Anubias Nana Petite AKA Anubias Petite – All You Need To Know - "Anubia nana" by Carlosar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Anubias Nana Petite AKA Anubias Petite – All You Need To Know - "Anubia nana" by Carlosar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Introduction to Anubias Nana Petite

When it comes to creating captivating and vibrant aquarium landscapes, few plants hold the charm and versatility of Anubias nana petite, also known as Anubias petite, scientifically known as Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite.’ This diminutive aquatic gem has captured the hearts of aquarists worldwide, offering a touch of elegance and natural beauty to freshwater tanks of all sizes. Its unique characteristics and adaptability make it a sought-after choice for both beginners and seasoned aquarium enthusiasts.

Scientific and Common Names

Anubias nana petite, often referred to simply as ‘Anubias petite,’ belongs to the Araceae family. Its scientific name, Anubias barteri var. nana, pays homage to its genus (Anubias) and its compact stature (nana meaning “dwarf” or “small” in Latin). The charming nickname ‘petite’ is a nod to its adorable size, which adds an enchanting allure to aquascaping compositions.

Origin and Habitat

Native to the tropical regions of West Africa, specifically countries such as Cameroon and Nigeria, Anubias nana petite thrives along riverbanks and in the shaded areas of lush forests. Its natural habitat provides important insights into its preferences for aquatic environments. This plant has evolved to flourish in low-light conditions, making it an excellent choice for aquariums with subdued lighting setups.

Appearance and Characteristics

Anubias nana petite boasts a distinctive appearance that sets it apart in the world of aquascaping. Its petite size, with leaves measuring just a few centimeters in length, adds an element of delicacy to underwater landscapes. The plant’s dark green, heart-shaped leaves are leathery and sturdy, offering an appealing contrast to softer aquatic flora.

One of the most notable features of Anubias petite is its rhizome structure. Unlike many other aquatic plants, this plant does not require planting in the substrate. Instead, its rhizome can be attached to driftwood, rocks, or other aquarium decorations, creating a visually striking effect as the plant’s leaves gracefully arch and sway in the water currents.

Popularity and Appeal

Anubias nana petite’s popularity among aquarists is well-deserved, owing to its ease of care and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. Its low light and nutrient requirements make it an excellent choice for both beginners seeking a fuss-free addition to their tanks and experienced aquascapers looking to add unique textures to their designs.

Aquarium enthusiasts value Anubias petite for more than just its visual appeal. Its presence offers practical benefits to the aquatic ecosystem, serving as a refuge for small fish and invertebrates and aiding in maintaining water quality by absorbing excess nutrients and oxygenating the water.

In the ever-evolving world of aquascaping, Anubias nana petite continues to captivate hearts and inspire creativity. Whether nestled among towering rocks or elegantly draped over driftwood, this petite wonder lends an air of sophistication to aquatic environments, transforming aquariums into breathtaking underwater works of art. As we delve deeper into the world of Anubias nana petite, we will uncover the secrets to successfully cultivating and integrating this remarkable plant into our aquatic realms.


Anubias nana petite, as its name suggests, is a small and compact aquatic plant. The size of it can vary based on factors such as growth conditions, lighting, and care. On average, the plant’s height will be arund 1-2.5 inches (2,5 – 6,5 cm), although this may vary.

These compact dimensions contribute to the charm and versatility of Anubias nana petite, making it well-suited for various aquascaping styles and placements within aquariums. Its small size allows it to be easily integrated into intricate designs or positioned as a focal point in your underwater landscape.

Artful Placement of Anubias Petite: Elevating Aquascaping Styles

The versatility and enchanting allure of Anubias nana petite make it a prized addition to various aquascaping styles, each offering a unique canvas for showcasing this petite gem. Whether you’re aiming for a lush jungle, a serene Zen garden, or a minimalist underwater landscape, the placement of Anubias petite can play a pivotal role in creating stunning visual compositions. Let’s explore some creative ideas for incorporating this charming plant into different aquascaping styles:

  • Natural Jungle and Iwagumi Layouts: For those who appreciate the lushness of a natural jungle or the serene simplicity of an Iwagumi layout, Anubias nana petite can provide an elegant touch. Attach the petite Anubias to driftwood pieces or clusters of rocks to create eye-catching focal points. Allow its dark green leaves to gracefully drape over the hardscape, adding depth and dimension to the arrangement. In Iwagumi setups, use Anubias petite sparingly to maintain a sense of balance and harmony.
  • Dutch Aquascaping with Colorful Contrast: In vibrant Dutch-style aquascapes bursting with a riot of colors, Anubias nana petite offers a refreshing contrast. Place individual plants strategically along the foreground, midground, or even near taller background plants. The petite size and robust leaves of Anubias petite serve as an anchor, providing visual stability amidst the lively assortment of hues and shapes.
  • Minimalist Zen Garden Aesthetics: For those who appreciate the Zen-like tranquility of minimalism, Anubias nana petite can be used sparingly to create an understated yet captivating focal point. Attach a single plant to a carefully chosen piece of driftwood or stone, allowing its graceful leaves to unfurl with a sense of calm elegance. The juxtaposition of Anubias petite against negative space will evoke a sense of serene balance.
  • Biotope and Natural Habitat Replication: Anubias nana petite’s West African origin lends itself well to biotope aquascaping, where you can recreate specific aquatic ecosystems. Place Anubias petite near a representation of riverbanks using carefully positioned driftwood and pebbles. By mimicking its native habitat, you pay homage to the plant’s origins while creating an engaging and educational aquatic display.
  • Paludarium and Emersed Growth: Expand your aquascaping horizons by incorporating Anubias petite into paludarium setups. Allow it to emerge from the water, encouraging emersed growth while maintaining its submerged foliage. This approach can add a dynamic dimension to the display, blurring the boundaries between aquatic and terrestrial elements.
  • Floating Gardens and Aquarium Ceilings: For a truly innovative approach, consider allowing Anubias nana petite to flourish in a floating garden. Attach the plants to pieces of driftwood or floating rings, allowing their leaves to create an ethereal canopy on the water’s surface. This unique placement adds vertical interest and a touch of whimsy to your aquarium.

