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Author Topic: Java Fern leaves turning black  (Read 3446 times)
Max B.
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Java Fern leaves turning black
« on: December 02, 2010, 01:56:30 PM »

Hi, a couple of weeks ago I have added a few Java Ferns into my fish tank. Now I see their leaves almost completely covered with black. I googled for an answer and found it might be because of poor water conditions. I tested the water today in the morning and here are my results:

pH - 7.5
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5 mg/L (I need a water change pretty soon)

and I am not using any fertilizers. What fertilizers might be used? I need your personal recommendations. And what else might be improved so the water becomes suitable for the plants as well.
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 02:12:26 PM »

Ok, I have found Flourish Excel as a fertilizer. I wonder if anyone is using this? How good is it?
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Nossie
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 02:36:18 PM »

I've only heard about that fertilizer... good AND bad things. However, I haven't ever used any type of fertilizer on my plants, and they grow like weed Wink I was thinking about getting some after all, but I'm not sure.

By the way, you don't have to change any water when the nitrates are only 5!! You know, plants get their nutrition from nitrates Smiley

I saw an article on another forum once with pictures of what the plants are missing when they're changing colors... but I can't seem to find it at this point Undecided I'll get back to you if I'll see it Smiley
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 03:22:30 PM »

I'll be waiting for the link. As for the water the change is due this Sunday so i'm not rushing the things. :-)
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Katarine
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 05:44:00 PM »

Ah I had that same problem with my first plant. The leaves started to decay? took the plant out because it was ugly, so if you can find the link, Id like to take a look too
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Mindemae
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 06:05:51 PM »

Are you sure what you're seeing isn't algae growing on your plant leaves?
The leaves will die then.  You need to gently rub them off or get an algae eater! LOL!
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 06:29:25 PM »

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Are you sure what you're seeing isn't algae growing on your plant leaves?
The leaves will die then.  You need to gently rub them off or get an algae eater! LOL!
Actually that was one of my thoughts and I did check the leaves but no, it would not rub off the plant. And the only algae I am seeing sometimes in my fish tank is of brownish colour. The leaves are really black so maybe yes the leaves are dying although it has some babies starters. I wonder what is needed for them to be live and green.
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Mindemae
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 08:50:30 PM »

I use Plant food once a week.  I use aqueon plant food and have also used Leaf zone by Api.
You just pour in measured amount into your tank after your once a week water change.
It works really well to keep the plants healthy and provide them with special nutrients the need.
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Mindemae
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 08:52:14 PM »

If you have baby starters beginning to grow, I would cut off the dying leaves to give them a better chance of growing. Smiley
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 09:28:56 AM »

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If you have baby starters beginning to grow, I would cut off the dying leaves to give them a better chance of growing. Smiley

they are growing on the black leaves, I do not think itís a good idea to cut them off.
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 09:29:52 AM »

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I use Plant food once a week.  I use aqueon plant food and have also used Leaf zone by Api.
You just pour in measured amount into your tank after your once a week water change.
It works really well to keep the plants healthy and provide them with special nutrients the need.

thank you, I'll have a look into these.
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fantailer
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 06:37:17 AM »

When you said fertilizer I would be worried it would kill the fish.
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2010, 07:48:33 AM »

Flourish excel isn't a fertilizer it is actually a liquid co2 for your plants. This is not a requirement but your plants will really benefit from the additional co2 in the water....and you will definitely notice the difference in growth!
For a fertilizer I use Seachem flourish and seachem flourish root tabs as some plants absorb nutrients better through their roots and others through their leaves.
The roots tabs last for a few months and the liquid can be dosed once or twice a week.
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I have had no problems using any of these products in my tank and so far have had nice results.
 
One of the leaves went brown on my amazon sword (which looks kind of like a java fern) when I first introduced it into my tank but it is looking great now.
Sometimes plants loose their leaves and such in the first few weeks in a new tank due to the change in environmental conditions....they might look ugly for a while but most of the the time they will adjust to the new conditions and grow back looking lovely! Cheesy

I did a quick google search about the leaves turning black and found mixed opinions. Some say it is normal and the leaves will fall off and sprout new leaves...others say it means not enough co2 or iron...So I guess all you can do at this point is make sure they are getting enough nutrients and wait and see what happens :/
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2010, 11:34:37 PM »

Thank you, Abbiesaurus, for your answer. I googled as well and remained unclear.

I watched the plants these weeks and noticed that the black stuff is on the side of the leaves which face the tank light, the other side remained green so I do come to the conclusion that this is black algae covering the leaves. Now I have to see how it is possible to remove it from them. Another sign that this might be algae is the fact that my fishie nibbles this black stuff from the leaves. I tried to scrub the algae first but it would not come off so here I am lost. I did not want to press harder on the leaves as it might destroy the leaves.

