How To Plant Narrow Leaf Java Fern In Your Aquarium

Narrow Leaf Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus Narrow Leaf
Narrow Leaf Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus Narrow Leaf from

Narrow leaf java fern (Microsorum pteropus) is a beautiful, low-maintenance aquarium plant that has been a favorite among aquarium hobbyists for many years. It is easy to care for and requires only basic lighting and fertilization. It can be grown either fully or partially submersed and is a good choice for aquarists who are just starting out. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to successfully plant and care for a narrow leaf java fern in your aquarium.

Step 1: Preparation

Before planting your narrow leaf java fern, you will need to prepare the area where it will be planted. Choose an area with plenty of light and adequate water flow. Also, make sure the substrate is free of debris and is not too compact. If you are using a substrate that is prone to compaction, such as sand or gravel, it is recommended to use a substrate stabilizer.

Step 2: Planting

Once you have prepared the area, you can begin to plant your narrow leaf java fern. Start by taking a few cuttings from an existing plant or purchase some from your local aquarium store. Make sure the cuttings are healthy and free of any pests or diseases. Plant the cuttings in the substrate, making sure that the roots are completely covered. If you are using a substrate stabilizer, make sure to use it around the roots to help prevent compaction.

Step 3: Lighting and Fertilization

Once your narrow leaf java fern has been planted, you will need to provide it with adequate lighting and fertilization. Provide the plant with bright, indirect light for at least 8 hours a day. If you are using an LED light, you can increase the amount of light if needed. As for fertilization, you can use a liquid fertilizer or a slow-release tablet. Make sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer package for best results.

Step 4: Maintenance

In order to ensure that your narrow leaf java fern remains healthy, it is important to perform regular maintenance. This includes removing any dead or dying leaves, trimming the plant if it is growing too large, and checking the pH and temperature of the water. If the pH is too low or the temperature is too high, make sure to adjust it accordingly. Additionally, you should check the substrate for any signs of compaction and use a substrate stabilizer if needed.

Step 5: Pruning

Pruning is an important part of caring for a narrow leaf java fern. If the plant is growing too large, you can trim it back to keep it within the desired size. Make sure to use a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears and cut back only the overgrown parts. Once you have trimmed the plant, you can remove any dead or dying leaves to keep the plant healthy and looking its best.

Step 6: Propagation

Propagating a narrow leaf java fern is a great way to add more plants to your aquarium. The easiest way to propagate the plant is by division. Take a healthy piece of the plant and carefully divide it into two or more pieces. Plant each piece into the substrate and make sure to provide them with adequate lighting and fertilization. With proper care, the new plants should begin to grow within a few weeks.


Narrow leaf java fern is a beautiful, low-maintenance plant that is perfect for any aquarium. With the right care and maintenance, it can grow and thrive for many years. With this guide, you should now have a better understanding of how to successfully plant and care for a narrow leaf java fern in your aquarium.

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