In this study, the finite element method is used to investigate the seismic behaviour of concrete, open top rectangular liquid tanks in two and three-dimensional spaces. This method is capable of considering both impulsive and convective responses of liquid-tank system. The sloshing behaviour is simulated using linear free surface boundary conditions. Two different finite element models corresponding with shallow and tall tank configurations are studied under the effects of all components of earthquake record. The effect of earthquake frequency content on the seismic behaviour of fluid-rectangular tank system is investigated using four different seismic motions including Northridge, El-Centro, San-Fernando and San-Francisco earthquake records. These records are scaled in such a way that all horizontal peak ground accelerations are similar. Fluid-structure interaction effects on the dynamic response of fluid containers are taken into account incorporating wall flexibility. A simple model with viscous boundary is used to include deformable foundation effects as a linear medium. Six different soil types are considered. In addition the application of slat screens and baffles in reducing the sloshing height of liquid tank is investigated by carrying out a parametric study. The results show that the wall flexibility, fluid damping properties, earthquake frequency content and soil-structure interaction have a major effect on seismic behaviour of liquid tanks and should be considered in design criteria of tanks. The effect of vertical acceleration on the dynamic response of the liquid tanks is found to be less significant when horizontal and vertical ground motions are considered together. The results in this study are verified and compared with those obtained by numerical methods and other available methods in the literature.