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Old 09-04-2017, 02:59 PM   #1
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Java Fern and Water Hardness

Hello!

So I have a 10 gal freshwater tank with a java fern in it. Unfortunately, the JF is dying, leaves turning brown and what not . I have 3 young guppies and 3 albino Cory catfish, 2 of them young, along with a zebra nerite snail. I understand that none of these fish eat plants, so I don't think that is the issue, and I have a 15-watt fluorescent bulb. 1.5 watts/gal Is supposedly ideal (according to my research), so I don't think that's the issue either. I have pretty good water quality as well, (NO3 - 10, NO2 - 0, pH - 7.3, water temperature - fluctuates between 73 and 81 based on weather). The only outliers that I can see are my GH and KH. My GH is around 180, and my KH is around 160 . I know these are extremely high, but I've never had issues with them before. It would be great if someone could let me know what I'm doing wrong, or if this is normal. I put in the JF around 3 months ago, and have trimmed all of the dead leaves off of it since then.
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:19 PM   #2
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Try creating some shade mine did the same I'm not sure of the water hardness b/c the water in my tank is also hard..the indirect light helps java fern grow
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:36 PM   #3
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Watts/gallon is on old rule of thumb. Not to say it's un-useful, but par reigns supreme nowadays.

Plus the Watts/gallon rule does not work well for small tanks. Typically you need more light (e.g. watts per gallon) on a smaller tank. The 15w may not be enough light to penetrate down to the plant.


Good information is contained in the sticky. Here is an excerpt from "So you want a Planted Aquarium by Purrbox):


"The WPG rule is like the 1 inch of fish per gallon rule, in that it is more of a guide line than a rule and has a lot of exceptions. First off this rule severely breaks down for small tanks, less then 20 gallons, and large tanks, greater than 100 gallons. It is only truly accurate for tanks between 50 and 75 gallons. Plants have minimum and maximum thresholds on how much light they need and can use. As a result very small tanks need more light than the WPG rule indicates and very large tanks need less light than it indicates. In addition the rule was designed around NO Fluorescents (Normal Output Fluorescents) and doesn’t take into account many other types of lighting that are available (Compact Fluorescents, Power Compacts, High Output T5 Fluorescents, and VHO)."


You can read the rest of it here:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/so-you...nted-aquarium/
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:04 PM   #4
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Okay, so it sounds like my lighting is the issue. I just looked high and low through the internet, and I can't seem to find a fluorescent tube that is over 15 watts that will fit my tank ... However, the tank is situated near a south-facing window. If I leave the window open to let in a bit more light and leave the aquarium light on for an hour or two more each day, do you think that this will solve my JF's problems? Is there anything else that I can do that you might recommend?
I also don't use any Co2 or ferts, so perhaps that is a problem, although I know that JF's are very hardy and won't usually need these things.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:14 AM   #5
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I have a few planted tanks I had some issues also when I first started but co2 is the best way to go u can buy a cheap one from fluval for 40$ and buy some fert tabs and put underneath fern to help grow and your lighting should be fine but if you want better go with led lights
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:15 AM   #6
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And what substrate do u have?
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:27 AM   #7
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My substrate is standard gravel, but the java fern is tied to a rock with some black thread by the rhizome.
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