Do I Need To Dose This Tank?

frostmystique

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Hey guys

Basically I ordered a bottle of Thrive and due to a couple of delivery issues I am not going to be able to start using it in my tank for at least another month and a half. Currently the plants are planted in fluval stratum and that's about it (with a couple of random snails in there).

At the moment I have some Anubias on driftwood and java fern, and a small carpet(ish) of S. Repens. However I am also about to plant some Hygrophila Polysperma, Ludwiga Glandulosa, and Bacopa Caroliniana. If all goes well I will add some floating plants as well. There is a couple of bits of algae already on the Anubias.

Should I be buying some kind of fertiliser for this period of time for them, especially if I am thinking about adding all of these extra plants? It is only quite a small five gallon tank (the fluval spec v) however I am noticing some black/dark patches on the java fern. Specifically I was thinking of purchasing the Seachem plant fundamentals pack which comes with flourishcomprehensive, flourish excel and iron, but I've heard I need to dose potassium as well. I was speaking with one of the representatives of Thrive and even he only recommended just under one pump of Thrive per week.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
 

lilirose

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Black patches on Java Fern are normal- this is one of the main ways in which the plant reproduces. Eventually you will see tiny roots and then plantlets emerging from the black spots. Should the spots spread and the leaves start to fully die, your problem is probably too much light, not lack of ferts, as Java Fern is not a plant that needs tons of feeding.

I planted my own tank with a Fluval Stratum substrate fully a month before I began adding ferts, with plants similar to yours (the only one I did not add is the Hygrophilia) and even now I underdose by half, because the tank is mainly for breeding shrimp and I don't want to harm the babies.

Thrive is not something that one can buy where I live, but a lot of people have good luck with Seachem Flourish if you're really wanting a stopgap until the Thrive gets to you. My personal choice is EasyLife Profito, but everyone has their own favourite all-in-one fert.

With the plant choices you have made, you are unlikely to need very heavy ferts. They're all easy growers. If you're concerned about algae on anubias, the answer to that is snails/shrimp, mechanical removal, and less light, not more ferts.
 
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frostmystique

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Black patches on Java Fern are normal- this is one of the main ways in which the plant reproduces. Eventually you will see tiny roots and then plantlets emerging from the black spots. Should the spots spread and the leaves start to fully die, your problem is probably too much light, not lack of ferts, as Java Fern is not a plant that needs tons of feeding.

I planted my own tank with a Fluval Stratum substrate fully a month before I began adding ferts, with plants similar to yours (the only one I did not add is the Hygrophilia) and even now I underdose by half, because the tank is mainly for breeding shrimp and I don't want to harm the babies.

Thrive is not something that one can buy where I live, but a lot of people have good luck with Seachem Flourish if you're really wanting a stopgap until the Thrive gets to you. My personal choice is EasyLife Profito, but everyone has their own favourite all-in-one fert.

With the plant choices you have made, you are unlikely to need very heavy ferts. They're all easy growers. If you're concerned about algae on anubias, the answer to that is snails/shrimp, mechanical removal, and less light, not more ferts.
Thanks for your help! I just wanted to clarify the whole Java Fern thing though. I have attached the photo of the darker spots on the plant so people can take a look. To me it seems like the plant is dying almost, but I’m not sure. I’ve been reducing the lighting significantly over the past couple of weeks so I’m not sure if that’s the cause of it. This is also a low tech tank so I don’t have any added CO2. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
 
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frostmystique

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Sorry about that! I must of pressed post before they were properly uploaded. I’ve included them now!
 

lilirose

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The first pic looks like the leaves maybe got manhandled or folded up (maybe before you bought them?) and it's trying to recover. The second two look like reproduction spots. I don't think any of them look like melting/dying- in my (somewhat limited) experience with java fern, if it's going to die it starts to turn black at the tips and the black moves downward.

Maybe someone else will speak up and confirm or deny what I've said.

Edit: read my post below, you need to unbury that rhizome ASAP!
 

LeticiaM

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I am limited in my plant experience, but java fern need their rhizomes out of the substrate. The thin roots can be buried, but the thicker green rhizome (that is horizontal and the leaves grow from) can not. A lot of people tie it or glue it to rocks or driftwood
 

lilirose

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I can't believe I missed that- somehow I didn't notice that you have buried the rhizome under the substrate. That is a big no-no. The rhizome should be exposed exactly as LeticiaM said or the plant will die.
 
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frostmystique

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I am limited in my plant experience, but java fern need their rhizomes out of the substrate. The thin roots can be buried, but the thicker green rhizome (that is horizontal and the leaves grow from) can not. A lot of people tie it or glue it to rocks or driftwood
I can't believe I missed that- somehow I didn't notice that you have buried the rhizome under the substrate. That is a big no-no. The rhizome should be exposed exactly as LeticiaM said or the plant will die.
Hey guys I did know about the rhizome thing. However another member on here recommended having it buried in the Fluval stratum for now due to me actually swapping out one of the pieces of driftwood for a proper rock, so I can tie it on there instead. And that way it at least has nutrients in the stratum? Otherwise I literally have no where else it can go aside from floating around in the water.

The original intention was to tie it to the piece of driftwood however I apparently got unlucky with the piece I bought as it’s ended up being absolutely disgusting, so I’m replacing it with a rock!

What’s more, Java fern can be grown with the fine roots buried in substrate as long as the rhizome is not buried, which it isn’t. I’ve done my research hence why I chose to keep it planted and stable in the substrate with the rhizome exposed to the water rather than have it floating around in the current.

But if there’s something else I should be doing about it then I’d love to know!
 

lilirose

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Floating around in the water is actually perfectly fine, and much better for a java fern than buried- yes, even under Fluval Stratum (I have Stratum in two of my tanks- it's very light, but you still should not bury a rhizome under it).

Floating might not look as good as what you have there, but it will result in a healthier plant. I'm sorry that you were misinformed into thinking that the rhizome can get nutrients from Stratum when it is buried. It cannot. It needs to be exposed, full stop.
 
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