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plants and filters /heaters how close

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Here's my latest newbie question.  I keep seeing planted tanks with lots and lots of plants, and they seem to be planted right up to the filters and heaters.  I use the ACO sponge filters.  I would think that circulation would be important for both filters and heaters to be efficient, so how close is ok to not interfere with efficiency?  Thanks for all the great help here!

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20 minutes ago, Gloryview Farm said:

thanks.  I guess I'll just leave enough room by the filter to get it in and out for cleaning.  will the heater hurt the plants if the leaves start to grow and touch it?

Nope, just mildly annoying when they root into the filter. Heater might scorch a leaf worst case, but that’s not the end of the world.

More important is good flow over the heater. If all you have are sponges as filtration I’d put the heater in the bubble outflow to make sure it has good water movement over it.

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