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Aquarium Setup & Styles: Ideas for Exceptional Aquarium Setups

Ideas for Exceptional Aquarium Setups

You want an aquarium, but not the typical run-of-the-mill setup. Or, perhaps you've become bored with conventional aquarium setups. Not to worry, there are numerous options sure to renew and refresh your interest in the aquarium hobby. Discover different approaches to the typical aquarium setup.


Sometimes referred to as a garden aquarium, a paludarium is a setup that combines water and land within the same environment. This setup expands your stocking options since you must properly address terrestrial, marginal, and aquatic life. A paludarium is a gold mine for the creative hobbyist. Recreate a marsh, riparian or brackish coastal setup, or focus stocking options around a specific region for a biotope paludarium. The creative options are endless. Add reptiles or amphibians for a unique and natural-looking setup. Arrange your paludarium entirely according to your own tastes and preferences. However, for a truly striking paludarium, think in three dimensions. Maximize vertical space and incorporate tall elements including rockwork, plants, and driftwood.


A breeding tank is a fantastic way to learn about breeding and rearing fish through hands-on experience. When you set up a breeding tank, you develop unique insight into the specific care requirements of fish throughout their entire life cycle. A breeding tank, sometimes called a colony tank, establishes a miniature ecosystem with a breeding population consisting of multiple generations. As the inhabitants mature and breed, you are able to witness beautiful and unique color variations. If you choose, you can practice selective breeding to introduce different fin types, and much more, into the population. A breeding tank adds an engaging element to fish keeping and can help with habitat preservation and conservation by reducing the number of fish collected from the wild.


A species-specific aquarium is an elegant way to showcase your favorite fish. This aquarium setup focuses on a single species you find interesting as the center of interest. Since it is only one species, you can lavish attention and care to create the ideal living condition. Killifish are an excellent example of fish that will thrive in a species aquarium. You can even keep compatible invertebrates, such as ornamental shrimp for added interest in the species aquarium. You'll be amazed at how a single species can attract so much attention.


A biotope, or habitat aquarium focuses on the natural ecosystem of a specific area. Everything in this aquarium setup (plants, fish, décor, et cetera) is based around what is found naturally in a specific habitat or environment. Biotope aquariums are increasing in popularity thanks to the wealth of new information available to hobbyists. Detailed habitat information allows hobbyists to re-create in the home aquarium, environmental facsimiles of South American Blackwater Stream or African River Rapids, lake biotopes such as Lake Malawi or the Central American Rocky Lake, and many more. This is a fantastic way to offer fish the most natural environment possible.

I want a setup that's unique. What can I do?
The aquarium hobby is a truly personal experience. If the typical aquarium setup isn't right for you, consider a biotope aquarium or paludarium. With a few ideas and some research, your aquarium can be as unique as you.


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