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Main Index > Glossary of Aquatic Terms
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M - Z


A

Absorption
The process by which a filter media traps unwanted molecules.

Acidic
Water with a pH of less than 7.

Acrylic
A plastic material used to construct fish tanks, filters and accessories.

Activated carbon
A commonly used chemical filter media.

Adipose Fin
A small fin located behind the dorsal fin and in front of the caudal fin.

Adsorption
The process by which filter media attracts unwanted molecules to its surface via a chemical charge.

Adventitious root
A root which develops from the node of a stem or similar organ, such as a Rhizome, Stolan or runner.

Aerobic
A term used to describe an organism that needs oxygen to survive.

Airstone
A device that attaches to the air pump to create various bubble effects.

Alimentary canal
The tube of the digestive system through which food passes, where digestion takes place.

Alkaline
Water with a pH between 7 and 14. Also known as Basic.

Ammonia (NH3)
A dissolved gas that even in low concentrations is toxic to fish. It is produced by the breakdown of organic waste products.

Anal fin
Single fin mounted vertically below the fish.

Anaerobic
A term used to describe an organism that lives in an environment with little or no oxygen.

Apical bud
The principal growing point of the stem.

Artemia
Known as brine shrimp.

Axillary bud
A bud, capable of developing into a lateral shoot, present in the angle between the stem and a leaf.

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B

Ballast
A transformer which changes the voltage from your house outlet to the voltage needed to power different types of lighting.

Barbel
Whisker-like growths around the mouth, used for finding food and communication; a sensory organ.

Basses
Compounds that make water Alkaline. If water contains more acids than basses it's acidic. If it has more basses than acids it's alkaline.

Bio-balls
A filter media used for the colonization of bacteria.

Biotope
Natural environment of a organism.

Black Water
Water that has a dark cola-like color caused by Humic acids, it has a very low pH and is very soft, common in the Amazon river basin.

Breeding tank
An aquarium set up for the breeding of fish.

Bubble nest
A term used for a nest which is constructed of tiny air bubbles, produced by the male fish. It is used to protect the the eggs and fry. Members of the family Anabantidae are the most widely known users of such nests

Buffer
A substance added to the water to help maintain the pH. value.

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C

Calcium
A necessary element used by salt water corals and other organisms for their calcium carbonate skeleton or shell.

Carbonate Hardness
The part of the total hardness that is formed by the ions of carbonates(Co3) and hydrogen carbonate(HCo3). It is symbolized by dCH. It is important to know the dCH of your water, as it affects both the ph. and Carbon Dioxide amounts in your water. It is also commonly called "buffering capability". a dCH of 4 to 8 is fine for most fish.

Carbon dioxide(Co2)
Important plant nutrient. The higher the dCH the lower the (Co2). For most aquarium plants a level of 4-6 dCH is ideal.

Carpels
Female sex organs. They contain the Ovules which become seeds when mature.

Caudal fin
Single fin at the back of a fish-the tail fin.

Chelators
Synthetic organic acids that enable Iron and other trace elements to be absorbed easily by the plants.

Chlorophyll Absorption
Process of Photosynthesis, occurs between 420-550 nm.and at 670 nm. Values for different type bulbs.
  1. Actinic= 420nm.
  2. Vitalite=420-670 nm.
  3. Ultralume=550-670 nm.

Coagulant
A chemical compound used in water clarifiers. It causes fine particles to stick together to be more easily removed by the filter.

Communities
Different species of fish kept in the same aquarium.

Contraction
The shedding of the leaves at the onset of the dormant period.

Convexity
Having the property of curving outward, like the outside of a ball.

CRI; color rendering index
A number used for rating lite bulbs on a scale up to 100, where 100 is equal to sunlight.

Crushed coral
A Calcareous substrate material with pH buffering abilities, for marine aquaria.

Cuttings
Detached parts of stem plants: they take root after planting and become new plants.

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D

Denitrification
Breakdown of nitrates by anaerobic bacteria into other forms.

Detritus
Organic waste matter that collects on the bottom of fish tanks.

Diatomaceous earth
A filter media made up of skeletons of Diatoms, used in Diatom filters, able to filter particles down to microns in size.

Dichotomous
Dividing into two equal branches.

Dioecious
Having male or female flowers on separate plants.

Division
Division of the vegetative point of Rosette plants into two or more parts for propagation.

DKH
Abbreviation for Degrees of Carbonate Hardness.

Dolomite
A limestone gravel with a small pH buffering ability.

Dormant period
Interruption of growth in an effort to adjust to seasonal periods of stress.

Dorsal fin
Single fin mounted on top of the fish. Some species have two, one behind the other.

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E

Endcap
A water resistant socket for fluorescent lamps.

Etiolation
The formation of weak, spindly foliage deficient in Chlorophyll, usually occurs in light of too low intensity.

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F

Family
A term used in the classification of organisms. A family is made up of related Genera.

Filter feeder
A small animal that feeds off tiny food suspended in the water.

Filtration
Method of cleaning aquarium water, there are 3 basic types. "Mechanical" removes particulate material. Chemical" removal of dissolved substances by passing through a type of media, like carbon. "Biological" which is the process of changing from a harmful substance to a less harmful one, by bacteria.

5500K
Spectrum temperature of daylight.

Fry
Fully formed baby fish.

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G

General or Total hardness
he sum of carbonate hardness and non-carbonate hardness. Usually expressed in degrees of dH.

Gill cover
A hard bony plate covering the gills.

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H

Hard water
Water with a high concentration of dissolved salts.

Heterophyllous
Having leaves of different shapes on the same plant.

Heterostylic
Having flowers which differ in the relative length of their styles and stamens, such that any one flower is very rarely, if ever, self pollinated.

Hydrometer
A device used to measure salinity of water.

Hydrophilous pollination
The transference of pollen from the Anthers of the Stamens to the Stigmas on the surface of the water or under water.

Hypocotyl
The part of the Stem of a seedling below the cotyledons.

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I

Ich
A very common parasitic disease characterized by white salt-like specks all over the fish.

I.D.
An abbreviation for inside diameter, used when measuring tubing dimensions.

Invertebrate
An animal with no backbone.

Iron
The most important trace element for plants. Iron deficiency causes Chlorosis; a disease that makes the plant leaves Yellow.
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J

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K

Kelvin
A temperature reading used to rate the color of lite bulbs. 5500 degrees K is equal to sunlight.

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L

Lamina
The part of a leaf which is flattened, to a greater or lesser degree. As the Leaf Blade.

Lateral line
A line of sensory scales along the sides of fish that enables them to detect vibrations and electrical impulses from other fish.

Laterite
substance used in fresh water plant tanks to supply nutrients, either a powder placed under the gravel or chunks mixed in the gravel bed.

Lumens
A measurement of light intensity. (1 lumen=10.76 lux).

Lux
The standard for measuring light.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M - Z

 

 

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