Anubias Minima Care Tips

Anubias minima

Anubias minima has been described as one of the best beginner plants in the hobby due to its ease of care and hardiness. It is one of the most common types of anubias plant and the most popular variety among aquarists who are new to the plant-keeping hobby.

Anubias barteri var. glabra, commonly called anubias barteri glabra, anubias minima, or dwarf anubias, grows slightly taller than most Anubias but is just as long-lasting and simple to care for as its smaller counterparts.

Anubias barteri var. glabra is one of the most popular aquarium plants on the market today, and with good reason – it’s easy to grow, hardy, and attractive to look at. Anubias minima is an especially desirable variety, due to its tiny size and highly compact growth pattern; making it perfect for nano-aquariums or beginners looking to start out with just one or two small plants.

Let’s take a closer look at Anubias minima care tips and learn more about the species profile of this fascinating plant!

Origin and descriptions

Anubias minima

Anubias barteri var. glabra, more commonly known as Anubias minima, is a beautiful variety of anubias that can add some color to your tank! Its relatively small leaves offer a unique contrast against other plants in your tank and make it perfect for nano tanks or planted tanks where space is limited. This plant is native to West Africa (specifically Sierra Leone).

It enjoys shady conditions but can survive in partial sunlight as well. Despite its preference for semi-shade, it does do better in higher light levels, so I’d recommend keeping it away from floating plants if you want both species to coexist. The most fascinating thing about Anubias minima is its growth habit: while most varieties grow completely horizontal with roots coming out along their full length, Anubias minima grows upwards, forming mini clusters of leaves at each node.

Another cool thing about Anubias minima is how long each leaf lasts – since they tend to be smaller than other anubias varieties, they need less light which means they won’t fall prey to algae growth like faster-growing plants might have trouble getting rid of excess nutrients through photosynthesis.

Species profile

Anubias minima

Anubias minima (known variously as small-leafed, narrow-leaf, or small-leaved dwarf) are all different names for a single species of plant. This plant is native to Africa, from the Araceae family, and sub-family Aroideae, and is also cultivated in Asia and Hawaii for use in aquariums.

Many aquarists will tell you that you should keep these plants in large pots with soil so they can mature naturally. While true, there’s nothing to stop you from planting them directly into your tank while they’re still small – below are some tips on doing so…

Anubias barteri var. glabra minima is a very versatile plant and are best known for its slow-growing nature, along with its tolerance of shady conditions.

Anubias minima size

Anubias minima is a dwarf variety of Anubias barteri var. nana, meaning it’s even smaller in size than most other varieties. It can grow up to 4-10 inches (10-25 cm) in height, with a width of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

Anubias minima tank size

The minimum recommended tank size is 10 gallons (38 liters), bigger is always better.

Planting Anubias minima

Anubias minima

Anubias minima are easy to propagate using spores or rhizome cuttings. Be sure to use a sterile razor for cutting purposes. The plant may be glued in place with Aquarium Plant Glue, or wrapped around itself with sphagnum moss. Use a little bit of fine gravel on top of that to hold it in place after you’ve trimmed back any excess rhizome so as not to have your decorations take up space where you’d prefer more plant mass.

There’s no need to fertilize at first. In fact, give it a rest from fertilizers for about 3 months after you buy it, and before you set it in your tank (or tub). This will allow the plants to adapt from their days under bright lights while getting moved. Once it’s established, it needs fertilizer every two weeks or so. You might want to dose iron too if you have algae problems; although, I don’t personally add iron because I keep most of my tanks lightly stocked anyway.

I do appreciate when folks recommend ways to eliminate algae without adding chemical treatments that also stress out my fish, but again, I’m working with smaller tanks here rather than ponds or raceways. Still – do what works best for you!

Anubias minima care

Anubias minima

Anubias minima is a beautiful species of Anubias that isn’t too common in aquariums. If you want to add some interest to your tank with minimal effort, these are a great choice. They are small leaves, so they don’t cover much space. They don’t grow very quickly, either; when you get them home, they will look very similar for several months before any major growth happens.

