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[APD] Repost about hornwort, and a new question about Java Fern


I sent this question a couple of weeks ago, but received not response,
so I am reposting in hopes of getting some kind of answer.  Also, I have
added another, perhaps related, question at the bottom.

I'm a relative newbie to aquarium plants and have an awful lot to
learn.  I have really enjoyed lurking here on this list and am learning
a lot.

Now, I've got a question.

About a month ago, I purchased some hornwort from a petshop.  It was
quite dark green and the "fronds"/leaves were quite stiff projecting out
from the stem.  Previously, I have bought hornwort, but it was soft and
eventually died out. (That was before I got the hair algae under
control).  These new plants have been growing in my 10 gallon, but the
new growth is a lighter green and is not stiff like on what I bought.
Because growth is soft, I fear that eventually it will also eventually
die out.  Why won't it grow in the stiff form?

Here's my set up:

10 gallon with 20 W screw-in compact fluorescent, 6500K; (I corrected
the wattage from my original post!)
DIY yeast CO2;
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 15-20 ppm
dKH = 19 (about 340 ppm)
dGH = 21 (aobut 376 ppm)
pH = 7.2
I add 4 drops of Fluorish every 2-3 days (when I started doing it this
way rather than a single larger weekly dose, the hair algae pretty much
disappeared!). Tank is overcrowded with guppies (I need to find a fish
to put in there to eat the babies, that won't harass the adult males'
flowing tails!)

What do I need to do to get the hornwort healthier?

SECOND QUESTION:  I have a Java Fern, rhizome is about 8 inches long, in
this same tank, which I have had for about 6 months.  It was a huge
plant-- leaves almost a foot long when I got it.  All of these slowly
died, but produced numerous plantlets.  The replacement leaves, which
have been abundant, are only about 5 inches long.  For the last 3 months
it has  been in the shade of a red rubin swordplant which has been
growing very healthily, but obscuring the Java Fern.  This week I
removed the sword to take it to a show, and noticed that the leaves of
the Java Fern do not look at all healthy.  They are covered with little
brown-black speckles (these are continuous from one side of the leaf to
the other) and many leaves do not have a healthy green color.  Their
appearance reminds me of leaves on outdoor plants dying down in the
fall.  Was there two much shade from the sword? or is there likely to be
some other problem?



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