I currently have four aquarium tanks - a 20-gallon setup I started back in December 1996 when I entered the hobby, a 10-gallon tank I set up in late August 1997, and a 45-gallon display tank established in January 1999. I also maintain a 30-gallon tank at my office.
Most aquarists favor a "community" type tank setup, in which a wide selection of fish from all over the world are kept in the same tank because they are generally compatible in terms of water conditions and temperament. In such a tank, you could see South American tetras coexisting with Southeast Asian danios and African killifish, which are all quite compatible and get along peacefully in an aquarium environment. The advantage of such a community tank is that it affords a very diverse and colorful collection of fish to keep things visually interesting. Such "community" fish are also inexpensive and widely available, and are very easy to keep and care for.
Other aquarists, like myself, prefer the additional challenge of a "biotope" aquarium, where only fish and even plants from the same geographical region are kept together, and tank conditions may be optimized for those fishes which may be more difficult to keep than typical community fish. A few aquarists even go as far as maintaining a "pure" biotope, where the selection of fish, plants, and even aquascaping is aimed at emulating a very specific region, such as the alkaline waters of the Rift Valley in Africa, or the tannic acid-stained "black water" of the Amazon Basin. I don't go into quite that detail, but I do keep fish from the same general continental regions together even if they may not actually coexist in nature.
Each of my tanks hold a mixture of community fish and plants from South America or Southeast Asia. The plants are a mix of live and artificial, but also generally follow the biotope I try to emulate. The species in each tank are listed below:
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