Written by Pete
Here's a very simple idea for just growing Java fern (or other plants such as Anubias) on sponges and attaching them to the back of the tank. All you need are sheets of aquarium filter sponge 1 cm thick. The ones that come with the Fluval 4 plus internal filter are perfect.
Using a large needle and thread sew on 4 aquarium suckers to the back of each sponge, then sew on pieces of java fern by the roots to the front of the sponge and stick it to the back wall.
Note: If you are intending on placing these java fern sponges in a tank with Pseudacanthicus, Panaques, or other woodeater/grazer plecs, you should first cover the sponge with a fine-mesh filter bag or sew an old nylon stocking to the sponge before attaching the suction cups and the plants. In their search for food items, the plecs may ingest small pieces of the artificial foam. Another option is to establish the sponges in another tank, moving them into your plec tank when the sponge is fully covered with java fern.
Once a java sponge gets established it looks great! The best way to do it is to have java fern on the usual bogwood in the middle and the Java fern on sponges as a background.
Here's a couple of shot of our Royals tank just after putting in new sponges to show the principle
And the Gibby tank to show what it looks like when it's established
and some more recent shots from last week