plant Easy level

Anubias barteri var. nana

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Dwarf Anubias

Anubias barteri var. nana originates from Cameroon, where it is found in shallow zones of forest rivers with a strong current. This small, attractive plant is almost indestructible in the aquarium. It adapts well to both emerged and submerged cultivation.

Natural distribution is Cameroon: Victoria

Submitted by
Benedetta Spelta
5.1025920, 7.2119422
Geographical region
Western Africa
Drainage Basin
Golf of Guinea
River catchment
Imo River
Water body type
Water body name
Water body part
River mouth
Water body course
Lower course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Type locality
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Least Concern (LC)
Listed in CITES

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
25.5 - 28.5 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

Dissolved Oxygen


Plant form
Plant type
Plant size
5-10 cm
Plant growth rate
Plant light demand
Aquarium equipment

Anubias barteri var. nana is very well suited for the accentuation of the middleground in nano tanks and small aquaria. In large aquaria it is better placed in the foreground. When planting, not cover the rhizome with gravel to prevent it from rotting. This species may also grow on driftwood or rocks, to which it can be attached with a nylon thread.

Thanks to its robust and leathery leaves it is usually not eaten by phytophagous fish and therefore is very suitable for aquariums with African cichlids.

Occasionally this plant will flower; this may occur when it is either fully submerged or partially above the water line, such as in a paludarium. The flower looks like a creamy white spadix, similar to a calla lily. Like the leaves, the flowers will last a long time, often several months.

Plant care

This species grows with or without the addition of CO2, however, a carbon dioxide fertilisation may be beneficial to its growth, as well as fertilisation via the substrate or a nutrient-rich substrate as well as the removal of old leaves.

High levels of phosphate (1.5-2 mg/l) seem to induce flowering independently of the other parameters in the tank or the health status of the plant.

High phosphate levels in combination with a good iron and micronutrient supply reduce problems with spot algae under strong light. Another way to control these algae is to place the plant in a shadier part of the aquarium.

Aa all Anubias species Anubias barteri var. nana is a notoriously slow grower, with the leaves coming forth from a rhizome, often only producing one leaf in a month. Mature rhizomes can be cut from the parent plant and either divided along the dormant buds, or the entire rhizome can be placed in water and divided once small plantlets have formed.

Water care

Water hardness and pH don’t play any important role.


  • A revision of Anubias Schott Araceae - Anubias barteri var. nana, Pages: 1-48 by Crusio, W.
  • Aquarium Plants - Anubias barteri var. nana by Christel Kasselmann
    ISBN 9781575240916