The Java Fern is a good plant to use in aquariums containing herbivorous fish since they will seldom eat it!

The Java Fern Microsorum pteroptus is an amphibious fern which lives with its rhizome attached to rocks or logs at the edge of mountain streams. In the aquarium the Java Fern should be tied with strings to a rock or log until they attach. They grow at a relatively slow to medium pace, therefore making this an easy plant to keep, and can reach a maxium height of 10 inches.

It has been reported that Scats may eat this plant, and could die from it.

java fern plant
Image Credit: Techzila, Shutterstock


Java Fern Microsorum pteroptus are found naturally in tropical Southeast Asia: Java to the Philippines. Its genus name is often spelled “Microsorium” in many text books, but it is more currently being written as “Microsorum”.

Water conditions / lighting:

  • Temperature: 64-82° F (18-28° C)
  • pH: 5.5 – 7.0
  • dCH: 2 – 12


Light level: Minimal – it is best to keep them away from bright lights.


Java Ferns propagate by sending out shoots at the leaves and roots that become small plants. The photo above shows many small plants growing from the main plant. The roots of the small plants are brown in the photo.


The Java Fern is readily available.

 Featured Image Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock