Anubias / 15 types / care and reproduction

Anubias, like cryptocorynes, belongs to the Araceae family (Araceae), the genus Anubias. The range includes the tropical rainforests of Africa. It grows along the banks of rivers, streams, in swamps, while the plant can be completely immersed in water, however more often, like many other coastal plants, anubias leaves can grow in the air.

General information

These are perennial plants with a slow growth rate, with a thick creeping rhizome. The leaves are hard, leathery, so anubias are well suited for aquariums with cichlid and herbivorous fish. The leaf blade of various types can differ significantly and has a diverse shape: the leaves can be round, heart-shaped, spear-shaped, elliptical, arrow-shaped, or almost triangular in one way or another elongated.

When planting, the rhizome of Anubias is not recommended to be buried in the ground, it is placed on top or attached to snags and other decorations. Anubias are suitable for keeping in paludariums and greenhouses in high humidity conditions, where they grow better than in an aquarium.

A variety of shapes and sizes of anubias – from large enough to dwarf, which can be similar to miniature trees that can revive any aquarium composition, as well as hard leaves that do not cause gastronomic interest in aquarium inhabitants make these plants extremely attractive for keeping in the aquarium.

Care and reproduction

A characteristic feature of Anubias is a powerful creeping rhizome, from which roots and dense leathery leaves depart. Rhizome spreads over the surface of the soil. These plants grow quite slowly.

The soil for anubias should contain a sufficient amount of nutrients since the roots of some species (for example, such as Anubias Barteri) penetrate deep enough into the soil. As a nutritional substrate, you can use Tetra CompleteSubstrate. The optimum water temperature is 26-28ºС, in colder water, the growth rate can significantly slow down. Some species, such as Anubias Afzelii, are quite undemanding to the conditions of detention. Water hardness, the active reaction of water practically does not affect the nature of their growth

For these plants, maintaining cleanliness in the aquarium and regular water changes are important, since, with the accumulation of excess organics, algal fouling appears on the leaves, to which Anubias is very sensitive. Under such conditions, old leaves are quickly destroyed, and only 2-3 young leaves can remain on anubias; later it can die.

Anubias are shade-loving, their lighting should be dim. In the event of excess light, algae, such as Chlorophyta, Audouinella, and black beard, may appear on plant leaves. It is better that the lighting for the Anubias is scattered, this can be achieved, for example, by shading them with plants floating on the surface of the water. The daylight hours should be 11-12 hours.

Reproduction occurs by dividing the rhizome. In this case, the lateral processes or the final part of the rhizome with 3-4 leaves and several roots are separated from the parent plant, transferred to a new place. When planting Anubias in new soil, it is recommended to add nutritional supplements under the roots. On the old rhizome, after 1-2 months, a new growth bud appears near the cut. Such kidneys can also form in other places of the rhizome, which leads to its branching.

Anubias flowering can be observed not only in the air, in the paludarium or greenhouse, but also in the aquarium, where under good conditions the plant can bloom under water.

Types of Anubias

Anubias afzelii

Anubias afzelii

This anubias has high decorative qualities but requires a different approach to caring from other representatives of the genus. Its rhizome is shortened, so the plant looks more like cryptocorynes and echinodorus in its external structure. Leaves are lanceolate, pointed, elongated in length. The rhizome of this anubias develops underground, so the plant must be deepened when planting. Growth is slow, usually no more than 1-2 leaves per month. Diffuse lighting is required so that the leaves are not covered by green algae. Well-organized filtration and regular water changes perfectly affect the well-being, otherwise, you can watch how Anubias dump old leaves. Soil is desirable silted. A comfortable temperature for keeping: 25-29 ° С. Once every few years, it is recommended to transplant this species into the paludarium, it is also better to propagate in a humid air environment – so anubias grows faster. Return transplantation into the aquarium does not require additional preparation.

