Care Level: Very Easy
Water Conditions: 6.5-7.5 pH, and Soft to Moderately Hard
Lighting Requirements: Low
Temperature: 72 to 82 ºF (22-28 ºC)
Maximum Size: 16 Inches (40.5 cm)
Anubis Barteri, also known as Aubius is an extremely hardy plant that is perfect for beginners. This plant is probably one of the easiest to cultivate in the hobby, and it is widely available in both pet and fish stores.
It is found throughout sections of western Africa, and grows in swift flowing rivers and streams. It can grow both partially submersed and fully submersed, and because of this it can adapt to a wide range of conditions in an aquarium.
Anubias Barteri will grow to a maximum length of 16 inches (40.5 cm) in the home aquarium, though it should be noted that it grows somewhat slower than most popular aquatic plants. It also tends to grow upwards, rather than outwards like many other Anubias species – so regular cuttings may be required if you goal is to cover the substrate.
Anubias Barteri is rarely planted in the substrate, but if it is the rhizome must be left above the substrate or the plant will begin to rot. It is most commonly attached to rocks, driftwood or other decorations in an aquarium, though it must be secured to the object until it has time to root. This can be accomplished by thread or fishing line, although thread is usually easier to work with.
For optimum growth, a quality fertilizer should be used, and this plant will also appreciate CO2 supplementation. It prefers an area with a significant amount of water flow, and this will help to minimize algae and detritus build up on the leaves. If provided with excellent conditions, it may flower, though this usually requires a certain levels of phosphates (around 2ppm).
While excellent lighting and CO2 supplementation will improve the growth of Anubias Barteri, it can grow in almost any conditions. It has been known to thrive in low nutrient waters, and in almost complete darkness for long stretches of time. As long as algae is controlled on this plant, it is nearly impossible for the aquarist to kill.
Anubias Barteri can thrive in a wide range of lighting conditions, but it does best when provided with medium to high lighting. This will ensure faster and more compact growth, which will greatly improve the appearance of this plant in the aquarium.
When choosing a light for this plant, you should strive to provide around 2 to 3 watts per gallon. Optimally, the lights should be fluorescent lighting, and either T5 or T8 bulbs can be used. LED lights may also make a good alternative to fluorescent bulbs, but many people don’t consider them as reliable as fluorescent lights at this point in time.
Propagation with Anubias Barteri is simple, and all that is required is a sharp cutting tool. This plant is propagated through cuttings, and is as simple as removing side shoots, making sure to keep the rhizome intact. It can then be tied down, or allowed to float until roots have developed fully.
The leaves of the Anubias Barteri are incredibly tough, and this is one plant that almost no fish will attempt to eat it. The fact that it also grows without substrate, makes this the perfect plant for tanks that traditionally are murder on plants. While it may not work in every instance, this plant is known to grow in room temperature goldfish tanks, and can even survive a tank full of digging cichlids.