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Java Fern

(Microsorum pteropus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Lighting: Low   • Maximum Size: 12"
• Placement: Midground to Background   • Water Conditions: 66-84° F, pH 5.5-7.5, KH 3-8
• Propagation: Adventitious Plants, Rhizome Division   • Color Forms: Green
Supplements: High Quality Liquid Fertilizer
• Origin: Asia   • Family: Polypodiaceae

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Java Fern native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Microsorum pteropus, also known as Java Fern, is a beautiful and undemanding marsh species originating in Asia. Java Fern is great for beginners due to its low maintenance and rate of reproduction as well as being suited for aquariums that contain cichlids and herbivorous species alike.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Java Fern in the home aquarium.

Java Fern feeds directly from the water column, thus does not do well when planted in the substrate. Instead it thrives when attached to driftwood or rock work. It can be anchored with cotton thread, super glue or other similar methods of attaching the plants to the desired surface while the roots have time to firmly attached themselves. For those aquarist who prefer to plant the Java Fern in the substrate, they should take care to bury only the roots and not the rhizome.

With its distinctive ability to grow on otherwise un-plantable surfaces, the possible applications of Java Fern in the aquarium aquascape are diverse. Many aquarists prefer to attach this species wood or attached to egg crate, where it can make an excellent backdrop.

Feeding & Nutrition Information

How to propagate and grow Java Fern.

Java Fern has a moderate rate of growth and is known to thrive in shade or a low light environment; Java Fern will actually develop transparent patches on the leaves and "melt" under high intensity lighting. Optimal water circulation is essential for healthy growth. Java Fern requires at least 1.5 watts per gallon of light provided by full spectrum (5000-7000K) bulbs.

Propagation Information

How to propagate and grow Java Fern.

Under optimal conditions, Java Fern propagates quickly and easily with "daughter" plants forming on the edges of leaves that eventually grow their own root systems and detach from the "mother" and float until they anchor themselves onto something. Java Fern will also propagate via rhizome division which is done by cutting the plant at the root with very sharp, sterilized scissors.

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