If you are having trouble picking what plants to put in your betta tank, anubias is an excellent option. Anubias and bettas are common in many aquariums! Bettas adore them as well. Continue reading to learn why bettas adore them, as well as all you need to know about caring for them!
What is Anubias?
Anubias is a genus of aquatic plants that belongs to the family Araceae. These plants are native to the tropical parts of Africa, and you can usually find them in freshwater places like rivers and streams. Aquarists love Anubias plants, and aquascaping uses them a lot.
Anubias plants are known for being hardy and easy to care for, so both new and experienced aquarium owners can keep them. Most of the time, they have wide, dark green leaves that grow on thick stems or rhizomes. Depending on the type and species, the leaves can be different sizes and shapes.
One thing that makes Anubias plants stand out is that they can grow well in low light, which makes them perfect for aquariums that do not get a lot of light. They are also slow-growing plants, which means that they do not need as much pruning and care as other aquatic plants.
Aquariums often have Anubia plants in them to make them look more natural and pretty. You can use fishing line or glue that is safe for plants to attach them to driftwood, rocks, or other hardscape materials. This makes an arrangement that looks nice and gives fish and other aquatic animals places to hide.
Anubias plants do best in water that is between 72°F and 82°F (22°C and 28°C) and has a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. They can live in a wide range of hardness levels in the water. Most of these plants’ nutrients come from the water and fish waste, so fertilizing them regularly is not usually necessary. But adding extra liquid or substrate fertilizers can help plants grow better.
Anubias plants are semi-aquatic, which means you should not bury their rhizomes in the substrate. If you bury the rhizome, it can start to rot. Instead, the rhizome should be left out in the open, while the roots can be buried gently or stuck to a surface.
Overall, Anubias plants are popular choices for aquarium owners because they are hardy, can grow in low light, and look nice.
What Does Anubias Look Like?
Anubias plants look different from other plants, so they are easy to spot. Here are some common things about Anubias plants:
- Leaves: The broad, dark green leaves of an anubias plant are often heart-shaped or lanceolate. Depending on the species and type of Anubias, the leaves can be different sizes. The leaves of some species are bigger than those of others. Most leaves have a smooth, shiny surface.
- Stems and Rhizomes: The leaves of anubias plants grow from thick stems or rhizomes. The rhizome is a horizontal stem that creeps along the ground. It stores food and makes new plants grow. Anubias plants usually have brown or reddish-brown rhizomes.
- Roots: The rhizome of an anubias plant sends out a network of roots that hold the plant to the substrate or other surfaces. The roots are often thin and light in color, which gives the plant a strong hold.
- Growth Habit: Anubias plants tend to grow slowly, so they do not need to be trimmed or pruned as often as other plants. They tend to grow in a clump or rosette shape, with the leaves coming out at regular intervals from the rhizome.
- Flowering: When the conditions are right, Anubias plants can make small flowers that are white or cream-colored. But flowering is not very common in aquariums. It is more common in emersed conditions.
- Size: Anubias plants can be different sizes depending on the species and how they grow. Some species, like Anubias barteri, can grow to be 12 inches (30 cm) or taller, while others, like Anubias nana, tend to stay smaller and only grow to be 10–15 cm (3–4 inches) tall.
It is important to know that the genus Anubias has many species and varieties, each with its own leaf shape, size, and way of growing. Anubias barteri, Anubias nana, Anubias coffeefolia, and Anubias congensis are all popular species of Anubias. Different species may look a little different, but they all have the same general traits.
Do Bettas Like Anubias?
Yes, bettas (Siamese fighting fish) generally like Anubias plants. Anubias is a popular choice for betta fish tanks and is often recommended as a suitable plant for betta habitats. Here are a few reasons why Anubias is beneficial for bettas:
- Leaf Structure: Anubias plants have broad leaves that provide bettas with ample resting places near the water’s surface. Betta fish have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe atmospheric air. The large leaves of Anubias create resting spots where bettas can rest and access the air above the water surface.
- Hiding Places: The dense foliage of Anubias plants provides hiding places for bettas. Bettas are solitary fish and often appreciate having areas where they can retreat and feel secure. Anubias plants with their thick leaves and sturdy stems offer bettas a sense of shelter, reducing stress and promoting their well-being.
- Compatibility with Betta Behavior: Bettas are known for their finicky nature and can be sensitive to changes in their environment. Anubias plants are hardy and can withstand the curious and sometimes destructive behavior of bettas. The leaves are generally tough and not easily torn, making them suitable for betta tanks.
- Low-Light Tolerance: Anubias plants can thrive in low-light conditions, which is beneficial for betta tanks. Bettas prefer dimly lit environments, and Anubias can survive and grow well with limited artificial lighting. This makes it easier to maintain a betta tank with Anubias plants without the need for intense lighting setups.
