The Designs

For my money, the most enjoyable saltwater tanks are those that reflect a specific biotope in a particular part of the world. It's okay, though, to combine species from diverse locations, provided the aquarium you create satisfies their lifestyle needs. Many coral reef biotopes develop similarly, regardless of the part of the globe in which they occur. This no doubt stems from the precise requirements of corals themselves and the stability of conditions in reef-friendly environments. As a result, we find the same ecological roles being filled by similar organisms in reef and near-reef biotopes around the world. Seahorses, for example, are likely to turn up among sea grasses irrespective of longitude.

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