Glossary of Terms, FAQ's, useful links and search tips
If you are a newbie like me, you probably want to dive head first into this great hobby but have no idea where to start. Hopefully this thread will help you understand the lingo and point you in the right direction.
I've searched around and asked but didn't see any replies to a request for a glossary. So I've decided to start one here with terms I've learned so far, please feel free to add on. If this already exists somewhere, please let me know and I'll delete this one. Much of the terms are well known to me, but many are also new to me, so please let me know if I'm made any errors.
AC - Activated carbon, chemical filtration media or alternating current submitted by Albinooscar
AGA - All-Glass Aquarium, Aquarium manufacturer submitted by Albinooscar
Algae Eater - a fish that is prized by aquascapers for its algae eating property submitted by medicineman
Amano - an accomplished aquascaper whose name has come to define a style of scaping submitted by lumpyfunk
Aquarium - A container used to house fish, plants, invertebrate and other aquatic life. Usually made of glass or acrylic but can also be made of other material such as wood. submitted by Albinooscar
Aquascaping - the process of arranging and pruning your plants for aesthetics
Ballast - A device used to start a gas discharge lamp, and once the lamp is started, to limit the flow of electric current submitted by TAF CAF
BBA - Black Brush Algae, not always black but grows in tufts submitted by Rex Grigg
BGA - Blue Green Algae submitted by Gerald the Mouse
Biogenic - Decalcification - When CO2 is deficient the plants can suck it right out of the hardening constituents of the carbonate hardness, thus raising pH. submitted by Adrian
BOD - Biological oxygen demand submitted by Albinooscar
BPM - short for bubbles per minute, the count of bubbles in a bubble counter for a CO2 system, a unit of measure for CO2
BTW - Short for "by the way"
Bubble Counter - A small cylinder half full of water with a co2 input tube and an output tube. Bubbles form and co2 gas enters the input chamber and then to the output chamber. Bubbles form in the water to help the user gauge the co2 flow rate.
Buffers - products used to raise or lower alkalinity and acidity submitted by Šank
Bump - A generic forum term in which a post is made, generally just with the word "bump" as the context, to push a thread to the top of the forum list. Many times this is used if a post goes unanswered or if a seller wants his thread to get more exposure. Before "bumping" a thread check the forum rules as some forums frown upon "bumping." Also used in this fashion is "TTT" meaning To the Top.
CAE - short for Chinese Algae Eater, an infamous algae eating fish submitted by medicineman
Canister Filter - These filters differ from the "hang on the back of your tank" filters in that they are external to the tank. They have an input and output hose. Water leaves the tank, enters the canister for filtration, then re-enters the tank. These types of filters are generally more efficient than "hang on" filters and are desirable for aesthetics as the filter can be hidden.
Canopy - Sits on top of tank usually contains lighting submitted by Šank
CEC - Cation Exchange Capacity
CFL - Compact Fluorescent Lamp
Check Valve - Inline device that allows gas or water, depending on the type of valve, to flow in one direction
Chelators - Synthetic acids that enable trace elements to be absorbed by plants before they precipitate. submitted by Adrian
Cherries - Short for cherry shrimp, a red freshwater shrimp
CO2 - Carbon Dioxide, generally used in planted tanks with heavy lighting (greater than 2WPG) to accelerate plant growth. Injection usually done via DIY CO2, pressurized CO2 or CO2 tablets. CO2 injection is usually done with care however as it lowers your waters pH.
