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anubias nana petite

All About Anubias Aquarium Plants

Written by: Tammy (@aquarist_tland Team Buce Plant


If you’ve never kept aquarium plants before and you're looking to start your first planted fish tank, Anubias is an excellent choice for a starter plant! It's also a favorite plant to the most experienced aquascapers because of its versatility. Anubias is a popular plant for planted fish tanks due to its hardiness, easy care, and ability to thrive in different environments.

In this article, we will give an overview of:

1. How to care for Anubias

2. Advantages of keeping Anubias

3. Popular types of Anubias

anubias nana

Plant Profile - Anubias Care

Named after the Egyptian god of death Anubis, Anubias originates from the rivers and streams of western and central Africa. They earn their name from the dark and shady locations that they’re commonly found growing in.

In the aquatic plant world, they are considered low-tech and hardy plants, meaning they do not need a high intensity lighting conditions to do well and can survive in a wide range of water parameters. Under a high light setting, their leaves will grow more compact.

However, they prefer to be under low to medium light, as the leaves are susceptible to algae growth under high lighting. These plants are characterized by their wide, broad leaves and their dark green coloration. Depending on the specific species, the plant can have leaves as small as half an inch long to as large as 5 inches. Anubias species grow slowly and typically takes 4-6 weeks for a new leaf to form.

anubias nana pinto
Nana Pinto

Anubias is an epiphyte plant, meaning it should not be buried in substrate like other plants. The rhizome of an Anubias is where all its leaves and roots sprout from. If the plant is buried or planted in a way that suffocates the rhizome, it will cause the rhizome to rot and the plant itself to eventually die.

The proper way to plant them is by sticking them into crevices of hardscape, attaching to rocks or wood with string or super glue, leaving them to float at the top of the tank, or using plant weights to weigh them down and prevent floating.

The rhizome is also essential for the propagation. If the rhizome is split in half, then each half would be its own plant that would continue their own respective growths. 


Advantages of Anubias

One of the best things about Anubias is that it is an extremely hardy aquatic plant. Since they are "hard to kill," they make a great choice for beginners that are interested in trying out plants in an aquarium. They are not as sensitive as other plants, and will be able to handle most water conditions.

Considering it is a low light plant, Anubias can live in low tech tanks as well as in the shady areas of high tech tanks. They are also easy to care for with little maintenance required. Once they are placed properly into a spot in the tank, they should be good to go. They do not require maintenance, unlike plants such as stem plants that need to be routinely trimmed once in a while.

 anubias nana petite
Nana Petite

Another wonderful trait of Anubias plants is their versatility. Not only can it grow submerged underwater, but it can also do exceptionally well when grown emersed. This means they can be placed in both aquariums as well as other types of setups like paludariums or terrariums, as long as they stay damp and don’t dry out. In aquatic plant farms, they’re actually almost always grown emersed since the plants grow faster and potential algae growth is avoided.

  • Tip: Use the UNS Atomizer to provide the perfect humid environment for growing emersed plants like Anubias!

Anubias can also be placed in aquatic setups where most other plants typically don’t survive. For example, in a goldfish tank, most plants would end up becoming food for the fish. However, since they are tougher than other aquatic plant species, they’re generally too difficult for fish to nibble on. 


Popular Types of Anubias

1. Anubias Nana Petite

anubias nana petite

The most popular Anubias species, the Nana Petite is a classic addition to any aquarium. Their leaves tend to stay only about half an inch long. Its small size makes it perfect for nano tanks, as well as foreground placement or accents for larger aquascapes. The characteristic shade of dark green makes it stand out from other plants that may be in the aquarium.


2. Anubias Nana Golden

anubias nana golden

Anubias Nana Golden is the larger, 'golden' version of the popular Nana Petite. It has a lighter, more yellow coloration than the usual dark green leaves of an Anubias plant. The leaves grow much bigger, reaching a length of 5 inches in some cases. This makes them a great candidate for mid or background placement in an aquarium.


3. Anubias Barteri Round (Golden Coin)

 anubias golden coin

Anubias Golden Coin grows longer stems than the Nana species, making them suitable for mid or background placement. The leaves of this particular Barteri species are more round and circular, giving them their own unique look.


4. Anubias Nana Pinto

anubias nana pinto

Anubias Nana Pinto is a specially unique variety created by artificial selection. One of the most under-appreciated plants in the aquarium hobby is Anubias Nana Pinto. This plant has superb white-green patterns that are unique to every leaf and plant, with no two being the same.

Compared to other species, high light is recommend as well to keep it's healthy white variegation. It notably has a slower growing rate as well.


5. Anubias Nana Snow White

anubias snow white tissue culture

One of the fairly newer and rarer species, the Anubias Snow White is an eyecatcher! White is a rare color in the aquatic plant world, and this type is often hard to find. Unlike other Anubias, the Snow White prefers high lighting, which will help bring out more of the white color of the plant.

  • Hint: This particular species always sells out fast! If it is currently out of stock, make sure to sign up to be notified the moment it restocks so you don't miss out.


Anubias is a very versatile plant that’s extremely easy to care for. It comes in an innumerable amount of varieties with distinct size, shape, and color. It’s no wonder why it’s such a popular plant among aquarists! If you haven’t already, I highly recommend adding this staple aquarium plant to your aquarium!


What's your favorite Anubias type? Let us know in the comments below! We'd love to hear from you.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please DM us on Instagram or Facebook so we can assist you! @buceplant

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Matt Stankus - February 12, 2024

I have found Anubias to be a fantastic alternative to a moss wall or a background image. I took a couple plants with thinner stems and put them in suction cups that I placed randomly across the back wall. If you put the suction cup closer to the front of the stem then as it grows longer roots and new leaves it will block the view of the cup. It looks really neat, gives the tank some depth, and the fish a place to hide. They are a slow growing plant so don’t expect it to look fantastic over night, but it is well worth the wait!

Renee Zummo - October 12, 2022

I have just started with anubias and so far they are doing well. Interested in beginner aquascaping.

Ken - November 29, 2021

I’ve been working on a anubias nana petite full background in my 90gal.

Brian Kopper - September 16, 2021

Mixing Snow White in with a dark purple Buce in a nano tank would really pop.

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