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Java fern - "death spots"
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.10(Wed)23:21    Post subject: Java fern - "death spots" Reply with quote

I have java ferns in two tanks, and some of them are having problems.

Tank 1: 12 gallon Eclipse, CF light from eclipse (13W CF), on 12hr/day, 8 small red cherry shrimp, 1 apple snail, still cycling. There are 4 java ferns in there, and two of them have leafs that have little brown spots that seem to be getting bigger. The leaf gets hole-ie. This seems to be happening slowly, and I've only had the tank going for 2 weeks. The the problem be lack of nitrates? I've added a little bit of liquid aquarium plant fertilizer. How can I add a source of nitrate to my water if my tank isn't yet cycled?

Ammonia: 1.0ppm
nitrite, nitrate are 0
pH = 8.0

Have not done hardness test, but St. Paul water is pretty hard, or so I've been told.

Also in the tank, I have the popular floating leaf plant (duck weed?) that I'm growing on purpose. They seem to be doing very well - the "roots" growing under the leafs are almost an inch long, very hairy. I have them growing in a small feeding ring to keep them under the light.


The other tank is a 55 gallon with similar chemistry. It is also cycling, 1 female betta, 6 white clouds. The java ferns in there have a different problem. The leaves are turning black, slowly.

As for lighting, I have two 25W CF light bulbs over that half of the tank. I think there is enough light. The other plants (red ludwigla, amazon sword) are staying green, but not growing much. I've only had them for 2 weeks. They don't seem to be showing signs of distress.

Any ideas? Is my pH too high?

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Joined: 18 Dec 2006
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: 2007.01.11(Thu)0:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the 55 gallon tank, I think it needs more light. Good lighting is 2-3 watts per gallon, and you barely have .5 watts per gallon on one side. As far as the small tanks go, My banana plant was doing the same thing untill I got flourish and CO2. You should try fertilizer in the small tanks and if that doesn't help try some DIY CO2.
My tanks
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Rex Grigg

Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Location: Portland Oregon

PostPosted: 2007.01.11(Thu)7:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your duckweed roots are an inch long then you need to add fertilizer to the tank. When the roots get really long it's a sign that the duckweed is starving.

Take a few minutes and read the fertilizer section of my Guide. The link is my Sig.
Link to my Guide

Semper Fi
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.01.11(Thu)12:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the 12 gallon:
I use liquid fertilizer in the water - I guess the only nutrients missing is CO2 and nitrates. Do the duck weeds (if that's what they are) get CO2 from the air since their leaves are kinda on top of the water surface? I think that would narrow it down to nitrates, if that's what is causing their roots to get super long. Do you think lack of nitrates could cause the death spots on the java fern? I was hoping it won't be CO2 Sad

For the 55 gallon:
The two 25W CF bulbs I have are concentrated over just one side of the tank, where I have the plants. So I guess it's kinda like having 50W per 27gal water. Maybe that's still not quite enough for the high light Red Lu., but I don't think it'll cause the java fern leaves to go black...

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