Care Guide: Java Fern

Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) is a popular aquatic plant among aquarium enthusiasts. Its unique appearance and low maintenance requirements make it a great addition to any freshwater tank. In this care guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when keeping Java Fern in your aquarium.

What are the ideal water parameters for Java Fern?

Java Fern is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. However, it thrives best in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. The temperature should be kept between 68°F and 82°F (20°C and 28°C). It is important to maintain good water quality by performing regular water changes and monitoring ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.

How should Java Fern be planted?

Unlike most aquatic plants, Java Fern should not be planted in the substrate. Instead, it should be attached to driftwood, rocks, or other decorations using fishing line or plant-safe glue. Planting Java Fern in the substrate can lead to root rot and hinder its growth. By attaching it to a solid surface, you allow the plant to absorb nutrients from the water column and create a natural-looking aquascape.

What lighting conditions does Java Fern require?

Java Fern is a low-light plant that can thrive in both low and moderate lighting conditions. It is best to provide it with indirect or filtered light to prevent algae growth on its leaves. If using artificial lighting, a fluorescent bulb with a color temperature of 6500K is recommended. It is important to note that excessive lighting can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown, indicating a need for reduced light intensity.

How should Java Fern be cared for?

One of the advantages of Java Fern is its low maintenance requirements. It does not require CO2 supplementation and can obtain nutrients from the water and fish waste. However, it can benefit from occasional fertilization with a liquid aquarium plant fertilizer to promote healthy growth. Regularly remove any dead or decaying leaves to maintain the plant's overall health and appearance.

Can Java Fern be kept with other fish or invertebrates?

Java Fern is a peaceful plant that can coexist with a wide variety of fish and invertebrates. It provides shelter and hiding places for small fish and fry, making it a popular choice for breeding tanks. Some fish, such as Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens), appreciate the broad leaves of Java Fern for building bubble nests. Additionally, Java Fern is not a preferred food source for most herbivorous fish, making it less likely to be eaten.

In conclusion

Java Fern is a versatile and visually appealing plant that can enhance the aesthetics of any freshwater aquarium. With its low maintenance requirements and ability to thrive in various water conditions, it is an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. By following the care guidelines outlined in this article, you can enjoy the beauty of Java Fern in your own aquatic paradise.

Back to blog

Premium Plants at your fingertip