Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bmm930 11-11-2007 10:22 AM

Red Ludwigia and Java Fern questions
I recently purchased a red ludwigia plant and a java fern plant for my aquarium. I heard that you are not supposed to bury the java's roots into the gravel, but you are supposed to attach it to a piece of wood or rock. I don't have any driftwood so now I just have it sitting on my gravel. Where should I put it? And is it safe to get a rock from outside and just put it in the tank? Also, I saw what appears to be a daughter plant on the java fern. When should I remove it and place it somewhere else in the tank? Right now it is pretty small, but I can definitly see the roots growing.

Next, I placed the red ludwigia plant in the tank and one of the leaves fell off. Right now the leaf is just floating in the tank. Will this grow into another plant or should I remove it? Thanks!

tophat665 11-11-2007 11:32 AM

If you're going to use rocks from outside, 1) Clean them well, 2) Make sure that they aren't going to leach metals or calcium into your aquarium. You can use google to find out what rocks; try "Aquarium Safe Rocks" as search terms. I know this comes up with some.

Java Fern has roots and rhizome. The roots are little black threads. These can be buried. The Rhizome is the horizontal green stem from which the leaves spring. This can't be buried.

Child plants grow right out of Java Fern leaves as you've discovered. They can be removed any time that you feel they are large enough for you to be able to handle to plant the roots or tie to driftwood or rock (or pottery).

Detached ludwegia leaves will not grow. Fish it out and throw it away.

bmm930 11-11-2007 02:59 PM

Thanks, now I have this little bridge aquarium ornament in the aquarium. Can I tie down the roots of the java fern to it? And then how long will it take before it grabs on? Or a lot of people I know have driftwood in their tank, where can you get this? Also, (I know I'm asking a lot of questions, sorry!) can I just use a regular broken gardening pot and put that in the tank to tie the java fern onto? thanks!

tophat665 11-11-2007 03:06 PM

Yes, you can tie the java fern to the bridge ornament, but it will never grip it by itself, so use fishing line. Yes, you can use flowerpots, but make sure to sand the edges if you have any fine scaled fish in your tank. I'd use fishing line for that too - it might grip, but it might not. Yes, you are asking a lot of questions. That's good.

Driftwood - you can get it at better fish stores. Heck, Petco sometimes has it. It's not super cheap, but it's not grossly expensive either. Boil it or soak it. Don't bleach it. Az Gardens sells it online, and if you google "Manzanita", you can get dried Manzanita sticks which are great for Java Fern. Sometimes available on craigslist, usually available on e-bay, often available walking down the beach (clean the bejeezus out of anything you pick up from the beach though, and soak the hell out of it to get the salt out.)

bmm930 11-11-2007 05:24 PM

Okay, I tied my java around the bridge that I had, vertically. Will this be sufficient?
How long does it take for the roots to anchor on?
How long will it take for my daughter plants to be able to detach and become their own plant?

tophat665 11-11-2007 06:27 PM

The java fern probably never will anchor on the bridge, but it should thrive there. The daughter plants won't detach until the leaf they're on is old and rots away. At some point, though, when they have a rhizome, you can cut the leaf and tie them down too.

fish_4_all 11-12-2007 03:25 PM

The most common rule of thumb I have seen for plantlets is to leave them until they 5-7 leaves and a good amount of roots. Then just cut them off and tie them down.

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