Anubias Congensis Care Guide: How to Grow in an Aquarium

Like other species of Anubias, Anubias Congensis is hardy and easy to grow. In nature it’s found attached to trees and rocks with leaves extending above the waterline. It has long oblong leaves which grow from a rhizome. This rhizome can attach to hardscape or be weighed down on top of substrate. It will also grow emersed in terrariums and paludariums, but in an aquarium it’s happy growing fully submerged without the need of special care. Because it grows well in low light it’s a great choice for low-tech tank setups or beginners starting out without expensive lighting or CO2 injection.

How to Care for Anubias Congensis

Anubias Congensis is a tough and hardy aquarium plant that doesn’t need special care to grow well. It’s able to grow in low to medium light, and high intensity light should be avoided. Anubias Congensis will grow attached to rocks, wood, or hardscape elements. It’s also able to be placed on top of substrate as long as the rhizome isn’t buried. While this plant doesn’t need soil to grow, it does absorb nutrients from the surrounding water. If your tank doesn’t have nutrient enriched growing soil it may be necessary to add a balanced liquid fertilizer for best plant health. Slow growing, Anubias Congensis can be susceptible to collecting algae on its leaves. Algae growth can be suppressed with CO2 injection or by adding algae-eating species to your aquarium such as the Amano Shrimp. Anubias Congensis grows well in low light which also reduces the risk of algae growth. This is a very simple plant to care for as long as you follow some simple guidelines. We’ve put together this guide to help you have years of success with this beautiful and beginner-friendly aquarium plant.

Anubias Congensis
Anubias Congensis. Edited. Novocainstain, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Are Anubias Congensis easy to grow?

Anubias Congensis is extremely easy to grow and can adapt to many different aquarium environments and water parameters. This is an ideal plant for beginning hobbyists who are new to planted tanks because it doesn’t have any special needs. It can grow in low light, and doesn’t need CO2 injection.

Are Anubias Congensis well-suited for aquariums?

Anubias Congensis can grow emersed but is suited for submerged growth in aquariums. This plant is also a great choice for terrariums and especially paludariums where it can grow emersed. Growth will slow when fully submerged compared to growth rate when emersed, but it will still thrive in many different types of aquarium setups.

Lighting Requirement for Anubias Congensis

Anubias Congensis looks best in low to medium lighting. This plant should get around 8 hours per day of light, more than this can lead to algae growth and may damage leaves. Another reason to limit light exposure is algae growth: high intensity light, or light for more than 8 hours per day can encourage algae growth on foliage. This is a hardy aquarium plant which is tolerant of low and natural light, and doesn’t need light fixtures that provide intense illumination.


Anubias Congensis does best in water between 72° and 78° F. As long as water temperatures don’t drop below 68° F., or get too hot, this plant won’t have growth problems.

Water pH

Anubias Congensis grows best in neutral water with a pH of around 7.0. This is a tough plant, and as long as your tank’s pH stays between 6.5 and 7.8 it should be fine. This wide tolerance range makes Anubias Congensis a good match for fish species which prefer more alkaline water such as African Cichlids.

Growth Rate

Anubias Congensis grows slowly in most aquariums. CO2 injection can speed growth, but this will never be a fast growing plant when submerged. Growth rate is much faster when emersed. This plant grows in aquariums, but in its natural environment it’s found at the edge of streams and lakes where leaves extend above the water’s surface. If you’re placing this plant in a terrarium or paludarium expect faster growth and be prepared to trim when needed.

Growth Height

A taller variety of Anubias, Anubias Congensis can grow between 4 and 5 ½ inches in most aquariums. This species is a good choice for mid-ground placement in most aquascapes.

CO2 Requirement

Anubias Congensis doesn’t require CO2 injection, but adding it will lead to a slight boost in growth. This plant is slow growing and can collect algae on its leaves. CO2 injection can reduce algae in tanks, especially those with brighter lights. There isn’t a good reason to add CO2 injection just for this plant. However, it won’t be harmed with high CO2 concentrations when placed in a heavily planted tank that has this set up. If you decide to grow Anubias Congensis with additional CO2 it’s important to monitor levels with a drop checker: too much CO2 can displace oxygen which can suffocate fish.

