Anubias Frazeri: Care, Planting, Maintenance & More
Posted by Miles Harrison on 10/30/2022
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Anubias Frazeri is a hybrid plant that can add a dramatic pop of color to any freshwater aquarium. Whether you’re a complete beginner at keeping aquatic plants or a seasoned planted tank veteran, the ease of care and resiliency of this plant make it one of our favorites.
This plant is relatively new to the hobby, and as such, it can be difficult to find accurate information. We’ll also go over how to propagate the plant, recommended lighting levels, tank size, and much more.
There is perhaps no more popular aquarium plant genus than Anubias. These slow-growing plants are easy to care for and look attractive in almost any aquascape. Anubias Frazeri (Anubias sp. ‘Frazeri’) has been making its way around aquarium circles, and for a good reason. This narrow-leaved hybrid requires minimal care and can create a stunning backdrop as a background plant, or be placed to the side as an attractive midground plant.
Rumored to have been created by hobbyist Ed Frazer, a member of the Pisces Group in Australia, Anubias Frazeri grows much quicker than similar Anubias species, such as Anubias Nana Petite or Anubias Barteri Round. The plant is suggested to be a cross between Anubias Congensis and Anubias Barteri and is capable of growing both emersed, where the plant’s leaves are above the water line, and completely submerged.
If you’re considering purchasing this plant, we have a strong feeling this plant will quickly become a favorite. Not only is this plant fun to look at, but it also can improve the water conditions in your freshwater aquarium!
Advantages of Keeping Anubias Frazeri
Anubias Frazeri is one of the easiest plants to keep. If you haven’t kept aquatic plants before, then anubias frazeri might be the perfect entranceway into aquatic plant keeping. While slow-growing plants require little attention, Anubias Frazeri grows at a moderate pace. The speed at which Anubias Frazeri grows makes a direct impact on the water quality in an aquarium.
This plant will use up available nitrate in the water column, and if these plants are abundant, their rate of uptake can be highly beneficial. Excessive amounts of nitrate can be detrimental to tank inhabitants, such as aquarium shrimp and fish.
Given sufficient lighting, they will also photosynthesize, producing oxygen that will go directly into the water column. This pure oxygen can be absorbed directly through the gills of aquarium fish. If you already have a filter that increases oxygen levels, such as a HOB (hang-on-back) filter, then there might be little benefit to the increased oxygen provided by photosynthesis. But if you have a canister filter that doesn’t aerate the water, having a large biomass of moderate to fast-growing aquatic plants can be incredibly beneficial.
This plant is quite enjoyable to look at. Its narrow leaves are a lighter shade of green than more common anubias plants, and the stalks of this plant tend to vary in length. Unhealthy Anubias Frazeri plants will typically turn yellow, and the tips of the leaves might start to show signs of necrosis.
Unhealthy plants are also vulnerable to algae growth, and you’ll want to check any newly purchased plants for hitchhiker species, such as Bladderwort or Java Moss. While some aquarists enjoy keeping these species, they can quickly overtake an aquarium and can be incredibly inconvenient to remove.
Anubias Frazeri roots tend to be a pale-light green color, and unhealthy roots will appear brown and have a mush-like texture. Healthy plants should grow vertically when given sufficient lighting, and the plant’s leaves are large enough to provide plenty of coverage for inhabitants to lounge on.
Size & Growth Rate
Anubias Frazeri has a slow growth rate when compared to most aquatic plants. When given proper water conditions and lighting, you can expect this plant to grow a new leaf every 2-3 weeks.
Keeping this plant in a nutrient-rich, high-light, CO2-injected aquarium can speed up this plant's growth rate. However, you should be aware that an increase in light intensity can lead to algae issues. Since this plant still grows quite slowly, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of other available fast-growing plant species, such as Taiwan Lilies or Hornwort to prevent algae outbreaks.
In regards to size, this plant typically grows to be about 6-7 inches in size. This plant grows vertically, so make sure there is plenty of available space above the plant for it to reach its full height.
Anubias Frazeri Care
Typically you’d want to re-create this plant’s natural habitat in a home aquarium, but since this plant is a hybrid, we can look to the plant’s related species to determine its care requirements.
This plant’s relatives have origins in Africa, where they grow in shaded regions along slow-moving rivers, streams, and marshes.
Many hobbyists consider Anubias species some of the easiest plants to care for, and the Anubias Frazeri species is no different, let’s discuss some of the guidelines.
Aquarium Tank Size
Anubias Frazeri is very undemanding when it comes to tank size. You can keep Anubias Frazeri in virtually any tank. Although this plant is smaller than other midground species like Hygrophila, it will still grow to be a few inches in length. We recommend an aquarium at least 2.5 gallons in size for Anubais Frazeri. But don’t be afraid to go even bigger. Larger aquariums mean more space to add more plants, which ultimately improves the water conditions of your aquarium!
