Anubias Rot: Symptoms and 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. 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 dive into the details of anubias rot, let’s make sure your anubias isn’t suffering from other, more common issues. Is your anubias 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 anubias directly in the ground by burying the roots only and leaving the rhizome on the top of the substrate. If you would like to mount your anubias to hardscape, you can wedge it between cracks in rocks or mount it to driftwood using super glue gel or sewing thread. (For more details on how to use super glue gel in aquariums, read this article.) Eventually, the plant’s roots will grow and wrap around the hardscape so that it becomes difficult to remove.
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.
Is your anubias plant still getting to know 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. Another possible reason is that a leaf was accidentally damaged during shipping or when removing the plant from its pot. 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?
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 stalk can feel wet or have some goo oozing at the ends.
The discolored leaves of this anubias plant grow from the rotting portion of the anubias rhizome.
Anubias rot can be identified by the condition of the rhizome. A healthy rhizome should feel very firm and be light green. Infected rhizomes often have a mushy, or squishy texture. Additionally, the rhizome may be discolored and appear to be clear-ish jelly or yellow, brown, or even black. Depending on how advanced the disease is, it may have a foul, rotting smell associated with it. 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 yet to find a definitive cause for anubias rot. Current theories are that it’s caused by a bacteria or fungus, but it’s hard to determine since sometimes the plant is weakened by an initial infection and then a secondary pathogen takes advantage of the situation. Based on our experience selling thousands of anubias we believe anubias are present in all plant farms. It is impossible to avoid this unless you only buy 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.
The best remedy so far is to cut off the soggy or discolored rhizome using a sharp 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 one of our favorite, beginner-friendly plants, and we want to make sure you enjoy them as much as we do.
Anubias Nayana Petite is one the most beloved varieties because of its compact size.
A lack of nutrients could be the reason your plant is experiencing other symptoms. Check out our free guide to plant nutrient deficiencies for help with troubleshooting your plant’s health issues.