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Java Fern Leaves Blackening
November 7, 2010
3:56 pm
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Saxodave
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Can anyone please suggest why the fronds of my Java fern 'Windelov' are turning black? My normal Java ferns have perfectly clean, green fronds but even the young fronds soon develop large unsightly black patches.

November 8, 2010
8:01 pm
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Bluedave
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is it the leaf itself or something on the leaf?

Have you changed the lighting recently?

November 8, 2010
8:06 pm
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Bluedave
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is it the leaf itself or something on the leaf?

Have you changed the lighting recently?

November 9, 2010
4:57 pm
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Saxodave
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It's the leaves themselves. The actual leaf tissue is black. Lighting no different. I will try to post a pic later.

November 9, 2010
8:44 pm
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Senor Bastardo
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Try adding some nutrients, for example Profito from Easylife. Although Microsorum is usually as tough as nails they might pull a great dissapeareing sometimes.

You mention the lighting, but what is the other parameters?

November 18, 2010
9:35 pm
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Saxodave
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I have attached some pics of the plants in question. Water parameters are: Ammonia zero, Nitrite<30mg, pH 7, hard water, temp 26c, lighting 15w Juwel Day-Lite tube.
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November 18, 2010
11:41 pm
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jayuk
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NOTES: Browned off leaves are experiencing sexual reproduction from spores - tiny plants grow on these dead looking leaves .

Read this on plantedtanks , also apparently blackening of the leves is perfectly normal for java fern ,
just started a planted tank myself and have done alot of reading and ive seen it a few times .

The only other suggestion ive seen for java fern is to add potassium a couple of times a week , they use it more then other plants .

Hope this helps.........Jay .

November 19, 2010
7:16 pm
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Saxodave
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Thanks for that Jay. I will keep a close eye on the leaves to see if I can spot any youngsters. I have actually now fed the plants with Profito and am intending to increase the lighting with another tube (Grolux).

Incidentally, since starting this thread, the Riccia i put in the tank has turned from bright green to a sort of golden colour and doesn't look too happy either. I will persevere with the feeding and increased lighting and see if things improve.

November 22, 2010
12:09 am
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jayuk
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Ya welome dave ,
Think the lighting will help , from what i understand riccia needs to be
kept in the open under direct light to do well , if im wrong im sure
someone can correct me .

Let us know how you get on ,

Jay .

November 22, 2010
12:51 pm
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Bluedave
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Heh Saxodave,

my experience of this is that if the plant is not getting enough nutrients it starts to put all it's energy into developing little plantlets which causes the blackening of the leaves. The idea being that the plantlets will drop off the leaves and be carried away on the current to somewhere with more nutrients. Although having said that I had a fern in a tank that had an abundance of nutrients and still did this (maybe thats an age thing as well?).

As to the Riccia - you need loads of light and CO2 addition to grow it as a carpet over a long period of time. It's a floating plant (so usually gets lots of light/CO2 on the surface) and it is not natural to plant it in the substrate - Amano started that craze but he very rarely has tanks set up over a long period.

My exeperience with riccia is that it always trys to get to the surface and needs a lot of hard work to keep it growing as a carpet. You will need to regularly trim it to stop the old growth underneath from 'rotting' and breaking up. Looks great when you get it right though!

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November 22, 2010
10:32 pm
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Saxodave
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The Riccia certainly looks great when it's growing well. Maybe I will release it from its piece of bogwood and let it float at the surface. I wasn't really after a carpet of it, I just wanted to have a representative of it in my tank!

I have worked out that with a little jiggery-pokery I can rig up another T8 tube under the tank hood. This would give me one 15W T8 Day-Lite and one 15W T8 GroLux. So long as it isn't too bright for the fish I hope it might keep the plants in good health.

This is what my tank looks like at the moment.

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November 23, 2010
12:12 pm
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Bluedave
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Tanks looking good mate!

If you are going to let it float then just be careful to keep thinning it as it will stop the light getting through to the other plants.

How bigs your tank again?

November 23, 2010
4:50 pm
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Saxodave
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It's only a 60litre tank but it looks bigger in the photos!

November 29, 2010
10:38 pm
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Saxodave
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I mentioned earlier in the thread that I was going to add another T8 tube to the hood in my Rekord 60. I have managed it as you will see in the photos below. The only thing I haven't put in yet is a reflector for the new light.

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I siliconed a piece of stainless steel mesh on the underside of the inspection flap and then cable-tied the new GroLux tube to it. The inspection flap still closes fully so the tank looks unchanged from the outside. Let's hope the plants like it!

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December 1, 2010
12:49 pm
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Bluedave
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looks good mate - they should appreciate that no end!

December 2, 2010
8:35 am
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Matt
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Cool-looking wee set-up. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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