Biotope aquaria are defined as
a group of plants and fish from a particular region in the world.
Because true biotopes are often not really nice to look at, the definition
as used in our hobby is somewhat misleading. The term by which these
types of aquaria should be known is actually wrong, and it would be
better to replace it by regional aquaria. After all, an Amazon biotope
means an aquarium in which plants and animals that can be found in
the tributaries and adjacent swamps are combined. This rather large
definition of such a setup enables the aquarist to create an aquarium
with a large selection of possible combinations. It is as much a biotope
as a North-American biotope or a European biotope.
At Artis Zoo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands,
a Borneo biotope has been created, complete with plants, a river,
a pond and a waterfall.
True biotope aquaria are the other
extreme. This means the reconstruction of a naturally occuring biotope
at a particular location in the wild. Somthing like a Malawi aquarium
is too vague a definition for such an aquarium. It can be as precise
as Lake Malawi, vicinity of Nkhotakota, at a depth of 20 metres. In
this site I will try to describe some true biotopes, and some regional
aquaria. Please remember that all described possibilities are up to
you, and that you can and may modify it to your own liking. After
all, it's your aquarium, and you have to look at it and like itfish
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in the Berne convention.