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Anubias Care Guide: How to Grow & Propagate in Your Tank

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While some people like to have man-made decorations in their tank, others like their tank to mimic that of the fish’s natural habitat. This can include various types of freshwater plants, cholla wood, or natural rocks.  

Anubias plants can be grown in freshwater aquariums and are a great additive to any tank. They are beneficial in tanks because they add oxygen to the water and remove carbon dioxide and nitrates from the water. They are also hardy plants which make them a great plant to propagate. 

These plants are a great additive to the tank and can be propagated very easily. Read on to learn more about growing and propagating these beneficial plants. 

How to Grow Anubias

Anubias plants are great beginner plants because they can grow on any surface in your aquarium. They can also grow fully submerged in the tank, or with their leaves out of the tank. It is just important that you have the root system underwater so the plant doesn’t die. 

Once you have your anubias plant, you need to figure out where you would to attach it to in the tank. There are a variety of methods to do this, including using super glue, fishing line, or burying the roots in a substrate. 

Anubias barteri aquarium plants

Super Glue

If you would like to have your plant grow from a decoration in the tank, you can use a dot of superglue to attach the plant to any surface, even wood or larger rocks. It is important to get an aquarium safe superglue that consists of 100% cyanoacrylate. 

When gluing, you will to attach the rhizome layer of the plant to the glue so the plant can properly grow. The rhizome layer is the small layer of green just anobe the root system. After the plant is glued, you can hold it down for a few seconds and then you are set to go!

Fishing Line 

Similiar to super glue, you can use fishing line to anchor the rhizome layer of the plant to a surface. Keep in mind this may not be as secure as super glue, but it will still get the job done. 


As mentioned, you can bury the root system (not the rhizomes) of the plant in a substrate at the bottom of the tank with gravel. However, this is not the best method to use because the plant is highly susceptible to root rot and other plant diseases which can cause yout tank parameters to go haywire. 

Next Steps

After the plant is secured, the rest is up to nature! The anubias plant is simple to take care of because all it needs to grow is clean, water with a low waste environment. Make sure you have a good filter and you will be all set. They also only require low lighting and do not need any fertizliers in the tank.

It does take about 4 to 6 weeks, for the anubias plant to grow a new leaf. With that being said, it can take a while for the plant to be fully grown, but you are able to propagate the plant with these new leaves. 

 Anubias Barteri aquarium plant with blurred background

How to Propagate an Anubias Plant 

Propagating any species of the anubias plant is very simple. While some plants can be propagated just by grabbing a new leaf and planting it, this is not the case for the anubias. 

Instead of snatching a leaf, you will want to snip a piece of the rhizome layer that has at least two or three leaves on it. You can then attach this piece to another surface and start the cycle over again. 

Again, it takes about a month or so to grow new leaves on these plants, but as they grow you can propagating the plant and attaching the new rhizome layer to new spots to have a full tank. 

Characteristics of the Anubias Plant

Before propagating any plant, you will want to ensure that you have the correct plant since many look the same. Anubias plants are distinctive based on their broad dark green leaves that are on the wider end of the spectrum. The leaves of the plant are also very thick compared to others. 

Detail of a Anubias Barteri leaf with blurred background

The wider leaves make the plant harder than others as well and is great for people who are just starting out with their tank and are new to propagating plants. With that being said, there are a few different species of anubias plant that can be grown in freshwater aquariums. 

  1. Anubias Barteri: The most common aquarium anubias plant that has bright vibrant green to dark brown leaves. They usually grow up to six inches long and offer a great hiding place for fish. 
  1. Anubias Nana Petite: As the name suggests, these are a bit smaller than the Berteri species of Anubias. They grow to a maximum height of 5 inches and have smaller leaves. 
  1. Anubias Congesis: The Congesis species would be a great addition to a larger tank since they can grow up to 8 inches. The main differentiate characteristic between this species and others is that the leaves are sharply pointed. 
  1. Anubias Hastifolia: This is the largest of the species and can grow up to 16 inches. With that being said, these plants would do better in a larger aquarium setup. While they may be tall, this species does not grow too many leaves and is best for aeration of the water- not a hiding place for fish. 
green fressy leaf of anubias in planted aquarium

Benefits and Downfall of the Anubias Plant 

As with any plant, the anubias plant will add oxygen to the water which is important for fish to thrive. The plant will also remove any lingering carbon dioxide in your tank, as well as nitrates. This is turn will help keep your parameters at a reasonable level. 

The anubias plant is also not easily destructable. Fish don’t typically like the taste of these plants, so they will likely not try to eat it. This will allow the plant to thrive and grow more quickly as well. 


On the other hand, the anubias is known to cause problems with algae in your aquarium. Algae loves to grow on these plants, so you will need to take a few steps to decrease the chances of algae overrunning the tank.

  1. Plant in a shaded area. Make sure that the plant is not in direct light (it is a low light plant). This will decrease the amount of algae growing. 
  1. Put you lights on a timer. As well as planting in a shaded area of the tank, you can make sure to put your light on a timer to make sure they are tuned off at night. We all foret sometimes!
  1. Add bottom-feeders to your tank. If you don’t have them already, bottom feeders are great for cleaning up left over remnants of food and algae off of surfaces. The most common that are easy to find are plecos, cory catfish, loaches, and snails. 
  1. Frequent water changes. Partial water changes are important for any tank, but especially those that are particularly algae prone. The water changes will clean the tank and reduce the nutrients in the tank. Therefore reducing the rish of an excessive amount of algae to grow. 
  1. Add tank solutions. If you are still struggling with algae control after following the previous tips, you can purchase an algae control solution to put in your tank. This will decrease the algae growing, but make to follow the corrections on the bottle correctly so you don’t throw off the parameters in the tank.
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