Guppy Glossary – Meanings From A to Z by Mary Jane

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  • Acclimation: the process of slowly introducing a fish to new water conditions.
  • Acid: a solution (i.e. water) with a pH less than 7.0.
  • Activated Carbon: a highly porous filtering medium prepared by exposing organic materials such as bones to high temperatures and steam; absorbs dissolved organic compounds and large ions such iodide from water.
  • Andipose Fin: a small fin composed of fatty tissue located between the dorsal and caudal fins of some fish such as characins and some catfish.
  • Aged Water: 1- tap water that has been left to stand, and from which chlorine has been neutralized; 2- water from a healthy, well-established aquarium that does not contain large amounts of nutrients.
  • Air Pump: device for delivering air under low pressure to tank equipment via tubing.
  • Air Stone: porous diffuser used to release tiny bubbles; usually made of fused sand.
  • Algae: any of a wide variety of photosynthetic organisms lacking a vascular system; maybe be unicellular, filamentous, or complex (seaweeds).
  • Algae Eater: fish or invertebrate which feeds on algae. Example: Siamese Flying Fox, Otocinclus affinis.
  • Alkalinity: a measure of the ability of a solution to neutralize acid without a change in pH.
  • Ammonia: a colourless, toxic gas with a strong odour; NH3.
  • Ammonium: the ionized form of ammonia; its properties are similar to those of alkali metals sodium and potassium; NH4.
  • Anabantid: a labyrinth fish; they have an organ that permits them to breathe atmospheric oxygen.
  • Anal Fin: unpaired fin in the mid line of the ventral surface of a fish, anterior to the tail and usually just posterior to the anus.
  • Anoxic: lacking free oxygen.
  • Anterior: referring to the head end of the body of a bilaterally symmetrical animal.
  • Antibiotic: a medication that kills or otherwise halts the reproduction of bacteria.
  • Anti oxidant: a chemical agent that prevents food or other perishables from being degraded through exposure to atmospheric oxygen.
  • Aquarist: one who designs or maintains an aquarium.
  • Artemia: the genus to which brine shrimp belongs.
  • Bio load: the demand placed upon the life-support system as a result of the metabolism of all the organisms present in the tank.
  • Biotin: a nutrient need for fatty acid synthesis in plants and animals.
  • Biowheel: a rotating pleated structure over which a stream of water is directed as part of a biological filtration system where nitrifying bacteria grow.
  • Bloodworm: the aquatic larva of a gnat, red in colour, sold as frozen fish food.
  • Box filter: a device usually placed inside a tank, using an airlift to draw water through polyester fiber and other media inside it.
  • Brackish: a combination of fresh and sea water, as occurs naturally in estuaries. Salinity: 15 – 20 ppt, pH 8.0
  • Brine shrimp: artemia salina and its close relatives, crustaceans often fed to fish.
  • Buffer: a solution of chemical compounds and water that resists a change in pH when either acid or alkali is added.
  • Calcareous: having calcium carbonate incorporated into a body structure, such as skeletal elements or a shell.
  • Calcium Carbonate: CaCO3, a crystalline solid, insoluble in water, incorporated into supported or protective structures in many animal and plant species.
  • Canister filter: an aquarium filter with the media enclosed in a plastic can outside the tank, with water leaving and entering the can through hoses leading to and from the aquarium.
  • Carbon dioxide: a colourless, odourless gas (CO2), formed along with water during food metabolism by most living organisms; toxic to fish, it is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis and eliminated by aeration and buffering.
  • Carbonates: Salts of carbonic acid (H2CO3). In these salts the two hydrogen atoms of carbonic acid are replaced by atoms of a metal.
  • Carnivore: that which feeds principally on animals.
  • Carotenoid: one of several yellow coloured organic molecules important in pigment development and cellular metabolism, such as vitamin A.
  • Catfish: species of several families with elongated sensory barbells, a scaleless skin (sometimes with bony plates), usually bottom-dwelling.
  • Caudal fin: a fish’s tail fin used for locomotion.
  • Caudal peduncle: the fleshy posterior portion of a fish’s body to which the caudal fin is attached.
  • Characin: any fish in the family Characidae, some known as tetras.
  • Chemical attractants: compounds released into the water that stimulate another organism or cell to move toward the releasing organism or cell; females may release an attractant for sperm cells of the same species.
  • Chemical filtration: the removal of dissolved compounds from water by foam fractionation or absorption on various media.
  • Chloramine: a chemical by-product caused when water suppliers combine chlorine with nitrogenous compounds, such as ammonia, which is much more stable than chlorine.
  • Chlorine: a gaseous chemical element used in bleaching, water purification, etc., usually added by water suppliers to your water. Toxic levels to fish are 0.2 – 0.3 mg/litre.
  • Cold-blooded: said of organisms whose body temperature is the same as that of their surroundings.
