Aquatic Plants A-Z: Anubias

Written by George Farmer

George Farmer gives us the lowdown on amazing Anubias, how to use it, care for it and what makes it special. 

Anubias species and its many varieties, especially the smaller-leaved types are an incredibly popular and easy aquarium plants suitable for almost any aquascape.

Anubias is an epiphyte plant, which means it grows attached to wood or rocks in nature. It should also be attached to hardscape in the aquarium with the rhizome (the part where the roots grow from) exposed to open water. If the rhizome is buried in the substrate then it can rot. It does well in shaded areas where light levels are limited and it’s a very slow grower. In high levels of lighting algae growth on the leaves is likely so consider your plant positioning.

Anubias leaves are very tough and can even withstand some herbivorous fish so you can potentially use it in goldfish and African cichlid aquariums. Because it is a very slow growing plant it does not require high nutrient levels or CO2 injection, making it suitable for low-tech aquascaping. Maintenance levels are very low with most species only producing a new leaf every month or so. You can attached to plant to rocks and/or wood using a variety of techniques such as tying with cotton thread, cable ties or even gel-type superglue. You can also simply insert the rhizome and roots in-between wood or rock nooks and crannies. The roots will eventually creep along the hardscape and self-attached. The most popular species is Anubias nana and its smaller leaved sub-species such as A. ‘Petite’ and A. ‘Pangolino’.


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