🌟 Exclusive 2024 Prime Day Deals! 🌟

Unlock unbeatable offers today. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3LmzcqW 🎁

My opinions on community tanks

The terms I hear are:
Biotope - a collection of organisms from one habitat. No biotope is a single species, and all biotopes are communities. Technically, you could have a biotope with one species of fish but with plants, snails etc as well. or it could be multiple species.
Single species - one species of fish for whatever reason, but no attempt at plants from the natural habitat.
Regional tanks - the aquarist defines the region, which can be vast, and only keeps organisms from it. That's the usual South American, African, Asian tank, where species might never encounter each other in nature.
Community tank - whatever the aquarist likes goes in.

I've also heard 'geographic tanks' in some quarters.

The percentage of aquarists who want to know anything about their fish is minimal. The main hobby is still buying and displaying fish as ornaments.
 
Last edited:
The terms I hear are:
Biotope - a collection of organisms from one habitat. No biotope is a single species, and all biotopes are communities. Technically, you could have a biotope with one species of fish but with plants, snails etc as well. or it could be multiple species.
Single species - one species of fish for whatever reason, but no attempt at plants from the natural habitat.
Regional tanks - the aquarist defines the region, which can be vast, and only keeps organisms from it. That's the usual South American, African, Asian tank, where species might never encounter each other in nature.
Community tank - whatever the aquarist likes goes in.
I see. I'm planning on a single-species Orinoco biotope ft. cardinal tetras. They are native to the Orinoco, but also in the Rio Negro. That may fit the biotope description and includes plants that may be native to the area.
 
Have you built a biotope tank before?

No I haven't. It's the thought of trying to source specific fish which puts me off. I'd probably start researching for a biotope only to discover that nowhere in my area sells the fish I'd need. So instead I've done a regional tank with fish from Asia. The plants are from everywhere though.
 
No I haven't. It's the thought of trying to source specific fish which puts me off. I'd probably start researching for a biotope only to discover that nowhere in my area sells the fish I'd need. So instead I've done a regional tank with fish from Asia. The plants are from everywhere though.
There are a few easier biotopes you can build. Try a Lago Valencia biotope with endemic diamond tetras, but plants native to the lake can be hard to find because the Venezuelan lake is lesser known compared to the Orinoco River.
 
I have a 180 litre tank with Trigonostigma heteromorpha (harlequin rasboras) and Puntius titteya (cherry barbs) with a few odd fish left from old shoals, and a 30 cm cube with red cherry shrimps.
 
I'm bouncing ideas in my head to make a version of a stream I caught fish in in Gabon. I have everything here to do it, but the tanks I have don't work and I'm cheap. It has to be shallow, with a couple of drops. I want to see how the fish would act in it. But it would take a lot of glass cutting and siliconing to make the levels.
I have the fish, the one plant, and identical looking substrate. But it is a summertime project I would have to improve my glass cutting skills on.

If we really want to get technical, at various points we would encounter streams within a km or two from each other, but flowing in different directions. We would catch completely different assemblages of fish in them. The stream I want to emulate had only Aphyosemions, but the one on the other side of high ground seemed to have only Epiplatys and barbs. A species could be plentiful in one creek, but nearby in an almost identical looking stream, you'd fish for an hour and not catch any of them. Something else would be there in numbers.

In French, a riviere is a stream in English, and we also have confusion in what's a river, a stream, a creek, etc. Fish in a French speaking country and the signs for rivers give you streams, brooks, creeks... Then you have lakes, ponds, etc. It isn't just aquarium types where we have trouble with definitions. Water bodies are also not the same things to everyone.
 
I have a 180 litre tank with Trigonostigma heteromorpha (harlequin rasboras) and Puntius titteya (cherry barbs) with a few odd fish left from old shoals, and a 30 cm cube with red cherry shrimps.
That's understandable. Compared to what you have now, how many tanks did you use to have in the past?
 
I'm bouncing ideas in my head to make a version of a stream I caught fish in in Gabon. I have everything here to do it, but the tanks I have don't work and I'm cheap. It has to be shallow, with a couple of drops. I want to see how the fish would act in it. But it would take a lot of glass cutting and siliconing to make the levels.
I have the fish, the one plant, and identical looking substrate. But it is a summertime project I would have to improve my glass cutting skills on.

If we really want to get technical, at various points we would encounter streams within a km or two from each other, but flowing in different directions. We would catch completely different assemblages of fish in them. The stream I want to emulate had only Aphyosemions, but the one on the other side of high ground seemed to have only Epiplatys and barbs. A species could be plentiful in one creek, but nearby in an almost identical looking stream, you'd fish for an hour and not catch any of them. Something else would be there in numbers.

In French, a riviere is a stream in English, and we also have confusion in what's a river, a stream, a creek, etc. Fish in a French speaking country and the signs for rivers give you streams, brooks, creeks... Then you have lakes, ponds, etc. It isn't just aquarium types where we have trouble with definitions. Water bodies are also not the same things to everyone.
It's interesting that water bodies differ in aquarium definition.
 
There is a spectrum, with true biotopes on one extreme, and general community tanks on the other.

Most of my "biotope" tanks have actually been regional community tanks. When the region gets very specific, I start thinking of it as a biotope, but technically it isn't so. The closest I've ever done to a true biotope was my Sumatran Rice Paddy tank. I chose all of the fish, all of the plants, the substrate, and even the backdrop to play the part. All of the fish were ones that probably do actually live together in the wild. But a true biotope would mean flying to Sumatra, picking a specific rice paddy, sampling the fish and plants from that one spot, and recreating that in a tank. That would be a very fun project, but financially out of the question, I'm afraid.

My current "biotope," the Asian hillstream tank, recreates two similar ecosystems that are several hundred miles apart. I have made very little effort to limit myself to plants from those areas, and I have substituted some similar species for ones that I am unable to find. I do love my wild-caught Himalayan sand loaches, though. :)

When I was in Haiti, there was a drainage ditch through the orphanage with some small fish (I believe they were Limia). No plants; I believe they just lived on mosquito larvae. It wouldn't be a beautiful biotope but probably the only one I would be qualified to build. :lol:
 
There is a spectrum, with true biotopes on one extreme, and general community tanks on the other.

Most of my "biotope" tanks have actually been regional community tanks. When the region gets very specific, I start thinking of it as a biotope, but technically it isn't so. The closest I've ever done to a true biotope was my Sumatran Rice Paddy tank. I chose all of the fish, all of the plants, the substrate, and even the backdrop to play the part. All of the fish were ones that probably do actually live together in the wild. But a true biotope would mean flying to Sumatra, picking a specific rice paddy, sampling the fish and plants from that one spot, and recreating that in a tank. That would be a very fun project, but financially out of the question, I'm afraid.

My current "biotope," the Asian hillstream tank, recreates two similar ecosystems that are several hundred miles apart. I have made very little effort to limit myself to plants from those areas, and I have substituted some similar species for ones that I am unable to find. I do love my wild-caught Himalayan sand loaches, though. :)

When I was in Haiti, there was a drainage ditch through the orphanage with some small fish (I believe they were Limia). No plants; I believe they just lived on mosquito larvae. It wouldn't be a beautiful biotope but probably the only one I would be qualified to build. :lol:
Oh. I thought most of the tanks you got were biotopes.
 

Most reactions

Back
Top