How to plant Java Ferns on Rocks: Anubias and Java Fern
Anubias and Java Fern are two excellent freshwater plant options for low light tanks. Unlike most freshwater plants, they can go in aquariums that feature African Cichlids or Goldfish. These two plant species are easy to care for and not demanding at all. You can leave them in the pot, attach them to driftwood, or, like we’re doing here in this week’s blog, plant them on aquarium rocks. They’re the hardiest and easiest to work with.
You can also watch the video below if you prefer video!
Gathering your Supplies
– Anubias or Java Fern that is about 3″ – 4″ tall and potted. – Texas holey rock, or any aquarium rock with structure. Super Glue Gel
It is best to have small plants, about 3″-4″ tall in their black plastic pots. The Texas holey rocks are around 5″ – 7″ long. They’re excellent for Cichlid and Goldfish aquariums because they balance the pH and the hardness. You could also use lava rocks, Okho stone, smooth river rocks, or any other porous-type rock. You could also use plastic castles and stones. Just make sure it’s weighted to stay in place.
To attach, you could use thread, fishing line, or a rubber band to tie. These aren’t ideal. The best thing is to use super glue gel, found at a hardware store. It is not super thick. It is best to use the original super glue and not any other type. Make sure it has cyanoacrylate, which is a liquid acrylic and the key ingredient. It creates an acrylic bond between the plant and the rock. You are more than welcome to use gloves to prevent your hands from sticking together.
Let’s get started.
Step by Step: Gluing the Plants to the Rocks
1. You can open the super glue gel by removing the cap screwed on. 2. Prepare the plant. Remove the tag and gently but firmly take it out of the pot. 3. As much as possible of the plant rock wool (the cotton-like material around the roots), be removed. You should get to the root level. You can also remove it using very gentle running water. Use your hands to clean the roots. Anubias only have one plant per pot. Java ferns are two or more plants in a pot. 4. The rhizome is the longest lateral portion of anubias between the roots and the leaves. Also, you can see the tiny, bud-like new growth at the one end. More leaves grow out of the rhizome. This rhizome is what supports the plant. You can plant it in gravel, but don’t cover its rhizome. 5. Find the best part of the rock to place your plant. A natural crevice or dip works well. 6. Use a paper towel to dry the plant roots. 7. Spread a thin layer of glue on the rock the length of the rhizome and slightly thick. The super glue gel works well because it doesn’t move down the sides or stays put. 8. For about a minute, press the roots and plant rhizome vertically up against the rock. All of these roots eventually will grab onto the rock, and hold the plant. 9. Continue with the same process, except this time you will find another rock and a new plant. These water plants dry quickly, so it is best to complete them within 10-15 minutes. 10. When they’re all dry, place them in your tank. They will continue growing and give you that jungle look.