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Java Fern Disease

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Gautam, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    In one of my tanks I have got 2 clumps of Java Fern (Phillipine) growing on 2 separate Bogwoods. One of them had a problem of black spots (not spore which grows into new plantlet) on leaves. It looks like a burnt spot like the cigarette burns on a cloth. The spot quickly spreads across the leave and it ultimately dies off. The other Fern till not was not affected by the dieseas but has got affected now. Can anyone help me identify the problem and suggest some remedies.

    Regards,

    Gautam
     
  2. Anti-Pjerrot

    Anti-Pjerrot Prolific Poster

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    I had the same problem too with my ferns.

    I just left them for a month or so, and then trimmed all the big leafs away,

    Suttently there came a lot of nice fresh leafs and the plant looked perfect.

    So just leave it, trim it and love it ;)

    (Hope it works for you)
     
  3. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    I have already done trimming. But the spots continue to come back. Can I make any changes in the water parameters or add some supplements?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    CO2.

    I've done this test, it's not a disease, it's just how the plant responds to poor CO2.
    I've repeated this test more times than I recall.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Ken

    Ken Junior Poster

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    I am having the same problems with my java ferns. I use excel in my tank, will excel not help this or does this mean I am not doseing enough? Will lowering my light level help, I currently have 110watts PC lighting from AH supply over a 90 gallon tank.
     
  6. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have grown dense stands of this plant without injected CO2. I have seen tanks of two other people that have done the same thing.

    Java fern sometimes just die, for no apparent reason that I can determine. I did an internet search that attributed that phenomena to many different things.

    My latest die-off, of a large two year old stand, occurred in a 29 gallon tank that was half full of C. willisii. That was the only plant that would grow in it. It didn't have anything to do with allelopathy, though. No sir! :)

    The Java fern in one of the non-CO2 tanks is still intact after 4 years. (The other tank was taken down.)

    Bill
     
  7. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    Dear Bill,

    I get your point. In fact if you see my original post one of the Fern stand is getting affected while the other is doing fine. If CO2 was the reason then both would have sufferred and not only one. There should be some other reason. Hoping to get some clue.:confused:

    Gautam
     
  8. rich815

    rich815 Guru Class Expert

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    How close together in the tank are these clumps? And how sure are you about your water flow in the tank? One could be getting enough CO2, the other not if water flow within the tank is not sufficient.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It's CO2.

    I'm telling ya.

    As a plant grows and gets progressively larger, it also consumes progressively more CO2 to maintain the rate of growth. The rate increases exponentially.

    Now at some point if you have either a non CO2 or a CO2 method, there will be a a place where it did well, only later it crashed and went black..........

    These are the observations here and for the last 2 decades.........
    Same deal with Caulperas in marine systems etc and several other FW plants.
    Java fern does not need much light, does well with lower nutrients, however, while it does pretty good with out CO2, it still needs some CO2.
    If you amplify growth using CO2 enrichment, then you need to adjust the CO2 as it grows in. Same for many plants.

    The other thing if you do not want change things: prune the plants more often, then you will not run into this. Java takes about 3-4 weeks to start to really recover after a blackening using CO2.

    This is no mystery. I've raised literally pounds of Java in a 350 Gallon tank for several years now. Every blacken event has without fail, been due to poor CO2.

    Sometimes the CO2 would run out during the mid week and the fern would blacken some.

    After a few times, say 10.......you get to know what is causing it.
    The nutrients have run all over in the tank for various reasons, the CO2 is still the biggest issue.

    In several small non CO2 tanks, as the Java grew in, it was doing great, then it crashed. While nutrients could be suspected, I used a modified non CO2 nutrient dosing to address that, so the only limiting factor is CO2 and the expression was identical to the low CO2 issue in the others tanks.

    Now it might have been some other nutrient issue, but, with 10X of repeated measures and good insurances that I had good nutrients most of the time, I think it's safe to say it's CO2.

    The next step is to induce the blackening on purpose, which I did recently.;
    So at this point, I'm pretty clear and feel pretty good what it is caused by.
    If you can induce the condition several times, then you have a very likely candidate.

    I have plenty of java to play with, so it's not an issue.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Anti-Pjerrot

    Anti-Pjerrot Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom - this will also explain the observations i had, in context to the changes before the blackening
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It can take a week or two for recovery and for the blackening to occur.

    Try lowering the CO2 or increasing the light (or Both) and see.
    If you have juicy CO2, never an issue and you get nice large leaves, nice new growth, good color, new fronds all the time etc etc.

    I've sold basketball sized heads of Java for several years, about one every 2 months or so.

    It's not a bad indicator plant really for CO2,
    But............the leaves do not recover unfortunately.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom. I would make changes in the CO2 supplementation and revert with results.

    Regards,

    Gautam
     
  13. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom, Hi My Friends at Barr Report,

    Sorry couldnot visit for more than a month now. However that has also given me with the opportunity of results observed after following suggestions of Tom.

    Yes the ferns have recovered substantially after increasing CO2. Also the infected leaves were trimmed off. Introduction of a chiller and lowering the tank temparature to about 27 degree centigrade has also helped I guess

    Thanks Tom
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Told ya:D

    Been there done this several times.
    It was never a disease to begin with.
    You tell folks they do not believe you.

    Well, you have proven it to yourself.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    Sorry if this sounds odd but I am really really new.
    In all the low tec/ low light tanks I have found plant listings and Java fern is always listed. If I get what you are saying the Java needs adjusting to the right level of CO2. I only use Excel so does that mean Java ferns will fail after a time. Is this so in some of the other Low tec/low light plants that are usually listed?
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Well plants do need to adjust to varying levels of c02 and other nutrients, but c02 is a primary plant nutrient, and any plant will not grow as well without it.

    The problem discussed here is that insufficient c02 levels are causing leaf deformities and blackening/dying leaves. Not a disease, but a symptom of low c02. So, the 'cure' is to increase c02 levels which were done and resolved the issue.

    Excel is another source of carbon, but liquid form. It is easy to use and has good effects if you cannot or do not want to use c02.....

    Low light plants do not require as much nutrients as high light plants, as light levels drive growth and thus demand..and thus do better in low tech tanks.....

    You can easily grow Java fern and anubias and other species without using Excel and many folk do so, including myself. It just won't grow as fast or as well as if you did, that's all.

    It just helps is all :)

    So you may run into this same issue if not dosing ferts or using c02 or excel.

    I do have some periods where the growth is not as good in my low tech setup, but a trim and some patience while it grows back usually does the trick.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Under high light, this applies, under stable low light and stable low CO2, most all plants adapt given time and patience and no water changes.

    In both cases, the CO2 is stable and appropriate for each light intensity.
    More light= more CO2 demand is a better way to think about it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    Why no water changes wouldn't the tank have build up from various things? Mainly TDS
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It's a non CO2 plant tank.

    There's no such need nor do the TDS's really build up, they end up in plant tissue and in the fil;ter pads and are exported out that way, or as is the case in most natural systems, the bacteria break down the DOC's and convert them to CO2 eventually which is recycled or lost to the air above, NO3 gets converted to N2 gas and P is exported via biomass and filter waste.

    The rate of growth, uptake and input is all much slower than in a CO2 enriched system.

    So things have time to break down/recycle/sequester.

    The lack of water changes also promotes stable CO2 levels, although low, and keeps everything else very stable. We still add water obviously for evaporation.
    Such systems work for years without water changes.

    Some seem to find this surprising and impossible, however it's not.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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