In the Nature Aquarium, short aquatic plants that are commonly planted in the foreground of a layout or throughout an iwagumi layout are called undergrowth plants. Undergrowth refers to low-growing vegetation beneath trees in a forest. In the Nature Aquarium, the term is used as a generic name for short aquatic plants, in contrast to the tall aquatic plants (such as stem plants) that are used in the background. Undergrowth is indispensable for
expressed by using plants that are shorter
than those planted in the background and
midground. Therefore, aquatic plants that
are used for undergrowth need to stay short
not only when they are just planted, but
also when they are grown to maturity.
Glossostigma is a good example of
a typical aquatic plant that can satisfy
these conditions. The growth form of
Glossostigma is ideal for undergrowth. It
spreads sideways in a good environment
by sending out many runners. On the
other hand, stem plants are not suitable
manner with runners, and they are often
used as undergrowth as well. Additionally,
Cuba pearl grass can be used as undergrowth,
although it tends to grow horizontally by
developing stems instead of runners.
The iwagumi before planting; the types of aquatic plants can influence the impression of the scale of a finished layout.
rendering a natural feel and expressing a
sense of depth in a layout in the Nature
Aquarium. Even in a layout with cosmetic
sand in the foreground, undergrowth, such
as Riccia, willow moss, and Glossostigma,
is often used in the area that connects
the midground and cosmetic sand. A
hierarchical structure, like what is often
seen among plants in nature, can be
as undergrowth because their stems grow
upward and they will eventually become
too tall, even if they are cut short initially.
Giving an Iwagumi
a Natural Feel
In the iwagumi layout introduced in
this article, a natural feel is rendered by
combining these undergrowth plants.
In a typical iwagumi layout, only one
undergrowth plant is used, and this has
the effect of making the iwagumi appear
The layout right after planting; the physical relationship of the various aquatic plants is already well defined.