Anubias Barteri

Anubias Barteri

It is safe to say that in most cases one of the varieties of this anubias grows in the aquariums of amateurs. This can be explained by the fact that the view is relatively unpretentious and very variable. In their historical homeland, in Africa, the populations of this plant are extremely vast and diverse: they differ in shape, color, and size of leaves. Modern breeders have bred a number of varieties with persistent traits. There are both dwarf varieties with a size of 10-12 cm, and giants growing up to 30 cm. All varieties prefer tropical aquariums with a water temperature of 24-26 ° C. Hardness and acidity are not of particular importance.  It is possible to grow both in the ground and on the decorations.

Varieties of Anubias Barteri.

Actually, Anubias Barteri himself (Anubias barteri var. Barteri) is a large species, the maximum size of which can reach up to 30 cm. He needs a spacious aquarium, this anubias is well suited for keeping with fish biting plants. The average leaf length is 10 cm, width is 5 cm. The main vein is well defined. The root system is powerful. The plant is slow growing, shade tolerant. Propagated by dividing the rhizome.

Anubias dwarf, or Anubias Barteri nana (Anubias barteri var. Nana)

Anubias barteri var. Nana

Widely found in the tropical part of West Africa. It grows in marshes along the banks of rivers. The stem of anubias nana is short, leaves with petioles are collected in a rosette. The leaf blade is stiff, ovoid, with a shiny surface, painted in dark green. Sheet size: 4-8 cm (length) and 3-4 cm (width). Petiole usually no more than 3-5 cm. Rhizome creeping, powerful, with a large number of processes.

This variety is particularly suitable for decorating the foreground of an aquarium. It is best planted in a group. The roots should be deepened into the substrate, the rhizome itself is located on the surface. Growth is slow. Diffuse lighting and regular water changes are needed. The root system does not deepen much.

Propagated by a division of the rhizome. New plants can be separated after they have 5-6 young leaves.

Anubias dwarf “Bonsai” (Anubias barteri var. Nana Bonsai)

Anubias Nana Bonsai Aquarium
This variety of anubias nana was obtained by breeding. She got a beautiful appearance combined with unpretentiousness. Unlike Anubias Nana, the Bonsai shape has much rarer leaves up to 2.5 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. Leaves are dark or light green, ovoid. The root system is weak. The maximum size of anubias is only 4 cm. This miniature makes it easy to use for decorating nano-aquariums, even with a volume of 5-10 liters. It is better to plant a plant in groups of 3-5 bushes in the foreground or along the side walls. They respond well to the addition of CO2 to water, while growth is slightly accelerated. It is possible to grow both in the ground and on driftwood. Strong lighting should not be allowed, otherwise the leaves of the Anubias Bonsai may turn yellow.

Anubias Golden (Anubias barteri var.nana Golden)

The selection form of Anubias Nana. A distinctive feature is the color of the leaf blade. In young plants, they are bright golden in color but become bright green as they grow. The average bush size is about 10 cm. Growth is very slow. Suitable for planting in the foreground of the aquarium. The roots should not be buried very much, this can lead to their decay. As a soil, it is better to use medium-sized gravel.

To achieve the maximum “golden” leaves, you will have to experiment a bit with light and find such brightness and exposure that will present the bush in all its glory, while not leading to an outbreak of algae. It will be useful to fertilize with mineral fertilizers and carbon dioxide. Under suitable conditions, flowering may occur.

Anubias Barteri “Glabra” (Anubias barteri var. Glabra)

Anubias glabra live aqua plant
You can meet this attractive plant in the Central and Western parts of Africa. Grows along the banks of rivers and streams. Able to live both above water and in a completely submerged state.

Large appearance, size in the aquarium can reach 30 cm. Leaf petiole is thick, very durable, and long. The leaf blade has a narrow ellipsoid or lanceolate-ovoid shape, painted in green. Length about 12 cm, width – up to 6 cm. The leaf is pointed at the end. On the shoots and leaves, pigment spots may be observed. The rhizome is dense, up to 8 mm thick, creeping.

Growth is slow, usually no more than 6 leaves per year. Suitable for use in the middle and background of the aquarium. Forms dense spreading thickets. Good filtration and regular water changes are needed. Algal fouling can inhibit the plant.

