Anubias Rot: Symptoms And Causes. And Solutions.

Anubias Rot: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions

Anubias rot is an uncommon disease that can affect anubias plants in the aquarium hobby. It is difficult to know how the disease starts or how to stop it from spreading. In this article, we explain the symptoms for anubias rot, possible causes, and the best course of action to take if you spot it.


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. First, make sure your anubias plants are properly planted. The rhizome of an anubias plant is the thick, horizontal stem from which all its leaves and roots grow from, and it should never be covered up when planting it. If you would like to plant your anubias in the ground, make sure to only bury the roots and leave the rhizome on top of the substrate. You can mount your anubias to hardscape by tying it to driftwood or wedge it in cracks in rocks. (For more details on how to use super glue gel in aquariums, read this article.) The hardscape will become difficult to remove as the roots of the plant grow eventually.

Sewing thread is a popular method to attach anubias and hardscape. It is important not to tie the thread too tight that it damages the rhizome.

Second, is your anubias still adapting to its 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. Anubias plants that produce new leaves within two to three week of being planted are considered healthy.

Do I Have Anubias Rot?

One of the first symptoms of anubias rot is the loss of leaves. A leaf that has been lost to anubias is not as easily emersed or molten leaves. Instead, it often separates from its stalk at the end. The base of the leaf stalk may feel soggy or have a little bit of goo oozing out of the end.

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

Anubias rot can be identified by the condition of the rhizome. A healthy rhizome should be very firm to the touch and green in color. An infected rhizome often has a mushy or squishy texture. Additionally, the rhizome may be discolored and appear to be clear-ish jelly or yellow, brown, or even black. It may also have a foul-smelling, rotting smell depending on the severity of the disease. The roots that grow near the affected area often turn discolored and eventually rot.

The rhizome is rotting, and the roots growing from the infected area are starting to soften and disintegrate as well.

What Causes Anubias Rot

Researchers have yet to find a definitive cause for anubias rot. 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 have sold thousands of anubias and know that anubias can be found in every plant farm. You cannot avoid it if you don’t buy tissue-grown plants.

How Do I Stop Anubias Rot?

Many hobbyists have tried using bleach, potassium permanganate, and hydrogen peroxide to cure anubias. But this disease seems to be resistant to most chemical treatments. We personally have done extensive testing with antibiotic and antifungal medications over the span of several weeks and months but haven’t seen any healing (or spreading) of the anubias rot.

The best remedy so far is to cut off the soggy or discolored rhizome using a sharp knife or scissors. 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 are a favorite beginner-friendly plant and we want you to enjoy them as much.

Anubias Nayana Petite is one the most beloved varieties because of its compact size.

If your plant is showing other symptoms, it might be caused by a lack of proper nutrients. Check out our free guide to plant nutrient deficiencies for help with troubleshooting your plant’s health issues.