  • Crustacean: member of the phylum Arthropoda, invertebrate animals with a tough external skin. These include crayfish, shrimps and water fleas such as Daphnia and Cyclops. Copepods(ex. Anchor worm) and brachiurans (ex. Fish louse) are 2 groups of crustaceans that cause fish diseases.
  • Cyanobaceria: photosynthetic prokaryotes called “blue green algae”.
  • Cycling: establishing a population of beneficial nitrifying bacteria in an aquarium’s biological filtration system.
  • Cyclops: a genus of copepod with a single eye in the middle of the forehead (a tiny crab with claws); harmful to fry; avoid feeding to guppies.
  • Daphnia: common water flea, often cultivated as food for fish.
  • Denitrification: process in which anaerobic bacteria convert nitrate ions into nitrogen gas.
  • Depigmentation: loss of colouration; bleaching.
  • Deportment: term used in judging referring to how the show guppy displays itself and swims about.
  • Detritus: tiny fragments of decomposing plant/animal matter.
  • Diatom filter: a device that clears fine particulate matter from water, using diatomaceous earth as media.
  • Dorsal fin: appendage on the mid back of all fish.
  • Drosphilia: Wingless or stump-winged fruit flies cultured as live fish food
  • Ectoparasite: parasite attached to the out body surface of the fish.
  • Electrolytes: a non-metallic conductor of electricity in which the current is carried by the movement of ions; may be salts, bases or acids.
  • Endoparasite: a parasite that lives in the body.
  • Enzymes: proteins that catalyze chemical reactions in living cells.
  • Epsom salt: magnesium sulfate (MgSO4).
  • Erythromycin: an antibiotic; toxic to nitrifying bacteria.
  • Estuary: an ecosystem formed where a river meets the ocean. It has fluctuations in salinity due to tidal movement. A natural home of guppies.
  • Euthanasia: mercy killing to prevent a prolonged and painful death.
  • Excreta: solid wastes; feces.
  • Flashing: fish behaviour shown by rapid, glancing contact with an object in an effort to displace an external parasite or irritation. “Flashing” refers to the fact that the lighter underbelly is seen momentarily.
  • Flatworm: a member of Phylum Platyhelminthes. Includes non-parasitic Planaria, as well as parasitic forms.
  • Formalin: a solution of formaldehyde gas in water, used as a preservative in taxidermy, and as therapy in ectoparasite infestations.
  • Fry: recently born or hatched fish.
  • Fungus: nonphotosynthetic eukaryotes that feed via extracellular digestion, sometimes pathogenic.
  • Gene pool: the total amount of genetic diversity within a species.
  • GH: abbreviation for “general hardness: or the total amount of dissolved salts of calcium and magnesium present water.
  • Gill: physical structure that causes gas exchange across the walls of capillaries between the bloodstream and the water. Other parts include the gill cover, gill filaments, gill raker.
  • Gravid spot: a darker but transparent area under the base of the penduncle which female guppies possess; visible in very young female fry.
  • Hard water: such water than contains dissolved salts of calcium and magnesium in a concentration greater than 200 ppm.
  • Heterandria: small live bearing fish from the coastal southeaster U.S., including the least killifish, H. Formosa, the smallest North American vertebrate.
  • Homogeneity: uniformity; in fishes it refers to a lack of variation among a group, for instance the fry from a strain of guppies.
  • Hybrid: the offspring resulting from crossbreeding between two different species; in guppies, the resulting fish from a cross between two different strains.
  • Hydra: a freshwater hydrozoan resembling a tiny sea anemone, an aquarium pest that is sometimes a problem in breeding because it preys on fry.
  • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2): sometimes added to tank water to increase the oxygen content as it dissociates rapidly into water and free oxygen; also used as a disinfectant for treating fish wounds.
  • Hydrometer: a device for measuring specific gravity.
  • Ich/Ick: an infestation of the skin of a freshwater fish by the protozoan parasite Ichthyophthirius multifillis.
  • Ichthyology: the study of biological science concerning morphology, physiology and taxonomy and ecology of fish.
  • Infusoria: microscopic organisms, often ciliated protests and rotifers cultured as a food for fish fry.
  • Iodine: a chemical element present in seawater and essential for certain marine organisms; also found in table salt (note: it is not toxic).
  • Ions: Positively or negatively charged particles.
  • KH: “German hardness”, a scale to measue alkalinity or carbonate hardness.
  • Krill: any euphausid crustacean (Euphausia superba) from the sea, sold frozen or freeze-dried as fish food.
  • Lateral line: lies usually along the middle of each side of a fish; senses changes in water pressure so the fish can control its swimming.
  • Live-bearer: fish which bear live young which have already hatched from egg form inside the fish.
  • Lordosis: curvature of the spine induced by malnutrition in fish.
  • Mechanical filtration: water purification whereby particulate matter passes over medium (floss, foam) to remove it from the tank.
