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Microsorum pteropus, commonly known as Java fern, an aquatic fern from southeast Asia, is highly variable with several different geographic varieties that vary in leaf size and shape. It is found attached to roots and rocks in nature.
Primarily used in aquariums as a decoration, Java ferns are one of the easiest plants for aquarists to grow. This tiny fern provides a good hiding place for fish and mimics their natural habitat. Known as Microsorum Pteropus, it’s found in China, Malaysia, and Taiwan. The Java fern naturally grows in roots and rocks along rivers and waterfalls. Common Java Ferns used in aquariums include the Needle Leaf, Narrow Leaf, Lance Leaf and Windelov.
Java fern has green rhizomes, and it’s a striking addition to any 10-gallon or more freshwater planted aquarium, perfect if you have cichlids or South American fish. Even goldfish or other plant-eating fish leave Java ferns alone. Your water pH should be 6.0 to 7.5., with an alkalinity of 3-8 dKH (aka carbonate hardness). And it does well without carbon dioxide.
If you see black lines through the leaves, your plant’s not in trouble. Java ferns have black veins running through them. You also might occasionally notice black bumps, which grow new leaves.
Java fern is one of the easiest to use and most in-demand aquarium plants