to add to the little pest snail haven. (the snails never really get on the java ferns they stay on the moss balls and tank walls and substrate and are fed veggies and fruits)

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When java leaves die and you get all those little new baby javas.... well, that's how they spread. This is a good thing. It means your java fern is healthy and wants to spread. Let the little leaflets grow a bit and then connect them to some wood or rock so you can start a whole new plant. The old big leaf will go brown and then just throw it away.


This is healthy normal development. You're doing nothing wrong.

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My “regular”. Java Fern has little groups of roots growing out of the bottom side of the leaves...unlike the Windlov that sprouts roots from the individual little leaf tips. Should I cut the leaf into individual sections and attach to driftwood or rock? 🤷‍♂️

Edited by L.W. Wetarm
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Cool, free plants! Congratulations. You can divide them now however you want. Stick them on wood, rocks, or leave them on the substrate. I left mine on the mama plant till they had a few leaves of their own and nice root system before I plucked them off and into the grow out tank they went. They were attached to the tips of the leaves so there was minimal damage to the mama plant. 

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