[Q] Java Fern problems?

Hi folks,

Hope everyone is off to a happy and healthy new year. 

I wanted to see if anyone has any idea what might be happening to my java
fern. First, the conditions: 29gal tank, 78deg, pH=6.8-7.0, both GH and KH
~3.0dH, ammonia/nitrite levels fine. (haven't checked nitrates) Lighting
is (4) 20w GE Chroma50's with (2) 40w VitaLights [some overhang on the 30"
tank]. Filtration= Aquaclear 300 with sponges only. 3-4" 3-4mm gravel with
3/4lb of Thiel laterite. Used to be using DIY CO2, but stopped a few weeks
ago. No fertilizers besides DuplaGan and the occasional DuplaPlant 24 drop.
Fish load: (5) 2" kribs, (3) corys, (6) rasboras. Tank has been set up since 
August '95. Almost no algae now (trust me, I had my share of the attacks :)

Now, the problem is that I have a very large Java fern that has a rhizome
about 8" long and 10" leaves.The specimen was gorgeous when I first got it
from a local auction and did well until my algae problems disappeared and
the snail population got hungry and attacked my java fern (pretty much left
all my other plants alone, including hygro poly!). I quickly caught and threw
out loads of snails, and the damage seemed to be contained to a few leaves.
But about 2 weeks later, all the leaves started developing brown patches
and the stem of the leaf started yellowing and wilting. This happened both
to damaged leaves and to leaves that were unharmed. Now, the strange thing
is that it has spread to a small clump of Java fern var "windelov" I have
sitting on a piece of driftwood next to the large java. None of the other
plants seem affected and are doing fine. I have another clump of the windelov
fern away from the two affected ferns and I just moved it to another tank
just to be safe, since it doesn't seem affected yet. Any idea what this could

I thought about defficiencies but I would think other plants would be affected.
Also, the rhizome is still green so I'm assuming the plant is still alive,
true? I'm hoping the plant will come back after dropping all the dying leaves.
I know, java fern is a hardy plant, but this has got me puzzled...

Sorry for the long post, any help would be appreciated...

dsung at wesleyan_edu

PS- the tank has more than 20 other sp. of plants, ranging from crypts to
swords to bacopa, bolbitis, anubias. etc...and nothing else is affected the
same way.