7 Reasons For Anubias Leaves Turning Yellow [Solution]

Anubias is one of the most popular aquarium plants. But when you are personally dealing with them, you will notice that your Anubias leaves are turning yellow pretty frequently. Well, it’s nothing to be worried about if you take the necessary steps right away.

You see, anubias can turn yellow for a handful of reasons. Some of them can be solved easily, but some others might take some time. So, you have to know which one is the exact reason behind the yellowing of your anubias leaves so that you can treat it before it’s too late for them to revive.

Besides, if you leave it like this, the yellow anubias will not only destroy the beauty of your aquarium but also cause harm to the health of aquarium inhabitants such as fish and snails.

Good news for you, in this article, I have enlisted all the possible reasons why your anubias leaves could be turning yellow with all their practical solutions. 

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in–

Why Are My Anubias Turning Yellow?

1. The Lighting Is Improper

The thing is we sometimes think that the more lights our plants receive, the better they are. But this is not true for anubias nana plants. Because they always need low to moderate lighting conditions.

When the light intensity is high, the anubias leaves start to turn yellow. This is because they are very susceptible to high light intensity and it causes them to burn their leaves. 

However, they still need their fair share of light because if we fail to provide them with any light at all, they will totally stop photosynthesising. So, unfortunately the leaves will still turn yellow again.

This is why when they have turned yellow the first thing you need to do is check the lighting conditions and also you have to ensure that your Anubias plant is getting the right amount of light for its needs at all times.

2. They Are Lacking Nutrients

The thing is anubias nana plants are very undemanding when it comes to nutrients. But we often forget that they still require some essential nutrients, especially iron and magnesium.

So, when your anubias nana plants are turning yellow and you have already checked the light setting, this is the next thing you need to focus on. You can consider adding some liquid fertilizers or root tabs occasionally that are rich in iron and magnesium.

3. The Water Parameters Are Wrong

Poor water quality can impact the health of Anubias plants and cause yellow leaves. This is why keeping the aquarium clean is one of the most important steps to keep the aquatic plants and fish healthy. 

Because, when the water is dirty the anubias can be affected by certain bacteria which cause infection. Unfortunately, some of these infections even become fatal to the plant.

This is why preventing these infections is the best option for us. And regular changing of water can go a long way to achieve this. 

So make sure to change 25% of the tank water every other week and maintain the pH range between 6.0 and 7.5. Besides, a good thing is that the anubias can adapt to a variety of water hardness levels, and they can thrive in both soft and hard water.

4. The Rhizome Is Buried

Anubias mainly grow their roots and leaves from the rhizomes. But if the rhizome is buried in the substrate, it can lead to rhizome rot and yellowing of leaves. Actually, anubias rhizome prefers to grow freely around the hardscapes and anchor the roots on its own.

When Anubis start to rot, the leaves often turn black and jelly- like also and gradually the leaves start melting away. The solution here is to attach the anubias to a driftwood or rock surface in a way that the rhizome does not get buried [link]

Also, you can cut off the yellow leaves so that new and fresh leaves can grow from that point. Besides, it’s best to feed them root tabs regularly and keep the tank clean to encourage new growth after trimming the damaged parts.

5. The Tank Has Too Much Algae

The thing is when the aquarium has too many nutrients present, the algaes get a chance to overgrow and take over the entire tank. Besides, these algaes block the sunlight and end up using the rest of the nutrients very quickly leaving nothing for the plants and fishes.

As a result, the anubias leaves cannot photosynthesize in this situation and start to turn yellow. Algal growth is very dangerous for the tank so, It’s better to prevent the growth of algae altogether. So, this is why make sure to maintain the tank hygiene and clean the surface of the aquarium glass with a soft cloth on a regular basis. 

6. The Aquarium Temperature Is Unstable

We know that like any other aquatic plants, anubias don’t like it when there are frequent temperature fluctuations in the aquarium. As a result they get stressed and turn their leaves yellow.

This is why it’s best to keep the temperature between 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 28 degrees Celsius). So, when you are changing water, make sure the water is not much hotter or colder than the tank water. 

7. Your Anubia Is Taking Time To Adapt

If you have just recently planted the anubias plant in your aquarium, they might need a couple of weeks to adjust properly to the new tank environment. Normally when we get the anubias from the store they are not actually grown in underwater conditions at first.

This is why they take time to adapt to living in submerged conditions. And during this time the older leaves usually turn yellow and die due to the stress. But don’t worry about this because by doing this, the plant is making space for the new leaves to grow that will naturally thrive in your tank environment.

Make sure you are keeping an eye on the plant so that there is no other underlying reason causing the leaves to be yellow. While establishing, if the plant has too many leaves it will have to exert a lot of energy to provide all the leaves with enough food. So, to make it easier for the anubias plants, you can trim off some leaves to help reduce the stress.

Sadly, no matter how much we take care of them, after a certain time the plant’s life comes to an end. And as they keep getting older it becomes hard for them to absorb nutrients. Eventually they turn yellow and die. If your yellowing anubias plant is several years old, it might be dying of natural causes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you revive an Anubias plant?

To revive an anubias plant, start by cutting off the rotten and soggy portion of the rhizome very carefully by using a sharp pair of scissors. Later remove all the damaged leaves and only leave out the healthy ones. This will reduce the pressure on your anubias plant and help it to make a steady recovery. 

Can a yellowing anubias leaf turn green again?

If it’s due to a slight nutrient deficiency, some of the leaves can bounce back from this situation and turn green when sufficient nutrients are provided. Other than this reason, usually when an anubias leaf goes yellow, it does not turn green back again. 

Will Anubias leaves grow back?

If you remove the damaged leaves it can gradually sprout new leaves in that place and also can make new branches too. It’s even encouraged to trim off some parts to get some space for the new branches to grow. However, the growth period may vary with available nutrients and water parameters.


To treat your yellow leaves of anubias, address the reason for the yellowing, and then it will lead you to the solution automatically. The good news is, that this article will help you to find out why the anubias leaves are turning yellow and guide you towards easy and practical solutions.

Take the necessary steps and keep monitoring the plant’s progress after implementing your action. Gradually your anubias will grow new green leaves and shed the old yellow ones instead.

But if the problem continues to persist, you can contact us and provide some further information on the yellowing issue and we will try to solve it for you. Besides, you can try replacing the plant with a new and healthy anubias or you can definitely seek advice from a professional aquarist. 

Howard Parker

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