Common Name: Anubias nana
Scientific Name: Anubias barteri var. nana
Geographic Location: Central Africa
CO2 Requirements: Very Low
Water pH level: 5.5-9.0
Light: Low (1.5WPG) to Moderate (2.5WPG)
Plant Arrangement: Foreground
Difficulty: Very easy
Anubias tied up to a rock, avoid floating
Anubias are an extremely hardy creeping plant from Africa, but most varieties grow far too large for normal sized aquariums. However, the Anubias nana is one of the smaller varieties, growing only about 6 inches tall. Like other Anubias, the Anubias nana grows very slow, at about one new leaf a month. The leaves are thick and rigid and almost nothing will eat them, making it perfectly suited for aquariums with more destructive fish. The leaves can also last for months, if not years.
A clump of well-rooted Anubias nana
Anubias are similar to Java Ferns in that they grow off of a rhizome which must not be buried in the substrate. For best results, tie the rhizome to a piece of driftwood or rock, and the roots of the Anubia will soon anchor the plant. Also, placement is key for these plants as they creep horizontally more than vertically and grow in one direction, so plan accordingly. In order to trim an Anubia, simply cut off part the rhizome with sharp scissors or a knife, making sure to cut enough rhizome to contain a few leaves if you wish to keep the trimmed portion to grow into another plant.
Anubias nana makes few demands in terms of nutrients or light. In fact, because the leaves grow so slowly and last so long, high light leads to algae growth on the surface of older leaves. Therefore, place the Anubia nana out of direct light, or in an aquarium with moderate light. An Anubia will grow with almost no attention and needs very little fertilization. Even with ample fertilization and CO2, you will not see much of an increase in growth.
Perfect for beginners or those who never thought they could grow plants due to destructive fish or low light, Anubias nana can add contrast to an aquascape with large, lush bright green leaves like the picture above and require very little or no effort to maintain.
Anubias nana also ideal for small planted tank
Forming lush dense cluster in an aquarium midground
Creeping Anubias suits well with driftwood
Anubias nana placed in the middle of the aquarium