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Why Your Anubias Leaves Are Curling And How To Stop It!

More and more people within the aquarium keeping hobby are turning to keeping the various types of anubias plant in their planted tanks due to the anubias plant being so beginner friendly while also offering a number of benefits to your tank.

Although most types of anubias plants are easy to care for, it can be common for beginners to keeping planted tanks to have problems with their anubias leaves curling so we wanted to publish this article going over the topic to help our readers.

The most common problem that can cause anubias leaves to start curling is the light intensity levels of the plant with anubias plants doing much better with a low light intensity.

A less common cause of anubias leaves curling in aquariums is low CO2 levels in the tank’s water but this is only really a potential problem if your anubias is fully submerged.

One thing that can catch beginners out with their anubias plants is that the anubias barteris can have a natural curl in its leaves that can fade at certain times and then return.

This is totally normal for the plant and is usually nothing to worry about. Although anubias plants are pretty robust, they can have problems with a full water change in their tank that can cause their leaves to curl if they are without any water for as little as 30 minutes with this being a common problem for beginners too.

Is It Normal For Anubias Leaves To Curl?

It can be normal for the leaves of some anubias plants to curl a little depending on the setup of the tank and this does not mean that there is anything wrong with the plant.

If you notice a more obvious curling where the leaf is actually curling back on itself with it having a shriveled appearance then it is highly likely that there is a problem with the plant that needs to be treat as soon as possible before serious problems can start developing.

If you have only recently added your anubias plant to your aquarium then it can be totally normal for its leaves to curl up a little bit with this being consistently normal as the plant adjusts to its new environment.

This can take as long as two weeks for the plant to normalize and its leaves to uncurl but it will usually be back to normal within less than one week in most tank setups.

In some tank setups, anubias leaves can start to curl due to even a slight water flow rate in their tank where as in other setups, the plant can be totally fine with slightly higher water flow rates.

This does seem to just be one of those things that is random and will depend on your specific plant but this can be something to consider as other people will not have this same potential problem with their tank’s water flow.

Why Are My Anubias Leaves Curling?

If your anubias leaves are curling extensively then it is usually due to the light intensity being too high, your anubias plant being new to the tank or due to the CO2 levels in the tank being too low.

If you have recently don’t a full water change in your tank then this can also cause extensive leaf curling in your anubias too.

A cheap CO2 checker should be enough to check the current CO2 levels in your aquarium and allow to you to make any adjustments in the tank as required.

Anubias plants usually need the standard CO2 checkers to come back with a light green for optimal CO2 levels but they can live in dark green in some tanks.

The majority of anubias setups will need low light intensity to the plant if possible to allow it to thrive and grow without issue.

Moderate and high light intensity has a high chance of causing the leaves to curl on your anubias while also having a pretty good chance of causing your plant to have other problems too.

Please keep in mind that the cheaper lighting units on the market can have inaccurate lighting intensity dials so even if your light is set to a low light intensity, it may still be too high for an anubias.

How To Stop Your Anubias Plant Leaves Curling!

The easiest way to stop your anubias plant leaves curling is to double check your aquarium’s water flow, CO2 levels, and light intensity before making any corrections to the setup as required depending on what you find.

Some anubias can have a more accentuated natural curl to them than others but this can be normal for some plants and does not require treating.

It is usually more common for the anubias barteris to have the more curled leaves in its natural state than the anubias where as the other types of anubias usually only have large amounts of curling on their leaves if there are some large problems.

Many people who are new to keeping anubias plants in their planted tanks don’t even realize that there are actually multiple types out there so when they look at photographs on social media of “anubias” plants, it can be common to see a slightly different look to your own plants.

Provided you notice the leaf curling on your anubias plants early enough, correcting problems with light intensity, CO2 levels or water flow can let your plant quickly heal and return to normal.

You can see the leaves on your anubias return to normal in as little as a week but we usually would recommend that you wait a little longer if your plant has been in poor conditions for a long period of time.

Do Anubias Need Lots Of Light?

Anubias plants really don’t require as much light as some people think and they can thrive in a low light intensity tank without issue.

Too much light, even by a small amount can be enough to cause problems with your anubias plants and cause the leaves of the plants to curl or change color so you really do have to pay close attention to the light intensity in your tanks.

Just like all other plants, problems with the leaves of your anubias can quickly result in other problems as the plant has problems with nutrient intake or its CO2 intake.

This is why you really do have to pay close attention to the leaves of your anubias and treat any potential problems that you notice on the plant as quickly and early as possible.


That brings our article going over why your anubias leaves are curling as well as how you are able to identify and fix the problem to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you rescue your anubias plant and for the most part, issues with the leaves of an anubias really are easy to fix even for beginners to the fish keeping hobby. The small changes to the tank usually shouldn’t cause problems with the other plants that you are keeping in your aquarium either allowing you to correct the problem causing the leaves of your anubias to curl without causing secondary problems that you will have to fix in a couple of weeks.