Introduction to Anubias Hastifolia

Anubias hastifolia, a captivating aquatic plant, holds a special place among aquarists and plant enthusiasts. Its distinctive features, resilience, and ornamental appeal make it a beloved addition to aquariums and aquatic gardens. Let’s delve into the world of Anubias hastifolia, exploring its common names and native habitat, followed by an examination of its physical characteristics and any notable distinctions from other Anubias species.

Common Names and Natural Habitat

Anubias hastifolia is commonly known as the “Spear-leaf Anubias” due to the shape of its distinctive leaves. This aquatic plant is native to the lush, tropical regions of West Africa, where it thrives in the wild along riverbanks, streams, and shaded areas of the forest floor. Within its natural habitat, Anubias hastifolia flourishes in submersed conditions, often found partially submerged in slow-moving or stagnant waters.

In the aquarium and aquascaping community, Anubias hastifolia is renowned for its unique beauty and versatility. Its adaptability to various aquatic environments has made it a favored choice for both novice and experienced aquarists seeking to create captivating underwater landscapes.

Physical Characteristics

Anubias hastifolia is celebrated for its striking physical attributes, making it easily recognizable among aquatic plant species:

  • Leaf Shape: The defining feature of Anubias hastifolia is its distinctively arrowhead or spear-shaped leaves, which taper to a fine point. This shape lends an elegant and dramatic quality to the plant, making it a standout in aquariums and terrariums.
  • Leaf Color: The leaves of Anubias hastifolia are typically a rich, deep green, which contrasts beautifully with the surrounding aquatic flora and decor. This vibrant coloration adds visual interest to any underwater scene.
  • Distinctive Rhizome: Like other Anubias species, Anubias hastifolia features a thick, creeping rhizome from which its leaves and roots emerge. The rhizome serves as a vital anchor point, and care should be taken not to bury it in substrate when planting the plant in an aquarium or terrarium.

Differences from Other Anubias Species

Anubias hastifolia is distinctively recognized by its spear-like leaves, which set it apart from other Anubias species that often have broader or differently shaped leaves. While many Anubias varieties share a similar hardy nature and ease of care, Anubias hastifolia’s unique leaf morphology makes it a sought-after choice for aquascaping enthusiasts seeking a touch of elegance and drama in their underwater landscapes.

As we continue our exploration of Anubias hastifolia, we will delve deeper into its cultivation and care requirements, its compatibility with aquatic ecosystems, and the myriad ways in which this remarkable aquatic plant can be utilized to enhance the beauty of aquatic environments.

Cultivation and Care of Anubias Hastifolia:

Cultivating and caring for Anubias hastifolia is relatively straightforward, making it an ideal choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to nurture this elegant aquatic plant in your aquarium or aquatic garden:

Water Parameters

  • Temperature: Anubias hastifolia thrives in temperatures between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C), which is suitable for most tropical aquarium setups.
  • pH Levels: Maintain a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5, as this plant can adapt to a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline environment.


  • Anubias hastifolia is known for its low to moderate light requirements. It does well under moderate to low-intensity aquarium lighting.
  • Avoid exposing it to intense, direct lighting, as this can lead to algae growth on its leaves.

Substrate Preferences

  • Unlike some other aquatic plants, Anubias hastifolia does not need to be planted in substrate. Instead, it should be attached to rocks, driftwood, or other hardscape materials.
  • Attach the plant securely to these surfaces using aquarium-safe thread or fishing line, making sure not to bury the rhizome, as this can lead to rot.

Planting and Maintenance

  • Attach the Anubias hastifolia to your chosen hardscape material, ensuring that it is secure but not buried. The rhizome should be exposed.
  • Regularly trim any damaged or decaying leaves with clean scissors or pruning shears to promote healthy growth and aesthetics.
  • Anubias plants are slow growers and don’t require frequent pruning. Prune as needed to maintain the desired shape and appearance.


  • Anubias hastifolia can be propagated through division or rhizome cuttings.
  • To divide the plant, carefully separate portions of the rhizome with roots and leaves, ensuring each division has healthy roots and leaves intact.
  • Rhizome cuttings can be reattached to hardscape materials in the same manner as the parent plant.

Compatibility with Aquariums

Incorporating Anubias hastifolia into your aquarium setup offers several benefits:

  • Water Quality: Anubias hastifolia aids in maintaining water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, helping to reduce algae growth in the aquarium.
  • Shelter for Fish and Invertebrates: The dense, spear-like leaves provide shelter and resting places for fish and invertebrates, promoting a more natural and stress-free environment.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The striking appearance of Anubias hastifolia adds an ornamental touch to your aquascape, enhancing the overall visual appeal of your aquarium.
  • Low Maintenance: Its resilience and minimal care requirements make Anubias hastifolia an excellent choice for aquarists who want to enjoy aquatic plants without the need for high-maintenance routines.

By following these guidelines for cultivation and care, you can ensure that Anubias hastifolia thrives in your aquarium or aquatic garden, contributing to the beauty and well-being of your aquatic ecosystem.


In conclusion, Anubias hastifolia, the “Spear-leaf Anubias,” is a captivating aquatic plant that offers aquarists and aquatic enthusiasts a unique combination of beauty and ease of care. In this article, we’ve explored the essential aspects of this remarkable aquatic species, from its common names and natural habitat to its physical characteristics, cultivation, care, and compatibility with aquariums. Here’s a summary of the key points

We encourage all aquarists and plant enthusiasts to consider adding Anubias hastifolia to their aquatic endeavors. Its stunning appearance, ease of maintenance, and benefits for aquatic ecosystems make it a fantastic choice for both beginners and experienced aquascapers. Whether you’re creating a lush underwater paradise or seeking to improve water quality, Anubias hastifolia is a plant that can transform your aquatic world into a vibrant and thriving masterpiece. Explore the beauty of Anubias hastifolia and watch your aquatic space flourish with life and elegance. Happy aquascaping!