Anubias Nana: Care Guide, Reproduction, Tank Size & Disease

Anubias Nana Overview

The Anubias Nana is a blooming plant native to western Africa that grows along riverbanks. It rarely grows wholly submerged in the environment; instead, it can be seen semi- or fully immersed on logs or big roots.

It’s also known as “the plastic plant that grows” because of its thick, leather-like leaves.

The leaves of this plant are large, pointed, and dark green, and they grow in low bunches. The center vein is easily visible, with diagonal lines flowing from the center to the leaf margin.

Information Chart

Anubias Nana

Scientific Name:

Anubias Nana



Care Level:


Growth Rate:


Maximum Size:

7.5 inches

Minimum Tank Size:

10 gallons

Water Conditions:

pH: 6-7.5,hardness: 2-6 dGH 


Low to medium light, 40-125 PAR (Umols)


Rhizome division


Rooted in the substrate

Anubias Nana Appearance

Anubias nana is a small, broad-leaved plant. It has a robust, dark green stem and is a tough plant. The maximum height is about 7.5 inches, depending on the tank’s conditions.

to avoid algae development on the leaves

This plant primarily covers the lower levels due to its short length. Each stem is firmly embedded in the substrate and does not float on the surface. The stems are held in place by white roots. As the plant grows, they make their way through the substrate, eventually buried.

The dark green leaves branch off from the stalk in a typical teardrop shape seen on many plants.

This shrub produces a creamy white blossom now and then. It can flower in a paludarium when the plant is only slightly buried, but it can also flower underwater. This makes the Anubias Nana a great centerpiece. Once they’ve flowered, the blossoms can persist for up to two or three months.

Types of Anubias Nana

  • Anubias barteri var. barteri ‘coffeefolia’
  • Anubias barteri var. angustifolia
  • Anubias barteri var. caladiifolia
  • Anubias barteri var. glabra

Anubias Nana Size

The typical Anubias Nana typically grows up to 7.5 inches (19.05 centimeters) for larger specimens. However, the plant may grow bigger depending on the tank conditions.

Anubias Nana Care and Tank Set-Up

Anubias Nana Tank Size and Specifications

Anubias Nana Care and Tank Set-Up

Let’s take a look at some of the conditions you need in a tank if you want this plant to be healthy. 

Optimum Tank Size for Anubias Nana

The recommended tank size for Anubias Nana is 10 gallons. The Anubias Nana is not a very big plant. Because of its size, you can keep it in smaller tanks as well.

Tank Shape for Anubias Nana

Any tank shape is alright for these plants since they don’t take up a lot of room. 

Filter Type

You need a good filter to ensure the plant has clean water in the tank. There might be algae growth if there’s dirty water in the tank. This is not beneficial to the plant and the fish in the tank. Canister filters are usually the way to go. 


The Anubias Nana plant needs a soft and muddy substrate. The roots need to hold on to the dirt to grow properly. Therefore, fine-grained substrates are ideal for this plant.

The substrate must be nourished appropriately and of medium (1-2 mm coarse sand or 2-3 mm) gravel. Smaller substrates will not assist in root anchoring, and larger substrates will gather detritus.

How many Anubias Nana in a 10-gallon tank

You can keep a bunch of Anubias Nana together. Their small size allows the tank to be filled adequately without overcrowding. There is no specific number. Just make sure that the fish has plenty of room to swim around!

Water Parameters for Anubias Nana

Water Parameters for Anubias Nana

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Anubias Nana is 72 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anubias Nana needs warm climates to mimic their natural habitat. 

Water Flow Rate

The ideal water flow rate for this plant is comparatively low. If you have fast currents in your tank, make sure that your Anubias Nana plant is rooted to a firm object, like a rock or a piece of driftwood

pH Level

The perfect water pH level for Anubias Nana is between 5.5-7.5. It prefers slightly acidic to neutral water. 

Water Hardness

Anubias Nana will thrive in tanks where the water hardness is between 2 to 6 dGH. 

Anubias Nana Tank Landscape

There are no special tank requirements for the Anubias Nana. It says small and compact, making them an excellent choice for smaller tanks. Anubias nana petite can be grown in tiny aquariums if the water quality is monitored carefully.

