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Acclimation - ak-lu'-mey-shun

The process of adapting an animal to its new environment. Typically performed by floating the bag containing the fish, invertebrate or coral in the tank water in order to adjust the specimen to the aquarium's water temperature. This step can be followed by slowly replacing the water in the bag with that of the existing tank water, in case there are differing water parameters which may stress the new specimen.


Acropora - ak-re'-por-ah

A very large genus of SPS Corals. These branchy calcium-based corals thrive in high-light, high-current environments.


Actinic - ak'-tin-ik

The term given to artificial lighting which produces a very blue spectrum of light. This is used in aquariums to recreate the light which penetrates water deeper than 30 feet. This is essential for the photosynthetic algae of some deeper water corals. This type of light is also used by aquarists to recreate a dawn/dusk lighting scheme within their aquarium.


Adipose Fin - 'a-du`-pows

Adipose means composed mostly of animal fat. Some fish posses a small Adipose Fin located between the dorsal fin and caudal fins.


Ahermatypic - A-herm-e-tip-ik

The word given to any corals which do not posses zooxanthellae.


Algae - al-gee

The all encompassing word used to describe most water spawned, photosynthetic, chlorophyll-containg organisms. This includes both Microalgae and Macroalgae. Unicellular, complex and filamentous. Typically lacking true roots and stems.


Alkalinity - al-ku'-lin-i-tee

The ability to neutralize acid within a solution, without having an adverse effect on pH. Defines the range in the pH scale where the value is above 7.


Ammonia - u-mown-yah

Ammonia (NH3), the combination of Nitrogen and Hydrogen, is the first by-product in the Nitrogen Cycle. The breakdown of waste materials and decay produces Ammonia and is extremely toxic to all fish in the aquarium. Nitrosomonas bacteria will take the Ammonia and convert it into Nitrites during the Nitrogen Cycle or it can be removed via mechanical filtration.


Amphipod - 'am-fu`-pod

Small crustaceans found in aquariums as hitchhickers on live rock or live sand. They multiply and become a valuable waste scavenger aiding in filtration process. The also are a food source for many marine animals.


Anaerobes - an-eh-ro'bes

Any bacteria which does not require the pressence of oxygen in order to accomplish metabolism.


Anaerobic - an-eh'r-ow-bik

Anaerobic refers to areas which lack oxygen. These areas promote the production of bacteria which thrives in an oxygen free environment. It is within these areas where Nitrate(NO3) is able to be converted into Nitrogen Gas. While this is a positive process and completes the Nitrogen Cycle, these type of oxygen free environments should be limited to specialized Denitrification units because Anaerobic areas can also create hydrogen sulfide and other toxic substances.


Anal Fin - ey-nl fin

The fin located directly near the anus and genital openings on some fish.


Anemonefish - u'-nem-u`-nee fish

Any fish that associate directly with an Anemone in a symbiotic relationship. These include all Pomacentrid fish which contain both Damselfish and Clownfish.


Anoxic - an-ocks-ich

The deficiency or lack of oxygen.


Aquaculture - ak-wu-'kul-chur

The process, husbandry and cultivation of aquatic plant and animal life for food, research or commercial gain.


Aquaculturist - ak-wu-'kul-chur-ist

The person who practices aquaculture.


Aquarist - ak-ware-ist

The person who practices the construction or keeping of aquariums.


Aquarium - u'k-wehr-ee-um

Any container used for the purpose of housing aquatic life for the purpose of exhibition or research. Typically they are, but no limited to, glass, acrylic or plastic and posses some form of life support system and/or filtration system.


Aquascape - 'ak-wu-skeyp

Used to describe the layout and presentation of an aquarium's interior decoration of rocks and/or plants.


Aquatic - uh'-kwa-tik

Relating to, living in or consisiting of water.


Aragonite - uh'-rag-u`-nIt

A mineral form of calcium carbonate found within the skeletal makeup of corals. Often found in aquarium substrate described as "crushed coral".


Asexual Reproduction - ey'-sek-shoo-ul ree-pru'-duk-shun

The creation of offspring by a single individual without the participation of a mate. Typically achieved through fission, segmentation or regeneration.