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Wiil 03-03-2010 02:46 PM

Problem with Java fern and unknown plant?
2 Attachment(s)
My two Java ferns have been getting... holes in them. I just clipped the problem leaves today, but left one because it had a very nice sprout on it.

Here's that one leaf:
Attachment 9422
It's a 10 gallon tank with two 10 watt 6500 fluorescent bulbs.

And also, what kind of plant is this?
Attachment 9423
Pretty sure that the name on the label started with a "K" but I can't remember.

I know the water level's low right now, but I'll be adding water back very soon. For now I'm spraying them with the head of a squirt bottle (sticking the tube into the tank water, so they're getting sprayed with tank water) every 10 minutes or so.

Angel079 03-03-2010 05:35 PM

What's your water parameters, maininly your Nitrate and how long have you had the plants out of the water like this (had they always been planted that way?)???

Your unknown plant is Sagittaria see here

Wiil 03-03-2010 09:31 PM

Nitrates are at 10 ppm, and they haven't been out of the water long at all; they're back under, and they were only out for a few hours tops, and I sprayed them with tank water and kept the tank humid.

I just went back to the store today, and they were selling the plant as "kyoto grass."

Angel079 03-03-2010 10:41 PM

Hm that's not too high. Oh ok, I thought you had this bare-water set up going for a while (like weeks/ months).

There's only 2 others things you'd have to look at then is do you use ferts or not? Cause its not like with the Crypts that melt that you can also see on a Java Fern; the lights aren't very high at all there.
Thou it is sometimes seen when Java Ferns built daughter plants along the main leaf that the 'mother leaf' will get holes, but I pers never seen it to this extent and pers would look at lack of nutrition in that case.

Wiil 03-03-2010 10:46 PM

That might be possible... I use a gravel special for plants, but the ferns aren't in the gravel.

Angel079 03-04-2010 08:04 AM

Special fertilized gravel is helpful for plants that are root feeding like Swords, Crypts. It is however not beneficial for stem plants or anubias, java's that feed from the water column for them it is best to use a comprehensive liquid fert (eg. Flourish Comprehensive) and dose the tank 1x week per directions and give the plant at least 2-3 weeks time to see how that's working.

Oldfishlady 03-04-2010 08:24 AM

The un-Id'd plant almost looks like Ophiopogon japonica or mondo grass a bog plant not aquatic that will rot when grown submersed, my second guess would be Sagittaria subulata or narrow leaf sag. and a nice plant grown submersed

Byron 03-04-2010 01:59 PM

Oldfishlady is correct, if the plant is labelled kyoto grass it is most likely Ophiopogon japonicus which is not an aquatic plant; plant it in your garden (in warm weather) and it will be lovely.:-)

Sagitarria will make a nice replacement, or pygmy chain sword a lighter green but similar fountain of narrow leaves.

On the Java Fern, there may be too much light. I have had good success with this plant under fairly low lighting. Can you remove one of the two tubes (assuming there is no other reason for both tubes)?


Wiil 03-04-2010 06:47 PM

Thanks so much for all of your input!

Oldfishlady and Byron, thanks for the help identifying the plant. I'll take it out right away. Too bad, though... the shrimp really like it.

Byron, I don't have tubes; they're actual fluorescent bulbs (I have one of those ghetto tank hoods with places for bulbs, not tubes). I guess I could take the one over the Java ferns out and put a different kind in? Or perhaps I can replace both bulbs and get some Java moss in there... will Java moss form a carpet on sand? I've seen pictures of it forming a carpet on gravel...

Angel079, thanks for the info. I'll get some liquid fertilizer as soon as I can.

Byron 03-04-2010 07:13 PM

If they are compact fluorescent bulbs, the wattage does not indicate light intensity; try removing the one over the JF and see if there is still enough light. Shading the lower plants with floating plants also works. Liquid fertilizer will also help as Angel079 mentioned.

Java Moss might "grow" along the sand/gravel, but in my experience it does not actually root into it. It prefers to be on wood or rock so it can attach itself by roots.

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