Anubias Nana Tank Landscape

Decorations for Anubias Nana Tanks

The ideal approach is to plant the Anubias Nana on rough rocks or driftwood, as it will thrive when light penetrates its root system. Although it will establish intricate root systems beneath the substrate, entirely burying it will stifle its growth and may even cause it to rot.

They look fantastic when tethered to driftwood or rocks with fishing line or cotton thread.

Lighting for Anubias Nana Tanks

This plant will thrive in low light (less than 1 W/gal) as well as high light (over 4 W/gal), but medium light (around 2-3 W/gal) is the ideal choice.

Nitrogen/other nutrient requirements for Anubias Nana tank?

Only if you keep these plants in a thickly planted tank with other fast-growing column feeders like stem plants and floating plants that will use up the nutrients and out-compete any algae growth in the system is feeding a good option. In instances like this, a substrate fertilizer may be beneficial to rooted Anubias plants. Using an active substrate would also assist the plants in general because it releases nutrients and takes up nutrients as bacterial colonies form.

Anubias Nana Compatibility and Tank Mates

Ideal Anubias Nana Tank Mates

Otos (Otocinclus spp. ), siamese algae eaters (Stiphodon spp. ), and neon blue gobies (Stiphodon spp.) are good algae eaters to keep with this plant. These little fish will aggressively feed on the plant’s leaves. Tetras, cherry barbs, and Harlequin Rasboras are all good schooling fish for them.

Ideal Anubias Nana Tank Mates

This is one of the few plants you may keep with goldfish and African cichlids without harming them. Although these plants prefer lower pHs, they will thrive in the alkaline water found in African cichlid tanks.

Bad Tank Mates for Anubias Nana

Even though this is one of the greatest plants for destructive freshwater aquarium fish species, cultivating this Anubias with silver dollars and Oscars is still dangerous. Growing this plant affixed to the hardscape rather than rooted in the soil may yield better results in an Oscar tank.

Facts about Anubias Nana

  • The Anubias Nana is a blooming plant native to western Africa that grows along riverbanks. It rarely grows wholly submerged in the environment; instead, it can be seen semi- or fully immersed on logs or big roots.
  • Its thick, leather-looking leaves also give it the name “the plastic plant that grows.”
  • The Anubias Nana is a good mid-ground plant with huge leaves, but it may even be utilized in the foreground of huge aquariums if trimmed regularly.
  • Don’t be alarmed if you have to remove most of the leaves; this plant will store all nutrients in its root system and sprout new leaves. They will grow slowly, reaching full size in several years, and no amount of light or CO2 supplementation will speed up their growth pace.

Anubias Nana desease

Are Anubias Nana Right For You ?

The Anubias Nana thrives in a variety of environments, making it an ideal aquarium plant for patient beginners. You can easily take care of it, without too much of a hassle. We say, go for it!


How do I propagate my Anubias Nana?

This aquarium plant will self-produce by forming little tips from existing rhizomes. Cut a rhizome section with a few already-grown healthy leaves using a very sharp knife, razor blade, or pair of scissors to separate a tip, then transplant it anywhere you like.

To allow light to reach the main rhizome, it is vital to remove growing tips regularly. This will ensure that the plant remains healthy and obtains all of its nutrients, generating food.

Plants must grow completely to generate seeds used to propagate the Anubias. Therefore, although this is not a truly submerged plant, it can grow in this environment.

This is also why it grows slowly in the tank compared to Anubias that grow immersed or semi-immersed.

Can Anubias Nana grows submerged?

Yes, your Anubias Nana can grow submerged. However, the growth is not as fast as it would be in immersed or semi-immersed conditions. 

What are some good tank mates for Anubias Nana?

Most herbivore fish will resist the resilient Anubias Nana, as it appears they don’t find it particularly tasty. Even the most tenacious goldfish can’t destroy its thick, leather-like leaves.

Herbivore cichlids will not nip at the Anubias, which can be kept in bigger terrariums with water patches.


Anubias Nana is a perfect and sturdy plant that can withstand most tank conditions. In addition, the plant is easy to care for. We suggest this plant for any beginner looking to start their aquarium!

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