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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I plan on setting up a nice 90p tank in the near future. I currently a much small tank that I use as a "green house" for the larger tank coming. I am growing all types of ferns ranging from the classic Java, Trident and even some Bolbitis African Fern.

I have always been attracted to the Java Fern because of its needle-like leaves and brilliant green color. I bough mine from a reputable store in the US where they warned me that they were having some issues with a "disease" spreading through their trident ferns. They recommended cutting the leaves down to the rhizome and the new growth will not have the disease. As for what it looks like, all I can do to describe it is as green waxy bumps that cluster together. I have done some research and found the word spirogiria floating around (please see attached photo).

My question is, will this spread to the other species of ferns? Will the Bolbitis be affected?
 

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Very strange. I've never seen anything like that before if it is part of the leaf. I'd keep the leaves if I were you, it doesn't look like a disease to me. Perhaps a liverwort or moss growing on the leaves? Does it come off easily or is it actually part of the leaf?

Is that on the top or the bottom of the leaf?

spirogiria is a specie of algae by the way.
 

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Never seen anything like it but imo selling plants that have some sort of parasite/disease is bad practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I agree it is bad practice and probably worse practice to purchase the pants on my end! The little nodes are part of the plant and can be removed if rubbed between thumb and pointer finger under running water. Once removed, there is a hole where it once was. The stuff is so odd! It distorts the leaves as it grow. I have no idea what it is...
 

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Too bad I don't have any here I could look at it under the microscope and maybe make a few slides of it.

Ferns make plantlets that form on the undersides of old leaves and they begin looking like a nodule of some sort. It develops into a rhizome, but I've never seen ferns produce so many nodules.

Do they develop into new plants if left? Or do they just remain as bumps?

I suppose it could be a virus or bacteria of some kind, lots of diseases cause bumps like that to form.

Were the ferns grown emersed before? It may be that submersed grown ferns are disease free since most disease causing bugs can't spread effectively underwater.

You could probably do a test, cut one of the nodules off mush it up and apply it directly to a healthy leaf above water for a few minutes, then see if nodules develop there. If so it is some kind of virus/bacteria causing the problem. If not then perhaps its just a genetically defective plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wish these bumps developed into something useful but they just remain bumps and restrict the growth of the plant.

I do not believe they were ever emersed...nonetheless, they have been under water for at least a year.

I like your idea of the test. I initially thought that it was a genetically defective plant as well, but I have noticed some of the bumps on my needle leaf javas as well. I might pull everything out with the bumps for damage control.
 

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I have these from time to time on my one java fern. It stunts the growth of the leaf. If it is a disease it's not a fast spreading one. I just snip off the infected leaf. Seems to occur the areas with bad flow and too little light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting thought about the flow. Now that you have mentioned this I think you may be right. It seems to be more common in those areas. I do not think it is a lighting issue. I have plenty of that...I do the same thing with clipping the leaf. Unfortunately it is all over some of my rhizome's. Any suggestions on what to do then?
 

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It would be really interesting if you could do some experiments and figure out if it is a virus. Alternatively if you are willing I can send you some money via paypal for a few affected plants and I can do the tests/photos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What a generous offer! If you give me your address I'll send you a bunch of samples. I'm very curious what is!
 
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