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[APD] Anubias advice

Hi Shireen,
I am a fan of Anubias too. Let me vent the experience I had with this
Single and most important to my opinion is that this plant seems to require
a critical mass. When I start a new piece of Anubias overgrown bogwood, I
tie a couple of growing heads to the wood. Generally these growing heads
have about 3 to 4 fullgrown leaves, trimmed roots ( 1-2 inch) ) and a fresh
new leave. These heads grow quite slow in the beginning, forming a new
leave every 2-3 weeks or so. As time goes on the plant starts to cover the
bogwood and at a certain point, the plant is well attached and starts to
grow faster. I would estimate the rhizome has more than 10-12 leaves before
it really kicks in high gear. A big mass of Anubias shoots a new leave
about every week on the growing points that receive good light. I have a
piece "motherplant + bogwood " that can deliver me up to 4 growing heads a
month like this , In total there are about 20-25 growing heads on this
piece. It really is an indestructible source of Anubias shoots once it is
big enough. It took me about a year and a half in high light tank to grow
this motherplant, starting from about 7 new shoots tied to the wood

Secondly, the plant needs to be left alone. So I keep it in the same spot
for months or even years. I just cut out bad looking leaves ( algae,
yellowing, damaged,...) and from time to time I cut out a growing head
which triggers the rhizome to shoot out one or two more growing point
further down the rhizome. Once the plants have reached  a good mass, this
shooting of new prowing points  goes really fast. Anubias shoots roots that
are hanging in the water, don't put the roots in the substrate when
planting, over time,  these roots sometimes take a hold in the gravel below
the bogwood if left alone long enough. Since the roots are hanging in nthe
water , there is some current of water and nutrients passing them. When
changing the position, the roots get different current, nutrient and light
levels and the plant needs a few weeks to readjust.It may stop growing
overall for a few weeks.

Growing conditions: I have grown Anubias in both low tech low light tanks
and high tech tanks:
low tech tank: Grows slowly but steadily. Leaves become smaller when
nutrient levels drop ( by then other plants already stopped growing and
algae shows up ) . Unfortunately algae remain attached to old leaves and
the plant just doesn't grow fast enough to keep it clean by trimming old

Only when the plant grew truly huge it was thriving in the low tech tank. I
think it has to do with the total root mass on the rhizome. newly planted
Anubias has trimmed back roots. After a few months they have enough roots
in the water to properly absorb enough for the whole bunch.
In my high light CO2 injected tank Anubias grows poorly in the shade but
thrives in bright light, definitely a new leaf every week. This tank has 12
degrees GH and about 6-7 Kh, Ph 6.8 to 7.2 , don't know the real CO2 input
because of organic acids from peat in substrate and leaching bogwood. But I
check my riccia to indicate CO2 levels. Plant grows fast enough to outgrow
algae which is not a nuissance in this tank anyway. Flower buds appear
every week on the mother plant, I tend to cut them out since the flower
buds seem to slow formation of new leaves.  Anubias also easily starts
outputting flowers when conditions change. If I take a piece of overgrown
bogwood to another tank, I get flowers within a week. May be this is a
response to possible bad times ahead? , plant goes into propagation/seed

My impression is that in low tech tanks Anubias is a good competitor
requiring little care or light, but you need patience to reach critical
mass.  In high tech tanks, Anubias seems to be a poor competitor when in
shades but excellent growth can be obtained in high light with some

IMHO Anubias will grow in virtually any condition , but it takes months to
develop the critical mass ( may be critical root mass) . Just plant it so
the roots get some current , leave it alone for months, even if it has bad
leaves, let them stand untill the plant is big enough. Once big enough I
start being more picky about which leaves stay and which ones go.   Lastly:
Never throw away your mother plant.

As usual : these are personal views/experiences, YMMV : please indicate if
there is nonsense in this message.

suisoman Dirk

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