Fish, Tanks and Ponds


Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Fish keeping terminology

Adsorption,
(spelt correctly) The process where pollutants are collected on the surface of a chemical filter media such as carbon.

Aged Water,
Some fish have a strong dislike of new tap water, (some Rainbows, Tetras when breeding) to get round this we use aged water. This is water that has been allowed to stand for a minimum of 4 days and has had nothing added to it, just gently aerated before use.

Anadromous,
maturing in saltwater but spawns in freshwater.

Anoxic,
Lacking in Oxygen.

Anterior,
The front end.

Aufwuchs,
A German name for Algae and the small Organisms that live on it. Used mainly to describe the main food source of Cichlids living in Lake Malawi. But is now starting to be used more widely.

BBS,
Baby Brine Shrimps, one the commonest fry foods

Benthic
Bottom living.

Biological Filtration,
A process where a bacterial colony is maintained usually on the filter sponge to facilitate the breakdown of all biological waste into mulm and nitrates.
Biotope, A geographical area with its own flora and fauna.

Black water,
Water with a high level of humic acid and tannins which colour the water.

Bleaching,
a stress response of corals where they expel some or all of their zooxanthellae algae resulting in a whitish colouration.

Brackish tank,
A tank that contains a combination of fresh and salt water.

Brood,
A single clutch of eggs or fry.

Bubble Nest,
A nest of bubbles that some fish make to house their eggs.

Buffer,
A substance that will resist changes of pH in solution.

Calcareous,
Any material (rock work, substrate) containing Calcium.

Carnivore,
Flesh eater.

Catadromous,
Maturing in freshwater but spawns in the sea

Chemical Filtration,
Using a filter media that will alter the water chemistry, i.e. to remove Nitrates.

Congeneric,
Belonging to the same Genus.

Crepuscular,
Active at Dawn and Dusk.

Culling,
Killing sick or unwanted fry or fish.

Demersal,
Eggs that sink or laid on the floor.

Dimorphism,
Two distinct types of the same species.

Diurnal,
Active during the daytime.

Electrogenic,
Electric producing Organs.

FAQ,
Frequently asked questions.

Fry,
Baby fish.

Genus,
A group of very closely related species.

Gestation Period, The length of time for a pregnancy to last.

GPH/LPH,
Gallons per hour or litres per hour. A system used for rating filters and power heads.

Gravid.
A female that is about to spawn or give birth is said to be gravid.

Herbivore,
Eats mainly or solely vegetable matter.

Heterrocercal,
The tails upper lobe is bigger than the lower.

Holocercal,
The tails upper and lower lobes are the same size.

Hybrid,
A cross between two separate species.

Hypoxic,
Oxygen depleted.

Ichthyology,
The study of fishes.

Inbreeding,
When two closely related individuals are bred, this can lead to genetic problems.

Infusorians,
Single celled micro organisms, that are used to feed very small baby fish.

Lacustrine,
Of lakes.

Lepidophage,
Scale eater.

Littoral,
Shallow water at the edges of lakes and oceans.

Marine Tank,
An aquarium that contains salt water, and saltwater creatures.

Mature Filter,
Filters contain millions of bacteria, it takes a few weeks for the bacteria to colonize a filter. Only then is the filter fully mature.

Mbuna,
An African word which translates as Rock Dweller, a name almost universally used for a group of Cichlids from Lake Malawi.

Mechanical filtration,
The removal of particles from the water.

Milt,
The sex cells of the male fish.

Mulm,
Biologically inert and insoluble material that is left over from decay, it collects like a fine light dust at the bottom of the aquarium.

New Tank Syndrome,
This occurs when fish are put in an aquarium before the filter has matured. Ammonia and Nitrite will both be present and will harm the fish.

Nocturnal,
Active at night.

Obligate Feeder,
Refers to fish that have a very specialized diet and can only survive on that one particular food. Even if the animal is offered and accepts other foods, it will still starve to death because it can't digest or extract the nutrients it needs from any other type of food.

Ocelli,
A pattern in the shape of a ring on the fish.

Omnivore,
Will eat food based on animal or vegetable in origin.

Osmoregulation,
The way fishes maintain the correct level of salts within their bodies.

Oviparous,
Lays eggs which hatch outside the females body.

Ovoviviparous,
The eggs are retained inside the female until hatched, the female makes no extra contribution to nourishing the eggs or young.

Palytoxin,
An extremely powerful neurotoxin naturally found within the bodies of most Zoanthid and related polyps.

Pathogen,
A disease causing organism.

Pelagic,
Open water away from the edges or bottom.

Piscivore,
Fish eater.

Poikilothermic,
Cold blooded or more precisely the body temp is the same as the surroundings.

Polyp,
The smallest whole living unit of a coral or cnidarian. They can live singly or colonial with vast differences in morphology.

Pop Eye,
When a fishes Osmoregulation system is upset due to disease or poor water quality, fluid collects behind the eye causing it to swell.

PPM,
Parts per million. 1ppm = 1mg per litre.

Protein Skimmer,
A device that removes aquarium waste before it is broken down by the action of bacteria. A stream of ultra fine bubbles are passed against the current of water in a chamber and the long protein molecules are attracted to the bubbles because one end of the molecule is Hydrophobic (Water hating) and the other end is Hydroscopic (water loving), The Hydrophobic end attaches to the bubble and is drawn to the surface with the foam. This is then collected in a small cup to be disposed of.

Rheophilic,
Living in running water.

Ripe,
A female fish that is ready to spawn, i.e. full of eggs that are ready to be laid.

Riverine,
Lives in rivers.

R/O unit,
A device where water under pressure is forced through a semi permeable membrane that only allows pure water through (R/O water). All pollutants are removed leaving 99.9% pure water.

Roe,
Fish eggs.

Runt,
An individual fish whose growth has been stunted.

Scute,
A bony scale like structure.

SG, specific gravity,
Refers to the density of salt water to determine how much salt is dissolved in the water. Fresh water is exactly 1, sea water varies from approx 1.018 to 1.027.

Stolon
Plates, Calcified stolon. Fleshy material that connect soft certain corals used for adhering to the substrate, asexual reproduction or inter-colonial communications.

Smolt,
Immature Salmomoid fish.

Substrate,
The material covering the bottom of a body of water.

Taxa,
Unit of classification of animals and plants.
TL, Total length, In fish it is from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail.

UGF, Under gravel filter.
A filter used solely for biological filtration.

UV, Ultra Violet light
Is very high energy light, a UV unit is used on ponds to kill any Algae or Pathogens that are found in the water. As it is pumped through the unit.

Vegetarian,
Eats mainly Vegetable based food.

Viviparous,
The eggs hatch inside the female and the young receive extra nutrition from the female.

White water,
Silt laden water.

Zooplankton,
Drifting microscopic animals.

Zooxanthellae,
Single-celled microscopic marine algae or dinoflagellate commonly found in symbiotic relationships with corals, anemones, clams and other photosynthetic animals

Glossary

 

References