Anubias Rot – Symptoms, Causes and Solutions
Anubias rot is an uncommon disease that can affect anubias plants in the aquarium hobby. There is not much information available about how it spreads and how to stop it. We will explain what anubias is, the possible causes and the best way to deal with it if you find it.
Why are 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. Anubias plants’ rhizome is the thick horizontal stem that all their roots and leaves grow from. It should not be covered when planting them. 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.
Anubias are often attached to hardscape by sewing thread. It is important not to tie the thread too tight that it damages the rhizome.
Secondly, is your anubias plant still getting used 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. Because anubias are slow growers, melting does not always occur. But it could be one reason your leaves may be falling off. One reason could be that the leaf was damaged accidentally during shipping or when it was removed from its container. You will most likely have a healthy anubias if the rhizome is healthy and has new leaves within 2 to 3 weeks of planting.
Do I Have Anubias Rot?
Anubias rot begins with 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.
These discolored leaves are from the rotting anubias’s rhizome.
Anubias rot can be identified by the condition of the rhizome. A healthy rhizome should feel very firm and be light green. 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. Roots that grow from the affected area of rhizome can become discolored and rot.
The Rhizome is beginning to decay, and roots that have grown from the infected region are also starting to soften.
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. Based on our experiences with selling thousands of anubias, we believe that anubias rot is present in all plant farms, so there’s no way to avoid it unless you buy only tissue-grown plants.
How Do I Stop Anubias Rot?
Many hobbyists have reported that they tried to use potassium permanganate and hydrogen peroxide to treat anubias. However, this disease is particularly resistant to all chemical treatments. Over several weeks and months, we have seen no healing or spreading of anubias-rot.
Cut off the rhizome that is discolored or soggy with a knife or scissors. You can save the anubias by removing any damaged tissue and leaving behind only healthy tissue.
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. For help in diagnosing your plant’s nutritional deficiencies, download our free guide.