Growth Rate: Slow
Aquaria Placement: Midground-background or on hardscapes
Light Requirements: Low
Fertilizer Requirements: Light
Special Requirements: N/A
Microsorum Pteropus, also known as Java Fern is easily one of the most popular Fern species in the hobby. Very hardy and easy to grow with very few demands.
Java Ferns growth size can vary depending on parameters; they can be as large as ~10" fronds to as compact as ~5" fronds. Due to the potentially large size, it's best as a background species, but can be utilized as a midground in large aquariums. Java Ferns are rhizome plants, so keeping the rhizome above the substrate is a must, the dark brown hairy roots are more for attachment than nutrient uptake, so they don't need to be planted. Growing attached to hardscapes (stones, driftwood, and branches) offers the safest and easiest way to grow this beautiful plant. A very low demanding species, but occasional thinning of mature plants is recommended to allow more room for new growth and to encourage more rhizome splitting.
Java Ferns are the few species that can thrive in a tank containing herbivores, although not recommended with large true herbivores. A great species to use in African Cichlids aquariums, hardy leaves keep the plants intact while the ability to grow in harder waters allow it to thrive.
Propagation of this species is easy, rhizome division is often times the simplest way. However, Microsorum sp. will sometimes develop plantlets on the underside of the leaves, which can be separated and planted as an individual plant.
Plants are sold in 3-4" rhizomes with several Fronds, plants already attached to stones are also available. All grown submersed in Canada.