java fern blotches?


 >>  Should I worry about the speckles and blotches? Dispose of those
particular leaves?  Are these diseases, natural coloring, or just "age spots"?

 The symptoms you describe are definitely damage of some sort.  If it were
only the spots on the older trilobate leaves, I would say it was just age, but
considering how many leaves are involved, I suspect that there is more

 You often see this type of damage following the use of some sort of chemical
(algicide, medication, etc.) in a tank. People often don't make a connection
between the two events since, being a slow growing plant, damage often doesn't
show up for 6-8 weeks after the chemical was added to the tank.

 Then again, I have seen a syndrome similar to Cryptocoryne melt but slower,
where a whole stand of Javas (I suspect it's leaves produced all on a single
rhizome) will brown and decay.  As with Crypts, if the rhizome is left alone,
it usually springs back with time.

 No matter what the source of the problem, plant leaves are either growing and
contributing to water quality, or deteriorating and contributing to pollution.
Leaves that are deteriorating should always be removed.

  E-mail from: Karen Randall, 10-Jun-1995