CO2 regulator and solenoid - A guage and controller that attaches to a pressurized CO2 bottle with a plug to activate and deactive CO2 injection. Plug usually plugs into a timer or pH controller. Regulator drops the cylinder pressure to a working pressure.. Some have bubble counters built in. changes made based on Rex Grigg's comments
CPD - Celestial Pearl Danios submitted by chikit2370
CPO - Mexican Dwarf Crayfish
CRS - Crystal Red Shrimp submitted by TAF CAF
CSM+B - The supplement Plantex CSM with Boron added see link for more info http://www.aquaticplantnews.com/apn/...e-plantex-csm/
CTA - Cellulose triacetate, type of RO membrane generally for water filtration submitted by Albinooscar
Cutting - Detached parts of stem plants for replanting. submitted by Adrian
Cyano - Cyanobacteria, a nuisance algae submitted by Albinooscar
DC - Direct current, a type of power submitted by Albinooscar
Demineralization - extraction of dissolved salts in the water byway of ion exchange or RO. submitted by Adrian
DI - Deionisation, type of water purification, a common part of some water filters submitted by Albinooscar
Diffuser - Inserts gas into water as very tiny bubbles and spreads the gas out. Generally used in smaller tanks to inject CO2
DIY - short for Do it yourself submitted by Albinooscar
DIY CO2 - Do it yourself CO2, generally a system designed to produce CO2 through chemical reactions, usually for smaller tanks
Dormant Periods - Some plants observe it to adjust to native (dry)seasonal fluctuations. submitted by Adrian
Eco-Complete - A common premium substrate for planted tanks
EI - (Estimative Index) Fertilizer Dosing Method submitted by Ktulu_JL
Emersed Plant - When the plant is grown out of the water. That includes in regular soil or fluorite or whatever substrate, or it can mean that the plants are allowed to grow out of the water (ie: when the plants get too high in an aquarium) Emersed plants flower and bud. Some submersed plants can be grown emersed, but not all of them. submitted by epicfish
Evap - Short for evaporation
Ferts - Plant fertilizers
Flourish - A family a Seachem.com products that will add ferts to the tank (Excel, Fe, K, N) submitted by Šank
Flourite - A common premium substrate for planted tanks
FO - short for Fish only submitted by Albinooscar
FW - short for Freshwater submitted by Albinooscar
GBR - German Blue Ram submitted by Gerald the Mouse
gH - General hardness, measure of the concentration of magnesium and calcium ions
GPH - Gallons per hour
Greg Watson Ferts - GregWatson.com is a common retailer of fertilizers for planted tanks. This site is popular because they sell dry fertilizers in quantity which equals significant cost savings per dosing unit.
Hard Scape - Rocks or driftwood in your tank
HC - short for Hemianthus callitrichoides, an aquarium plant that blankets what it's planted on
Heater - A device that sits in your tank or sump which raises and maintains water temperature.
High-Tech Tank - Used to describe a tank with strong growth aids, generally more than 2 WPG, CO2 injection, fertilizer dosing, etc.
HO - High output Fluorescent lighting submitted by Albinooscar
HOB - short for "hang on back" referring to devices, such as filters, which hang on the back of the aquarium submitted by Aquamoon
HQI - Mercury (Hg) Quartz Iodide, a type of metal halide lamp submitted by Albinooscar
HTH - Hope That Helps submitted by JenThePlantGeek
H2O2 - Hydrogen Peroxide (3% bottle found commonly at the store)
IMO - In My Opinion submitted by JenThePlantGeek
Internode - portion of the stem axis between two nodes. submitted by Adrian
K2SO4 - Potassium sulfate, a common fertilizer
kH - Carbonate hardness, measures buffering capacity
KNO3 - Potassium nitrate, a common fertilizer
Latterite - A common tank substrate
LFS - Local Fish Store
Low-Tech Tank - Used to describe a tank with little growth aid, generally less than 2 WPG and no CO2 injection
LPH - Liters per hour submitted by Albinooscar
Lumens - A unit of measure for light output submitted by Fish Newb The lumen can be thought of casually as a measure of the total "amount" of visible light emitted. submitted by Rex Grigg
Micros - trace element fertilizers like Plantex CSM or Flourish
MH - Metal Halide lights, a very powerful light generally used in Reef tanks.
MJ - Maxijet, powerhead manufacturer submitted by Albinooscar
MTS - Malaysian trumpet snails submitted by Aquamoon or short for Multiple Tank Syndrome, referring to the addictive nature of this hobby and the desire to purchase more than one tank submitted by TAF CAF, also Mineralized Top Soil
Needle valve - a device used to regulate and control the flow of CO2 into a planted tank submitted by Rex Grigg
Niche - The role an organism plays in its environment (aquarium in this case). eg: algae eater, bottom dweller, etc. submitted by frogmanjared
NO - Normal output Fluorescent lighting submitted by Albinooscar
Node - Slightly thickened part of the stem axis on which leaves grow submitted by Adrian
NSW - short for Natural seawater submitted by Albinooscar
ODNO - Over Driven Normal Output, a normal fluoroscent bulb that is modified to run extra output by suppying higher electrical input submitted by medicineman
Onyx - A common premium sand for planted tanks
Overflow - A device or mechanism built into or hanging on the back of your tank that allows water to flow out of your tank and into a sump or refugium.
Pearling - The process of plants giving off oxygen. This is seen in the form of small bubbles coming off your plants.
Peat Moss - A common tank substrate found at most hardware stores, ie Lowes, Home Depot, etc. and Commonly used as a thin layer under substrait to provide nutrients for plants, or used in filter bags to help reduce hardness and pH. submitted by TAF CAF
PC - Power Compact lighting, also commonly referred as Compact Flourescent
pH - Defines how acidic or alkaline the water is, an extremely important water parameter to maintain
PH - short for Powerhead submitted by Albinooscar
pH Monitor - A realtime monitor of the pH level in your tank
pH Controller - A realtime monitor of the pH level in your tank with a plug that activates when pH reaches a certain level. Usually a CO2 regulator is plugged into this device to automate CO2 injection.
