Perfect Guide To Anubias Plant: Care, Types, Benefits & More

Today we will be talking about the best aquarium plant every fishkeeper loves to keep.

Yes, that’s the Anubias plant.

What is Anubias Plant? Anubias is an aquarium plant, belonging to the family of Araceae. It’s a genus of aquatic and semi-aquatic flowering plants. They are native to tropical central and western Africa. Anubias plant grows primarily in rivers and streams. They can be characterized by thickness, broadness, and dark leaves that come in different forms.

I will teach you how to grow a new Anubias plant and provide a complete care guide. We will also be talking about some exciting facts on Anubias you people should know. So, let’s get started.

Anubias plant is most probably the commonly found plant in the aquarium hobby. 

Anubias is my first-ever plant planted in the aquarium and maybe yours too.

It is probably due to several different reasons, but the main one I’m guessing is that it was recommended to you by your friend or any local aquarium shop.

Your conversation indeed has started with you asking what plants are easy to keep, and one of the answers you got was Anubias Plant.

So, Why is the Anubias plant such a commonly recommended plant in the hobby?

I would say that it is not necessarily that the plant is easy to grow but rather that anubias, in general, are extremely tough plants in terms of their preference.

It doesn’t need bright light. It doesn’t need Co2. Also, the pH can be anywhere from low to high.

Anubias plant can tolerate almost any condition. Overall they are the best hardy plants in the aquarium hobby.

The only challenge we need to face is keeping Anubias plant growth speed. The main reason comes down to growth speed.

Anubias is well known for growing very slow in comparison to other aquarium plants.

Many other challenging factors occur while planting the Anubias plant as a beginner.

Later in this article, I will show you how you can use to avoid these many challenges. So please look forward to this article.


Anubias Plant

Anubias Plant

Anubias is a genus of both aquatic and semi-aquatic flowering plants.

They belong to the family of Araceae. They are native to tropical central and western Africa.

The place where Anubias plants can be found are Rivers, Streams, Small ponds, and also can be found in Marshes.

This genus was described in the year 1857 by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott.

Then revised the genus in 1971, and from then, its vocabulary has become stable.

Since they mostly grow in shady places. So, named this genus after the Egyptian god Anubis, the god of the afterlife.

They are actually low-light aquarium plants mostly determined by the characteristics of influence.

Most fishkeepers say that Anubias plants are Immortal, “They never die”.

Anubias plants characterize by thickness, broadness, and dark leaves that come in different forms.

Family Araceae
Sub FamilyAroideae
Suitable Light RequirementLow Light Plant
Best PlacementForeground to Background
Growth RateVery Slow, Produce a Leaf Every 3 Weeks
Maximum SizeUp To 83 cm, Leaves 40 cm Long and 14 cm Broad
Best Tank SizeStart From 10 Gallons
Suitable Water Condition72-82°F, pH 6-7.5, 3-8 KH
PropagationCutt The Rhizome
Substrate RequirementRock or Driftwood
Fertilization Requirement Iron-based Supplements

Appearance & Functions

Anubias Plant Appearance




Anubias Plant Care & Maintenance

Anubias Plant Care and Maintenance

TIP 1 – Good Lighting

The first thing to see when planting an aquarium plant is to have an excellent adopting light as per the plant’s need. 

Anubias plant is a low-light aquarium plant. But here, what do you mean by this?

You see, everyone keeps saying low light plants. But they never complete the sentence. 

I will tell you the complete sentence. It means that. 

These plants won’t die in low light. They will live and grow. But SLOW!

Anyhow if you have high light, it doesn’t mean they will die. But it will grow better. 

So always remember this – this is the first trick. 

So, if the Anubias plant is provided perfect light, then they will grow faster and will grow beautiful

TIP 2 – Tie It Firmly

Tie the Anubias plant carefully while placing it in the tank. AVOID using cable wires. It may break or cut the rhizome. 

It’s a BAD idea.