Lighting should not be bright, but the length of daylight at 10-12 hours is better to have. Anubias responds well to the application of root dressings, for example, Tetra Crypto tablet fertilizers, which reduce the deficiency of trace elements necessary for the plant. Suitable for cultivation in the paludarium. Propagated by dividing the rhizome.

Anubias Caladiifolia (Anubias barteri var. Caladiifolia)

Plante aquatique Anubias barteri var. caladiifolia fr
An interesting variety of Anubias Barteri with leaves that are almost perpendicular to the petiole. Leaves grow up to 10-20 cm. Characteristic growth in the vertical direction. After reaching the surface, you can cut off part of the bush above the water and put it back into the aquarium. The petiole is very long, often exceeds the length of the leaf by several times. The shape of the leaf blade is oval-elliptical, with a pointed end.

There is an unusual form of anubias caladiifolia called “1705”. It was created by breeders from Australia. All leaves in this variety are heart-shaped.

Anubias coffee leaf (Anubias barteri var. “Coffeefolia”)

Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia
Anubias got its name for the similarity of leaves with the leaves of a coffee tree. You can meet him in such African countries as Nigeria, Kongo, Gabon, etc.

Has a dense creeping rhizome. The leaves are collected in an outlet, asymmetrical, slightly corrugated. The shape of the leaf blade is oval-elliptic, up to 12 cm long, leaf width up to 6 cm. Young leaves are painted red-brown, later the color becomes dark green. The average height in the aquarium is 15 cm. Well suited for the average plan in the aquarium. As with other Anubias, slow growth is characteristic. Perhaps the content in greenhouses and paludariums.

Do not forget about good filtration and water changes up to 25% once a week. Comfortable water temperature for the maintenance of 22-26 ° C. Bright lighting is contraindicated, the light should be diffused.

The soil should be silted, anubias responds well to mineral fertilizer. Propagated by division of the rhizome. Leafless areas can be left floating until the formation of the first young leaves.

Narrow-leaved Anubias (Anubias barteri var. Angustifolia)

Анубиас узколистный / Anubias barteri var. Angustifolia
Previously, this plant was considered a separate species, but studies have shown that this is only one of the varieties of Anubias Barteri, despite the fact that the appearance is radically different from the parent form. Has elongated leaves growing to 10-15 cm and forming a decorative rosette. The upper part of the sheet is slightly wavy, with a glossy sheen, dark green in color, the lower part is matte, with a green tint. The bushes are very dense, as daughter plants arise quite close to the mother.

Planting is necessary in the middle or back of the aquarium. Anubias is growing slowly. Propagated by rhizome. In general, the conditions of detention do not differ from those of Anubias Barteri.

Giant Anubias (Anubias gigantea)

As the name implies, this species is large in size. This is the largest anubias that can be found among aquarium enthusiasts. The plant forms a huge bush, in which you can count up to 30 leaves up to 80-100 cm in size.

To maintain such anubias, you need an aquarium with a volume of not less than half a ton. It grows as slowly as other representatives of the genus: from 2 to 4 leaves usually appear in a year. The “dry” form grown in the paludarium does not adapt well to the conditions of sharp complete immersion, so a gradual transfer from air form to water form is necessary.

When planting, the rhizome should remain above the ground. This type of anubias prefers water with low organic content and a minimum amount of suspension. The plant is best planted in a predetermined place, as transplants can adversely affect the state of giant anubias. Under suitable conditions, it is able to bloom, throwing a long peduncle up to half a meter.

Anubias gracilis (Anubias gracilis)

Anubias gracilis(アヌビアス グラキリス) 2011ギニア便
Quite rare anubias in amateur aquariums. Attention is drawn primarily to the unusual shape of the leaves: they are triangular-heart-shaped with a wavy surface. The plant is characterized by slow growth, as well as the giant anubias. It requires a smooth transition from land to full water. Anubias is graceful, perhaps the most tenacious of all representatives of the genus. For planting, it is best to choose the darkest corner, where it will grow quietly, showing its unusual leaves. Silted soil is best suited. It tolerates water temperature up to 30 ° C without problems. Reproduction in parts of the rhizome.

