Glossary of Fish Terms

Glossary of Fish Terms for a better understanding

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Acidic: Softness of water; low or no alkalinity

Air pump: Bubbler; motorized pump that pushes air

Algae: Common varieties are; blanket, green water and substrate; plant organism that is found only in a cycled tank or pond; feeding on nitrates

Alkaline: Hardness of water; high in pH

Ammonia: The first toxin converted from waste without the assistance of living organisms

Beneficial bacteria: Friendly bugs; single cell microorganism that splits every 10 to 12 hours; food source is ammonia; prefers cool, heavily oxygenated water; prefers darkness

Carbon: Used in aquariums and ponds for absorption of ammonia

Carbon dioxide: Gas found in goldfish tank or pond; created from waste

Carbonate hardness (KH): The level of carbonate and bicarbonate ion concentrations found in water

Charcoal: Used in aquariums and ponds for absorption of ammonia

Chlorine or chloramines: Disinfectant found in most city tap water

Cold blooded: Having no core body temperature

Comfort Zone: The range of measurement that is suitable for goldfish

Cycled tank or pond: The process of the nitrogen cycle complete with only nitrates being produced by living organisms

Dormant: Body functions become slower over a period of time; deep sleep

Ecosystem:  A community of living creatures and organisms and their association with each other in a particular environment

Fasting Goldfish: To withhold food

Fishless cycle: A means of encouraging the formation of bacteria in an environment ‘without’ the presence of goldfish

Fresh water change: Replacing old tank or pond water with fresh.

Friendly bugs: Beneficial bacteria

Fry: Very young goldfish

General Hardness: The level of minerals found in water

Gravel Vacuum: Python; motorized or manual; used for siphoning waste from tank or pond bottoms

Hardness of water: High alkalinity

Harmful bacteria: Unfriendly bugs; single cell microorganism that splits every 20 to 30 minutes; food source is decaying matter; prefers warm, stagnant water; no preference to light or dark

Immune system: Natural resistance to infection

Live fish cycle: A means of encouraging the formation of bacteria in an environment ‘with’ the presence of goldfish

Nitrate: The third and final toxin converted from nitrite with the assistance of living organisms

Nitrifying bacteria: Microorganisms that convert ammonia and nitrite into nitrate

Nitrogen cycle: The process of converting ammonia into nitrite, and then finally into nitrates by living organisms

Nitrite: The second toxin converted from ammonia with the assistance of living organisms

Parameters: A specific measure of the water and its conditions; standard tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, KH, GH, oxygen levels, redox levels, temperature

Partial water change: Exchanging only a percentage of old tank or pond water with fresh

Potential of hydrogen (pH): Meaning; how acid (soft) or alkaline (hard) the water may be

Quarantine: Relocate fish in separate container to prevent contamination

Redox potential: Reduction of oxidation reaction; quality of water

Spawning: The development, release and fertilization of eggs; breeding

Spike: Rise in water parameters; ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH or temperature

Spike in the nitrogen cycle: Break or interruption of the cycle, causing ammonia or nitrite to be present

Stagnant water: A quiet body of water; without motion

Stocking level: Size and quantity of container according to size and quantity of fish

Supersaturated gases: Found in tap water; concentrated amounts of oxygen

Surface action: The action or movement at the top or surface of a body of water

Unfriendly bugs: Harmful bacteria

Water pump: motorized pump that pushes water; rated by �gallons or liters per hour GPH or LPH

Water Table: The depth or height of contained water

Zeolites: Used in aquariums or pond for absorption of ammonia

Terms used in fish keeping

Glossary of Fish Terms

Symptoms, Conditions & Treatments

Anesthetize: To induce insensitivity to pain

Antibiotics (natural): Selective poison that destroys bad bacteria without harming good

Antibiotics (medicinal): Selective poison that destroys bacteria

Bacteria Bloom: Clouded water filled with bad bacteria; tinted white

Bent positioning: Body of goldfish is curled or bent sideways

Bottom sitting: Goldfish is pressed to floor of tank or pond

Clamped fins: Goldfish fins are folded in, close to body

Concave: Sunken

Constipation: Processed food becomes obstructed

Dosage: Specified amount

Euthanize: To end life

Flashing: Goldfish is swimming sporadically or darting

Gasping at surface: Goldfish mouth is above water line; sucking air

Harmful bacteria infection: Invasive microorganisms in quantities that cause sickness

Impacted eggs: Bound eggs

Organ failure: Kidney, liver or heart ceases to function

Oxygen deprivation: Deprived of oxygen; not being able to breathe

Parasites: Organisms that benefit by deriving nutrients from a host; causing sickness

Pine coned: Goldfish scales are lifted or raised; looking much like a pine cone

Pop eye: Condition caused by oxygen deprivation; pressure in the water

Probiotics: Beneficial bacteria

Shock: Sudden and insufficient blood flow throughout the body

Tilted: Goldfish body is leaning sideways

Toxin: Poison derived from microorganisms

Uncontrolled swimming: Goldfish has no control swimming or buoyancy;

cannot rise or sink upon demand

Glossary of fish terms

glossary of fish terms
Glossary of fish terms

Read the 10 steps to goldfish Koi care

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Author: Brenda Rand