Incorporating Anubias nana petite into your aquascaping endeavors invites a world of creative possibilities. Whether you’re aiming for a vibrant explosion of colors, a serene minimalist retreat, or a biotope-inspired homage, the adaptable nature of Anubias petite ensures that it thrives and flourishes, elevating the aesthetic appeal and ecological balance of your underwater masterpiece. As you experiment with different placement techniques, you’ll discover how Anubias nana petite can be the perfect finishing touch that brings your aquatic vision to life.

Anubias Nana Petite AKA Anubias Petite – All You Need To Know - "Anubia nana" by Carlosar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Anubias Nana Petite AKA Anubias Petite – All You Need To Know – “Anubia nana” by Carlosar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Maintenance and Care

Caring for Anubias nana petite is a rewarding experience that requires a blend of attention, patience, and understanding. This hardy and versatile aquatic plant can thrive with minimal effort, but a few key practices can ensure its long-term health and vibrant appearance. Let’s delve into the world of Anubias petite care, covering maintenance routines, cleaning strategies, and tackling potential challenges.

  • Optimal Water Conditions: Maintaining suitable water parameters is crucial for the well-being of Anubias nana petite. Aim for temperatures between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C) and a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. Soft to moderately hard water is generally well-tolerated. Ensure adequate circulation and filtration to prevent stagnant water, which can lead to algae growth.
  • Low to Moderate Lighting: This Anubias thrives in low to moderate lighting conditions. Avoid intense light that can encourage algae and hinder the plant’s growth. Provide gentle illumination using aquarium-appropriate LED lights or fluorescent bulbs, and consider a photoperiod of 8 to 10 hours per day.
  • Pruning and Maintenance: Pruning Anubias nana petite is straightforward. Trim any damaged or decaying leaves close to the rhizome to encourage new growth. Over time, older leaves may naturally decline; removing these helps redirect the plant’s energy towards healthier leaves. Be cautious not to damage the rhizome, as it is the plant’s lifeline.
  • Algae Prevention and Control: While Anubias nana petite is relatively resistant to algae, it’s still wise to take preventative measures. Maintain a proper balance between lighting, nutrient levels, and CO2 supplementation if applicable. Regularly clean the aquarium to remove debris that could fuel algae growth. Introducing algae-eating aquatic creatures, such as certain snail species or algae-eating fish, can also help keep algae in check.
  • Planting: Anubias nana petite’s unique rhizome structure should never be buried in the substrate. Attach the plant to hardscape elements like driftwood, rocks, or decorations using fishing line or plant-safe adhesive. Planting the rhizome can lead to rot and negatively impact the plant’s health. If you want to plant your anubias in for example gravel, make sure that only the roots on the rhizome are in the gravel, and not the rhizome.
  • Addressing Common Issues:
    • Yellowing Leaves: Yellowing leaves may indicate nutrient deficiencies or poor water conditions. Ensure a balanced nutrient regimen, and consider adding a liquid fertilizer or root tabs near the plant’s attachment point.
    • Algae Overgrowth: If algae become problematic, consider reducing the lighting duration or intensity. Introduce algae-eating organisms as natural control measures. Regular water changes can help dilute excess nutrients that algae thrive on.
    • Rhizome Rot: Keep the rhizome above the substrate to prevent rot. If you notice the rhizome turning mushy or discolored, trim away the affected portion and reattach the healthy section.

By adhering to these care tips and staying vigilant in your observations, you can ensure that Anubias nana petite flourishes and continues to enhance the beauty and balance of your aquarium. Regular maintenance, thoughtful placement, and a nurturing approach will reward you with a stunning aquatic display that showcases the charm and elegance of this petite wonder.


Anubias nana petite emerges not only as a botanical marvel but also as an embodiment of creative expression in the world of aquascaping. Its unique rhizome structure, compact leaves, and adaptability to various aquatic environments make it a true treasure for both novices and seasoned hobbyists. The possibilities for incorporating Anubias nana petite into diverse aquascaping styles are as limitless as the depths of imagination.

From the ethereal floating gardens to the tranquil Zen retreats, from lush jungles to minimalist sanctuaries, Anubias petite adds an understated elegance that elevates the essence of every aquascape. With patience, care, and a touch of ingenuity, this petite gem flourishes, reflecting the meticulous artistry of its cultivator.

Just as a brushstroke shapes a masterpiece or a note completes a symphony, Anubias nana petite contributes its own unique harmony to the underwater canvas. The story of this plant is not only one of beauty but also a testament to the profound connection between nature and the human spirit. So, whether you’re a beginner seeking to add a touch of serenity to your aquarium or an aquascaping virtuoso weaving a symphony of aquatic life, let Anubias nana petite be your muse—a living testament to the boundless wonders that the aquatic world holds.