7 Easy Anubias Types That Thrive In Planted Tanks!

This table shows the core information for my favorite types of anubias.

Anubias TypeMax HeightLeaf ShapeHardy
Barteri16 Inch (40cm)OvalVery
Coffeifolia12 Inches (30cm)Ribbed OvalVery
Glabra10 Inches (25cm)LanceolateSomewhat
Coin Leaf8 Inches (20cm)RoundVery
Caladiifolia6 Inches (15cm)HeartVery
Nana4 Inches (10cm)OvalIn Optimal Water
Petite2 Inches (5cm)OvalIn Perfect Water

They all have their place in the right setup and I keep all of them in my aquariums.

Here’s a breakdown of each plant to help you find the perfect type of anubias for your aquarium.

Anubias Barteri

Pro Shrimp Anubias Barteri
Anubias Barteri

Pros

  • Large Size
  • Hardy
  • Low Maintenance

Cons

  • Large Size
  • Small Chance Of Rhizome Rot
  • Slow Growth

Anubias barteri var. barteri is often credited with bringing Anubias into the spotlight.

Anubias gracilias and Anubias hastifolia are relatively popular species in the hobby but account for a small percentage of sales compared to the Anubias barteri species.

Anubias barteri var. barteri is one of the hardiest types of Anubias and usually thrives in most aquarium water parameters.

Its large size is both an advantage and a disadvantage, as it can grow quite large under the right conditions.

I only keep Anubias barteri var. barteri in tanks with a volume of 29 gallons (110 liters) or more.

Anubias Barteri

This plant features beautiful, oval leaves with a slightly cordate base that are a lush green when healthy.

Like most types of Anubias, it thrives in low-light tanks. However, unlike some Anubias species, Anubias barteri var. barteri generally handles moderate to high lighting well.

Another advantage of this plant is its adaptability to a wide range of pH levels, making it suitable for most common pH ranges used in the aquarium hobby.

Due to its large size, Anubias barteri var. barteri is best placed in the background of your aquarium. In larger tanks, it can also thrive in the midground.

OriginAfrica
LightLow To Moderate
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateSlow
Tank AreaMid-Background
HeightUpto 16 Inch (40cm)
pH5.0 To 9.0
Water HardnessSoft To Very Hard
CO2Optional
Anubias Barteri

Anubias Coffeifolia

Pro Shrimp Anubias Coffeefolia
Anubias Coffeefolia

Pros

  • Unique Ribbed Leaves
  • Thrives In Low Light
  • Easy To Care For

Cons

  • Slightly More Expensive
  • Unpredictable Height
  • Pest Susceptibility

Anubias coffeifolia is one of my favorite types of Anubias due to its unique ribbed leaves, which add a distinct texture to your tank.

Coffeifolia is the third most popular Anubias variety from the barteri species, following Anubias var. barteri and Anubias nana.

The main downside of this plant is its price, as it is usually more expensive than other popular types of Anubias on the market.

This price increase is typically around 20-30%, which might steer budget-conscious hobbyists toward other varieties.

Anubias Coffeifolia Leaf Shape
Anubias Coffeifolia Leaf Shape

My photograph above shows the unique ribbed and oval-shaped leaves of Anubias coffeifolia.

This is one of the few easy-to-keep plants with ribbed leaves, making it an excellent choice for those looking to add unique leaf textures to their aquascape.

I’ve had this plant max out as low as 6 inches (15cm) and as high as 12 inches (30cm).

I haven’t determined what causes this and I’ve kept multiple Anubias coffeifolia plants in the same tank with similar placement, yet they ended up at very different heights.

Anubias Coffeifolia

Regarding water parameters, in my experience, Anubias coffeifolia is a hardy plant that thrives in common pH and hardness ranges in aquariums.

I have experienced some melting with this plant, it quickly grows back, and melting is far less common compared to other types of Anubias.

OriginAfrica
LightLow
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateSlow
Tank AreaMid-Background
HeightUp To 12 Inches (30cm)
pH5.0 To 9.0
Water HardnessSoft To Very Hard
CO2Optional
Anubias Coffeifolia

Anubias Caladiifolia

Anubias Caladiifolia
Anubias Caladiifolia

Pros

  • Very Hardy
  • Heart-Shaped Leaves
  • Unique Horizontal Growth

Cons

  • Prone To Algae Growth
  • Slow To Establish
  • Rhizome Rot Potential

Anubias caladiifolia is an underrated plant that fits well in most tank setups and requires minimal maintenance.

