Anubias Nana: Easy Care Guide for Shade-loving Aquatic Plant

anubias nana shade loving aquatic plant

Welcome to the world of aquatic plant care, where we explore the fascinating realm of Anubias Nana, a shade-loving plant that thrives in aquariums.

This easy care guide will provide you with essential information on how to cultivate and maintain this beautiful plant.

From its native habitat in West Africa to its ideal tank conditions and compatible tank mates, we will unravel the secrets to successfully nurturing Anubias Nana.

So, whether you're a seasoned aquarist or just starting your aquatic journey, join us as we unlock the mysteries of this captivating plant and enhance the serenity of your underwater oasis.

Key Takeaways

  • Anubias Nana is a dwarf sub-variety of the Anubias Barteri plant that is native to West Africa.
  • It is a shade-loving plant that is popular among fish keepers and has a compact size.
  • Anubias Nana has a slow growth speed and requires low to moderate lighting and a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5.
  • Suitable tank mates for Anubias Nana include algae eaters such as neon blue gobies, goldfish, and African cichlids, while fish like Oscar fish and certain types of goldfish should be avoided.

Native Habitat and Characteristics

analyzing animal habitats and traits

Anubias Nana, a sub-variety of the Anubias Barteri plant, is indigenous to the warm climates of West Africa and possesses unique characteristics that make it a popular choice among fish keepers.

It is a shade-loving plant that thrives in temperatures ranging from 77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Anubias Nana has a slow growth rate, with a single leaf taking about a month to develop. It has tear-drop or heart-shaped leaves that are deep cadmium green in color.

This plant is known for its ability to purify water, making it an excellent addition to any aquarium. When it comes to propagation, Anubias Nana can be propagated through division or rhizome cuttings. However, it is important to note that this plant is susceptible to common pests and diseases such as algae, chlorosis, and necrosis.

Proper care and maintenance, along with regular monitoring, can help prevent and treat these issues, ensuring the health and longevity of the Anubias Nana plant.

Ideal Tank Conditions and Care Tips

To ensure the optimal health and growth of Anubias Nana, it is crucial to create and maintain ideal tank conditions and follow proper care tips. Here are some important considerations:

  1. Optimal temperature range: Anubias Nana thrives in water temperatures between 77 to 82°F. Maintaining a stable and suitable temperature is essential for the plant's well-being.
  2. Preventing nutrient deficiencies: Anubias Nana absorbs nutrients from the water, but it can suffer from nutrient deficiencies. To prevent this, provide ample sunlight or use nutrient-rich compost. Regularly monitor the plant for signs of deficiency, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth.
  3. Suitable lighting: Anubias Nana is a shade-loving plant, so it requires low to moderate lighting. Aim for 1-3 watts per gallon to support its slow growth. Excessive lighting can promote algae growth, so finding the right balance is key.
  4. Pruning and maintenance: Prune or trim the plant when the stems become too long. Avoid burying the plant's rhizome under the substrate to prevent rot. Regular monitoring of water parameters and maintaining a stable environment will contribute to the overall health and longevity of Anubias Nana.

Compatible Tank Mates

choosing compatible aquarium tank mates

When selecting tank mates for Anubias Nana, it is important to consider the compatibility of other fish species to ensure a harmonious and conducive environment for the plant's growth and well-being. Algae eaters such as neon blue gobies, goldfish, and African cichlids are ideal tank mates for Anubias Nana. These fish not only create a friendly atmosphere but also help in the growth of the plant.

However, caution should be exercised when choosing tank mates as certain fish, like Oscar fish and certain types of goldfish, have a tendency to eat the plant, causing damage and hindering its growth. Avoiding these fish is crucial to protect the investment in the plant.

Common FAQs About Anubias Nana

One important aspect to consider when caring for Anubias Nana is understanding its nutrient requirements and how to address any deficiencies.

Here are some common FAQs about Anubias Nana:

  1. How can I propagate Anubias Nana?

Anubias Nana can be propagated by dividing the rhizome into smaller sections. Each section should have at least a few leaves and a portion of the rhizome. These new sections can then be planted in the substrate or attached to hardscape.

  1. What are the pruning techniques for Anubias Nana?

Pruning or trimming Anubias Nana is only necessary when the stems become too long. Use sharp, clean scissors to trim the stems close to the rhizome. Avoid cutting the rhizome itself, as this can damage the plant.

  1. Can Anubias Nana absorb nutrients from the water?

Anubias Nana does absorb nutrients from the water, but it has minimal nutritional requirements. However, if you notice nutrient deficiencies, you can provide more sunlight or add compost to the substrate to address them.

  1. How fast does Anubias Nana grow?

Anubias Nana is classified as a slow-growing plant. New leaves can take four to six weeks to develop. Providing low to moderate lighting and monitoring water parameters is important for its health and growth.

Proper Lighting and Nutrient Requirements

optimal conditions for plant growth

Anubias Nana's proper lighting and nutrient requirements are crucial for its healthy growth and overall well-being. Understanding the role of lighting in Anubias Nana's growth is essential.

