C. balansae were chosen as the main theme planted at the back and around the driftwood on the left. C. petchii were used to complement them and to provide a continuation between the driftwood and the layout to the right. In turn, Anubias nana were planted randomly amon the Crypt. petchi for leaves shape contrast. Christmas moss on the driftwood make them more natural while the foreground was planted with a mixture of Echinodorus tenellus and Eleocharis parvulus to complete the wild look.
To draw the viewer's attention towards the back, Nymphaea lotus were planted there emphasizing the depth of the layout as well as to provide a break to the green of the C. balansae. To soften the dark red Nymphaea, the bright green of Hydrocotyle leococephala were used in between.
Contrary to popular belief that cardinal tetras are not suitable tankmates for Altum angels, this particular tank has had this combination for 13 months without any casualties to the tetras. The angels had been raised from young with the tetras, well fed with mainly dried food. With the tetras swimming happily among them, it is evident that the angels see little reason to harrass their smaller tankmates and in fact are quite used to having them around. Unless the angels grow too big which is unlikely in an aquarium environment and starving, I would not anticipate any problems. The vertical stripes of the angels blend well with the Cryptocoryne balansae while the tetras provide a vibrant splash of color to the set-up.
The intention was to create a wild look to the tank, thus driftwood was chosen as the dark colors serve the purpose. As the shape of the tank tends to naturally draw the focus to the centre of the tank, the driftwood were arranged slightly to the left to give a wider impression. A taller piece of driftwood was used, placed almost vertical to make use of the empty space at the top half and leaning steeply from the left towards the right freground. Smaller intricate pieces were placed underneath to form labyrinth for the fish to swim around.