Anubias Turning Yellow: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions

Anubias Yellow

Anubias plants are popular among aquarium enthusiasts for their easy care and attractive appearance. However, one issue that may arise is the yellowing of the leaves.

Yellow leaves are a cause for concern, as they indicate something wrong with the plant’s health. In this article, we’ll explore why Anubias plants turn yellow and what you can do to prevent or treat the problem.

Aquatic plants are essential to an aquarium ecosystem, providing oxygen, food, and shelter for marine organisms. However, even with proper care, plants can sometimes face various issues.

One such problem is when Anubias plants start turning yellow, which can be alarming for aquarium owners.

Understanding Anubias Plants

Anubias is a genus of aquatic plants that belongs to the Araceae family.

These plants are native to Africa and have become popular among aquarium hobbyists due to their hardiness, low light requirements, and slow growth rate.

Anubias plants have thick, dark green leaves and can grow up to 16 inches tall, depending on the species.

Reasons for Anubias Turning Yellow

Environmental Factors

Nutrient Deficiency

Anubias plants require specific nutrients to thrive, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A lack of these nutrients can cause the leaves to turn yellow.

This can be especially common if the plant lacks enough iron for chlorophyll production.

Poor Water Quality

Poor water quality can also cause Anubias plants to turn yellow. If the aquarium water is high in ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate, it can cause stress on the plant, leading to yellowing leaves.

Lighting Issues

Anubias plants require low to moderate light to grow correctly. If they receive too much light, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow.

On the other hand, if the plant does not receive enough light, it can drive stunted growth and yellowing leaves.

Temperature Changes

Sudden temperature changes can also cause Anubias plants to turn yellow. For example, if the water temperature suddenly drops, it can cause stress on the plant and lead to yellowing leaves.

Lack of nutrients 

Anubias plants require nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to grow. The plant may turn yellow if it does not receive enough of these nutrients.

Pests and Diseases

Anubias plants are also vulnerable to pests and diseases that may cause yellowing of the leaves. Here are some of the common pests and diseases that may affect Anubias plants:


If the Anubias plant is exposed to excessive light or nutrients, it may develop an algae problem. Algae can cover the leaves, preventing the plant from photosynthesizing and leading to yellowing.


Snails can be a common problem in aquariums, and they may feed on Anubias plants, causing yellowing of the leaves.

Fungal infections

Fungal infections can also cause yellowing of the leaves. Symptoms of a fungal infection include black spots, rotting, or a cotton-like substance on the leaves.

Physical Damage

Physical damage to the Anubias plant may also cause yellowing. Here are some examples of physical damage:

Trimming or breaking off leaves or stems

If the Anubias plant is cut too aggressively or broken, it may experience stress, leading to the yellowing of the leaves.


Anubias plants are delicate, and transportation can be stressful. If the plant is not handled properly, it may experience stress, leading to the yellowing of the leaves.

Symptoms of Yellowing Anubias

If you notice that your Anubias plants are turning yellow, there are several symptoms to look out for, including:

  • Yellowing leaves, starting from the tips and spreading throughout the leaf
  • Leaves turning translucent or brown
  • Slow growth or stunted growth
  • Black spots on the leaves

Solutions for Yellowing Anubias

If your Anubias plant is turning yellow, there are several solutions you can try to revive its health:

Check Water Parameters

Start by checking the aquarium water parameters, such as pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. If these levels are high, perform a water change to improve quality.

Add Nutrients

If the plant has a nutrient deficiency, add fertilizer to the aquarium water to provide the necessary nutrients.

Consider using a fertilizer specifically designed for aquatic plants, and follow the instructions carefully to avoid over fertilization, which can lead to further issues.

Adjust Lighting

Adjust the lighting accordingly if the plant receives too much or too little light. Consider using a timer to ensure the plant gets the appropriate light for 8-10 hours daily.

If the aquarium receives natural sunlight, make sure the Anubias plant is not placed in direct sunlight, which can cause leaf burn.

Remove Algae

If algae overgrowth is the cause of yellowing leaves, remove the algae by scrubbing it off the leaves using a soft-bristled brush.

Consider adding algae-eating fish or snails to the aquarium to help control the algae growth.

Maintain Consistent Temperature

Maintain a consistent water temperature to avoid sudden temperature changes that can cause stress on the plant. Consider using a heater to keep the water temperature constant.

Prune Yellow Leaves

If the yellowing leaves are severely damaged, prune them off using sharp scissors to prevent further damage to the plant.

Make sure to sterilize the scissors before and after use to prevent the spread of disease.


Yellowing of Anubias plants is a common problem that various factors can cause. By maintaining proper environmental conditions, preventing pests and diseases, and avoiding physical damage, you can prevent or treat yellowing in Anubias plants.

Remember, yellowing leaves indicate something is wrong, so promptly identify and treat the problem to ensure the plant’s health and vitality.



Can Anubias plants recover from yellowing leaves?

Anubias plants can recover from yellowing leaves with proper care and attention.

Can Anubias plants be propagated if they have yellowing leaves?

Anubias plants can still be propagated if they have yellowing leaves. Remove healthy portions of the plant and replant them in the aquarium.

Is it normal for Anubias plants to have some yellow leaves?

Yes, it is normal for Anubias plants to have some yellow leaves, especially as they age. However, if the yellowing is severe or widespread, it may indicate a problem.

Can Anubias plants survive in low-light conditions?

Anubias plants can survive in low-light conditions but may not grow as quickly or vibrantly as they would in moderate lighting.

How often should I fertilize my Anubias plant?

The frequency of fertilization will depend on the specific fertilizer and your plant’s needs. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and monitor the plant’s growth to determine the appropriate frequency.

Recent Posts