How to grow java fern on Driftwood?

Java Fern is named after the Indonesian island of Java & you can find them in fish stores in multiple varieties. There is no need to add substrate for growing java fern in aquarium. It can be attached to driftwood or any structure in tank or you can leave it free floating in aquarium. Java Fern is native to locations of Southeast Asia. Java Fern can grow up to 34 cm in height & 20 cm in width, & it is considered as a decorative & protective plant. It can absorb nutrition from aquarium water through leaves & rhizome & can do great if you expose them in water.

A driftwood is a piece of wood that floats on the water & then has been washed onto a shore via winds, tides or water waves. Driftwood seems gorgeous & can provide a better environment for fish to hide underneath it.

Java Fern on Driftwood

Steps for attaching Java Fern to Driftwood:

It is simple to attach java fern to driftwood using glue. Also aquarists normally tie this plant to driftwood which is another good way of temporarily attaching java fern to driftwood.

First step is to buy Java Fern & driftwood from aquarium shop. Driftwood usually cost under 20 AUD. We recommend cleaning stuff that you want to add to tank. Make sure you boil driftwoods, & any structure before you introduce it to tank.

Boiling driftwood will wipe out germs & tannins. Tannins are released in water when you place wood in water for some period of water & it changes water color. Proper boiling wipes out tannins from driftwood. Dry driftwood before attaching java fern to it.

Find big java fern plants & glue it to driftwood using super glue. Then add small java ferns to fill up the gaps. Cover the top surface of driftwood with java fern plants. There are a number of ways available for gluing plants to driftwood. Non drip gel is one of the method I have used for gluing java fern to driftwood.

Find a place on your driftwood where you can glue java fern. There are different methods of attaching java fern to driftwood & I think that non drip gel is an effective method. As long as rhizome is glued to driftwood, the plant will grow with stability. The roots of java fern will absorb nutrition from tank water.

Do not glue roots of Java Fern to driftwood
Do not glue roots of Java Fern to driftwood

Do not glue roots of the plant to driftwood because they absorb nitrates as fertilizers which can help in the growth of the plant & also remove a toxic chemical that can’t be removed using filter. Filter converts ammonia into nitrites & nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates is less toxic than nitrites & nitrites is less toxic than ammonia. Nitrates is still toxic & can be removed with regular water changes but plants have the capability of removing nitrates from water.

Spray Java Fern to hydrate it
Spray water on Java Fern to hydrate it

Spray water on java fern to keep the plant hydrated. If you have kept the plant outside water for a while, then spraying the plant will help it in absorbing the moisture.

Finally, it is time to place driftwood in tank. Be gentle because if you do it wrong then java fern may detach from the driftwood. In case your java fern is detached then it will start floating on the water surface.


Java Fern Care:

Many aquarists like to have a bare bottom tank with artificial plants & decorations. A healthy aquarium also needs some live plants which act as a natural filter.

Adding beautiful green plants to tank is very important & you can maintain them easily. Aquarium plants can offer hiding spots to stressed fishes or the babies. Java Fern is one of the plant that people grow in aquarium & it does not need CO2, fertilizers & additional lighting. Fish waste can provide fertilizer & fish exhale carbon dioxide in water which plants inhale so it is important to keep live plants in aquarium.

Java Fern can endure in various conditions. Gold Fish are messy & they eat a lot of aquarium plants but they do not like the taste of Java Fern so leave it alone.

Java Fern is a beginners’ plant & can survive in harsh conditions.

It is easy to attach java fern to driftwood & structures of your aquarium / pond. Java Fern can grow well when fully or partially submerged in aquarium water. Java Fern is a famous plant & it is easy to keep it in tank. There is no need to add fertilizers to the water & Java Fern does not need high lighting & it is easy for novice to grow them in aquarium. Java Fern seems gorgeous when it is attached to driftwood. It is simple to glue or tie plant rhizome to structure or driftwood.

Elastic Thread can be used to attach Java Fern to Driftwood
Elastic Thread can be used to attach Java Fern to Driftwood

There is another way of attaching java fern to driftwood which is using elastic thread that does not hurt the plant. When you submerge it in water, the elastic thread will turn invisible. In case you do not find enough surface for attaching the plant to aquarium structure then thread can be used. Also it can be used to tie java fern to driftwood. Java Fern do not require fertilizers & aquarium light.

Java Fern Propagation:

You can propagate it by dividing it at the base, which is known as Rhizome. Java Fern grows very well when it is attached to driftwood, rocks or any structure in aquarium because if you submerge its Rhizome in substrate then it is dangerous for the plant. For propagation of Java Fern, it is recommended to cut the Rhizome & glue or tie it to driftwood or rock. If you hurt the roots of the plant, then your plant will not get affected & will grow into a fresh plant.


Benefits of Java Fern in Tank:

  • Java Fern is used for filtering water
  • It helps fish health & provide hiding place for stressed or baby fish
  • Fish can eat this plant
  • Java Fern looks beautiful in aquarium
  • After adding java fern to structure, it gives a natural look
  • It is simple to attach java fern to driftwood
  • Java Fern is a hardy plant & recommended for beginners
  • There is no need to provide additional CO2, fertilizers & high intensity lights

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