Anubias Nana, Anubias Nana Petite & Barteri: Care, Propagation & Planting

Anubias Nana and Petite are great plants for aquarist of all experience levels.
It’s great for beginners, it’s pretty much bulletproof, it’s really durable and can live in most conditions.

It doesn’t need high light or Co2 and it’s great for a beginner aquarist because it’s so versatile. There are so many different things you can do with it, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.

Anubias Nana On Wood

Anubias Nana (Anubias barteri var. nana) is a type of aquarium or pond plant species Anubias barteri. Although this is the foremost common names, it’s additionally typically said as dwarf Anubias.

Anubias nana plant is a rhizome plant. What I mean by rhizome is, the fleshy stem-like piece of the plant where the roots come out at the bottom, and the leaves come out of the top.
Anubias really isn’t finicky as far as lighting goes. It’s really great about tolerating low lighting conditions, which really makes it great for beginners.

Anubias Nana Care

Optimal conditions:

  • It does best between about 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • pH: 5.5 – 9.0
  • Water hardness: 50 – 150 ppm

Anubias plants come from Africa and prefer more alkaline conditions, which is something to keep in mind.

Anubias nana plant growth rate

Anubia nana is slow-growing plants, which means they don’t soak up nutrients at a fast rate. These plants are water column feeders, but they can also benefit from being planted into a nutrient-rich substrate.

How to plant Anubias Nana?

If you are planning on planting these into a substrate, make sure you don’t cover the rhizome. Covering the rhizome can cause it to rot, and eventually possibly kill the plant.

When I planted these Anubias in my tank, I just made sure the roots were covered up and left the rhizome exposed.

One great thing about Anubias is, you can mount it to a wood, rack, or pretty much anything you want to keep in your aquarium. I suggest 3 different ways of doing this:

Anubias Nana on Rock
  • The first way is zip ties. Zip ties do a great job of holding the plant to the object until it forms a bond with it. The only problem is they’re unsightly.
  • You can also use cotton sewing thread. This is great for tying Anubias to objects and is less visible than zip ties, but also dissolves in time.
  • Super glue is also a quick easy way to mount Anubias to any kind of object.

How to prevent algae on Anubias?

A common problem people have with the Anubias Nana or Anubias Nana Petite is algae growing on its leaves. Whenever algae is involved it normally means 3 things.

Too many nutrients, too much light or too much of both.

Anubias is a very slow grower, so when too many nutrients are present with too much lighting, it tends to grow algae on its leaves.

black algae on Anubias leaves
Black algae on Anubias leaves

Here’s a cheat code for providing algae from growing on your Anubias leaves.

I recommend fast-growing floating plants such as dwarf water lettuce or Duckweed.

Best growing floating aquarium plants are great for soaking up excess nutrients in your tank. They also supply some shade for your Anubias.

How to propagate Anubias Nana

Get yourself a very sharp pair of scissors, sharp being the keyword here.
If you want, even go the extra step of sterilizing them using either a little alcohol or just put it under a flame or whatever.

What you’re simply going to do is you’re going to take the rhizome and you’re gonna take your scissors and make sure that there are three leaves on each side at least of the rhizome. If you don’t know what the rhizome is, it’s a horizontal part of the plant that has leaves coming out of it.

So then you’re going to just simply take your scissors and snip right at the rhizome. Now you have two portions of Anubias, and what’s going to happen is new Anubias is going to grow right out of that point there.

New Anubias is eventually going to break out from the other side of this as well. So there you go that’s how you propagate Anubias Nana really simple.

Anubias Barteri

  • ORIGINS West Africa, occurring in Nigeria, Gabon, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon.
  • SIZE Leaves may be up to 12 in (30 cm) long.
  • WATER Temperature 72–77°F (22–25°C); hard (100–150 mg/l) and around neutral (pH 6.0-7.5).
  • PROPAGATION Divide the rhizome and transplant the pieces to different areas of the tank.

Anubias Barteri is slow-growing and benefits from a substrate fertilizer. It grows from a rhizome, which should not be buried but simply left on the substrate, where its roots will spread out. It is thus possible to anchor this plant to tank decor such as bogwood. The plant’s low height makes it ideal for the front of a tank, and it will thrive under subdued lighting. Its spathe flower, which is produced above the water’s surface, is unlikely to yield fertile seed.


Also, one more word of advice, don’t freak out if you experience some melt with your brand new Anubias plant. It’s common for brand new aquarium plants to melt at first when they’re adjusting to the new environment.

Anubias plants are slow growers, so just be patient and you’ll have brand new green leaves popping up in no time.

I’ve had a lot of fun with the Anubias plants. I’ve kept them in a high-tech tank, I’ve used them to create a bonsai tree, and I’ve even kept them in my tiny tank.