Planting Anubias Congensis

Anubias Congensis has rhizomes which attach to hardscape or substrate with small hair-like roots. In nature it attaches to rocks and trees near the waterline, sending leaves up to the open air. In most aquarium setups the rhizome will be attached to rocks, wood, or positioned on top of substrate. It’s important to never bury the rhizome as it can rot and kill the plant. Rhizomes positioned over substrate can be held in position with weights as long as they aren’t heavy enough to bury the rhizome under soil. Eventually, Anubias Congensis will attach itself with roots, but at first it will need some encouragement to stay in position. Most hobbyists will attach rhizomes to hardscape with a drop of super glue; super glue gel works best. The contact area between rhizome and hardscape should be dried as much as possible before gluing, but some moisture is okay. This method works best as the glued area is hard to see and the adhesive will naturally dissolve over time. Another choice is to attach rhizomes with black thread or zip ties, but these will need to be removed by hand after the plant has attached itself with roots. These methods are also useful when planting Anubias Congensis emersed in terrariums or paludariums. The only difference is the rhizomes should be positioned on moist soil or just below the waterline where leaves can extend directly into the open air.

Anubias Congensis Propagation

Anubias Congensis is easy to propagate through rhizome division. A larger plant can be subdivided into smaller sections that can grow on their own. Trimmed segments which include the rhizome can grow in new locations. The vine-like rhizome is often mistaken for a root but it isn’t: if this rhizome is buried in soil it can rot, killing the plant. When propagating this plant you can grow it emersed or subbmerged. Submerged growing is possible, but will be slow. For fastest growth, you’ll want to grow rhizome cuttings emersed. Using this method only the rhizome is submerged and leaves are allowed to extend above the water line. When emersed, Anubias Congensis will grow much faster, and this is the preferred growing method of most commercial plant producers. When the plant grows enough, the rhizome can be moved to a new location or divided to create new separate plants.

Do Anubias Congensis need aquarium soil?

Anubias Congensis doesn’t need soil to grow and can absorb nutrients from the surrounding water. This allows placement on wood, rock, and other hardscape features. However, having a tank with nutrient-rich soil can be an asset – even if it isn’t in contact with the plant – as soil will slowly leach nutrients into the water where they can be absorbed. Anubias Congensis does need nutrients in the water column and can benefit from the regular introduction of a balanced liquid fertilizer. Tanks with only nutrient poor gravel and rocks will likely need added fertilizer to support the health and growth of this plant.

Do Anubias Congensis flower?

Anubias Congensis will produce flowers, sometimes even when fully submerged. Blooms form on the ends of leaf-less flowering stalks. It can be difficult to force this plant to flower when submerged. Common methods used to encourage flowering involve adding less fertilizer and cutting back on light intensity and duration to simulate the change of seasons. Even then, success isn’t guaranteed and it’s necessary to be patient.

Where can I find Anubias Congensis for sale?

Anubias Congensis isn’t as readily available as some other Anubias varieties, so it’s difficult to find in local fish stores. It is often available from online suppliers, and can be bought for around $9 USD per plant.

What is Anubias Congensis Mini?

Anubias Congensis Mini is a variety of Anubias Congensis with narrower oblong leaves and a slightly shorter height. Growing between 2 to 5 inches in height, this variety is suited to foreground use in your tank’s aquascape. Anubias Congensis Mini doesn’t need any special care compared to regular Anubias Congensis.

Anubias Congensis vs Anubias Nana

Anubias Congensis and Anubias Nana both have rhizomes and similar care needs, but A. Nana has rounder leaves and thicker stems than A. Congensis. Both grow to similar heights and deciding on one or the other will come down to personal preference.

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