  • Metabolism: the process of deriving energy from food molecules by a living thing.
  • Methylene blue: a chemical dye used as an aquarium medication or disinfectant (useless as the latter); toxic to nitrifying bacteria.
  • Milt: the exudates of a male fish containing his sperm.
  • Mulm: fish wastes and other solid matter accumulated in the tank, partially decomposed, which needs removal.
  • Nauplius: the first larval stage of the brine shrimp.
  • Nematode: a roundworm; some are parasites an some are fed to fish.
  • Nitrate: the end product of ammonia after being converted by bacteria.
  • Nitrifier: any bacteria capable of oxidizing ammonia.
  • Nitrobacter: a bacteria that was thought responsible for changing nitrite to nitrate (research disproves this; other bacteria are probably involved).
  • Nitrosomonas: a bacteria that was thought responsible for changing ammonia to nitritre (research disproves this; other bacteria are probably involved).
  • Omnivore: an organism that eats both plant and animal matter (ie. the guppy).
  • Oodinium: a microsopic dinoflagellate parasite of freshwater fish, which causes “velvet”.
  • Osmoregulation: control of the water and electrolyte balance in the body.
  • Osmotic pressure: the movement of water across a semipermeable membrane due to the difference between solute concentrations on both sides.
  • Outgassing: the escape of free gasses (ie. Carbon dioxide or oxygen) from the surface of the water.
  • Ovovivparous: reproduction whereby fertilized eggs are incubated within the parent’s body and are released hatched (ie. guppy).
  • Parasite: an organism living on or within a host, usually causing harm.
  • Pathogenic: produces bacterial disease.
  • Perctoral fin: paired fins (see Anatomy page).
  • Peduncle: the flesh area to which the the caudal fin is attached.
  • Pelvic fin: paired fins (see Anatomy page).
  • PH: Water Quality …
  • Phenotypic: the characteristics shown in an individual of the genetic traits it inherited; also that which is shown as a result of environment and genes.
  • Piperazine citrate: an anthelmintic which is used to treat intestinal worms (Camallanus).
  • Planarians: Free-swimming flat worms, aquarium pests which may prey on fry and compete for food
  • Plankton: microscopic organisms, both plant and animal which is an important food source.
  • Poecilia: the family to which the guppy and molly belong.
  • Power filter: a water filter which is powered by an attached motor.
  • Ppb: parts per billion, equal to micrograms per litre.
  • Ppm: parts per million, equal to milligrams per litre.
  • Ppt: parts per thousand, equal to grams per litre.
  • Prefilter: protects filters from damage by preventing the intake of objects, which are too large and also intended to protect fish from being trapped in the filter.
  • Protozoan: a one-celled organism (protist) similar to an animal; example: ich.
  • Quarantine tank: holds fish temporarily apart from others for assessment.
  • Rotifer: microscopic animals which are an important food source for fish.
  • Salinity: the measurement of the amount of dissolved salts in seawater.
  • Septicemia: a disease caused by bacteria growing in the blood (see Ailments).
  • Shock: physiological response to stress or injury.
  • Soft water: water with dissolved solids which are less than 100 ppm.
  • Spawn: to release eggs and sperm into water.
  • Species: genetically distinct population(s) that interbreed but are reproductively isolated from other such groups.
  • Sponge filter: a filter for small tanks made of plastic foam which traps tiny particulate matter, but mostly provides surface area for the growth of helpful bacteria.
  • Strain: In guppies, a line developed which differentiates from the original species with its own genetic pattern, colour and other tendencies; ex. Purple Delta.
  • Submersible heater: a device that raises the water temperature, which can be completely covered by water safely.
  • Substrate: material (sand, gravel etc.) placed on the bottom of an aquarium.
  • Superfetation: the process whereby a female stores sperm and can produce numerous broods without further impregnation.
  • Swim bladder: a thin-walled, gas-filled sac found in bony fish that permits them to control their buoyancy and thus rise or sink in the water.
  • Symmetry: term used in judging referring to the overall pleasing appearance of the show guppy in the proper proportions including colour, body, dorsal and caudal shapes.
  • Trickle filter: a water purifier in which water flows slowly, or trickles, over media not submerged but held in a tray or chamber, meant to facilitate attachment and growth of nitrifying bacteria.
  • Undergravel filter: a device for enhancing bacterial nitrification in substrate, made of a slotted plate which is placed under the substrate.
  • Urogenital opening: the common outlet of excretion and reproduction systems in fish.
  • Ventral fin: pelvic fin.
  • Viviparous: giving birth to live young.
  • Zebrinus: refers to the barred pattern or zebra-type pattern of 2 to 5 vertical dark pigmented stripes on the peduncle area of the fancy guppy, expressed only in males which is carried by a dominant gene.

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Source; Guppyplace


About Igor Dusanic

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