One of its main attractions is its heart-shaped leaves with a pronounced cordate base. However, some variants of this plant are beginning to lose this distinctive leaf shape.

The heart shape of Anubias caladiifolias leaves develops over time, as newer leaves initially have the regular oval shape typical of most barteri species.

To ensure you get quality Anubias caladiifolia, always source it from reputable suppliers like Tropica or Dennerle Plants.

Anubias Caladiifolia

This plant thrives in low to moderate light, making it an excellent choice for beginners who use stock lights with their tanks.

As the rhizome spreads, Anubias caladiifolia will start to grow horizontally. Its horizontal growth allows you to quickly and easily create an Anubias island in your aquarium, which can serve as a striking central feature for your tank.

Anubias Island
Anubias Island

In the photograph above, I used different types of Anubias to create my Anubias island, achieving a variety of leaf colors, shapes, and textures.

A single Anubias caladiifolia can easily form a similar feature within 8-18 months under optimal tank conditions.

Anubias caladiifolia typically reaches a maximum height of about 6 inches (15 cm) so I like to use it toward the front of the midground in my tank, or as a supporting plant on islands, focal points, or to provide hiding spots for fish among the rocks at the lower levels of my tank.

OriginCultivar
LightLow To Moderate
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateSlow
Tank AreaMidgournd
HeightUp To 6 Inches (15cm)
pH5.0 To 9.0
Water HardnessSoft To Very Hard
CO2Optional
Anubias Caladiifolia

Anubias Coin Leaf

Anubias Coin Leaf
Anubias Coin Leaf

Pros

  • Distinctive Leaf Shape
  • Grows Well With A Stock Light
  • Ease of Care

Cons

  • Algae Susceptibility
  • Potential for Pests
  • Can Be A Very Slow Grower

Anubias coin leaf is one of my favorite types of Anubias because of its round leaf shape, and I find myself using it more frequently in my aquariums.

The nana variant of Anubias coin leaf also features round leaves but has a slightly smaller maximum height but most stores sell them interchangeably due to the difference being minor.

The unique round leaves of Anubias coin leaf are a slightly darker green compared to other Anubias variants and have a subtle ribbed texture similar to Anubias coffeifolia.

Anubias Coin Leaf Leaf Shape
Anubias Coin Leaf Leaf Shape

The leaves are large enough to act as cover or hiding spots for smaller fish in your aquarium but once the plant has grown out and there is a big clump of leaves, medium-sized fish can also use it for cover.

This makes the plant a great option for aquariums with potentially aggressive species that appreciate hiding spots in their tank.

Anubias Coin Leaf

The leaves are large enough to provide hiding spots for smaller fish in your aquarium but once the plant has grown and forms a dense clump of leaves, medium-sized fish can also use it for cover.

This makes Anubias coin leaf an excellent choice for aquariums with potentially aggressive species that need hiding spots.

The regular Anubias coin leaf typically grows to about 8 inches (20 cm), while the nana version is slightly shorter. Anubias coin leaf is well-suited for the midground and performs well on a planted island.

It can look attractive when attached to driftwood or rocks for detailing, but smaller variants are often better unless you have a large piece of driftwood.

OriginCultivar
LightLow To Moderate
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateSlow
Tank AreaMid Ground
HeightUp To 8 Inches (20cm)
pH5.0-8.0
Water HardnessSoft To Very Hard
CO2Optional
Anubias Coin Leaf

Anubias Glabra

Pro Shrimp Angustifolia
Anubias Angustifolia

Pros

  • Unique Thin Leaves
  • Adaptability to Low Light
  • Versatile Placement

Cons

  • Rhizome Rot Risk
  • Longer Establishment Time
  • Sensitive To Higher Light

Anubias glabra, also part of the barteri species, features unique long, thin leaves that stand out against most other varieties.

As with some other Anubias variants mentioned earlier, I love using this plant to add leaf shape variety, and texture to my Anubias-heavy tanks.