If you are not tying the anubias plant, and if it is moving, they won’t grow as per your requirement. 

So, Anubias need to be tied firmly for better growth.

TIP 3 – Use Good Fertilizers & Necessary Nutrients

Not many fishkeepers focus on this, but it is IMPORTANT!

Even the Anubias plant needs fertilizer.

Adding Nitrogen, Phosphor, Iron, and other Micronutrients will be a great result in the Anubias plant’s growth and other aquarium plants.

Fertilizing will undoubtedly result in the plants’ optimal growth, and they also give beautiful natural colors to the plant leaf.

TIP 4 – Provide Good Quantity Of Carbon Dioxide Co2

Co2 is very necessary for these types of aquarium plants.

If you have stabilized and good quantities of carbon dioxide then the growth of the plant will be better and they will grow beautifully.

TIP 5 – Having Good Soil

They no need to be dug in the soil. But if you have soil in the tank and that soil contains compost in it.

Then the roots of the anubias plant will acquire the compost to grow well.

Therefore this is very IMPORTANT! and having good soil will be a great effect on Anubias growth.

TIP 6 – Allow Anubias To Adjust In Your Tank

So this is actually very IMPORTANT!

Whenever you buy Anubias or any other aquarium plant.

Don’t rush to tie them in the tank as soon as you bought them.

Just open them and keep them in your established tank. Keep them floating in the water. Till they acquire the property of the tank or till they inhabit the particular tank.

This process is known as Acclimatization.

So this plant needs to acclimatize the water and the tank temperature.

TIP 7 – Trim The Roots and Old Leaves

This tip is not required but HELPFUL!

Whenever you buy any aquarium plant they are completely grown and come in small packets or maybe in pots.

So the tip here is that you can cut the leaves which are bigger in size. You can trim the root as well.

This is because you want your anubias plant to grow from the start. Just leave a leaf from the top and root at the bottom.

If you find a low light color leaf. Just CUT it down!

And place the plant in the nice low light area to make the growth starts.

This will allow the plant to have a new start and will allow a place for new growth.

Buying Guide

You can easily buy Anubias plants and other aquarium plants online as well as offline.

The first TIP I include in my buying guide is to buy them Offline.

Yes, Buying aquarium plants offline or at an aquarium plant shop near you is a great idea.

Seeing offline will help you to see the plant physically, and that will help you to make sure whether it is perfect for your aquarium tank.

So the Anubias are sold as bare-root plants that are taken a right from the gravel.

Anubias plants are commonly given to the customers in a plastic container or as potted.

Many a time you will see Anubias plant sold while attached to live rock, Driftwood, Suction cup, or other decoration.

So what to look for exactly when buying Anubias. Here are some things that will help you.

  1. Look for plants with lush green leaves.
  2. Make sure it has a thick rhizome and healthy set of roots.
  3. Try to AVOID plants that are with broken leaves or leaves with holes.
  4. Also AVOID plants that have algae visible growing on them.

Tank Requirements

You see, Anubias plants mostly grow in river banks, either partially or fully submerged in shallow waters. 

Living in shallow water, Anubias gets plenty of access to good lightning through nature for photosynthesis. And that thing helps them a lot. 

The riverbank they are living in has a suitable substrate for them. The substrate would be soft and muddy. Easy for roots to grow well and take in nutrients from the environment. 

In the river where Anubias grow, the water remains warm and slightly acidic. 

These conditions are right for anubias, and it is also easy to recreate in a home aquarium. 

You can use a heater in your home aquarium to keep the water warm. You can set a range of 72-82°F, with a pH value somewhere between 6 and 7.5, and keeping 3-8 KH will be the best setup.

Please keep them in a low-light area. If you have a dark place to keep the aquarium, then you will need to buy a light that produces low as much. 

Always make sure that light is reaching the leaves, and the plants are quite in shade areas. 

