Java Fern Melt: Causes & Solutions

Thanks to how simple the Java Fern is in most tank setups, it is among the most popular aquarium plants in the aquarist community.

Most people may easily incorporate these aquarium plants into their tanks without having any issues with the fish’s ability to swim freely.

However, you may deal with the Java Fern melt problem when keeping these plants. What causes this issue? Can you solve it?

If you are curious about the answers, let’s dive into this article to discover the main culprits and practical solutions!

Java Fern Melt: Common Causes

Java Ferns frequently perish or melt, mainly after being purchased. They need some time to become accustomed to an unfamiliar environment.

Below are the leading causes of Fern melt. Let’s take a closer look before discovering the solutions!

Poor Quality Water

Poor water quality is among the most frequent issues that might trigger your plants to begin melting.

This issue has numerous potential causes, such as overfeeding, irregular water changes, and overcrowding.

These factors can raise the amounts of ammonia and nitrates, which could then affect the plant.

planted tank

Poor quality water

Wrong Tank Placement

The incorrect arrangement of the plants in your tank could also cause the Fern to dissolve.

It might result in illumination issues and insufficient water flows in the aquarium, among other possible concerns.

Water Flow Issues

The Java Fern may also encounter issues if your tank’s water flow is not ideal.

Several factors, like a too-strong aquarium filter or the powerhead placed directly at your plants, lead to this matter.

pH Level Problems

Your Java Fern may experience issues if your tank’s pH level is too low or too high.

That’s because the plants require a unique pH level to absorb nutrients and minerals from the tank water correctly.

Water Parameter Issues

Your plants may experience issues if the water conditions in your aquarium are continually changing.

Your plants require a particular set of circumstances to thrive. It may be challenging for your plants to adapt if the water’s properties continuously shift.

Light Intensity Problems

Java Ferns belong to tropical plants, which means they prefer to grow on the underside of low jungle floors, typically in flooded places.

As a result, these plants may be partly or thoroughly immersed in water without dealing with excessive risk.

These plants are likely to go brown and melt if you place them in an area that is not shaded because it isn’t their native dark environment.

Tank Species Eating Java Fern

If the tank mates eat these Ferns, it’s one of the potential issues that could make it melt.

Although these plants are not tasty, some hungry species may still eat them.

Ammonia Cycle

If the ammonia level in your aquarium is not correctly cycled, your Java Ferns may begin melting since they are sensitive to water changes.

Inappropriate Substrate

Your Ferns may melt if the plants are not adequately rooted in the aquarium substrate.

Your vegetation needs a particular kind of substrate to thrive. If that substrate isn’t present, issues may arise.

High Algae Levels

The only type of algae that can cause issues is cyanobacteria or also called blue-green algae, although the vegetation is typically not afflicted by illnesses or germs due to algae.

These things don’t attack your plants and fight for fundamental nutrients.

Therefore, your vegetation doesn’t receive enough nutrients to develop properly, and it may eventually start to melt.

aquarium plant melting

High algae levels

How To Fix The Java Fern Melt Problem?

After knowing the causes, it’s time to solve this issue with the following tips!

Dim any unnecessary illumination. Check whether your plant gets better by keeping it in the darkness.

Trim the fading leaves to the rhizome. Fresh leaves can emerge as the plants progressively acclimate to their surroundings.

Your plant can be lacking in nutrients. Every week, begin treating it with fertilizers, predominantly liquid types.

If you are a first-time aquarist, it’s better to watch this video to know some guides on fertilizers for this vegetation kind:

It’s better to replace 10 – 30 percent of the tank water after two weeks, which prevents leftover food and fish waste from accumulating.

Remove some of the algae from your aquarium if it becomes too overgrown.

Ensure you routinely monitor your tank’s pH levels and modify them if necessary. The ideal pH level should be from 6 to 8.

Moreover, it’s best to remove invertebrates or hungry species which can eat up your Java Fern.

Additionally, it would be best if you were careful not to overfeed your fish since it may potentially result in issues with your tank’s ammonia levels increasing.

You should also ensure that you use the proper type of substrate for your aquarium plants. The way you grow them should be appropriate.

java fern in tank

Practical solutions


Why Do Java Ferns Turn Brown?

When introduced to a new aquarium or habitat, Java Ferns need some time to adapt.

Something may be wrong in the environment if existing plants start turning brown since they have a high level of disease resistance.

Some factors making your Ferns turn brown include nutrient levels, lighting, or algae.

How Much Light Do Java Ferns Need?

They will require light exposure for at least six hours each day. The time it is subjected to light should not exceed 12 hours daily.

Why Does My Java Fern Have Black Spots?

If this vegetation is not receiving enough nutrients, it will have black spots. It’s a common phenomenon.

Should I Cut Off Brown Java Fern Leaves?

The short answer is yes! Eliminating the damaged leaves keeps the entire plant healthier and your tank looking better.

What Does A Dying Java Fern Look Like?

A dying or sick Fern may show some symptoms such as slow growth or loss of leaves.

It may be the result of nutrient deficiency. So it’s best to apply the methods mentioned above.

In A Nutshell

Can Java Fern melt? Yes, these aquarium plants may dissolve because of several reasons, such as high algae levels, ammonia cycle, inappropriate substrate, or water parameters issues.

Hopefully, you can successfully save your plants with the practical tips mentioned above. Thanks for reading, and see you in the next post!