- Easy Care: Anubias plants are low-maintenance and require minimal care. They do not have demanding lighting or nutrient requirements, making them suitable for beginner betta keepers or those who prefer low-maintenance aquariums. Anubias plants can adapt to a wide range of water parameters, which is beneficial for betta habitats.
When adding Anubias to a betta tank, it’s important to properly secure the plant in the substrate or attach it to hardscape materials such as rocks or driftwood. The rhizome should be kept above the substrate to prevent rotting. Bettas may also appreciate if the leaves are positioned near the water’s surface, allowing them easy access to the air.
Overall, Anubias plants can enhance the aesthetics of a betta tank while providing functional benefits for the betta fish.
How To Plant Anubias in Your Betta Tanks? Here 7 Steps
Planting Anubias in your betta tank is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:
- Gather the necessary materials: You will need the following items:
- Anubias plant(s)
- Substrate (if you’re using one)
- Optional: Fishing line or plant-safe glue (for attaching the plant to hardscape materials)
- Prepare the tank: If you’re using a substrate, make sure it is properly rinsed to remove any debris or dust. Fill the tank with water, ensuring it’s at the appropriate temperature and conditioned to remove any harmful chemicals.
- Decide on the placement: Consider where you want to position the Anubias plants in your tank. Choose an area that provides suitable lighting and allows the leaves to reach the water’s surface for bettas to rest and access air.
- Prepare the plants: Gently remove the Anubias plants from their packaging. Inspect the roots and remove any damaged or decaying portions. Trim any excessively long or tangled roots if necessary. Leave the rhizome intact and undamaged.
- Planting options: a. Planting in the substrate: If you have a substrate, you can partially bury the roots of the Anubias plant in it. Dig a small hole in the substrate using your finger or a pair of tweezers, making sure it’s large enough to accommodate the roots. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring the rhizome is above the substrate surface. Carefully cover the roots with the substrate, being gentle to avoid damaging the rhizome. b. Attaching to hardscape: If you have hardscape materials like rocks or driftwood, you can attach the Anubias plants to them. Use fishing line or plant-safe glue to secure the plant in place. Wrap the fishing line around the rhizome or carefully apply glue to attach the roots to the hardscape material. Ensure the rhizome remains above the substrate if using fishing line.
- Final adjustments: Once the plants are in place, adjust their position as needed. Ensure the leaves have enough space and are not crowded by other plants or decorations. Check that the rhizome is not buried in the substrate.
- Maintenance: Anubias plants require minimal maintenance. Regularly check the plants for any signs of decay or algae growth. Remove any decaying leaves promptly to maintain plant health. Monitor lighting and water conditions to ensure the well-being of both the plants and your betta fish.
Remember, Anubias plants are hardy and can tolerate various conditions, but it’s still essential to provide appropriate lighting, water parameters, and care to promote their growth and longevity in your betta tank.
How To Care For Anubias
Caring for Anubias plants is relatively easy. Here are some guidelines to help you care for your Anubias effectively:
- Lighting: Anubias plants are adaptable to various lighting conditions. They can thrive in low to moderate lighting levels. Avoid intense lighting, as it can encourage algae growth. If you have a planted tank with other light-demanding plants, ensure that the Anubias receives filtered or shaded lighting.
- Water Parameters: Anubias plants prefer stable water conditions. Here are the recommended water parameters:
- Temperature: 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C)
- pH: 6.0 to 7.5
- Hardness: Anubias can tolerate a wide range of water hardness levels.
- Substrate and Anchoring: Anubias plants are often attached to hardscape materials like rocks or driftwood. When planting or attaching Anubias, ensure that the rhizome is not buried in the substrate. Burying the rhizome can lead to rotting. The roots can be gently buried or attached to the substrate or hardscape material using fishing line or plant-safe glue.
- Fertilization: Anubias plants are not heavy feeders and can derive nutrients from the water and fish waste. However, if you notice slow or stunted growth, you can supplement their nutrient intake with liquid or substrate fertilizers specifically formulated for aquarium plants. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to algae issues.
- Pruning: Anubias plants are slow growers and generally require minimal pruning. Remove any yellowing or decaying leaves promptly to maintain the overall health of the plant. Use clean scissors or pruning tools to trim the leaves close to the rhizome.
- Algae Control: Anubias plants are relatively resistant to algae. However, if you notice algae growth on the leaves, you can gently wipe them off with a soft cloth or sponge. Maintaining a proper balance of lighting, nutrient levels, and water quality can help prevent excessive algae growth.
