Plant Group: Araceae
Origin: West Africa
Light Intensity: Low to Medium
Water Parameters: 68-82 °F; pH 6.0-7.5; KH 3-8
Propagation: Rhizome Division
Plant Size: Approximately 3" height, 2" length
nana is a beautiful African plant which grows roundish, dark green leaves from
small stems which branch from a rhizome. Its thick roots grow downward from
It is a very slow grower and the leaves can last for several years. However,
because of its slow pace, it is often prone to algae growth on the leaves.
Keeping the plant shading will sometimes avoid this problem.
Nana is best placed on a rock or piece of wood, using fishing line or cotton
thread to hold it down. Unlike Riccia, which will not attach itself over time,
Nana will become attached to the surface it is planted on. Therefore, cotton
thread will work since by the time it disintegrates, the plant will be firmly
secured via its own roots. It can also be laid to rest against the top of the
substrate (using an aquarium safe metal weight to keep it down) so that the
roots can seep into the substrate but the rhizome will stay out of the gravel.
The rhizome must not be buried or it will rot away.
Anubias nana is a good choice for low light aquariums since it can live in less
than one watt per gallon of light. Its growth will be very slow, but it will
thrive nonetheless. It also fares well in higher light aquariums although care
must be taken to control algae since its leaves are very prone to it. Co2 is
not necessary for this plant to do well, though with all plants, the addition
of Co2 will boost the growth rate, especially when coupled with higher light
and a good nutrient base.
Propagation of this plant merely involves making a clean, sharp cut through the
rhizome, taking care to leave enough leaves and root system for each new clump.
Also, removal of old leaves stimulates new growth.
The leaves of this plant are very thick and tough and are not generally eaten
by herbivorous fish.
This plant is also a good candidate for emersed growth and tends to grow faster
Because of its small size (only growing a few inches tall) and its outward,
rather than upward, growth, A. nana is suitable for the foreground or midground
of medium to large tanks, and can be used as midground in smaller tanks. For
much smaller tanks, a better option may be the “dwarf” form of A. nana, which
is called Anubias barteri var. nana “petite”.
This plant flowers moderately often in the aquarium, producing a soft whitish