Due to how beginner friendly java fern is, a large number of people within the fish keeping hobby who are wanting to start adding live plants to their tanks start with java fern.
Although the popularity of java fern is generally on an upward trend within the hobby, more and more people are getting into planted tanks and aquascaping right now. This has spiked the popularity of java fern resulting in a bunch of people reaching out about keeping it in their tanks.
Due to this, we have already published a number of articles answering some of the popular questions that we see about java fern:-
- Why Your Java Fern Is Not Growing And How To Get It To Grow!
- How To Treat Java Fern Black Spots Quickly!
- How To Propagate Java Fern Emersed In Your Own Tank!
More recently, there have been a number of questions from the community about having problems with algae growing on java fern causing a number of people to reach out and ask for ways that they can safely get the algae off their java fern without harming the plant.
What Is Growing On My Java Fern?
Algae is not the only thing that can grow on your java fern and we have seen some people reach out worried about algae growing on their java fern only to realise that it is fish or snail eggs with debris attached to them.
There are a number of different types of algae that can grow on your java fern too making it more difficult to workout exactly whats happening.
Not only can the shape and texture of some types of algae look strange but there are some deep red and purple algaes that can grow on your java fern too often adding to the confusion.
Most people will just have the regular green or brown algaes or hair algaes growing on their java fern though with both of these usually begin easy to notice.
How Do You Remove Algae From A Java Fern?
There are a number of ways that you are able to remove algae from java fern with the easiest method usually being to gently remove the bulk of the algae from your tank and then add an algae eater to the tank to manage the potential regrowth.
Still, some methods are better than others for different tank setups and they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
This is why we will be covering our recommended methods to remove algae from java fern below to try and help our readers choose the best method for their tank setup.
Gently Remove The Algae From Your Java Fern!
The first method that we recommend using to remove algae from java fern is simply to remove the algae by hand.
This can be done by gently taking hold of your java fern and running your fingers through it in order to loosen and remove any algae growing on the leaves.
Although this method does require you to get your hands wet, it is often the safest method to remove algae from your java fern as long as you are careful.
Not only does manually removing the algae from your java fern stop it from being able to regrow as quickly but it also means that you are not introducing any new creatures into your tank which could potentially harm your fish or other plants.
One of the main disadvantages of manually removing algae from your java fern though is that it can be quite time consuming depending on how much algae is growing on your java fern and how big your plant is.
Add An Algae Eater To Help Remove Algae From Your Java Fern!
If you are not comfortable with getting your hands wet or you just do not have the time to manually remove the algae from your java fern then adding an algae eater to your tank is often a good idea.
There are a number of different types of algae eaters that you could add to your tank but we would recommend either opting for an oto catfish or a nerite snail.
Both of these creatures are relatively small so they will not bother your fish or other plants in the tank and they both love to eat algae making them ideal for this task.
One of the advantages of using an algae eater to remove algae from java fern is that it can often help to prevent the algae from regrowing as quickly as well as keeping your java fern looking clean.
Although this method is usually effective, there are a couple of disadvantages that you need to be aware of before adding an algae eater to your tank.
The first is that some algae eaters can be quite aggressive which could potentially harm your other fish or plants and the second is that they might not actually eat all of the algae meaning that you will still need to remove some manually.
The second is that they increase the bioload on your tank but depending on your current stocking levels, this may not be a problem.
Adjust Your Water Parameters!
One of the most common causes of algae growth is poor water quality so if you are struggling with algae then it might be worth checking your water parameters.
If your pH is too high or low, your ammonia or nitrite levels are too high or if your nitrate levels are too low then this can all lead to an increase in algae growth.
This is why we would recommend regularly testing your water parameters using a good quality test kit and making sure that they are all within the correct ranges.
You can find out more about how to test your water parameters and what the correct values should be in our article on aquarium water quality.
Change Your Lighting Schedule!
If you are struggling with algae then it might be worth changing your lighting schedule as algae often grows best in tanks that are too well lit.
This is why we would recommend reducing the amount of time that your aquarium lights are on each day or even better, switching to a lower wattage bulb.
You could also try moving your aquarium to a shadier spot in your home or office as this will also help to reduce the amount of algae growth.
Try A Chemical Algae Treatment!
If you have tried all of the methods above and you are still struggling with algae then you might need to resort to using a chemical treatment.
There are a number of different products on the market that can help to tackle algae growth but we would recommend using something like Excel or Algae Fix.
Before using any chemicals in your aquarium though, we would recommend doing some research to make sure that it is safe to use with your fish and other plants.
You should also make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully as using too much of the product can be harmful to your fish.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure!
As they say, prevention is better than cure and this is certainly true when it comes to algae growth.
There are a number of things that you can do to prevent algae from growing in your aquarium in the first place which we have listed below.
- Make sure that your aquarium is not in direct sunlight as this will encourage algae to grow.
- Regularly clean your aquarium filter as a build-up of waste can lead to an increase in algae growth.
- Remove any uneaten food from the tank as this can also lead to an increase in algae growth.
- Avoid overfeeding your fish as this can also lead to an increase in algae growth.
- Make sure that your water parameters are all within the correct ranges as this will help to prevent algae from growing.
We hope that you have found this article helpful and that it has given you some ideas on how to remove algae from java fern.