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java fern is a pretty versatile plant as long as you dont try to plant it in the substrate.
you can either allow it to float, or you can tie the rhizome down to a driftwood, rock, decoration etc.
 

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I just got a bundle or grouping of narrow leaf java and planted it in the sub....was this wrong ? I have el-nino in sub and its not really growin at a show stopping rate either . While everything else is , wisteria , umbrella , cardinialiis , dwarf grass alot of diffrent stuff is taking off like crazy but my ferns while they are green an healthy they arent growing at all should i do something diffrent ? Will the bundle of java be better floating around in the tank free ?
 

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el nino (bolbitis) is quite the fussy plant. growth is usually very slow for this species. if you got yours from petco it is in it's emmersed form and will take a while to transition into submersed. in the process it may lose all of its leaves.

Java fern takes nutrients from the water column, and does not like to be planted... I find that this sp grows best in low light.
 

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Does it have to be attached to something?
We have plant profiles, they will likely explain these issues. Others have now responded.

To Charlie, Java Fern (as it mentions in the profiule) is a slow growing plant; most low light plants are, with a few exceptions.
 
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