Laying out a design

Providing you have access to a good range of materials, it is sometimes possible to design and create a good display on impulse, but results are often far better if you do some preplanning. Sketching out a rough design for the aquarium allows you to assess the number of plants you will need and check the practical aspects of the display. Taking an overhead view, make a sketch of the aquarium, showing all the filtration, heating, and other equipment that will be present inside it and then divide the space into foreground, midground, and background areas. This sketch then becomes the framework on which you can build up the planting areas and position the decor.

When deciding where to place decor other than plants and designing the display as a whole, a good rule is to have one main focal point to attract interest and, using similar decor, a second, smaller area to provide a counterbalance. For example, you could complement a large, central group of cobbles and plants with a couple of smaller cobbles and plants elsewhere In the aquarium.

Aquarium Aquascape Designs

Above: An aquascape should be suited to the fish that inhabit the aquarium. These harlequins, gouramis, and kuhii loaches will all appreciate this heavily planted design.

Below: Not all plants are restricted to the substrate. Plants that root on rocks or wood, such as this Anubias barteri, can become a focal point in the aquarium and add welcome variety to the display.

Laying Out Shrubs
Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

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