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FantasyReef - Propagating Needle Leaf Java Fern (Microsorum sp.)
Title: Propagating Needle Leaf Java Fern (Microsorum sp.)
Author: Purrbox
Receiving a box filled with new plants from another hobbyist is always an exciting event. This is especially true when it contains a plant that you?ve really been looking forward to trying. When I received my Needle Leaf Java Fern in the mail, it was no exception.

The Needle Leaf Java Fern that I received was a portion of a full sized plant that had grown large enough for the rhizome to be split. The leaves were no more than ?? wide and about 12? long. I was told that it would do well in a dark corner of my tank. Instead I attached to a small piece of driftwood and placed it in the front of my 10 gallon aquarium where I could actually see it. Considering that this aquarium is a high light aquarium with pressurized CO2 and EI dosing, this ended being a sure fire way of getting it to grow rapidly.

Within a few months I could no longer see past the Needle Leaf Java Fern to view the rest of my aquarium. This wasn?t all bad though, since my Cherry Red Shrimp adopted it as one of their favorite places to perch. Despite thoroughly enjoying getting such a good view of my shrimp, I soon decided that I need to reaquascape the aquarium so that I could better enjoy the aquarium as a whole. The Needle Leaf Java Fern was moved to the back of the aquarium where it is now shadowed by several other plants and a piece of driftwood. As originally predicted it continues to do well now that it is in a dark corner of the aquarium.

While Needle Leaf Java Fern does well both in low light conditions and with lots of light, I?ve noticed that it does display slightly different growth patterns. When I had it directly under the light it spent most of its energy on putting out new leaves and lengthening the rhizome. Once it was moved in to a shady corner it spent less energy on new leaves and the rhizome, and instead began producing lots of plantlets at the tips of its leaves. I?m not entirely sure whether the Needle Leaf Java Fern had just finally got big enough to start developing plantlets, or if they tend to develop more plantlets when shaded.

A highly recommended plant for any planted aquarium, it?s especially stunning in a large planting and can make an excellent center piece plant.


Victri.Net 2004-2005, Plants Page [On-line] http://www.victri.net/plants.html, April 12, 2007

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