The best size of tank you can keep Anubias plant entirely is a 10 gallon

Planting & Propagation

Anubias Plant Planting And Propogation

I’ll be showing you how to prepare it for Planting as well as Propagating. Since it is probably the most common plant aquarium shopkeeper sold it as a potted plant.

But many of the plants that get imported are have a likely chance of having some pesticides or some other unwanted chemical on them.

So, in these cases, I first recommend soaking the plant with water and then add some pesticide neutralizer to make sure that it would be safe for your aquarium.



Do many peoples search how to propagate anubias plant?

Anubias Plants Types

Anubias come in different types, and they all have some similar care requirements.

They range from the biggest one ‘Dwarf Nana’ varieties to the massive ‘A. gigantic.

Every type of Anubias is closely related, and many varieties will hybridize in intermediate characteristics.

In this section, I will be covering some details of Anubias plant types, and you can also read a whole single article regarding the one you will love to add to your tank.

These are some of the anubias types you can plan to place in your tank:

Anubias afzelii

Types of Anubias plant - Anubias afzelii

26a0 Read more about Anubias agzelii plant

Anubias barteri

Types of Anubias plant - Anubias barteri
26a0 Read more about Anubias barteri plant

Anubias barteri var. angustifolia

Types of Anubias plant - Anubias barteri var. angustifolia

Anubias barteri var. barteri

Anubias barteri var. caladiifolia

Anubias barteri var. glabra

Anubias barteri var. nana

Anubias gigantea

Anubias gilletii

Anubias gracilis

Anubias hastifolia

Anubias heterophylla

Anubias pynaertii

FAQ’s [Frequently Asked Questions]

Do anubias need substrate?

Yes, Anubias plants do need substrate. They can grow in aquarium gravel, Substrate, You can also attach them to rocks, Driftwood, and Decoration. Anubias plants do much better when planted in the iron and nutrient-rich substrate when they are attached to porous rocks and driftwood.

How long do anubias take to grow?

It takes about 5-6 months for a fully grown Anubias plant. The growth rate of anubias plants is very slow. They grow at a height up to 80-83 cm. They hardly produce a life every 3 weeks or even slower. When they are once completely grown they don’t die easily.

Can anubias float?

Yes, Anubias can float. They don’t require much attention and they can be left floating in the aquarium. But it is good to attach them to any decoration or rock in the aquarium. Just make sure it has a good substrate attached.

How do you keep anubias healthy?

The key points to keep your anubias healthy are:

1. Keep water parameters within the suitable range according to your anubias plant need.
2. Make sure to have a low light falling to the plant. The best place to keep your aquarium is to keep them in a shaded place.
3. Have a good substrate enriched with iron and nutrients. Aquarium gravel, Substrate, Rocks, Driftwood, or Decoration would be perfect.
4. Don’t forget to give them a good partner (fish) in the aquarium.

How many hours of light do anubias need?

It is best to provide them at least 8-9 hours of light. They are low-light aquarium plants and high amounts of light may kill their leaves. If you exceed the time level of light for this plant then the plants will result in some algae prone.

Why are anubias so expensive?

Anubias plants are highly grown in Singapore. They are expensive since they are exported to different countries, and Singapore charges a lot of tax for an anubias plant.

How do you propagate anubias?

Here are the steps to propagate Anubias plants carefully.

Step 1 – Take out the plant from the water you want to propagate. Make sure you don’t break the rhizome when taking it out.

Step 2 – Using a sharp blade or knife or scissors. Cut the rhizome into two or more pieces.

Step 3 – Leave at least three or four healthy leaves on each section of the rhizome.

Step 4 – Now place every piece of the rhizome to their particular substrate. Have a good substrate.

Step 5 – Have good conditions for your water for the plant. Give them the necessary nutrients and carbon dioxide, and Happy Fishkeeping!

Will anubias grow on the rock?

Yes, Anubias plants can grow on rock. Anubias plants can be planted in the pot, they can be attached to driftwood, and can also be planted on aquarium rocks. Growing Anubias plants on the rock are beneficial because it denitrifiers bacteria. This bacteria improves the water quality by reproducing and removing nitrates.

