How to Plant Java Ferns and Anubias on Rocks
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 species are simple to care for and do not require any special attention. 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.
This tutorial is also available in video format. Please see the video at bottom.
Gathering Your Supplies
Anubias and Java Ferns that are about 3″ to 4 inches tall. They can be 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. Other porous rocks include Okho stone, smooth rivers rocks, lava rocks and Okho stones. Plastic castles and stones can also be used. Make sure the weight is sufficient to hold it in place.
To attach, you could use thread, fishing line, or a rubber band to tie. These aren’t ideal. Super glue gel can be purchased at hardware stores. The gel is not very runny. 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 forms an acrylic bond between rock and plant. To prevent your hands sticking together, you are more than welcome use gloves.
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. Take the tag off and gently, but firmly, remove it from the pot. 3. As much as possible of the plant rock wool (the cotton-like material around the roots), be removed. Get to the roots. You can remove it with very gently running water, too. Clean the roots with your hands. Anubias can only be one plant in a container. Java ferns can house two to three plants in one 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 develop from the rhizome. This rhizome part supports the plant. If you want to plant it in gravel instead, don’t cover the rhizome. 5. Place your plant in the most suitable part of the rock. Natural crevices or dips work well. 6. Dry the plant roots by dabbing them on a paper towel or hand towel. 7. Place a thin layer on the rock that is about twice the length of its rhizome. Super glue gel is excellent because it sticks to the rock and doesn’t run off the sides. 8. Hold the roots and the plant’s rhizome vertically above the rocks for a few seconds. All of these roots eventually will grab onto the rock, and hold the plant. 9. Find the next rock and the next plant to do this with, and just repeat. These are water plants that dry quickly so you should do them in about 10-15 minutes. 10. Place them in your tank once they’re dry. They will continue growing and give you that jungle look.