Im having some trouble determining which of the following pants for my 48 L x 13W x 20H 55g tank are suitable for the foreground, midground, and background. I think it goes something like this but not sure. Also roughly how many of each would be appropiate? Lastly, what is the proper spacing when planting, such as the space between plants and how close do I start the foreground plants and background plants relative to the glass? Thanks for all your help.
Sword, Amazon Compacta
Wendtii, Red (Cryptocoryne wendtii)
Wendtii, Green (Cryptocoryne wendtii)
Good grief, you have six sword plants and two crypts, plus a Tiger Lotus. Those plants would outgrow a 100g tank easily. Since a 55g isn't that wide (13"), the foreground, midground and background are a little less distinct. You could probably get away with 2 or 3 of those larger plants mentioned, but use them as mid/background plants, maybe behind a low foreground plant (micro sword, glosso, etc). Wisteria will also get big and balloon out to shade plants around it -- just be aware of that. You can keep it somewhat under control with regular trimming. The vals are a good choice for background. If you're looking for more background plants, or a little more color, rotala rotundifolia is a pinkish plant that's fairly easy to grow. Also, limnophila aromatica is nice. The 20g I used to have is only 12" wide, so similar to yours in that respect. I usually only had room for a foreground and background. No real midground as there just wasn't room. You might be able to squeeze in some lobelia cardinalis "dwarf form", which work well as middle area plants.
I'm assuming this if for a new setup? You might want to consider adding some more fast growing stem plants to help you combat algae initially. For the most part, the plants you list have large leaves. Everyone has their own preferences, but many people mix plants with varying leaf shapes and sizes for aesthetic reasons. IMO, swords make better background or centerpiece plants. I had a red rubin in my 55g that nearly took up 1/5 of the tank and it shaded a large area. Red and green wendtii are great plants, but again they also get bigger than you might expect. I have some red wendtii thats over 7" high, which in your case might be a better mid-ground plant. Before you decide on what plants and where, I'd reccomend you buy the book "Aquarium Plants The Pratical Guide" by Pablo Tepoot. It's not the best source of information about growing aquatic plants, however the photography is excellent and it should help you gain perspective on plants sizes and arrangements.