Anyone else unable to grow java fern and swords?

Chenpoes

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I've noticed over my years of having planted aquariums that I can never get java fern or swords to grow. Not to toot my own horn, but I'd say my planted tank looks pretty darn good and lush, but the thing that always fails me is those two. The leaves just slowly die back until I'm left with maybe a few tiny, inch long leaves and the rhizome. I've always been told they're easy plants that tolerate close to anything, but they just won't work for me. Anyone else have the same issue?
 

Donovan Jones

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I always eventually lose java fern. They shrink to nothing over time. Swords I've not really tried. I also struggle with sag and crypts oddly, and even hygros. The only plants I can get to really thrive are bulbs, myrio, elodea, vals, water sprite, moss, floaters like duckweed and water lettuce. Others just eventually stagnate for me. Probably due to my lack of regular ferts, but hey, it is what it is and I can make a decent tank with that.
 

FreshwaterHG

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Cherryshrimp420 said:
I think you need softer water for java ferns to grow
This may be true. I have very soft water and my javaferns do great. I don’t add anything to the tank and I have medium light LEDs. I got them form petco even. My first sword was also from petco. It did better after adding root tabs since I don’t add ferts and I’m using sand. It started to die back at first (likely due to the tradition to being submerged) but ended up coming back
 

StarGirl

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lc1958 said:
That may be my problem, I have hard water and java ferns seem to melt away.
My elodea, vals, and wisteria have to be trimmed weekly
Exactly the same. I had a java for 6 months and it barely grew at all. My sword grows new shoots but gets holes in the ends after a certain height but my crypts and Vals are crazy growing....
 

Leeman75

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It's funny how every tank is different. Just about all I can get to grow in my tank is Java Fern and Swords. I would be ecstatic to be able to grow the things that you grow well.
 

wishuponafish

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In my tanks, swords, vals, elodea, etc. do well but java fern turns white/brown and wisteria, "the easiest plant ever" turns into black mush within a week. Water sprite fizzles out in my freshwater tanks but grows and multiplies like crazy in my brackish tank.
 

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