Anubias Rot: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions


Anubias Rot: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions

Anubias rot is an uncommon disease that can affect anubias plants in the aquarium hobby. Unfortunately, little information is available on how it begins and how to stop the spread. We will explain what anubias is, the possible causes and what the best action should be if it is detected.

Why Is My Anubias Dying?

Before we get into the details of anubias decay, let’s check that your anubias has not been affected by other, more common ailments. Firstly, is your anubias plant properly planted? Anubias plants’ rhizome is the thick horizontal stem that all their roots and leaves grow from. It should not be covered when planting them. You can plant your anubias directly in the ground by burying the roots only and leaving the rhizome over the substrate. To mount your anubias for hardscape, you can either wedge them between rocks cracks or attach them to driftwood with super glue gel or sewing string. (For more details on how to use super glue gel in aquariums, read this article.) The roots of the plants will eventually grow and wrap around the hardscape, making it difficult to remove.

Sewing thread is a popular method to attach anubias and hardscape. Just be careful not to tie it so tightly that the rhizome is damaged in the process.

The second is whether your anubias plants are still adapting to their new environment. Aquarium plants are generally grown out of water (or emersed) at the plant farms, but when you put them in your aquarium at home, they must get used to living completely underwater (or submersed). This often causes the leaves of your new aquarium plant to melt away, as it absorbs nutrients from the existing, emersed-grown leaves and creates smaller, submersed-grown leaves. Melting does not always occur with anubias (since they are such slow growers), but it’s one possible reason why your plant may be losing its leaves. A leaf may have been accidentally damaged in shipping, or while removing it from its pot. A healthy anubias plant is one that produces new leaves within two-three weeks after it was planted.

Do I Have Anubias Rot?

The loss of leaves is one of the most obvious signs of anubias. A leaf that has been lost to anubias is not as easily melted as emersed-grown leaves. Instead, it often separates from its stalk at the end. The base of the stalk can feel soggy and have a little goo oozing off of it.

The discolored leaves on this anubias plant are growing from the rotting part of the anubias’ rhizome.

The state of the Rhizome is the most obvious indicator of anubias Rot. A healthy rhizome must be firm to the touch, and should be green in colour. An infected rhizome often has a mushy or squishy texture. You may see discolored areas, such as clear-ish jelly, yellow or brown, and it could also look like jelly, clear-ish jelly, yellow, orange, brown, or sometimes black. It may also have a foul-smelling, rotting smell depending on the severity of the disease. Roots that grow from the affected area of a rhizome can become discolored and rot.

The rhizome has begun to rot, and roots from infected areas are beginning to soften and dissolve.

What Causes Anubias Rot

Researchers have not yet found a cause for anubias. It is believed that the anubias-rot virus is caused by bacteria and fungus. But it’s difficult to know because the plant can be weakened by an infection, then another pathogen takes advantage. We know from our experience that anubias are present in all plants farms. Therefore, you can’t avoid it if your plant is tissue-grown.

How Do I Stop Anubias Rot?

Several hobbyists have recounted attempts of using potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach to cure anubias rot, but this disease seems particularly resistant to almost all chemical treatments. Our testing with antifungal and antibiotic medications has been extensive over several weeks. However, we have not seen any healing or spreading of the anubias.

You can cut the discolored, soggy rhizome with a sharp knife. By removing all the damaged areas and only leaving behind healthy tissue, it may be possible to save the rest of the anubias and let it grow into a large, healthy plant.

The next step would be to contact the fish store or plant seller you got the anubias from. If you purchased your plant from Aquarium Co-Op, simply email our Customer Service with your order number and pictures of the rhizome rot, and we’ll be happy to refund or replace the plant. Anubias, one of our favourite, beginner-friendly plants are what we recommend. We want you to love them as much and as much as us.

Anubias nana petite is one of the most popular varieties because of its small size and compact growth.

If your plant is showing other symptoms, it might be caused by a lack of proper nutrients. To help you troubleshoot your plant’s health problems, check out our free guide on plant nutrient deficiencies.