Does Anubias Need Light? (5 Things You Need To Know!)

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Growing Anubias in your aquarium can offer a safe space for your fish while also adding some natural beauty to your aquarium. Knowing how to properly grow these plants is ideal to ensure they don’t rot inside your fish’s home. Lighting is important for plants, so does Anubias need light?

The amount of light Anubias receive will determine how fast they grow. Thus, you want to adjust their lighting based on your preferences for growth. You do have to be careful; however, that you don’t drown your Anubias in too much light, or else they could end up developing unsavory growths.


Adequate lighting is just one requirement for Anubias, but understanding their needs is quite simple. 

1. How Much Light Does Anubias Need?

The amount of light your Anubias need will somewhat vary depending on how big your aquarium is. You should aim for between 1.5 to 3 watts per gallon. Anubias are able to grow into blossoming aquatic plants regardless of the size of your aquarium, so long as they are treated well. 

If you’re planting Anubias with rhizomes in your aquarium, you want to be sure that the rhizome is able to get adequate light. 

This means you shouldn’t have it covered; part of it needs to be exposed to some light in order to grow well. 

The amount of light your Anubias need will also depend on the particular variety you’re planting in your aquarium. 

There are a plethora of Anubias types, and each of them has its own particular lighting requirements. 

Generally speaking, a low to medium amount of light is sufficient for the majority of Anubias. Anubias also don’t need to be exposed to light all day, every day. 

A good rule of thumb is to consider the lighting needs of other plants and fish in the aquarium, as they will likely be okay for your Anubias as well. 

Otherwise, plant your Anubias in an area where they can get occasional shade. 

2. Can Anubias Grow Without Light?

Some Anubias are able to grow without direct light. They will likely get some form of light due to the natural light that comes into your home. This is because Anubias are very malleable plants in terms of the conditions they are able to survive through. Anubias are better off having too little light as opposed to too much of it. 

In order for your Anubias to grow healthy, they will need moments without light. Many aquarium plant owners will plant their Anubias around a plant that offers them occasional shade. 

These plants tend to be slow growers, but that doesn’t mean that if your Anubias are taking forever to grow, it’s because they aren’t healthy. 

There are some types of Anubias, such as Anubias barteri and Anubias gracilis, that do need some light in order to grow properly. 

Others, such as Anubias coffeefolia and Anubias nana, only need a small amount of light. Knowing which type of Anubias you have in your aquarium is ideal, so you know how to care for it. 

Before you attempt to grow Anubias without light, be sure that other plants and fish within the aquarium will do well without light. 

If you need to have low to medium light in order for everything else in your aquarium to thrive, you don’t have to worry about it being too much for your Anubias. 

3. Do Anubias Need Bright Light?

Anubias do not need bright light in order to grow. Anubias will grow slower in low light, but they will still grow. Low light is usually recommended to give your Anubias the best chance to prosper inside the aquarium. 

Bright light can help to encourage your Anubias to grow a little faster, but it’s not necessary. 

These plants just naturally grow slowly, and so you need to practice some patience when you’re waiting for your young Anubias to blossom within your aquarium.

That being said, Anubias shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight; indirect sunlight is fine. 

Bright light can also alter the temperature of your water, and Anubias can be picky when it comes to water temperature. 

They prefer warm water above all else, but if it becomes too hot because the bright light is concentrated into your aquarium, it could end up getting warmer than they like. 

If your Anubias don’t seem to be thriving, you may be tempted to brighten the lights in an effort to make them grow quicker.

However, this isn’t recommended, especially as a first step. Test the water’s pH and temperature first, and make sure the rhizome is exposed enough. If you see new leaves growing, even slowly, your plant is fine. 

Read Related: How Long Can Anubias Be Out Of Water?

4. Will Anubias Die In Bright Light?

The light that is way too bright and constantly shining on your Anubias could potentially lead to it dying. Bright light is going to encourage your Anubias to grow at a more substantial rate. This sped-up growth could lead to your Anubias developing algae growth, which is not only dangerous for your fish but can be dangerous for your Anubias. 

Depending on where you have your Anubias planted within your aquarium, they can also end up getting burned from super bright light. This is especially a concern if you allow your Anubias to float or they aren’t planted on the bottom surface of your aquarium. 

Bright lights can also end up turning those luscious, green leaves yellow. 

Yellowing leaves are a sign that your Anubias aren’t so healthy, and they can also contribute to algae growth on your plant. Letting this go on for too long can lead to rot, so ensure your trim off yellow leaves and give your Anubias a break from the light. 

These factors can contribute to your Anubias potentially rotting or dying off, but bright light alone won’t usually kill your Anubias. 

Anubias are much stronger than they look and are often recommended for beginners and experts alike due to how easy they are to propagate. 

By the way, if your Anubias are turning yellow, then don’t forget to check out my article: Anubias Turning Yellow? (7 Reasons + Top 5 Must-Know Cures!)

5. Do Anubias Like Light?

While some Anubias are able to continue growing without dedicated light, they do like having at least a little bit of light during the day. Some species of Anubias will not grow very well without at least a low amount of light. Other species are fine without very much light, as long as they have enough nutrients within the water to keep them healthy. 

If you’re able to find LED lights that can be adjusted in terms of brightness, those will be your best bet.

They work well to keep Anubias healthy, and they are also adequate for most fish and other types of aquarium plants. 

That being said, most types of light will be fine for Anubias so long as they aren’t turned up super high. 

If you let your Anubias have low to medium level light for six to eight hours per day, that would be more than sufficient for healthy growth. 

Read: Do Aquarium Lights Need To Be On For All The Time?

If you need to leave them on for longer for your other aquatic plants, that’s okay as well. 

It’s safe to say that Anubias like light, but only to a certain extent. They don’t want too much of it, and they want to be left alone in the shade occasionally so they can grow at their own pace.

As mentioned, if other proponents of the aquarium need some light, they are perfectly happy absorbing some of that light. 

Check Out: Why Anubias Are Costly? (+Cheaper Alternatives)


Light is just one of many factors that help Anubias grow. So does Anubias need light? They do, but they don’t need a lot of it, and there are other requirements that Anubias need to grow that revolve around nutrition and water temperature. 

Comparatively, Anubias are pretty easy plants to take care of. They also offer some great benefits to the quality and cleanliness of your aquarium, making them an excellent choice to add some natural greenery to your aquarium. 

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