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Can't keep ferns alive

MDByne

New Member
Joined
10 Nov 2020
Messages
6
Location
Chichester, UK
Hi guys.

Despite being seen as 'easy' plants I just can't seem to keep any ferns alive. In my previous tank I had two java ferns that just browned and died off. I had heard some people suffer the same thing but get success with a different fern so I tried trident fern. Unfortunately I'm having the exact same thing happen again.

It's a low energy set up with no co2 injection. All my other plants are healthy and growing well (assortment of crypts, echinodorus, eleocharis, buce and anubias). I dose 3ml of EA Aquascaper Complete fertilizer daily and do 50% water change once a week. I'm running a biomaster thermo 250 giving me 10x flow (near enough) in my 100l 70cm tank.

Does anyone have any advice of keeping these things going? They seem to die off so quickly. Do I need all the leaves to die off before the rhizome grows new leaves? I wasn't aware of this on ferns other than bolbitis. My water is pretty hard in the South of England, could this be the issue? Its the only one I've had a problem with.

Any help appreciated!

Matt
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Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
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599
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London
To be honest I’ve never found trident Java fern, which it looks like you have, to be easy and have only had success with it when I’ve added co2.
 

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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7,929
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Netherlands
I have the same issues with all Java fern varieties I tried... ANd it's in a low turnover low-tech aquarium. I've forgotten who it was it could be @Mick.Dk who once wrote that all Microsorum sp. require a rather high flow. Unfortunately, the overflows from the tank in question don't allow a lot more turnover, thus I haven't tried nor can't confirm... But even tho I forgot I know the person who advised it knows plants.

Anyway if you have this option then this is what you can try... Blast them with some more flow. :)
 

PARAGUAY

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Joined
13 Nov 2013
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2,171
Location
Lancashire
Generally Java Fern does well for me in my soft to very soft water . It obviously benifits from Co2 and a gentle sway of flow. Think problems can be too much direct light maybe try a shaded area of tank or a floating plant .l have Salvinia in all my tanks I thin it out weekly and the ferns are thriving. Ottocinclus do a great job keeping the leaves clean. I do thin the ferns out occasionally then it grows slow. At the moment adding Tropica Specalised reduced dose and remineraliser. It can be a bit of an enigma suddenly melt or put in a bucket for a while coming out very healthy .I forgot about some once in the greenhouse verý humid hot and grew gigantic leaves.
 

ceg4048

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11 Jul 2007
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Chicago, USA
Does anyone have any advice of keeping these things going? They seem to die off so quickly. Do I need all the leaves to die off before the rhizome grows new leaves? I wasn't aware of this on ferns other than bolbitis. My water is pretty hard in the South of England, could this be the issue? Its the only one I've had a problem with.
Hi,
Have you buried the rhizomes by any chance? It's an obvious question, but one never knows.
I'm quite certain water hardness is not an factor, as I've grown ferns for years in hard water with no problems.
The rest of the tank looks super nice though. You could try gluing/tying the rhizome to the top surface of that wood.
Those symptoms look like a gas exchange issue. With difficult to adapt plants I usually bite the bullet and just allow them to float at the surface a few weeks with some kind of restraint to keep them from bashing about uncontrollably.

Cheers,
 

MDByne

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Thread starter
Joined
10 Nov 2020
Messages
6
Location
Chichester, UK
Hi,
Have you buried the rhizomes by any chance? It's an obvious question, but one never knows.
I'm quite certain water hardness is not an factor, as I've grown ferns for years in hard water with no problems.
The rest of the tank looks super nice though. You could try gluing/tying the rhizome to the top surface of that wood.
Those symptoms look like a gas exchange issue. With difficult to adapt plants I usually bite the bullet and just allow them to float at the surface a few weeks with some kind of restraint to keep them from bashing about uncontrollably.

Cheers,
Hi,

It's not burried, its tucked into a relatively spacious gap between the wood. It is however tucked away from any strong flow. Do you think that placing it somewhere different to settle in would help, or would i have the same problem placing it back there whenever it is?

Thanks
 

ceg4048

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UKAPS Team
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9,387
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Hi,

It's not burried, its tucked into a relatively spacious gap between the wood. It is however tucked away from any strong flow. Do you think that placing it somewhere different to settle in would help, or would i have the same problem placing it back there whenever it is?

Thanks
Hi,
Yes, I'd consider moving it to another place, just to see if it makes a difference. No guarantees of course, but worth a shot. I'd trim the worst of the leaves as well. They will never recover and that's just extra baggage the plant has to carry around.

Cheers,
 
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