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Fishing Jardon


If you are a beginner at fishkeeping, gain in-depth knowledge of your new hobby by reading relevant books, magazines and other materials. In your reading, you may be stumped by common fishkeeping terms that are still unfamiliar to you. 

Acclimatisation - The gradual introduction of new fish to an aquarium by equalising the temperature and chemical parameters of the water in their container with that in the tank. This helps minimise stress

Acidic - Water with a pH less than 7.

Acrylic - A clear plastic material used to make aquariums. It is half the weight of glass and its refractive index is closer to that of water than glass, making it more transparent. Acrylic is more easily scratched than glass. 

Actinic - A type of fluorescent bulb that emits blue-colored light. It is often used in marine aquaria to make corals appear to glow with brilliant colors, and to create a "deep ocean" feel.

Activated Carbon - A filter medium used to remove organic contaminants or residual matter from aquarium water. It has to be replaced at regular intervals.

Aerobic - Existing or active in the presence of free oxygen.

Air Pump - A small electric pump, usually the diaphragm type, used to introduce air into an aquarium.

Air Stone - A finely perforated ceramic, glass or wooden block which diffuses air from an air pump into the water in the form of tiny bubbles.

Algal Bloom - An explosive growth of algae which discolors the water and can lead to oxygen depletion.

Alkaline - Water with a pH greater than 7.

Ammonia - A toxic by-product of fish metabolism and the decay of organic materials. In a fully-cycled tank, the ammonia is converted to the safer compounds of nitrites and nitrates by nitrifying bacteria.

Anaerobic - Existing or active in the absence of free oxygen.

Aquarium Salt - Additive-free salt added in very small quantities to the freshwater aquarium, where it may be beneficial to certain types of fish. It is also used in the treatment of some freshwater 'fish diseases. It should not be confused with marine salt, which is a complex mixture of salts used in saltwater tanks to create "artificial" seawater.

Aquascaping - The artistic arrangement of plants, rocks and driftwood to create a harmonious, aesthetically pleasing display in an aquarium.

Aragonite - A form of calcium carbonate which constitutes the shells of corals and other marine creatures. Crushed aragonite sand is sometimes used as a substrate to raise the pH/hardness of the tank water above its natural level.

Astaxanthin - Carotenoid pigment supplement added to fish foods to enhance the red, orange, and yellow hues in fish. This may also be purchased as a powdered additive.

Bio-filter (Biological Filter) - Any device or substrate that provides a site for the nitrifying bacterial colony in an aquarium to attach itself to.

Bio-load (Biological Load) - The waste output of organisms in the aquarium/pond. If your aquarium carries a high bio-load, supplemental filtering sources must be provided to maintain water quality.

Blood Worms - These are not worms, but are so called because of their bright red color. They are actually larvae of non-biting midges (small, spotted, two-winged flying insects). Available live, frozen or freeze-dried, blood worms are often used as a food supplement for fish to stimulate their growth or condition them for breeding.

Canister Filter - An external filter comprising a sealed canister containing various filter media and a pump that circulates water through the media. It is attached to the aquarium by inlet and outlet hoses.

Caudal Fin - The tail fin of a fish; it provides thrust and is used for propulsion.

Chloramine - A combination of chlorine and ammonia used in water treatment plants for disinfecting municipal water supplies. It is toxic to fish and can be removed by treating the water with a conditioner specifically formulated for the purpose.

Chlorine - A chemical used in water treatment plants for disinfecting municipal water supplies. It is toxic to fish. It is less stable than chloramine and can be dissipated for aquarium use by allowing the water to stand in an open container for 24 hours, or instantly removed by treating the water with a standard dechlorinator.

Cichlids - A huge family of fish whose vivid colors and interesting social behavior make them very popular with fishkeepers.

Community Tank - An aquarium populated with fish of several different species, which are compatible with one another.

Cory - Common abbreviation for Corydoras, a genus of small South American armoured catfish.

Cycle - To establish the nitrogen cycle in an aquatic system by promoting the establishment of nitrifying bacteria.

Daphnia - Also known as "water fleas", these are common crustaceans found in freshwater lakes, ponds and slow-moving streams. They are cultivated or collected in the wild as fish food.

Detritus - Waste material that accumulates in the aquarium. It contains high levels of plant nutrients and should be removed whenever possible to prevent excessive algae growth.

Dorsal Fin - The fin atop the fishes' body. In many species of fish (such as cichlids), the dorsal fin has two distinct parts - a spiny front portion and a softer rear portion.

Dropsy - A condition in which the body of the fish becomes swollen due to accumulated fluids. It is not a disease in itself but a symptom of various types of diseases which may be fatal if not treated.

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

Hardness - A measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium in water, which is expressed as calcium carbonate.

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

Laterite - A substance used in freshwater planted tanks to supply nutrients to the plants. It is available either as a powder to be placed under the gravel, or chunks mixed into the gravel bed.

Lumens - A measurement of light intensity.

Mechanical Filtration - The trapping of particulate material from aquarium water by straining the water through a pad, sponge or other media, and the subsequent removal and cleaning of that media.

Hydrometer - A device used to measure the salinity of water.

Nitrification - The oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, and nitrite to nitrate by bacteria. Nitrification is the most important biological process in an aquarium as it forestalls the build-up of ammonia, which would otherwise increase to toxic levels. Nitrification takes 30 to 45 days to become established in a new aquarium, during which time ammonia and nitrite may reach toxic levels (called new tank syndrome).

Nitrite (N02-) - A form of nitrogen that is produced during nitrification and denitrification by bacteria. Generally, nitrite is very transient, as it is quickly utilised by bacteria.

Nitrate (N03-) - A form of nitrogen that is the end-product of nitrification. Nitrate is also the initial substrate for denitrification. Nitrate is not considered very toxic to aquatic organisms. The nitrate concentration in an aquarium will continue to increase unless steps are taken to remove it from the water. The most common removal method is regular water changes. Other means are the use of live plants, which utilise nitrate for their growth, or having a denitrifying filter installed. 

pH - A measure of the hydrogen ion concentration. The "p" stands for power while the "H" stands for the hydrogen ion (always capitalised because it is a chemical element); together they mean the the h Power of hydrogen ion. The pH of natural waters falls mostly in the range Of 6 to 8.

Salinity - A measurement of the mass of all the dissolved salts in a given mass of solution. It is usually expressed as parts per thousand (ppt) and used to determine the  salt level in a saltwater aquarium, the normal range of which is 30 to 34 ppt.

Trace Elements - This refers to elements or compounds which are naturally present in the water in very small quantities. These elements, such as chromium, cadmium, selenium, silver and cobalt, are important in physiological processes.

Water Quality - A term that encompasses entire range of physical, chemical and biological environmental factors in an aquarium. It is subjective in that what would be considered good water quality for one species of fish may be poor water quality for another.

 

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