Java Fern belongs to the Polypodiaceae family. The scientific name is Microsorum pteropus. This water plant is very popular among aquarists. It is widely popular among aquarists for its slow growth, unique shape, and ease to care. This plant does not require strict water parameters. This is the best plant for beginners aquarists.
|Growth Rate:||Low to moderate.|
|Maximum Size:||13.5 inches.|
|Minimum Tank Size:||10 Gallons.|
|Water Conditions:||68oF-82oF, pH 6.0-7.5, KH 3-8|
|Lighting:||Low to moderate.|
|Placement:||Mid to background|
Overview of Java Fern
It is a member of the Polypodiaceae family. This family has more than 60 different genera. Microsorum belongs to this family which has over 50 species of tropical ferns. Java Fern knew as Microsorum Pteropus is the most popular species within the Microsorum genus.
The origin of these plants is in South East Asia. It is a jungle plant that typically grows on the rocks, the ground, and around the tree trunks along the waterline of steams and also waterfalls. This plant can grow in both submerged and partially submerged areas.
Fish stores sell different kinds of ferns like narrow leaf, needle leaf, trident, and windelov.
You should buy them when they are typically around 3-5 inches in length. Before buying check carefully if they have brown edging leaves then choose a different one. Also, make sure to choose healthy plants with green healthy looking leaves.
Appearance of The Java fern
Java Fern has two main parts, rhizome, and leaves. Rhizomes act as an anchor, and the brown root attaches themselves to many different surfaces. The leaves are very hardy and have different shapes that vary from bushy to spiky.
Their leaves color also varies from medium green to dark green. If you keep them in the bright light they will develop dark green leaves. Mature leaves develop a few black or brown bumps.
The plant can grow up to 13.5 inches in height and 6-8 inches in width.
- Trident Java fern: This is the most used variety of Java Fern. It has 2-5 lobes on each side of its leaves. They grow faster than the Narrow leaf. It has shorter leaves with more forkes in each leave.
- Narrow Leaf Java Fern: This plant has narrow leaves, which grow at a steeper angle than the regular Microsorum pteropus. Leaves grow at to aroung 4-8 inches and the plant can grow as high as 12 inches.
- Needle Leaf Java Fern: The true needle leaf plants are hard to fin the shop. It has thinner leaves and is smaller then the Narrow Leaf. This plant can grow up to 6 inches.
- Windelov Java Fern: This is a unique variety of Java Fern. It can grow up to 8 inches tall.
Tank Requirments of Java Fern
Aquatic plants grow faster and healthy when the tank’s water condition is as close as the natural condition of that plant. Just like fish. They grow alongside streams and are often found near moving water. This plant does not need lots of extra CO2.
The recommended water parameters should be around 6.0-7.0 with a hardness of 3-8dGH.
This plant does not need any special conditions to grow. This plant is extremely hardy. It will also grow in the regular tank setup. Do not plant this in a smaller tank than 10 gallons. For lighting, you can fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, and also do not make the light too strong which can make your plant’s leaves brown.
You should use a rough surface rather than a smoother surface. If the object’s surface is smooth the plant’s roots will take a longer time to attach their roots. Anything like lava rock or driftwood will help them to attach their roots. You can use large pieces or small pieces of driftwood.
To ensure, tie the roots using fishing wire to your chosen object. Many people use rubber bands or zip ties. After a few weeks, the root will be attached to the object. Then you can remove the ties from the roots. You can also leave them as it is. The roots will grow and eventually cover the tied area.
Maintenance of The Java Fern
This is one of the easiest plants to care for. They do not have true roots. They take nutrients in from the water through their leaves. If you want to fertilize them you can use liquid fertilizer. Substrate fertilizer will be useless in this condition. Use liquid fertilizer each time you change the water. They are slow-growing plants so you do not have to prune now and then.