The other thing is that I agree with you that these are new plants for my tank and the tank conditions are new to the JFs. So it might be a period of adaptation. I'll keep watching the leaves.
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2010, 11:41:48 PM »

Ah ok well in that case you might just be able to wipe it off gently with a soft sponge?
Or I have ready that seachem flourish excel removes algae if it is poured directly onto the plant.
Read more here: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
It has most definitely kept down the algae levels in my tank Smiley
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2010, 10:10:40 AM »

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Ah ok well in that case you might just be able to wipe it off gently with a soft sponge?
Or I have ready that seachem flourish excel removes algae if it is poured directly onto the plant.
Read more here: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
It has most definitely kept down the algae levels in my tank Smiley



Today I did the routine weekly cleaning and tried to use the sponge. It is definitely algae but it is really hard to remove it from the leaves. I used sponge and it would come off only with the harder side of the sponge so I didn't carry on fearing destroying the leaves. Now I just wonder how many plants I should have in my tank so the algae would start starving.

I followed the link you've provided, thank you for it. I need to do shopping now to find it and try.
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2010, 10:17:15 AM »

And I have one more question linked to this. Just now I noticed that my goldie eats that black algae from the leaves. Do you think it's sane not to feed the fish for a couple of days to encourage her to deal with the algae from the leaves. Or am I nuts?
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Mindemae
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2010, 11:47:38 AM »

I just read an article that says goldfish eat the algae from the leaves and sides of the aquarium too.
It's really good for them and can keep them from having constipation issues.
I guess what I would do is skip a feeding once in awhile.  Like feed once a day instead of two once in awhile.
She probably would graze on the algae between feeding just as easily. Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2010, 12:52:39 PM »

I agree with Minde Smiley Unless you'd consider getting a pleco Wink
Mine was very cheap, and he cleaned off ALL THE ALGAE IN THE WHOLE TANK in just a week! xD (Mind you, he was like... 7cm long then!)
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Mindemae
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2010, 01:35:16 PM »

well, I wouldn't consider getting a pleco until you can get a bigger tank. Smiley
Your ten gallon wouldn't hold a pleco and a comet very comfortably.
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Nossie
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 02:36:24 PM »

(Right, size of tank always comes first, sadly, I don't always remember every members' tanks :'D)
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Mindemae
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2010, 02:57:39 PM »

Ha ha I cheated!!  He has it listed as his signature  Wink

(Kara as my Comet lady
10G Hagen Fishtank
Cascade 300 Filter)
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Nossie
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2010, 03:28:20 PM »

Argh! D8< If so, we should ask everyone to do so! Cheesy That should make things easier C:
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fantailer
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2010, 04:53:34 PM »

I would get a mystery snail or two but make sure their the same gender because in a week you will have a 100!
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2010, 06:14:06 PM »

Don't get a snail lol. Can't snails breed by themselves? I'm pretty sure they can. And your tank will become quickly over run!
My goldies eat algae but not enough to be really noticeable that its gone. But its worth a try to see if she will eat it before you got out spending moneys XD
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2010, 07:41:00 PM »

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well, I wouldn't consider getting a pleco until you can get a bigger tank. Smiley
Your ten gallon wouldn't hold a pleco and a comet very comfortably.

No, I am not going to add any other fish into this 10G tank.
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2010, 07:42:11 PM »

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I would get a mystery snail or two but make sure their the same gender because in a week you will have a 100!


Any hints on knowing how to differentiate them by gender? Grin
Actually one needs both female and male to get them overrun the tank. So it might be one or two guests into my tank. (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 07:51:04 PM by Max B. » Logged
Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2010, 07:44:17 PM »

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Don't get a snail lol. Can't snails breed by themselves? I'm pretty sure they can. And your tank will become quickly over run!
My goldies eat algae but not enough to be really noticeable that its gone. But its worth a try to see if she will eat it before you got out spending moneys XD

I'll have to experiment then but I doubt that Kara would be able to clean the algae off the leaves. I guess I'll resort to the stuff recommended such as seachem excel. I read many positive feedback this day on this stuff.
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Max B.
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2010, 01:33:59 PM »

Hi, today I started adding Flourish Excel into my fishtank (without overdosing it as many recommend - I do not want to risk my only "beauty"). And plan to add it on a daily basis during the first week and then once per week. If needed I could keep you updated on the things if someone wishes here.
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Katarine
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Re: Java Fern leaves turning black
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2010, 01:52:56 PM »

Yes! please do! I think it would be a great way to learn. XD I've had issues with my plants in my tank... so maybe I could learn from you? Cheesy
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