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Old 04-17-2013, 03:15 PM   #1 
FeatherStone
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Java Fern turning black?

Ok, so I have a Java Fern (wendelov?) that's been in my tank for a week now. Lots of the leaves are turning black, and I can't figure out why. It seemed to be doing fine earlier.

Also, all my hairgrass seems to be turning a clear/brown. Its all in my 10g, and the hairgrass has been in there about a month now (but it did just fine the first week and a half! even had new runners!?).

I'm doing weekly water changes, water temp is usually between 78-82*F (for the most part it sticks at 80 and doesn't go higher unless I forget to put the A/C on when I go out), and I dose with API Leafzone once a week when I change the water.

Here's a few pics:
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:18 PM   #2 
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It looks dark in there, but the tank gets a lot of indirect sunlight from the windows during the day (I closed the curtains to get rid of the glare). Theres also some other plants in there (hornwort, some pond plants that were in QT for a month, and some bulbs from LFS that finally sprouted).
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:23 PM   #3 
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Hmm.. I don't know. It seems like they are not receiving enough nutrients though. What type of filtration? What is in the tank? What do you dose with and how often?

I used to kill all my aquatic plants (even the "low light" ones) until I got a proper plant light which contains 6500 kelvins of light. Maybe you need to trim off the dead parts and fertilize better and give it better light. Indirect doesn;t seem to be enough.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:51 PM   #4 
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I dose 5ml API Leafzone once a week. Could it be that I dont have a carbon source?
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:06 AM   #5 
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Dwarf hairgrass usually does better with CO2. Also, did you bury the rhimzone of the Java Fern? That could be why it's turning black. I would switch your substrate to something like Eco-Complete because it is better for your plants.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #6 
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On a guess, seeing as I am not sure about that decor, I think the java is turning black because the rhizome although not in the substrate, is still completely covered. This starves the plant of getting nutrients. The DHG looks like too low of light and no CO2.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:28 PM   #7 
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I'm assuming the rhizome is the black roots. Its not covered at all. It was tied bare to the decor with a cotton string, but my shrimp ate and cut through it, so now the fern is somewhat floating/resting on the rock.

I'm planning a trip to the "not-so-local" fish store this weekend since all I have near me is Petco/Petsmart, and they don't carry many plants (their plant substrate they're selling is nothing I've ever heard anyone here use). Planning on getting a plant substrate (debating between Eco-complete and Aqua Soil, but I've never used planting substrate so I have no idea what to use... those two are the only ones I've heard recommended... so if there are any other really good ones let me know), as well as some more plants and hopefully some better lighting. Will check out some liquid CO2 options as well, maybe with a couple dosings a week I'll get that DHG to grow.

Any advice on substrate and what type of lighting? My hood only has 2 LEDS in it (which I'm assuming is bad) so I dont know if I need a new hood, or if there's some way to but a light in under the hood. Also, what type of bulbs would I need? Theres a bunch of conflicting information about how much light is emitted and such, but if I'm looking at the box of bulbs how do I tell (how to use info on box to tell they're the right bulb... I dont have any way to measure light output thats why I'm asking).
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:14 PM   #8 
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Ok if the java fern is just hanging out and not stuffed somewhere that the roots wouldn't get nutrients then I am not totally sure why it is turning black. Java ferns and anubias do really well in lower light. (anubias actually thriving better in lower light than high) I must say that I have not had any java fern turn black like that but I have had it damaged in many different ways and it pop back or just sprout new plants. Java fern normally sprouts new plants on damaged leaves.
I personally don't use special plant substrate but I have heard of a lot of people using the eco complete.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:32 AM   #9 
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Does java fern do well with hard or soft water? I went to petco today to look and see if they had any substrate and mentioned my fern.

Guy looked clueless, but said someone else had come in with the same problem a couple weeks ago (btw I got the fern from petsMART, so two different stores). Mentioned that COULD be a factor, but then again the guy had no clue when I asked about whether or not their store carried plat substrate, so I'm pretty sure its just a wild guess.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #10 
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I wouldn't think that the water hardness/softness would affect it quiet like that. Java fern is one of those plants that handle water conditions easily most of the time and is one of the easiest beginner plants. I have heard of people having issues with it so it does happen just not very often
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