Even though this plant is a slow grower before you know it you’ll be able to propagate this plant, this is when extra tank space is nice to have!
Without a doubt, one of the best parts about owning Anubias Frazeri is the flexibility you have when it comes to water parameters. These plants will adapt to both acidic and hard water conditions.
The species that were crossed to create Anubias Frazeri hail from tropical regions in western and central Africa. These waters tend to be relatively warmer, and are often in the range of 71°F-80°F, so it should come as no surprise that the Frazeri variant does best in similar temperatures.
You should aim for the following water parameters when keeping this species:
GH: 2-15 dGH
KH: 3-8 dKH
pH levels: 6.5-7.2
If you plan on keeping Anubias Frazeri with other tank inhabitants, like fish or amphibians such as African Dwarf Frogs, you shouldn’t have to do much in terms of fertilization. The waste produced by these inhabitants, combined with the minerals from your water source, provides enough nitrate for Anubias Frazeri to grow. However, if you plan on keeping multiple Anubias Frazeri, or combining Anubias Frazeri with other plants, you’ll want to dose additional nutrients
We recommend fertilizing your plants with Potassium Nitrate (KNO3), and Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4), you can dose small amounts of these dry fertilizers directly into the water column. Although a bit more expensive, companies such as Seachem provide these fertilizers in a liquid form, Seachem Flourish and Seachem Flourish Advance are excellent options.
Anubias Frazeri’s roots should not be planted in the substrate, but there is still a benefit to having a good substrate when caring for this species.
We recommend a nutrient-rich substrate such as CaribSea’s Eco-Complete . The extra nutrients provided by this substrate will be consumed by the Anubias Frazeri plant. Over time, the substrate’s nutrients will diminish but can be enhanced by providing Root Tabs.
Other options include pea-gravel, sand, and even dirted tanks make a good option for Anubias Frazeri. Anything goes since this plant shouldn’t be buried underneath the substrate.
Anubias Frazeri is not very demanding when it comes to light. As a rule of thumb, you can aim for 1-2 watts per gallon of lighting for this plant. This plant will grow given almost any light source, it can even be grown by indirect sunlight!
If you want this plant to grow vertically, as long as there's a light source directly above the plant, you should be in good shape. You can increase the light intensity to make this plant grow a bit faster, but be warned, since this is a slow-growing plant, increasing the light intensity is a guaranteed way to run into algae issues. Only consider a high-light environment if you plan on injecting CO2, and have a large number of existing plants.
How to Plant It
Anubias Frazeri grows from a central rhizome, so you’ll want to ensure this plant’s roots are exposed. Many aquarists like to use a bit of fishing line, to tie the plant's roots to driftwood. Over time, the plant's roots will begin to wrap around the hardscape, and the fishing line can be cut and discarded.
You can get creative here, as long as the roots are exposed, you can do whatever it takes to keep this plant from floating to the top. Over time, Anubias Frazeri should naturally anchor itself around something so that it stays in place.
Trimming & Propagation
One of the best parts about keeping plants is propagating them, and propagating Anubias Frazeri is as straightforward as it gets. After you’ve successfully kept this plant for about a month in your aquarium, you should be able to propagate this plant.
To propagate, cut a portion of the rhizome with a good pair of aquarium scissors . The rhizome should have an attached stem. Once cut, you’ll need to re-plant the propagated portion by attaching it to driftwood, or anything else that its roots can attach to. After about 2 weeks, you should start seeing signs that the plant is growing, and you’ll have successfully propagated this species. If the plant is not growing, test your water parameters, and make sure there is enough available light and nutrients for your plants to grow.
Anubias Frazeri isn’t very picky when it comes to tank mates. You can keep almost any type of peaceful species with Anubias Frazeri.
Anubias Frazeri will grow in low-light conditions, which opens the door to many interesting plant combinations. Plants such as Hygrophilia and Taiwan Lilies are excellent plants to pair with Anubias Frazeri.
When it comes to livestock, peaceful schooling fish are some of our favorites. Small nano fish give a unique sense of scale when paired with aquatic plants, some specific species we recommend are:
- Purple Moscow Guppies
- Cardinal Tetras
- Green Neon Tetras
- Orange Pumpkin Shrimp
- Neon Tetras
- Galaxy Koi Betta Fish
- White Cloud Minnows
- Celestial Pearl Danios
- Rummynose Tetras
- Ember Tetras
Anubias Frazeri is a favorite among aquarium hobbyists and it’s for good reason. This plant is easy to take care of, looks great in an aquarium, and is tolerant of a wide range of water conditions.
We’ve covered it all when it comes to taking care of this species, and now it’s time for you to decide if it’s right for you! We hope you enjoyed reading this guide, and we’d love to hear from you! Check out our community forum where we discuss aquarium-related content and answer questions about fishkeeping.