Need advice on adding Java Fern - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-24-2010, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on adding Java Fern

I need advice about adding Java Fern to my aquarium. I have read that a lot of people tie the plants to driftwood, but I won't do this because I do not want to lower PH. Mine is 6.6 in the aquarium and 6.8 out of the tap. I have one Bumble Bee Platy who has survived the cycle, so far, and I'd really like to keep her alive. I have soft water, so I have added some coral to gradually harden it. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find any coral skeletons that are large enough to tie plants to and I doubt roots will attach to such a sharp surface anyway. So, I wonder if anyone here can suggest some types of smaller rocks or anything I can tie plants to. I've also noticed many plants at the stores have brown leaves or holes in them. Should I go ahead and accept these and prune them or hold out until I see a perfect specimen? It's so frustrating when you are a beginner and the pet store worker won't give honest answers.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-24-2010, 06:43 PM
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I have heard that you can go to landscaping places and get pieces of slate but I haven't done that. I have the opposite issue. I add tons of wood to my tank. The other thought would be to tie it to some clay pots.

Bury them down into your substrate and tie a few Java Ferns or Moss onto them with fishing line. You won't even see the line once a bit of algae forms on the pots. They look kind of pretty too, I think
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-24-2010, 06:49 PM
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If they are cheap i go ahead and buy them because they will survive but if they are expensive I'll wait for the perfect specimen. When they are damaged or dying they will send shoots on the same leave so you have to leave it there or else you will end up with nothing.

As regarding to attach i would find pebbles, driftwood, stones, resin made things well it almost attaches to anything. If i were you i use fine fishing line like 0.5 or 0.75 (it would be invisible). I found that to be the best. Other people use linen thread but i tried it and after time it will loosen up and I almost lost a bristlenose because it stuck to the thread so i refrain to use it. Used the fishing line and it worked like a wonder and it will never loosen.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-24-2010, 07:02 PM
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Actually you don't have to attach them to anything. I have some in my tank that are floating and I have some that I planted in the substrate using the fine brown roots they use. When the Java Fern gets large enough, it will stay on the bottom by itself.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-24-2010, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Smile

Thank you for all of your helpful replies and the beautiful photo from Inga. I'll probably start with tying them to clay pots since the plants I've seen at the store look fairly small. The local pet retailers don't carry pots, but I'm guessing the ones at the hardware store are safe for fish. I also appreciate the advice about not shying away from plants with some brown leaves.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-24-2010, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WisFish View Post
Actually you don't have to attach them to anything. I have some in my tank that are floating and I have some that I planted in the substrate using the fine brown roots they use. When the Java Fern gets large enough, it will stay on the bottom by itself.
i have some little offshoots floating in my betta tank and they are flourishing. i also have a massive java fern growing on a piece of bogwood in my main tank...that used to be an offshoot, too. those plants GROW.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-24-2010, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ponyo View Post
I need advice about adding Java Fern to my aquarium. I have read that a lot of people tie the plants to driftwood, but I won't do this because I do not want to lower PH. Mine is 6.6 in the aquarium and 6.8 out of the tap. I have one Bumble Bee Platy who has survived the cycle, so far, and I'd really like to keep her alive. I have soft water, so I have added some coral to gradually harden it. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find any coral skeletons that are large enough to tie plants to and I doubt roots will attach to such a sharp surface anyway. So, I wonder if anyone here can suggest some types of smaller rocks or anything I can tie plants to. I've also noticed many plants at the stores have brown leaves or holes in them. Should I go ahead and accept these and prune them or hold out until I see a perfect specimen? It's so frustrating when you are a beginner and the pet store worker won't give honest answers.
Any rock will do; a smallish piece of limestone in this case would be fine. As for the plants, I rarely buy "perfect" plants, quite the opposite. Only last Sat I bought an Echinodorus that I have been looking for for ages, and the only plant they had was missing all its leaves (cut off by them I assume) but two; it will be fine when it is settled.

On raising pH, try some crushed coral (if you can't find dolomite which is better). It doesn't take much; a bit in one of those mesh bags you can buy for filter media, haning in the filter or next to the outflow, will do fine.

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]

Last edited by Byron; 08-25-2010 at 01:54 AM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-25-2010, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ponyo View Post
I need advice about adding Java Fern to my aquarium. I have read that a lot of people tie the plants to driftwood, but I won't do this because I do not want to lower PH. Mine is 6.6 in the aquarium and 6.8 out of the tap. I have one Bumble Bee Platy who has survived the cycle, so far, and I'd really like to keep her alive. I have soft water, so I have added some coral to gradually harden it. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find any coral skeletons that are large enough to tie plants to and I doubt roots will attach to such a sharp surface anyway. So, I wonder if anyone here can suggest some types of smaller rocks or anything I can tie plants to. I've also noticed many plants at the stores have brown leaves or holes in them. Should I go ahead and accept these and prune them or hold out until I see a perfect specimen? It's so frustrating when you are a beginner and the pet store worker won't give honest answers.

I would just about apologize to my ex Mother-inlaw for all of the bad thoughts I had and prayers that she would fall from the face of the earth ,to have the pH you have.
I believe the crushed coral and perhaps some limestone that Byron suggested will achieve the results desired.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-25-2010, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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You are making me laugh 1077, which is good cause I'm feeling pretty gloomy after a recent fish loss. I'd gladly trade the soft water and low PH for more Platy friendly numbers if that were possible. For now, I'll take all the helpful suggestions posted here and in the stickies on plant basics. It sounds like it's best to add some nutrients, so I'll see what I can find. There is one local store that has rocks, a little coral, and some rough looking plants that I'm sure could use a home. A surprise batch of snails would be okay too. I would love to see the little Bumble Bee darting around with the White Clouds in a planted environment. I might even convince my husband that it's better than TV.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-31-2010, 12:19 PM
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I wouldn't mix white clouds and platies... White clouds like a lower temperature.

Celestial PEarl Danios would be nice tho.

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^^ genius
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