Lace Java Fern and Wood – 2.11 gallons – Initial Setup

I really love Lace Leaf Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus v. Windelov). It has such a beautiful, rich green color with intricate and delicate features. It is savage, raw, and angular, yet something about it is as soft and provocative as the lace for which it was given its common name. Here are some pics of my lace leaf java fern.

It was this plant that inspired my idea for this tank. I decided to go with all wood and lace java fern, though a few regular java ferns are in there too, and there’s some moss in the back to keep everything in balance. The idea of having wood be as angular and thrusting into the air above as the tips of the lace leaf really resonated with me. I chose a dark, thick, angled, throne-like shaped piece of Malaysian bogwood for the main wood feature. It’s beautiful grain swirled gently around the sharp bends, really capturing the attributes I wanted the tank to display. I didn’t have many small pieces, and I really wanted to have many jutting, striving branches of sorts around the main piece, hiding its base. For this I used small sections of broken off bogwood and some lighter pieces of aquarium safe wood I had lying around from previous purchases. This added nice depth and variation to the wood itself – again making the wooden sections more intricate and complex. All of these smaller pieces were angled upward from the substrate, all pointing to the same far away spot, creating a perspective point as if the tank were much larger than its actual size.

I couldn’t find a ton of lace java fern more than the few pieces I had at the time. I added what I did have, a large moss ball from another tank, and began preparing it to house shrimp in the future. Here was the tank on the first day:

I’ll be doing an updated post with how this tank came out  and all of the equipment running it soon!

Ludwigia Repens Deficieny – Now Recovering



Finding the right balance in a tank between the plants, fish, and everything else can be a difficult task. For me, I have recently found that I wasn’t adding nearly enough nutrients to support healthy plant growth. The ludwigia repens seen above is a good example of my tank beginning to bounce back after a nutrient deficiency. The yellowish leaves with holes in them were the original tops of the ludwigia less than a week ago. Since I started dosing with more nitrates (via dry KNO3) and Seachem Flourish, in addition to continued use of Seachem Flourish Excel (for liquid CO2), everything in the tank has begun to grow quickly again with bright green hues.

Victory! At least for now… Hopefully they keep it up!