Anubias Rot – Symptoms, Causes and Solutions
Anubias rot is an uncommon disease that can affect anubias plants in the aquarium hobby. Unfortunately, there is very little information about how it starts and how to stop its spread. This article will discuss the signs and causes of anubias Rot, as well as the best steps to take if it is detected.
Why Is My Anubias Dying?
Before we get into the details about anubias Rot, let’s first make sure that your anubias doesn’t have other more common problems. 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. If you want to plant anubias in the ground make sure to only bury roots and to leave the rhizome above 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.
Anubias are often attached to hardscape by sewing thread. Just be careful not to tie it so tightly that the rhizome is damaged in the process.
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. Another possible reason is that a leaf was accidentally damaged during shipping or when removing the plant from its pot. Anubias plants that produce new leaves within two to three week of being planted are considered healthy.
Do I Have Anubias Rot?
Anubias rot begins with the loss of leaves. Anubias rot leaves often fall off at the end their leaf stalks, where they originally connected to the Rhizome. This is in contrast to the melting of emersed-grown leaf. The base of the stalk can feel wet or have some goo oozing at the ends.
The discolored leaves on this anubias plant are growing from the rotting part of the anubias’ rhizome.
The state of the Rhizome is the most obvious indicator of anubias Rot. Healthy rhizomes should feel firm to the touch and be green in color. A squishy or mushy texture is common in an infected Rhizome. It may also have areas discolored that look like jelly, yellow, brown, black, or clear-ish jelly. 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 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. We personally have done extensive testing with antibiotic and antifungal medications over the span of several weeks and months but haven’t seen any healing (or spreading) of the 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, 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 Nayana Petite is one the most beloved varieties because of its compact size.
Your plant might also be experiencing other symptoms. For help in diagnosing your plant’s nutritional deficiencies, download our free guide.