• Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Anubias suffering, nitrates high?


AC Members
I recently acquired a 75 gallon aquarium from craigslist. 36 inches wide 21 inches high. It originally had 6 angelfish, 1 pleco, 1 loach, & 2 saes, but I rehomed all except 2 paired off angels. When I brought it home, I couldn't get the Sun Cannister filter it came with to properly seal, I spent 2 days trying to fix it and trying to keep the media alive in a bucket until I caved and bought a fluval 406 from petsmart (cost more than the entire original setup). I have a NICREW Deluxe LED Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light for Planted Tanks, 30 to 36-inch, 28-Watt, 1800 LM, 7500K on for 6.5 hours day, with a 1 hr break in the middle (3.5 hrs on, 1 hr off, 3 on). No C02.

Anyway, now the older anubias leaves are struggling, they have holes and are wilting away. Possibly magnesium deficiency? Some brown algae. And despite water changes, nitrates remain at 80 ppm- I am wondering if the media being left out for two days led to this, or the filter is just too dirty, I'll try rinsing the media with aquarium water soon, any other suggestions? I've been feeding less. I've heard of "old tank syndrome"?? This one has been running 2 years.

I'd like to get this tank thriving, low tech preferably, but if I have to add some sort of fert to get it looking spic and span, I'll do it. I also don't have an aerator going because I don't like the noise of the one I have, should I be using one with just two fish? Hoping to get a school of red phantom tetras eventually too.
Thanks for any help! :)




AC Members
What is the substrate? & Did you clean it when you brought it home?? If so, how?

I think your yellow/algaeifed anubias leaves need to be trimmed off. They just look old to me. But there's new growth on at least 1, that's good...anubias doesn't need ferts especially with 80ppm(!!) nitrate (scary high!). Are there other plants?

That was a lot of fish in there & stirring up oldish substrate with a lot of crap in it can bring on ammonia, high nitrate & maybe disrupt the nitrogen cycle. Did you check ammonia & nitrite too?

It sounds like "old tank syndrome" from a not very old set up...if you were told the truth...

Go with lots of water changes, 10-15% every day or 2. You need to get nitrate to 20ppm without shocking your fish, as fast as is safe.


AC Members
Thanks for the reply!

Everything else 0, sorry forgot to mention. I've had it set up now for a couple months since acquiring it, there was a lot of muck at first but it's all pretty clear now, the substrate is some sort of planted gravel type, i dont think its flourite. i clean the gravel with my python as best i can.

so do you think thats just what happens to anubia leaves when they are old?

there are crypts i think, and the guy who i gave the rest of my fish to gave me some sort of grass i just added, hoping it takes off

the loach

AC Members
You are right Anubias leaves don't last forever. I see some algae and yellow veins, but it could be from a year ago. Trim the old ugly leaves and see how the new leaves develop. Anubias is pretty easy I don't think you will have any problem with the new growth.
Tank looks fine on first sight.


Global Moderator
Staff member
Any time I've moved or rehomed a plant it's tough on them and you will loose some leaves. I'd be more concerned at maintaining your water parameters at this point. Measure them and keep up on your water changes.