A potential issue with this plant is its name, as it is sold under several names including Anubias glabra, Anubias angustifolia, Anubias afzelii, Anubias gracilis, and Anubias lanceolata.

These naming conventions can confuse people who may go into stores looking for this plant and think it’s out of stock when it’s listed under a different name.

Anubias Glabra Leaf Shape
Anubias Glabra Leaf Shape

The photograph above shows the long, thin leaf shape of Anubias glabra, providing a glimpse of what to expect when adding it to your aquarium.

The elongated, taller leaves help create potential hiding spots in the middle of your tank’s water column, keeping fish that swim in the middle and upper levels calm.

Anubias glabra can be sensitive to moderate lighting levels, sometimes melting in tanks with high light intensity. Because of this, I usually add this type of Anubias only to tanks with low-powered lights or ensure that other plants provide shade above it.

Since adopting this strategy, I haven’t had any issues with my glabra melting. Keep this in mind when planning your aquascape to ensure the plant thrives.

Anubias Glabra

Anubias glabra can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm), but in my experience, it usually remains shorter.

This plant is ideal for the midground of your aquarium and is suitable for smaller tanks. It also works well in the background, providing great results.

OriginAfrica
LightLow To Moderate
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateSlow
Tank AreaMid Ground
HeightUp To 10 Inches (25cm)
pH5.0 To 9.0
Water HardnessSoft To Very Hard
CO2Optional

Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana
Anubias Nana

Pros

  • Small Size
  • Lush Green Color
  • Versatile Placement

Cons

  • Slow To Fill In
  • Sensitive To Light
  • Prefers Higher pH

Anubias nana is one of the most popular types of Anubias in the hobby, and its popularity continues to grow.

Its small size and lush color make it an excellent choice for smaller nano tanks. With the increasing popularity of nano tanks, I expect Anubias nana to become even more popular in the coming years.

One of the appealing features of Anubias nana is that it is one of the few Anubias variants that can flower underwater.

Anubias Nana

In my experience, Anubias nana can be more sensitive than other popular Anubias types.

Although it is listed as being able to survive in water with a pH as low as 5.0, I have found more success with this plant in water with a pH of 7.0 or higher.

Another potential issue is that higher light levels can cause this plant to start melting. To avoid this, keep it in low-light tanks or place it in areas shaded by other plants.

Anubias nana typically reaches a maximum height of around 4 inches (10 cm), making it an excellent foreground plant for most tanks.

I also like to use this type of Anubias for detailing on driftwood and rocks, as its smaller size looks more natural in smaller tanks.

OriginCultivar
LightLow To Moderate
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateSlow
Tank AreaForeground
HeightUp To 4 Inches (10cm)
pH7.0 To 9.0
Water HardnessNeutral To Very Hard
CO2Optional
Anubias Nana

Anubias Petite

Pro Shrimp Anubias Petite
Anubias Petite

Pros

  • Very Compact Size
  • Low Light Requirement
  • Flexible Placement

Cons

  • Prefers Higher pH
  • Sensitive To Light
  • Rhizome Rot Risk

Anubias petite is quickly becoming a favorite within the Anubias family due to its small, compact size and charming appearance.

This plant looks adorable in a heavily planted tank alongside other types of Anubias, highlighting its tiny and cute nature.

While many people successfully keep this plant in their tanks without any problems, I have unfortunately experienced some issues with it melting in my setups.

Anubias Petite

This could be due to the soft water from my tap, which causes problems with some types of Anubias.

Although Anubias petite is often listed with a pH range of 5.0 to 9.0, in my experience, it performs better with a pH of 7.0 and above.

Anubias petite also tends to melt under higher light intensity, and I have had it melt even under the lower end of moderate light multiple times.

I avoid using this plant in my tanks and instead opt for Bucephalandra. However, I know people who successfully keep Anubias petite without any issues, so it can work well for others.

The tiny size of Anubias petite makes it an excellent choice for the foreground of your aquarium, and it also works well as a detailing plant on hardscape.

OriginCultivar
LightLow To Moderate
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateSlow
Tank AreaForeground
HeightUp To 2 Inches (5cm)
pH7.0 To 9.0
Water HardnessNeutral To Very Hard
CO2Optional
Anubias Petite