- Compatibility: Anubias plants are compatible with a wide range of fish species, including bettas. However, some herbivorous fish may nibble on the leaves, causing damage. In such cases, you can provide additional cover or consider selecting fish species that are less likely to eat or damage the plants.
- Water Changes: Regular water changes are essential for maintaining overall aquarium health. During water changes, avoid disturbing the plants excessively. Use a gravel vacuum or siphon to clean the substrate while being careful around the roots and rhizome.
By following these care guidelines, you can ensure that your Anubias plants remain healthy, vibrant, and contribute to the beauty of your aquarium.
Frequent Asked Question (FAQ) About Anubias For Betta Fish
- Can I keep Anubias with betta fish?
- Yes, Anubias is a suitable plant to keep with betta fish. It provides resting spots, hiding places, and enhances the overall aesthetics of the tank.
- Do bettas eat Anubias plants?
- Bettas are not known to eat Anubias plants. They generally leave the leaves untouched. However, some bettas may nip at the leaves out of curiosity or boredom. If this occurs, adding more hiding places or providing enrichment can help redirect their behavior.
- How do I attach Anubias to driftwood or rocks in my betta tank?
- You can use fishing line or plant-safe glue to secure Anubias plants to driftwood or rocks. Wrap the fishing line around the rhizome or apply glue carefully to attach the roots. Ensure the rhizome remains above the substrate.
- Can I bury the rhizome of Anubias in the substrate?
- No, it is essential to avoid burying the rhizome in the substrate. Burying the rhizome can lead to rotting. Instead, anchor the roots in the substrate while keeping the rhizome above the substrate surface.
- How much light does Anubias need?
- Anubias plants can thrive in low to moderate lighting levels. They do not require intense lighting and can tolerate shaded or filtered lighting. Avoid placing them directly under strong, direct light to prevent algae growth.
- Do I need to fertilize Anubias plants?
- Anubias plants are not heavy feeders. They can derive nutrients from the water and fish waste. However, if you notice slow growth, you can supplement their nutrient intake with liquid or substrate fertilizers specifically formulated for aquarium plants.
- How do I prune Anubias?
- Pruning Anubias is straightforward. Simply trim any yellowing or decaying leaves close to the rhizome using clean scissors or pruning tools. Regular pruning helps maintain plant health and appearance.
- Can Anubias grow fully submerged in water?
- Yes, Anubias plants are fully aquatic and can grow submerged in water. They are adapted to freshwater environments and can thrive when properly cared for in aquariums.
- How can I prevent algae from growing on Anubias leaves?
- Maintaining proper lighting, nutrient levels, and water quality is essential to prevent excessive algae growth. Ensure a balanced aquarium ecosystem by controlling light duration, avoiding nutrient spikes, and performing regular water changes.
- Can I propagate Anubias plants?
- Yes, Anubias plants can be propagated through division. Gently separate a healthy portion of the rhizome with roots from the parent plant and plant it separately. Each divided portion can grow into a new Anubias plant given suitable conditions.
Remember, while these FAQs provide general guidance, it’s always beneficial to consider specific care requirements based on the unique characteristics of your betta fish and your aquarium setup.
In conclusion, Anubias plants are a great addition to betta fish tanks. They provide numerous benefits for both the bettas and the overall tank environment. Here’s a summary of the key points:
- Resting Spots: Anubias plants have broad leaves that offer bettas comfortable resting places near the water’s surface. This is especially important for bettas, as they have a labyrinth organ and need access to atmospheric air.
- Hiding Places: The dense foliage of Anubias plants provides hiding spots for bettas, allowing them to feel secure and reduce stress. This is particularly valuable for bettas, which are solitary fish and appreciate areas where they can retreat.
- Compatibility: Anubias plants are compatible with bettas and can coexist peacefully in the same tank. While bettas may occasionally nibble on the leaves out of curiosity, they generally do not eat or damage the plants.
- Low-Maintenance: Anubias plants are low-maintenance and require minimal care. They can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and lighting conditions, making them suitable for beginner aquarists or those seeking low-maintenance plant options.
- Planting and Propagation: Anubias plants are typically attached to hardscape materials or planted with the rhizome above the substrate. They can be easily propagated through division, allowing you to expand your plant collection or share them with others.
- Algae Resistance: Anubias plants are relatively resistant to algae growth, which is beneficial for maintaining a clean and healthy tank. However, it’s still important to maintain proper lighting, nutrient levels, and regular maintenance practices to prevent excessive algae growth.
By incorporating Anubias plants into betta fish tanks, aquarists can create a visually appealing environment while providing bettas with essential resting spots and hiding places. With their easy care requirements and compatibility with bettas, Anubias plants are a popular choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists alike.