Phosphate - a common tank fertilizer supplement
Plantex CSM - A name brand fertilizer of micros.
PMDD - PMDD is short for "Poor Man's Daily (or Dosing) Drops", a reference to an inexpensive homemade nutrient program
Powerhead - A water pump designed for water circulation or movement. Also used to pump water between tanks or devices.
PPM - Parts per million, a common unit of measure
Pressurized CO2 - A system which involved a CO2 tank and regulator, generally used to inject CO2 into your tank for plants
PT - short for The Planted Tank, this site submitted by Aquamoon
PVC - short for Poly vinyl chloride, used for piping / plumbing submitted by Albinooscar
RAOK - Random Act of Kindness = giving away something for the cost of shipping or entirely free
Reactor - A device which combines your tank water and CO2 in a chamber before outputting back to your tank. These devices usually need a powerhead or canister filter to input water as they need a high flow to work properly.
RC - short for reefcentral.com, a popular saltwater reef site
RCS - Red Cherry Shrimp submitted by TAF CAF
Refugium - A tank that sits external to your main tank but shares the same water via an overflow or attached to a sump. Refugiums are generally used to isolate certain plants or grow items that need to be isolated such as macro algae.
RO - Reverse Osmosis, a common type of water filtration which some use for water changes. Water is pushed through a thick membrane which cleans it of 99+% of all particles, chemicals and bacteria good or bad submitted by Albinooscar
RO/DI - Reverse Osmosis/Deionisation generally for water filtration submitted by Albinooscar
Runner - Lateral offshoot of a plant which creeps horizontally to produce daughter plants. submitted by Adrian
Rhyzome - fleshy part at the base of plants such as java fern, anubias, and bolbitus which the roots grow out of. Should not be burried in substrate submitted by JenThePlantGeek
SA - South American Submitted by Marilyn1998
SAE - short for Siamese Algae Eater, Crossocheilus siamensis, an algae eating fish submitted by medicineman
Soilmaster - A substrate made my Lesco originally for sports/field applications submitted by Šank
Submersed Plant - Plants that are grown under water only. Some submersed plants can be grown emersed, but not all of them submitted by epicfish
Substrate - The media or substance you layer the bottom of your tank with
Sump - Generally a smaller tank that sits below your main tank. An overflow allows water to flow into the smaller tank where you can store all your water handling equipment, ie heater, filter, etc. and a pump returns water to your main tank.
Stems - Plants portions that have been pruned but are suitable for replanting
SW - short for Saltwater / Seawater submitted by Albinooscar
T5 Lights - A newer form of lighting that produces high output with lower energy consumption than most other technologies. This lighting is now competing with Metal Halide lighting.
TIA - Short for "thanks in advance"
TFC - Thin film composite, type of RO membrane, generally for water filtration submitted by Albinooscar
TPT - short for The Planted Tank, this site submitted by Aquamoon
Trace Elements - Derived from: copper sulfate, cobalt sulfate, manganese sulfate, boric acid, sodium molybdate and others submitted by Šank
TTT - See Bump
Tuber - Storage organ for some plants (Aponogeton) that supplies nutrients during their dormant periods. submitted by Adrian
UGF - Under Gravel Filter, a water filtration system that goes under your substrate submitted by Albinooscar
UV - short for Ultra violet light submitted by Albinooscar
UV Filter - A filter that has water pass through a chamber where it shoots UV light at the water to kill certain types of bacteria. submitted by Adrian
VHO - Very high output Fluorescent lighting submitted by Albinooscar
WC - short for Water Change submitted by medicineman
WPG - Watts Per Gallon, refers to the amount of light divided by gallons in your tank
XP3 - A large cannister filter made by Rena in France that is well made and not too expensive submitted by Betowess
YMMV - Short for "your mileage may vary" meaning that performing said actions won't always end in the same result
Newbie FAQ that I found extremely helpful:
Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks
Calculate how much CO2 is in your tank based on kH and pH:
Good information on fertilizer dosing:
Setting up a CO2 system:
All you ever wanted to know about pH, kH and gH including how to lower, raise and maintain:
Aquarium Chemistry, pH, gH, and kH relationship
How to search this site using Google.com
If you're like me, you're not crazy about vbulletins search engine. It basically works like this: It takes the first word and finds all matches, then takes that list and matches the second word, etc etc. It's not quite as smart as Google's search engine. If you are looking for something that the search engine doesn't help you with try google instead. In google plug the following in:
followed by a space and then your search terms. Keep in mind the data won't be as fresh as the local site search engine. Google sweeps the site every few days so if what you are looking for is 3 days old or newer you're better off using the sites engine.
