Java Fern (Microsorum petropus) is an easy-to-acquire aquatic plant.
Java Fern is one of the world’s most widely used plants in planted aquariums. It slow growth, unique leaf structure, and reproduction method makes it an aquarium smash hit. Java Fern is tolerant of all lighting conditions and environmental conditions, from alkaline water to soft acidic water, brackish tanks, and even brackish. It is also easy to find in most local fish stores; but if not, there is always some available on our website.
You’re probably looking for more information on Java Fern, if you found this article. It is very easy to plant Java Fern. All you have to do is add it to your water. Really – even if you just drop it in, it’ll start growing. Java Fern will grow while floating. The current can also allow it to attach itself to something that its roots can hold on to. It can be planted in gravel, tied to a piece or rock of wood or any other decor, and then it can choose its destination. Super glue gel is my favorite method to plant Java Fern. Make a simple glue bead from the decor piece you wish to attach the fern to. For 30 seconds, hold it against the glue and let dry. Place it in the tank and watch it grow! It is important to not bury the Rhizome (the twig-like part of the plant)! The rhizome contains all roots and leaves. It will rot if it gets buried in gravel or sand. Java Fern can be used in bare-bottom tanks. This is a huge benefit.
Growing Java Fern can be done with almost any type of light. The Java Fern will appreciate any lighting that comes its way! Java Fern isn’t fussy about what kind of lighting you use or the wattage. However, Java Fern will do best if provided with a 6700k spectrum bulb. This plant can tolerate any light level, from very low to extremely high. It can be burned or melted at very high levels of light. Refrain from trying to recreate the Sahara Desert in your tank. The Java Fern can survive on very little light. Many aquarists have left it in a bucket for weeks and it still has life! One example: A bulb in one of my breeding tanks was burned out over several months. Yet, every time I put a light in the tank to catch the fry the Java Fern looked amazing!
Assuming you’ve got it planted and are giving it some light, your Java Fern will soon be reproducing. Tiny Java Ferns are formed at the edge of the leaves. When they reach maturity, they will drop off and attach themselves to where they belong. You can also break leaves off and let them float in the aquarium. You can also break off leaves and let them float in the aquarium. If it dies, it will immediately produce new plantslets. Sometimes it can have as many as 20 babies per plant. This is a great way for setting up a new aquarium or to propagate the plant to get a fish friend.
As an added benefit, aquarium fish love to swim through these plants. Java Ferns can make a jungle for fish to swim in. With the slow growth factor of this plant, many people only do 1 big trim every year and then let nature takes its course decorating their aquarium au natural. Most fish do not like the taste of Java Fern, so even many plant eating fish will not eat it. The leaves are very tough and thick. They can take a beating from a large cichlid or some goldfish who just like to play with them.
It shouldn’t take too much effort to find Java Fern (Microsorum phytopus). Once you’ve found it and started to propagate it, you should know that there are other varieties of Java Fern available: Java Fern Trident, Java Fern Needle Leaf, Java Fern ‘Windelov’, Java Fern Narrow Leaf, and other less known varieties. Each variety has its own unique appearance and all the same requirements for growth.
Java fern ‘Windelov’
Java Fern can be dangerous so it is best to not over prune or start a tank. Since this plant is such a slow grower, it can have terrible fights with algae. A good crew of algae eaters and sucker fish go a long way to ensuring it wins the battle. It can be planted with other faster-growing plants such as Vallisneria.
You can easily remove a few leaves from the tank and place them in a bowl of water. After it has made some plantlets, you can remove them and put them back into the tank. You may win the battle. What are you waiting to do? Grab some Java Fern, and get out there!