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Jan 30, 2019
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I'm new to plants, (other than moss/moss balls) and I am adding a java fern and an Anubis (which comes pre rooted to a piece of driftwood,) and java moss and wanted some advice on how to make sure the plants thrive I a new environment, and how to get the java fern to root in my gravel substrate. Also looking to make sure I don't introduce a snail or some form of parasite with the plants, is there something I should do to the plants before i introduce them? Any advice is appreciated!


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Feb 25, 2009
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Welcome to TFF.

Starting with your last question/issue...if the plants came from tanks with fish, it is generally advisable to quarantine them the same as you should do for fish, for a week or so in the case of plants. This can help to ensure they are not carrying fish problems. But this QT should be in a tank or other container of water the same as your aquarium water (GH, pH, temp) and obviously with a light. But I have many times not done this myself, and added new plants to the intended tank.

Snails are not a problem, and if any arrive, consider yourself fortunate. The small snails like pond, bladder or Malaysian Livebearing do not eat plants (they will eat dead and decaying plant matter) and they are beneficial to the biological system.

Java Fern, Anubias and java moss are basically low to moderate light requiring plants. That means they are less fussy with light and their nutrient needs are lower because of their slower growth. However, they can develop algae like black beard/brush under direct light, so floating plants are always advisable over them. A comprehensive (complete) liquid plant fertilizer may be helpful, depending upon your fish load and light.

As you mention, Anubias and Java Fern grow attached to wood or rock. Make sure the rhizome (the thick "root" from which leaves and finer roots grow out) is not buried or it may rot and kill the plant. If the fine hair roots do work their way down into the substrate, fine, but let them do it on their own. Just ensure the rhizome is above the substrate.

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