So I got a great deal on some Java Fern mattes and decided that these plants would never survive the appetite of Tropheus, a species of African cichlid that loves to devour anything green. After some time though I’ve decided to add them to my sump to help filter the water and hopefully keep the nitrates down in the tank. I took some quick photos so you can see how I did it.
First I laid them all out on a piece of egg crate fluorescent light fixture covering, but I’m sure you could use many different types of anchor systems.
Then I used a safety pin to make feeding the thread through the grate and roots much easier.
Be careful not to tie them too tight or you’ll split the rhizome (root), and possibly damage it. Java fern and other species with rhizomes require good water flow across the roots, otherwise the rhizome will rot and melt away. The egg crate does a great job of keeping the plants out of the muck and insuring that nutrient rich water can get all around the roots. Java ferns also feed through the leaves so it’s best to keep them submerged or in 100% humidity.
Good luck with your planting!