This shade-loving aquatic plant thrives in low to moderate lighting conditions, typically requiring 1-3W per gallon. Insufficient lighting can lead to stunted growth and pale leaves. On the other hand, excessive lighting can cause algae growth and damage the plant. It is important to strike the right balance.

Anubias Nana absorbs nutrients from the water, but nutrient deficiencies can be avoided by providing adequate sunlight or compost. Monitoring water parameters and ensuring a nutrient-rich environment will promote the plant's health and prevent any growth issues.

Planting Options: Substrate or Hardscape

The choice between planting Anubias Nana in substrate or on hardscape depends on personal preference and the desired aesthetic of the aquarium setup. Both methods have their pros and cons, and it's important to consider them before making a decision.

Pros of planting in substrate:

  • Provides nutrients: Mud-like active substrates can provide necessary nutrients for the plant's roots, promoting healthy growth.
  • Natural look: Planting in substrate gives a more natural appearance, mimicking the plant's natural habitat.
  • Stability: The roots can anchor the plant securely, preventing it from being dislodged easily.
  • Nutrient absorption: Anubias Nana can absorb nutrients directly from the substrate, ensuring its nutritional needs are met.

Pros of planting on hardscape:

  • Versatility: Planting on hardscape, such as rocks or driftwood, allows for more flexibility in creating unique aquascapes.
  • Easy relocation: The plant can be easily moved or rearranged without disturbing the substrate or uprooting the plant.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Placing Anubias Nana on hardscape can create visually appealing focal points in the aquarium.
  • Prevents rot: Planting on hardscape avoids burying the plant's rhizome under the substrate, reducing the risk of rot.

When choosing the right planting method for Anubias Nana, consider the desired aesthetic, ease of maintenance, and the overall vision for the aquarium setup. Whether it's the natural look of substrate or the versatility of hardscape, both options can provide a beautiful and thriving environment for this shade-loving aquatic plant.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips

practical guidance for fixing issues

To ensure the health and vitality of your Anubias Nana plant, regular maintenance and troubleshooting are essential. Proper pruning techniques and preventing algae growth are two key aspects of maintaining this shade-loving aquatic plant. Pruning helps to control the size and shape of the plant, while also encouraging new growth. To prune Anubias Nana, simply trim any yellow or damaged leaves close to the base using clean scissors or pruning shears. Additionally, remove any dead or decaying plant material to prevent it from affecting the overall health of the plant. To prevent algae growth, it is important to maintain proper water parameters, such as pH levels and lighting intensity. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and avoiding overfeeding can also help in preventing algae outbreaks.

Maintenance Tips Troubleshooting Tips
Prune regularly to control size and shape Yellow or damaged leaves indicate nutrient deficiencies or improper care
Remove dead or decaying plant material Algae growth may be a sign of excess nutrients or poor water quality
Maintain proper water parameters (pH, lighting) Brown or black spots on leaves could indicate fungal or bacterial infection
Perform regular water changes and proper filtration Wilting or drooping leaves may indicate underwatering or root rot
Avoid overfeeding to prevent excess nutrient buildup Stunted growth or lack of new leaves may indicate nutrient deficiencies

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anubias Nana Be Grown in a Pond or Outdoor Aquarium?

Growing Anubias nana in an outdoor pond or aquarium requires providing shade, maintaining water temperature between 72 to 84 F, and pH levels of 6.0 to 7.5. Planting in the substrate or attaching to hardscape is recommended.

Is Anubias Nana Suitable for Beginners in the Hobby of Fishkeeping?

Anubias nana is suitable for beginners in the hobby of fishkeeping due to its forgiving care routine and shade-loving nature. However, common mistakes in caring for Anubias nana include burying the rhizome and not providing proper lighting and water parameters. Here are some care tips to ensure success with Anubias nana.

Can Anubias Nana Be Propagated Through Division?

Anubias Nana can be propagated through division, a common method used by aquarists. Carefully separate the rhizome into smaller sections, ensuring each section has healthy roots and leaves. It's important to provide proper care to the newly propagated plants to promote their growth.

Are There Any Specific Water Parameters That Anubias Nana Is Sensitive To?

Anubias Nana is sensitive to specific water parameters, including temperature (72 to 84 F) and pH levels (6.0 to 7.5). It prefers low flow rate and moderate lighting (1-3W per gallon) for its slow growth and health.

Can Anubias Nana Be Grown in Brackish Water or Marine Aquariums?

Anubias Nana is not suitable for brackish water or marine aquariums. It thrives in freshwater environments and is sensitive to changes in salinity. It is important to maintain the appropriate water parameters for the plant's health and growth.


In conclusion, Anubias Nana is a popular shade-loving aquatic plant that adds beauty to aquariums while also providing water purifying benefits. With its compact size and forgiving care routine, it is an ideal choice for both beginner and experienced fish keepers.

By understanding its ideal tank conditions, suitable tank mates, and addressing common challenges, you can create a thriving environment for Anubias Nana.

An interesting statistic to note is that Anubias Nana can grow at a slow and steady pace, with new leaves emerging approximately every two weeks.