Aquarium Fish

B - Aquarium and Fish Dictionary

Aquarium Fish Definition and Glossary

Background :
is the backside of the aquarium. There are several options available to the aquarist when it comes to aquarium backgrounds. Underwater scene prints and 3D backgrounds are affixed to the outside of the back wall of the fish tank, providing a background when viewed from the front of the tank. You can even paint the outside back wall. Popular color choices are various shades of blue, black, dark green, etc.

Bacteria :
small, microscopic organisms that are present everywhere in the aquarium. Some can be harmful, but most are beneficial and are necessary for the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Use caution when using anti-bacterial medicines in the fish tank since they may be indiscriminate in the bacterias they kill.

Ballast :
is an electrical device used to start fluorescent lamps and for regulating the power flow through fluorescent lights.

Barb :
is a type of freshwater fish. Also see Barbs - Cyprinids.

Bare Bottom :
a term used when referring to an aquarium lacking a substrate, often used when referring to saltwater tanks. People have bare bottoms with the hopes of limiting nutrients (that could accumulate in sand beds) for growing corals. Others simply like the clean look of a bare bottom tank.

Benthic :
means the bottom of a body of water. Benthic dwelling organisms can live on or in the aquarium substrate.

Betta :
is a type of freshwater fish. Also see the Betta fish profile.

Bio-balls :
as the name implies, these are small plastic, porous balls that are usually placed in wet/dry trickle filters that help promote the growth of bacteria that aid in the nitrogen cycle.

Bio-load :
the sum total of the biological burden placed on the biological filter in an aquarium. An overstocked tank will place a heavy bio-load on the filtration system.

Bio-wheel :
this is a part in a bio-wheel filter that provides biological filtration. It is a wheel shaped device that spins using water motion provided by the filter. As the wheel spins it comes in contact with aquarium water and then mixes with air, providing a large surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize.

Biological Filtration :
is the part of the aquarium filter system that promotes or allows the growth of beneficial bacteria that helps filter the aquarium water by breaking down wastes into nitrogen compounds (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, nitrogen gas). There are many filtration devices primarily designed for biolgical filtration such as bio-balls, filter floss, sponge filters, etc. Benefical bacteria colonies can form on nearly every surface in the tank including the filter, the tank walls, and the substrate. For saltwater aquarium keepers, live sand and live rock can be fantastic biological filters.

Birdsnest Coral :
see Birdsnest Coral

Black Water Extract :
is a water conditioner that contains peat and it helps provide soft, acidic water conditions for aquariums. Hobbyists keeping fish from the Amazon river locations may be interested in using black water extract to more closely resemble these Amazon river water conditions.

Bloodworm :
a fish food, these are midge larvae that are naturally occuring in the bottom of streams and rivers that make a part of the diet in some fishes. They can be high in protein and can be given as a treat to your fish or to help condition them for spawning. They commonly come in frozen and freeze-dried form.

Blackworm :
a fish food, also see Tubifex Worm.

Blastomussa Coral :
see Blastomussa Coral.

Bottom Feeder :
is a fish that spends most of it's time scavenging the substrate for food. Many catfish species, such as corydoras are bottom feeders.

Brackish Tank :
In between a freshwater tank and saltwater tank is the brackish fish tank. These tanks have water with smaller amounts of dissolved salts and they may try and replicate locations where freshwater rivers meet oceans. See Brackish Fish species profiles for more information.

Breeding Tank :
this is a specialized aquarium set up for the breeding of fish. They are often scaled down tanks and breeders run them without substrates and sometimes sponge filters to minimize damage to fry. Having no substrate makes it easier to keep the water conditions optimal and the tanks easier to clean during the frequent water changes that rearing tanks require.

Brine Shrimp :
a fish food, brine shrimp is another good treat for your fish that is easy to cultivate and nutritious. Baby brine shrimp is often fed to fish to condition them for spawning or breeding. For ideas on how to raise your own brine shrimp, please read the brine shrimp hatchery article.

Brood Stock :
a fish or a fish pair that is used for breeding. Some fish species pairs (Discus fish) can fetch high prices.

Bubble Nest :
is a nest of air bubbles constructed by the anabantoid fish species for protecting the eggs. Males usually build the bubble nest and guard the eggs.

Buffer :
is a powder or chemical used to change the alkalinity of aquarium water so that it can resist changes in the aquarium pH. Saltwater aquariums often need buffer agents added because they are skimmed off or used up. These buffering agents usually consist of carbonate and bicarbonate. Baking soda can also be used as a buffering agent.

Bysus Gland :
an organ in clams that secretes bysus threads which allows them to attach themselves to the substrate or other surface.

© - providing tropical fish tank and aquarium information for freshwater fish and saltwater fish keepers
SiteMap | Aquarium Fish SiteMap | Aquarium Fish Dictionary | Privacy Policy | Contact Us