Java Fern looks to be decaying - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-22-2011, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Java Fern looks to be decaying

Hi,

My Java Ferns have been deteriorating for a while now. It's been a gradual process, and perhaps it's part of a natural life cycle - which is why I haven't done much about it until now. The leaves are spotted with holes and brown spots. Many of the smaller leaves went brown/yellow and died.

However, I've been thinking that although my water has tested quite well in terms of pH, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites, perhaps I haven't been doing enough water changes. So that's the first thing I've done.

I also have some black (red) brush algae on the leaves, and I decided to kill the algae with a water/bleach soak. I'm also going to adjust my fertilizer and see if I can do something that prevents adding iron to the water.

The tank is getting 9hrs of light with a daylight bulb, and some daylight as well (it's not by a window but it is in medium bright family room.

Finally, I wonder if there is a phosphorus deficiency. If anyone has seen this type of behaviour, please let me know. I have Amazon swords that are doing well, and some Anubuias that is also a bit brown like the Java Fern.
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-22-2011, 02:12 PM
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We have this plant in our profiles. As noted therein, it does best in diffused light, such as when shaded by other plants or floating plants. Fro the photo it appears to be in direct light. If this is brighter than the plant requires, it will look as shown in the photo. Rather than mess with the tank light (which may harm other plants like the sword) I would simply get some floating plants like Water Sprite or Brazilian Pennywort.

You do need to provide nutrients in the water column, so liquid fertilizers work best with this plant. Flourish Comprehensive Supplement once a week should do it.

Messing with individual nutrients is something I never counsel in low-tech/natural systems. An excess of many nutrients can cause deficiencies in other nutrients due to the various plant's responses. It is best to provide limited amounts of everything in balance, and Flourish is the only product I know of that does this.

On the algae, this is caused by the light and nutrient issue. My advice is never use treatments as they invariably cause trouble for the plant, or may do. A natural course of action--reduce light intensity/duration--is always better.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-22-2011, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron,

I've been looking for some floating plants but 3 visits to different shops this week have left me empty handed. I'll keep looking though, as the light is a bit intense.

I've reduce the light a few times already. My gut tells me 9hrs plus some floating plants will be good for reducing algae, and I thought I would kill the algae to start things off fresh, so to speak. I got the idea from an article by Neil Frank, it seemed fairly reasonable.

cheers
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-22-2011, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmish View Post
I've been looking for some floating plants but 3 visits to different shops this week have left me empty handed.
There are a lot of plants that will do fine as floating plants other than "traditional" surface plants. Anacharis, Wisteria, Pennywort, etc. I just got some Wisteria and Pennywort from Petco in tubes and have it floating.

"Going low-tech planted is liberating, a feeling similar to running through the sprinklers naked with a bottle of jack daniels." - Kangy

http://www.kancof.com
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-22-2011, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmish View Post
Thanks Byron,

I've been looking for some floating plants but 3 visits to different shops this week have left me empty handed. I'll keep looking though, as the light is a bit intense.

I've reduce the light a few times already. My gut tells me 9hrs plus some floating plants will be good for reducing algae, and I thought I would kill the algae to start things off fresh, so to speak. I got the idea from an article by Neil Frank, it seemed fairly reasonable.

cheers
I just twigged to the fact that you are in Vancouver. We have very soft water, and this is part of the issue with JF. Flourish twice weekly might be needed, but it contains very little calcium and magnesium (the principle minerals of water hardness) since it is formulated for more medium-hard water areas. I am experiementing with aragonite in two of my tanks. My swords are also showing calcium deficiencies (I detect this in both the JF and the swords in your pohoto). When calcium is low, plants take up more iron and this causes those brown spots and patches. [This is part of the issue I mentioned previously about nutrient imbalance being tricky.]

As for floating plants, if you want to come by I can give you a bucket full of Water Sprite and Brazilian Pennywort. I chuck this stuff out every week. PM me if interested. I'm in Pitt Meadows.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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