If the planting in an aquascape or even in a simple planted aquarium rises from the front to the back, the layout gains depth. By cleverly selecting suitable plants, you can create very effective designs. Short plants in the foreground, medium-high plants in the middle ground and tall plants in the background create a strong spatial effect. If animals are also kept in this aquascape, a good view into the basin is advantageous. This way, you don't have to dig through a dense thicket of plants when you want to see your shrimp, crabs or fish.
Plants in the foreground of the aquarium
In more traditional aquarium designs, you will find plants in the foreground of large tanks that grow five to ten, or in exceptional cases, fifteen centimeters tall. A suitable plant for this purpose is, for example, one of the smallest stem plants in the world, the Cuba Dwarf Pearlwort (Hemianthus callitrichoides). It can be planted or cultivated on roots or porous rocks such as lava. However, it needs a lot of light, which can be problematic, especially in tall aquariums. Somewhat easier to care for in its place are the only slightly taller growing pearlworts of the genus Micranthemum, such as the Ornamental Pearlwort Micranthemum micranthemoides or the Common Pearlwort Micranthemum umbrosum. Their fresh green colors and filigree structures look very attractive. Beautiful accents to this can be set in the foreground in larger aquariums with Cryptocorynes that remain lower, which not only bring a different leaf shape, but also shine in all possible shades of green and brown. With the Cryptocoryne sp. "Flamingo" there is even a pink representative of the smaller remaining water calyxes. The grass-like Lilaeopsis brasiliensis or the dwarf sword plant (Echinodorus latifolius) are also beautiful and relatively frugal ground covers for the foreground.
Design with foreground plants
Alternating planted gravel areas with unplanted light sand areas in the foreground gives the aquarium a very light, airy feel. Lush green meadows at the front of the aquarium pane can be achieved in a classic way with the grass-like water hose, Utricularia graminifolia. These areas look particularly natural when they are interspersed with ground covers with a different leaf structure, leaf color or growth height. You can create different zones and plant them differently or just let the small ground covers grow wildly. Since most of them form runners, this happens quite quickly and then looks very natural. The cloverleaf (Hydrocotyle tripartita) or the starwort (Pogostemon helferi), for example, do well here. The small, slow-growing water fern Bolbitis heteroclita difformis is also a very pretty dark green accent plant to break things up. This fern can also be tied up on smaller stones in the foreground, it gives stone arrangements a very natural look. Small-statured Anubias species such as the Anubias nana "Bonsai" variety are also very suitable for this purpose, as are various mosses. The slow-growing Bucephalandra can also be cultivated very well on stones in the foreground and, with their usually very dark leaves, offer a nice contrast to the other often fresh green foreground plants. All these perching plants have in common that their rhizomes (rootstocks) must not be inserted into the gravel, as they can rot and die there.
Foreground plants for the nano aquarium
Not all foreground plants are suitable for nano tanks. Here you should pay attention to a maximum growth height of five centimeters, otherwise the foreground will quickly appear visually overloaded. Very popular for nano aquariums is, for example, the tongue leaf (Glossostigma elatinoides).
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