This makes them an excellent long-term investment: they cost more initially, but they won’t outgrow their welcome or need replacement as often as other plants do. They are also quite easy to care for—they even prefer semi-muddy water!

Light requirements

Anubias minima is a versatile plant that can be used in tanks with varying light conditions. It will do well in both low-light and high-light tanks. In low-light tanks, it will grow slowly but steadily; in high-light setups, it will grow rapidly. While too much light may damage its leaves, Anubias minima can take a lot of light before showing signs of stress. If you notice your Anubias minima turning brown, reduce your lighting levels.

Your plants should recover within a few weeks. Otherwise, keep an eye on how your plant looks under bright lights; if they seem to be taking on reddish hues (this might occur if your tank isn’t lit by natural sunlight), consider moving them to shadier locations.

Substrate/soil requirements

Anubias minima grow well in many kinds of aquarium substrate, but it does not do as well in soft substrates like sand or fine gravel. In general, you should use hardy aquarium plants such as Java ferns or Anubias barteri var. nana instead of Anubias minima. Likewise, rooted plants can be grown attached to a hard structure rather than submerged in a substrate.

Consider using driftwood or rocks to provide hiding places for your fish and appropriate decoration for your tank.

After adding your new plant, make sure that its roots are planted firmly into a healthy substrate before returning any fish to your tank (keep them in a separate temporary container until then). This prevents unnecessary damage while they acclimate to their new environment—plus it’s just good practice!


When looking at Anubias minima care tips, it’s important to remember that these plants are rhizomatous; they need very little in terms of nutrients. They prefer a PH between 5.5-7 and an iron concentration of 1ppm or less. If your fertilizer has high concentrations of iron or other minerals (such as calcium), you may want to dilute it with a water change before adding it to your tank.

These fish also enjoy soft water, so be sure to use RO/DI or distilled water when mixing fertilizer solutions for them. Don’t fertilize more than once per week, and don’t fertilize if there are any algae present on their leaves – often caused by low lighting conditions. In general, keeping things simple is best for these small but beautiful plants.


Anubias minima prefer a temperature between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Some hobbyists have been able to keep their Anubias in cooler conditions, but it is optimal for them to be in temperatures that match their native habitat. If you choose to keep your Anubias at a higher temperature, try placing it near an air conditioning vent or on a heating mat. Keep in mind that if your Anubias feels hot to touch when you’re working with it, then it might not feel very good during its normal day-to-day routine.


If you live in a dry climate, your Anubias minima will need to be in a humid environment. This can be achieved through daily misting of their leaves, but also by placing them over or near a water source. The overall humidity level should be 70-80% relative humidity. You should also have 2-3 days per week where you suspend watering during daylight hours so as to allow for evaporation from other sources.


Plants in your aquarium will eventually begin to outgrow their space, causing them to look messy or leggy. To prevent plants from growing too big for their aquarium homes, you can prune them on a regular basis. Keeping your plant’s roots trimmed will also encourage new growth. Pruning Anubias minima is quite simple: pinch off any brown or dead leaves using your thumb and forefinger or a pair of sharp scissors.

Growth rate

Anubias minima

Anubias minima is a slow-growing plant. It will grow well in low light conditions or under lower end fluorescents but not under metal halide bulbs. Without enough light, Anubias will wither away. It grows slowly under medium lighting conditions with high levels of carbon dioxide concentrations in water, so its ideal habitat is a heavily planted tank with an active CO2 system.

Pests and diseases

While Anubias minima are generally resistant to some pests, you may find that it gets infested with pests like snails or aphids. You can control these pests by adding companion plants (plants that repel them). Examples of companion plants for Anubias minima include Vallisneria, Limnophila Aquatic, Bacopa Caroliniana, Ludwigia sp., Cabombaceae, Cryptocoryne spp., Egeria densa, Rotalas, etc.