Thriving Plants, with one exception.

June FOTM Photo Contest Starts Now! Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to enter! 🏆


New Member
Feb 19, 2024
Reaction score
So I have a planted tank with the following.
Hygrophilia Polysperma
Narrow leaf ludwigia
Java Moss

All 4 of these grow very well, all but the Anubias need a good cutback almost monthly. The Anubias also grows well but is slow enough growth not to chop back at this point.

However all 3 of my Java fern are abysmal, dying brown leaves, very unslightly and has been for some time now.

I feel it's not going to spring back to good health and given the other plants are doing so well not sure if its worth changing any routine.

Are there any other plants worth considering that could take the Java Ferns place? Long bushy leaves that I can attach to wood/rock?
I am an avid Outdoor gardener, however aquarium plants I am pretty clueless.

I do a 50% water change each week
I have algae but its not over-blown in the tank (I do need to maintain some of it for the snails, oto's)
I have Fluval Plant Grow fertiliser, but in truth have not added any since my initial setup of the tank back in Jan as other than the Java Fern, things are thriving.
Tank Fish (Guppies, Nerite Snails, Cherry Shrimp, Julii Cory, Dwarf Sucker Oto's)
Need pictures of the plants and 1 picture showing the entire tank so we can see how much light is in which part of the tank and where the plants are compared to the light.

What is the pH of the water?
Some plants prefer a high pH and others prefer a low pH. Most are happy with anything but I'm pretty sure Java Fern is a high pH plant. I had trouble with it in some tanks and other tanks it went nuts. If your pH is extreme (really low or really high) try making it a bit closer to 7.0 and see if it helps.
You could try Bolbitis if you're rich enough to buy it? It's quite fern-y looking but I'm not sure how long it gets...
You could also cut the java fern back close to the base. Take every browned leaf out. Then wait and see what regenerates. It may have been damaged in its journey to you.

it is extremely rare for me to know about plants, but I have gotten some nice java ferns going that way. I tried them emersed in a paludarium, rising out of the water, but the fishroom wasn't humid enough and I got brown wrinkling on them. If somewhere along their journey they dried a little, you may have that.

Most reactions