What plant is this?


New Member
Aug 16, 2021
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I got a plant a year or two ago and it lived in my 2.5 gallon with my betta. I got a 5 gallon and it has been doing okay but not getting very large and some of the leaves are turning brown. I forgot what kind of plant it is and threw away the packaging after i got it because im not very smart. Does anyone know what kind of plant it is or if it needs any kind of fertilizer? Sorry for bad picture quality, and yes there is a mirror behind the tank because i had nowhere to put the tank.


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Fish Guru
Tank of the Month!
Feb 25, 2009
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Microsorum pteropus, commonly called Java Fern. There have been several varieties cultivated by nurseries. From the photo it seems to be attached to something, a chunk of wood (?), which is good, as burying the rhizome can cause it to rot and kill the plant. The rhizome is the thick stem-like part, from which fronds (= leaves) and fine black roots grow. The plant assimilates nutrients from the water via its leaves and roots.

Like most ferns, it is slow growing, so light can be low/moderate and fewer nutrients are needed. In too bright a light the fronds (leaves) will begin to turn transparent. Does best under some floating plants so it is not in direct overhead light. most fish tanks will have sufficient nutrients, but that depends upon the number of plants, and other plant species that may be faster at using the nutrients. A comprehensive liquid fertilizer is probably a good idea; Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is what I use, there is also Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti.

Once established, Java Fern reproduces by adventitious plants at the tips of the fronds (leaves). The plantlets may be pulled away from the frond when they have a few fronds and roots; if left, the frond tip will eventually darken and the daughter plant will break away and drift until the roots are able to attach themselves to an object. The plant may also be propagated by cutting the rhizome (ensuring there are a few fronds and roots attached to each piece) and affixing it elsewhere.

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