The Aquabotanist: How To Attach Java Fern To A Rock Or Log

Attaching java fern requires a bit of string and a solid base.

Java Fern. Via Tsunamicarlos/Wikipedia

This month’s tip is how to attach Java fern (Microsorium pteropus) to a rock or log.  This plant can be rooted in the substrate but does much better when its roots are attached to rocks or pieces of wood.

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The Java fern is growing completely out of the water in high humidity. Photo by Stephen G. Noble

Here are the steps:

  1. Obtain aquarium safe wood or rock anchors. Wood and rocks must be large enough to secure the plant and have sufficient mass to remain stationary in the tank. Select rocks with rough or creviced surfaces to allow the roots places to eventually attach.
  2. Use size 50 dark cotton thread. Over time, the thread will dissolve but not before the plant attaches its roots to the wood or rock.
  3. Affix the plant. On a table, place the plant and anchoring object together, gently make a couple winds of thread over the steel wool-like roots and tie the thread together using a square knot.

Botanical term of the month. Epiphytic: acquiring nutrition from the water rather than the substrate. The epiphytic Java Fern primarily receives nutrition through its leaves rather than a root system.

Enjoy your planted tank!

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Fish · Lifestyle