Community Tanks

  • Community Tank
  • Low Tech Planted Tank






Read on…

    Specialist Tanks

  • Betta Tank
  • African Cichlid Tank
  • Discus Tank
  • Oscar Tank
  • Flowerhorn Tank
  • Arowana Tank

Bare Bottom Tank


This is not really a tank set up or décor type, but more a utility tank layout! The biggest clean up headache for any Aquarist is often the gravel, which prove to be very difficult to clean without disturbing the aquascape. With a bare glass bottom, it becomes super easy to clean and maintain pristine water conditions. Aquarists growing out babies, especially of fish that are very particular about clean water conditions, are well advised to use a BB tank. 

Community Tank


The most popular and the most versatile tank set up is a Community Tank set up. This is a generalist tank, with a combination of fish species, coupled with a optional combination of plant and invertebrate species (snails, shrimp etc). The Aquarist has a free hand in choosing such combinations, but it’s important to remember always the compatibility factor of various fish/ plant/ invertebrate species.

Some key considerations while choosing fish are as follows:

  • Predation: As a rule of thumb, if it fits into its mouth, a fish will eat other inhabitants. While the fish that you include may all be similar size at the time of adding into the tank, some fish will soon grow out, and will try their luck on the small fish and invertebrates. Choose fish that will stay not predate one another.
  • Territorial vs Schooling fish: Some colorful and popular fish like the Betta, German Rams, Black tailed sharks are loners and like to occupy territories in the aquarium. Keeping a multitude of such fish is likely to promote fights and injured fins and even death. Conversely, some fish like to be in schools, and may get stressed out to ill health, if adequate numbers are not kept together. Check out fish profiles before buying fish to avoid this pitfall.
  • Plant Compatibility with fish: Many fish that are popular in the hobby, like the goldfish, are omnivores, meaning they will be very happy to eat the plants that you painstakingly lay out in the aquarium. 
  • Diggers: Some fish like to dig and re-arrange their territories. Many perfectly designed tanks tend to get redesigned by the fish (cichlids are notorious for this!), the way they think the design should be.
  • Water Conditions: Keep in mind that different fish come from different habitats and have evolved with different water conditions. Hence a discus, that thrives on soft to neutral water, often will not do well in an African cichlid neighbourhood, fish that prefer hard water. Hence water hardness, pH, water temperature are all important considerations when choosing community fish.

See the table below for Fish Compatibility…

Low Tech Planted Tank


These are very similar to regular Planted Community tanks, except that they are low tech, ie they do not have a Carbon Di Oxide diffuser, and the Aquarist encourages a healthy balance between fish and plants such that reliance on equipment is kept to a minimal to maintain the ecosystem.

This is a different approach to fish keeping, where the ecosystem is at the center of attention, which translates to lesser density of fish and more attention to underwater gardening, and including natural scavengers, like shrimp and snails. By doing away with Carbon-Di-Oxide diffuser, the Aquarist is taking away an important source of carbon, which often becomes a growth limiter for plants, hence some Floating/ Emergent (partly out of water) are strongly recommended for this set up. It incidentally, also adds to the overall look of the set up. For more on this, please visit the page on Low Tech Planted aquarium.

Specialist Tank


There are specific fish that have very specific needs, or grow too big or are too aggressive to be kept in a community tank. There are other instances when then the fish are too expensive and the Aquarist would like to highlight a tank with only that species or variety, like a Discus tank. In such instances, the way to go is to dedicate the tank to that variety of fish, called the Specialist tank. All parameters of the tank can now to be to make this particular species more comfortable.

For instance, you need a higher than usual temperature in a Discus tank, whereas other community fish species may not thrive in such conditions. An Asian Arowana tank for example, is to ensure both, that the aggression/ size of the fish does not cause other fish to become prey, as well as to highlight the specific beauty and color of this magnificent  (and super expensive) fish.

Big fish like Oscars, Flowerhorns, Arowana, Red Devil Cichlid, Wolf Cichlid are usually kept by themselves for their less than sociable behaviour. They remain popular fish due to their unique personalities that a lot of Aquarists enjoy.