Can anubias grow above water?

Yes, Anubias plants can grow above water. Most fishkeepers love to grow anubias underwater (Submersed). Anubias plants generally grow better when their leaves are out of the water (Immersed). They are hardy plants and they are capable enough to encounter any kind of environment. 

How do you make anubias grow faster?

There is one thing you can do to make anubias grow faster. On a break of every six months take out the old anubias from the tank and prune (cut) the old leaves. So the old Anubias plant converts into a young one and fastens the new leaf growth.

Are anubias root feeders?

Yes, we can say Anubias are root feeders. Anubias doesn’t really have roots instead they have rhizomes. The rhizome absorbs nutrients when planted in a nutrient-rich substrate. So, this is definitely going to help the Anubias plant. Just keep in mind while planting it into the substrate, make sure not to bury the full rhizome.

Does anubias Nana flower?

Yes, Anubias Nana does flower. The flowers look like creamy white spadix in color. It looks similar to a calla lily. Like their leaves, the flower of the Anubias Nana plant will also last long, often for several months.

Can anubias grow without light?

Yes, Anubias can grow without light. This plant has very low light requirements. Even if you don’t provide them lightly or keep them in a shady area it will be perfect for them.

Can anubias get too much light?

Yes, Anubias would do perfectly in too much light too. They are considered low light plants but higher light will not hurt them. However, the only problem you would run into would be, the leaves will be getting algae on them because of high light. But these can be easily clean with an old brush or type of scrubber thing.

How long Anubias can stay out of water?

Anubias plants can stay out of water for at least 2 hours. But if you leave them out of the water, the leaves then will definitely gonna suffer. As long as you keep the roots nice and watery they will grow well and they will be healthy.

Can anubias live in cold water?

Yes, Anubias plants can live in cold water. Since low-temperature water or cold water contains nutrients and light them, these plants can easily live. But there won’t be any growth. Most aquatic plants will survive in the cold water but will also die off because of frost or freezing.

Why are my anubias turning yellow?

The main reason Anubias turning yellow is nitrate and iron deficiency. Yellowing from the tip of the leaf is an indicating sign. To make sure you can use a nitrate test kit but remember not to overdose nitrate.

Can anubias be left floating?

Yes, Anubias can be left floating in the tank. Just remember to attach them to any decoration or rock in the aquarium.

Can Anubias survive without leaves?

Yes, Anubias can survive without leaves. You just need to keep the anubias roots healthy. Remember, without leaves, it really needs to be healthy or it just dies.

What causes anubias rot?

The cause of Anubias rot is not confirmed yet but, current theories are that it is mainly caused by bacteria or fungus. Sometimes the plant is weakened due to initial infection and then secondary pathogen takes advantage of this situation.

Is anubias good for aquariums?

Yes, Anubias plants are good for aquariums. They are one of the most popular and hardy plants that don’t need much attention when coming to their care. It’s an easy plant that doesn’t need many requirements in the aquarium.

Does anubias spread?

No, the Anubias plant doesn’t spread much. When kept in the aquarium, the Anubias plant starts growing from the substrate, and while it grows it gets attached to other decorations, glass, or driftwood. While growing they move more likely to be the area they are getting light from.

Why is my anubias turning black?

The main reason for Anubias turning black is because of algae proning into their leaves. The reason why this happens is because of the high light in the aquarium. Since they are low light aquarium plants they don’t do well in high light.

Why is my anubias dying?

The reason your Anubias is dying is because of anubias disease which rots the rhizome and stems of the plant. Then it also later attacks the leaf tissue. It is mainly spread when your healthy Anubias plant gets in contact with an infected part of the plant.

Does anubias need to be planted?

Yes, if you are a true aquarium keeper and a beginner fish keeper then you should plant anubias. They do great as a beginner aquarium plant and it is really easy to care for.

End Of The Article / Conclusion

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