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Re:Java Fern.

I've got 3 big Java ferns and several small ones. 2 years ago I bought the
largest one, and due to it's massive growth I had to split it 2 times 4
months ago (it's roots was aprox. 17" in diameter) because it ocupied 1/3
of my tank. 
I'm using  2*18 watts standart fluruzent tubes, the tank is about 34g, pH
7, dH 10.5, temp 25C (77F) and i'm using Tetra ToruMin to get the dH down
from 18, and Tetra FloraPride as fertilizer. The tank contains 1 angelfish
(she doesn't like other angelfish), 8 swordtails, and 3 harlequins.

Just last week I had to give some of my Java Ferns away so I think i'm
doing something right.

Thomas D. Kryger
TDKryger at post6_tele.dk

Subject: Re:  Java Fern

>I would like some advice on growing Java Fern.
>Question:  How do I get the plantlets taken from adult leaves to grow to
>the same size as the parent plants?
>About 6 months ago I bought a couple bunches of Java Fern. I do not know
>the specific variety.  These were adult specimens about 10 or more inches
>long, with plantlets growing on the leaves.  The plantlets produced were
>prolific.  Since then the adult leaves have died and gone to fern heaven.
> I have attached the plantlets to bogwood using thread and they are
>healthy looking, green and pretty and they have actually grown new
>leaves.  The plantlets have grown to about 2 inches

There are two possibilities here.  The first is that your original plants
were grown emersed, and were larger for that reason.  That also would
explain why they died back.  The other possibility is that the original
plants were just grown under different conditions than yours.  With many
plants, Java Fern included, the size, shape, color and texture of the
leaves is variable depending on the conditions under which they are grown. 

It doesn't mean that your Java Fern is unhealthy just because it is smaller
than the original.  If the leaves are a good bright green, and the plant is
increasing along the rhizome rather than just producing leaf plantlets, it
is most likely just growing the way it wants to grow under your particular
tank conditions.

The production of leaf plantlets _without_ increase along the rhizome,
particularly if the adult leaves are browning and unhealthy looking is a
sign that the parent plant is under stress, and trying to propagate before
it dies.  You can even see this respone when a single Java Fern leaf is
left floating in a tank.  The leaf itself will eventually die, but not
before putting its last efforts into producing offspring.