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java fern

There have been a few questions about java fern on the list lately and I'd
like to add in my two cents.

About a year ago I had a low-light (1wpg) low maintenance (water changes
when ever I felt like it) tank, community fish, and the only plants I had
were gorgeous, luxurious, growing-like-a-weed java ferns on driftwood.

I upgraded to 3wpg (PC), I follow all the rules (water changes every 1-2
weeks), dose with TMG & Potassium, have normal N & P levels, and added lots
more plants, most of which grow well.

However, my java ferns have been reduced to small, ugly little things. They
start out OK, but soon develop black patches & spots. Which I of course
remove. I have some Windelov which also gets blackish after a while. I can
only figure the faster-growing plants are out-competing them. I do have a
LOT of indica.

Recently I decided to try adding iron, and am still watching the results.
The other day I was doing some pruning and found a big hunk of Windelov
hiding behind some indica and it was robust and pretty & GREEN! (Now I'm
thinking: are my javas getting too much light?)

I thought adding a C02 system might help, but I understand it doesn't do
much for javas.

Any comments? I am stumped...

penny in chilly CT