Anubias Gilletii (Anubias gilletii)

This plant can be found in nature without difficulty in countries of the tropical part of Africa. Under natural conditions, it is relatively large, in the aquarium it usually grows small. It is poorly suited for purely aquarium maintenance, it feels better in wet greenhouses and paludariums. When grown in an aquarium, it usually loses its decorative properties.

For growing in an aquarium, a large amount of light is not required, Anubias calmly tolerates prolonged shading. If the conditions are suitable for the plant, then flowering can be observed: on long pedicels, flowers develop up to 3 cm in diameter. Seeds can be collected, but it is hardly possible to grow a species with desired characteristics.

Anubias Nangi

This anubias was obtained artificially by the owner of Quality Aquarium Plants, Robert Gasser. It is a hybrid from the cross between Anubias dwarf (Anubias barteri var. Nana) and Anubias Gillet (Anubias gilletii). From the two words “nana” and “gi” the name of the breed actually comes from. It does not occur in nature. In amateur aquariums, finding it is problematic, but professional aquascapers often use it in their work. Especially often this kind of anubias can be found in nano-aquariums.

The maximum size in the aquarium is about 15 cm. The leaf is in the shape of a heart, the petiole is short. As they grow, a compact bush forms. The rhizome is creeping, so you can plant the plant both in the ground and on any suitable surface (driftwood, stones, etc.).

For the content of Anubias Nangi, water of any hardness with a temperature of 22-28 ° C is suitable. Propagated vegetatively: division of the rhizome. In aquariums, usually landed in the foreground.

Anubias heterophylla (Anubias heterophylla)

The natural habitat of this anubias is the basin of the Congo River. This is a rhizome marsh plant with large (up to 40 cm) leaves. A large volume aquarium is required for maintenance, in which the plant can show all its beauty. This species is more finicky to conditions than other anubias, and loves warm and more acidic water. For permanent life in the aquarium is not adapted in the best way. It is better to keep it in the paludarium or periodically transfer to greenhouses with high humidity for “relaxation”. In this case, only the lower part of the leaf petioles should be under water.

Spear-shaped Anubias, or hastifolia (Anubias hastifolia)

Anubias hastifolia (on a rock)
Very reminiscent of Anubias variifolia, because of this, it is often found on sale under a different name. Rhizome creeping, with a diameter of one and a half centimeters. The sheets are elongated, in the shape of an ellipse, pointed at the end. If you consider the place of transition of the petiole into the leaf in an adult plant, you can find two processes. Plants with a long stalk look very much like a spear, which was reflected in the name of the species. In an aquarium, the plant does not grow well, the conditions of a wet greenhouse will be more suitable. Care and reproduction is no different from most other species of anubias.

Using Anubias

Anubias are very widely used in aquarium culture by both amateurs and professionals. The first appreciate in it, first of all, unpretentiousness. Anubias is a very hardy plant. With its content, there is no need to organize powerful lighting, it is often possible to limit yourself to the minimum application of fertilizers and carbon dioxide. At the same time, Anubias looks extremely attractive and has a juicy green color of leaves. Slow growth and low costs for creating optimal conditions make anubias irreplaceable plants in the so-called “lazy” aquariums for lovers of minimal care.

Professionals, in addition to the above, are attracted to Anubias by a huge variety of species (varieties) that differ in size, shape, and color of leaves. Various types of plants can be used in the foreground, middle, and background of the aquarium, it is possible to tie them to stones and decorations. Slow growth is also in the hands of designers, because thanks to this, the design for a long time retains its original idea.

Anubias are also irreplaceable in aquariums with fish that love to enjoy fresh herbs (goldfish, cichlids, etc.). Most of the other plant species will be gladly eaten by fish. The problem of digging up plants is also easily solved by choosing anubias since growing is possible not only in the ground but also on decorations (stones, driftwood, etc.).