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Old 20-04-2003, 06:21 AM
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Default Java moss and java fern help

Hello everyone,

At the risk of giving too much information, I've included all my aquarium
specs at the top. Feel free to skip all of this info and head straight to
the question below

My Aquarium:
- 10 gallons
- 3 months old
- Lighting: 14W
- Temperatu 76F
- Fertilizer: None
- Substrate: Play sand
- Salt: None
- Additional C02: None
- Ammonia: 0
- Nitrites: 0
- Nitrates: ?? (don't have a test kit for it)

My Fish:
2 adult platys
1 two-month old platy
3 one-month old platys
unknown number of newborn platys
1 oto

My Plants:
Java Moss
Java Fern
Hygro polysperma
Hygro "Siamensis"
Anubias (I think nana)
Small amount of bacopa
Cladophora algae ball


Okay, now to the actual main part of my message For the most part,
all my plants are doing very well. My hornwort grows so fast that I need to
remove 1/3 - 1/2 of it every other week. My Hygro "Siamensis" has had to
be pruned to half it's height twice now.

Strangely enough, the plants I'm having the most trouble with right now are
the supposed "idiot proof" plants: Java fern and java moss. Some leaves
on my java fern are slowly turning brownish/black. I'm not sure if it's the
plant itself or if it's some type of algae on the plant that is causing the
discolouration. I have taken a picture of the most severely affected leaf,
though it looked slightly prior to this picture being taken as I tried to
scrape off some of the discolouration with my finger nails:

Any ideas what is causing the problem, or how I can prevent it from

The second problem is that my java moss seems to actually be dying off!
When I first bought it 3 months ago with was a nice deep forest green
colour. Now, I'd say about half of the strands have turned brown.
Currently, I have a bunch of it tied down with thread to a clay pot / cave.
I have a few pics of it so you can see what's happening

Again, does anyone know the cause of the problem? Is there a way to salvage
it without having to buy a new batch and pray that it lives this time? I
wasn't really clear on how to die it down properly, so perhaps I just have
too much bunched together?

One final question. I currently am not using any fertilizer, but with so
many plants in my aquarium, I'm thinking that I'm probably running low on
nutrients for them. What's a recommended fertilizer for a low light set up
with no additional C02? Not that my oto would complain about an algae bloom

Thanks in advance!
-- April