Foreground Plants

mrjohn

Hey all! This forum has been great for my other needs so I thought I'd try out the aquascaping section and get some ideas going. This is my first planted tank, and my first tank since being a kid. I sorta fell back into it because a friend of mine had an unused 20 Gallon high tank that she didn't really want but purchased (No idea! I didn't ask for details) a few years ago when Petco was having one of there by the gallon tank sales. I decided that it would be great to put in my sons room for him to have his "own pets". I was originally going to just do a typical setup. Colorful gravel, fake plants, fake wood, and fake everything. I was also just going to condition the water, throw some fish in and call it a day.....

Then I fell deeper into the wonderful black hole of fish keeping and learned about the Nitrogen Cycle, fish less cycling, and the beauty of planted aquariums. I'll cut to the chase. I have a piece of Cholla wood centered in the background with 3 Java Fern embedded into the wood. These plants are reproducing as of now. To the right I have 2 amazon Sword plants and to the left I have another amazon Sword plant. The centerpiece is a pretty cool looking Spider wood. I also glued some slate together on the right side to make a stacked passway for the fish which they seem to like. To the left I sort of created a shrine because I noticed a piece of the slate had a heart shape to it and being my sons tank I figured it would be cute.

Obviously the slate looks man-made but I am OK with that. I also assume that once the Java Fern takes hold the entire background of my aquarium will be covered with beautiful greenery. My issue is the foreground...I like the simplicity of the slate structures and pathway, but I think there needs to be more "green" up front. I was thinking Dwarf Hairgrass, but I do not want a carpet. I really just want to contrast against the centerpiece and the slate to get a "popping" effect. Obviously nothing that grows too tall.

Do I leave it be or is there room for improvement? See attached!

Thank you!
 

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PascalKrypt

Not sure if the java fern will grow to cover the entire background, they don't clutter that much. You could always consider putting vallisneria behind/in between?

As for the foreground.. you don't want a carpet but you want it to stay short? You could get a tiger lotus and just trim it really aggressively so it stays low. Or ludwigia that you trim very frequently, could give a pop of colour if you get one of the redder ones.

How about some purple-reddish crypts? Some like petchiI or wendtiI doens't get that tall and you won't have to spend a lot of effort trimming.
 

JenC

S. repens won't spread (though you can propagate it) and you can keep it trimmed short. It likes a bit higher light but I kept it in a low light tank; it was just a bit leggy sometimes. It was the low green plant in the middle front of my 10g:
View media item 245033
 

mrjohn

Not sure if the java fern will grow to cover the entire background, they don't clutter that much. You could always consider putting vallisneria behind/in between?

As for the foreground.. you don't want a carpet but you want it to stay short? You could get a tiger lotus and just trim it really aggressively so it stays low. Or ludwigia that you trim very frequently, could give a pop of colour if you get one of the redder ones.

How about some purple-reddish crypts? Some like petchiI or wendtiI doens't get that tall and you won't have to spend a lot of effort trimming.

I like the way crypts look but can't seem to find a more purple-ish one. I think that would look good against the black substrate and the other plants would compliment it well. I also found AR minis that have caught my interest but I may need to upgrade my lighting. Just stock at the moment.
 

mrjohn

S. repens won't spread (though you can propagate it) and you can keep it trimmed short. It likes a bit higher light but I kept it in a low light tank; it was just a bit leggy sometimes. It was the low green plant in the middle front of my 10 gallon:
View media item 245033

Your setup is great! I do like how the repens look. In my mind I'm thinking sorta like furniture. Accent chairs, accent tables. Something that adds to the overall look but doesn't take center stage. I think the repens could work placed next to some of the slate.

Thanks!
 

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