• Java fern, trident
Photo thanks to RPL
Photo thanks to DiscusEden
Common: Trident Java Fern
Scientific: Microsorum sp. "trident"
Difficulty: Very easy
Light requirements: Low to high
Temperature: 18c – 30c
pH: 6 - 8
Country of Origin: Southeast Asia
CO2: Not required
Substrate: It does not require any particular substrate, as it is a water column feeder.
Filtration/Circulation: It has no particular requirements for filtration or circulation.
Position in tank: Its rhizomes should not be buried below the substrate, or they will rot. It can be tied with cotton or fishingline or glued with superglue of reef glue to driftwood or rocks. Alternately it can be attached to large pieces of filter mat, gutterguard or Styrofoam to make a wall.
Photo thanks to aquariumtherapy
Propagation: Java ferns grow smaller leaflets on its leaves, which will continue to grow in size, until the leaf can be broken off with a new plant. It will multiply readily and easily.
Ferts: An undemanding plant that feeds through the water column. Although it benefits from the addition of ferts, high light and CO2, these are not required, and it will subsist in low light, no CO2, with only the benefit of living with fish in the tank.
Although this plant is prone to a die-back disease that turns the leaves brown, and is easiest dealt with by throwing out the affected leaves to prevent it spreading, this does not often affect a majority of the plant.
Trident java fern is rarer than the common java fern, or than the needle leaf java, and very popular in aquascaping, used by both beginners and more experienced scapers alike.
This is an easy plant to grow. Many people have different preferences for attaching it, however:
• Fishing line tends to be more visible, does not break down once the fern has attached itself, and still holds the possibility of fish, particularly bristlenose or other catfish being caught & possibly dying in it.
• Cotton is less visible, and preferred by many, although comes with the cautionary warning of tying tightly enough that fish cannot be caught in it.
• Superglue can be used (brands from the $2 shop do not leave a white blob). Dry off the wood or rock you wish to attach the fern to, put a small glob of superglue on the rhizome of the fern (the hard black root) and press it to the object. Do not let the fern dry out. I use a spray bottle from the $2 shop with tank water (never used for anything else).
• Reef glue is more expensive (and also lasts longer), but allows you to attach plants underwater, which then allows you to build a Styrofoam wall, etc.
This is a good plant for beginners.