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 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. 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. To mount your anubias for hardscape, you can either wedge them between rocks cracks or attach them to driftwood with super glue gel or sewing string. (For more details on how to use super glue gel in aquariums, read this article.) The roots of the plants will eventually grow and wrap around the hardscape, making it difficult to remove.
Anubias are often attached to hardscape by sewing thread. Be careful not to tie it too tightly so that the rhizome gets damaged.
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. Anubias are slow growers so melting doesn’t always happen. However, it is one reason your plant might be losing its leaves. 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.
The discolored leaves of this anubias plant grow from the rotting portion of the anubias rhizome.
The most prominent indicator of anubias rot is the state of the rhizome. A healthy rhizome should feel very firm and be light green. Infected rhizomes often have a mushy, or squishy texture. Plus, it may have discolored areas that look like clear-ish jelly, white, yellow, brown, or black. It may also have a foul-smelling, rotting smell depending on the severity of the disease. Finally, roots growing from or near the affected area of the rhizome often become discolored and rot away.
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. 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 tried using bleach, potassium permanganate, and hydrogen peroxide to cure anubias. But this disease seems to be resistant to most chemical treatments. Over several weeks and months, we have seen no healing or spreading of anubias-rot.
You can cut the discolored, soggy rhizome with a knife or a pair of scissors. This is the best way to go. 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, one of our favourite, beginner-friendly plants are what we recommend. We want you to love them as much and as much as us.
Anubias Nana Petite is one of the most loved varieties due to its compact size and growth.
If your plant is showing other symptoms, it might be caused by a lack of proper nutrients. To help you troubleshoot your plant’s health problems, check out our free guide on plant nutrient deficiencies.