Keep the following syntax in mind:
- must not include parameter
+ must include the parameter
~ synonym's acceptable
quotes - parameter must look for entire phrase
i.e.: I want to search this site and it must contain the word plant, must not contain the phrase dry ferts and preferably contains water or any synoym of water I would search for:
+site:plantedtank.net +plant -"dry ferts" ~water
hope this helps.
Needle valve - a device used to regulate and control the flow of CO2 into a planted tank.
Regulators really don't control the flow. They just drop the cylinder pressure to a working pressure.
Aquarium - A container used to house fish, plants, invertebrate and other aquatic life. Usually made of glass or acrylic but can also be made of other material such as wood.
LPH - Liters per hour
VHO - Very high output Fluorescent lighting
HO - High output Fluorescent lighting
NO - Normal output Fluorescent lighting
The most important term:
MTS ----> Multiple Tank Syndrom - The highly contaigious desire to put tanks on every flat surface available.
:icon_roll And all this time I thought MTS was a snail:) :icon_lol:
Wicked bro, keep this thing going.
Soilmaster - A substrate made my Lesco originally for sports/field applications
Buffers - products used to raise or lower alkalinity and acidity
Flourish - A family a Seachem.com products that will add ferts to the tank (Excel, Fe, K, N)
Trace Elements - Derived from: copper sulfate, cobalt sulfate, manganese sulfate, boric acid, sodium molybdate and others
Canopy - Sits on top of tank and contains lighting
More to come, please reword as needed..
The following has been added. I put this together from the sticky's in the water subforum. Please correct as needed as my fertilizer knowledge is very, very weak.
MTS submitted by Aquamoon
a few others + reformatted + added "How to search this site using Google.com"
Here's a few more.:biggrin:
UGF - Under Gravel Filter
RO - Reverse Osmosis
DI - Deionisation, type of water purification
RO/DI - Reverse Osmosis/Desalination
CTA - Cellulose triacetate, type of RO membrane
TFC - Thin film composite, type of RO membrane
AC - Activated carbon, chemical filtration media / alternating current
DC - Direct current
AGA - All-Glass Aquarium, Aquarium manufacturer
BOD - Biological oxygen demand
Cyano - Cyanobacteria
DIY - Do it yourself
FO - Fish only
FW - Freshwater
SW - Saltwater / Seawater
NSW - Natural seawater
HQI - Mercury (Hg) Quartz Iodide, a type of metal halide lamp
MJ - Maxijet, powerhead manufacturer
Ph - Defines how acidic or alkaline the water is, an extremely important water parameter to maintain.
PH - Powerhead, water pump
PVC - Poly vinyl chloride, used for piping / plumbing
UV - Ultra violet light
Aquarium = A glass or acrylic container into which one pours large amounts of money only to watch it disappear.
Great thread, I vote sticky!! you are adding everything on the first post, KUDOS to you edrock Thanks for all your work!
and my addition
Amano: a guy who liked playing in tanks getting his arms wet and has become VERY wealthy doing so
It's true lol........wait a minute, why am I laughing? I'M BROKE!
Chelators- Synthetic acids that enable trace elements to be absorbed by plants before they precipitate.
Biogenic Decalcification- When CO2 is deficient the plants can suck it right out of the hardening constituents of the carbonate hardness, thus raising pH.
Tuber- Storage organ for some plants (Aponogeton) that supplies nutrients during their dormant periods.
Dormant Periods- Some plants observe it to adjust to native (dry)seasonal fluctuations.
Internode- portion of the stem axis between two nodes.
Demineralization- extraction of dissolved salts in the water byway of ion exchange or RO.
Runner- Lateral offshoot of a plant which creeps horizontally to produce daughter plants.
Cutting- Detached parts of stem plants for replanting.
i'm surprized no one has added the dreaded BGA? heh
Yes, let's be anal. :thumbsup:
Did I miss any?
If we are going to teach someone something let's do it correctly.
Did I get the punctuation correct?
Thank you for correcting my mistake for me.
WC = Water Change
ODNO = Over Driven Normal Output, a normal fluoroscent bulb that is modified to run extra output by suppying higher electrical input
SAE = Siamese Algae Eater, a fish that is prized by aquascapers for its algae eating property
CAE = Chinese Algae Eater, an infamous algae eating fish
Please make any correction if not appropriate
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