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Can Java fern be buried in sand substrate? Or does it do better if the roots are exposed.. for example, just tied to a rock.

I just got some from my LFS, and I buried it...



I also picked up this guy.. can't remember what it's called though.

 

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Java fern should be attached to a rock and not have its roots planted in the substrate.

The other plant looks like Vallisneria (which should be planted in the substrate).

HTH
 

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The second plant looks like jungle val. I used to have some and the leaves grew to be 5 feet long. They look nice if you have a long tank so that the leaves can spread out on the surface of the water.
 
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