- Scientific name: Microsorum pteropus
- Synonym: Leptochilus decurrens; Microsorium pteropus
- Common name: Java fern
- Family: Polypodiaceae
- Group: Aquarium plants
- Max height: 30 cm
- Distribution: Southeast Asia
- Habitat: Rivers, and rocky streams
- Substrate: Attach it to hard surfaces
- Placement in aquarium: Background to middleground
- Planting density: 2-3 plants for 20 cm2
- Lighting needs: Undemanding, Should be sheltered from bright light.
- Temperature: 20-24°C
- pH: 5,5-7
- Hardness:3-6 NK°
The popular Java fern is both versatile and easy to keep. In nature, it exists both submerged and on the banks of streams and rivers. Its roots are "designed" to attach to hard surfaces such as rocks and wood, and this is how it should be grown in the aquariums. Planting in the aquarium substrate is not recommended because the rhizomes do not grow well under these conditions. Java fern adapts to most aquarium and requires little light. Optimum growth occurs under medium light intensity, in soft to medium-hard water, in good water circulation and a pH-value within the waek acid range. It is a slow-growing plant and older leaves may become tatty and blackened, at which point they should be removed. Java fern contains chemicals that deter most herbivorous fish from eating the leaves. The plant is suitable for the planting of freshwater aquariums and paludariums, with limited use also in brackish water aquariums. Vegetative propagation is through rhizome partition and adventitious plants, which form on roots and leaves. Sexual reproduction through spores is also possible. Little spore piles are also found in emersed cultivation plants (rarely also on submersed ones) on the leaf undersides. Mature spores, appearing like brown powder, can be sown in moist soil.