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AQUATIC GLOSSARY
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C

Cadmium (Cd): The MCL for cadmium is 0.01 mg/L. Cadmium poisoning is associated with kidney disease and hypertension and possibly mutations. For freshwater the concentration should be less than 0.0004 mg/L.

Calcareous: Made of calcium carbonate.

Calcification: A process that takes place in the body of lhe coral polyp, with assistance from zooxanthellae algae, by which the dissolved limestone in ocean water is changed into solid limestone, and is laid down beneath the coral polyp in the species specific skeletal pattern. This accumulative process results in the building of coral reef structures.

Calcium (Ca): A necessary element used by salt-water corals and other organisms for their calcium carbonate skeleton or shell. A high calcium concentration is associated with the hardness of water. See carbonate hardness.

Calcium carbonate: A relatively insoluble form of the metallic chemical element calcium that is found in such substances as limestone, teeth, bones, and shells. During a chemical process that takes place in the ocean, zooxanthallae algae form calcium carbonate in order to produce the skeleton of coral polyps.

Calcium chloride (CaCl2): This is a form of calcium that may be added to reef tanks to maintain the calcium level. However, kalkwasser (calcium hydroxide) is preferred, as adding kalkwasser does not upset the alkalinity or ionic balance the way calcium chloride can.

Calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2: See kalkwasser.

Calcyx: Calyces plural. See anthostele.

Callus: A layer covering the umbilicus in gastropods.

Canister Filter: This filter consists of a canister external to the aquarium, which is filled with various media, mechanical or chemical. Hoses run to and from the canister. An attached pump forces water through the canister. These can be very efficient filters, though they must be taken apart and cleaned regularly. v

Capillary Fringe: A zone of partially saturated material just above the water table. The depth of the fringe depends upon the size and distribution of the pore spaces within the geologic formation.

Carapace: A bony or hard shell that covers part or all of an animal. Turtles, crabs, and boxfish are good examples.

Carbon dioxide (CO2): The gas CO2 is a necessary nutrient for photosynthesis, which in turn generates molecular oxygen (O2). CO2 is a biproduct of respiration. The higher the dCH, the lower the (Co2). For most aquarium plants, a level of 4-6 dCH is ideal. CO2 can be used to lower the pH. It can also be administered to fish as a sedative.

Carbon: See activated carbon.

Carbonate Hardness: The part of the total hardness that is formed by the ions of carbonates(Co3) and hydrogen carbonate(HCo3). It is symbolized by dCH. It is important to know the dCH of your water, as it affects both the ph. and Carbon Dioxide amounts in your water. It is also commonly called "buffering capability". a dCH of 4 to 8 is fine for most fish.

Carnivore: Animals who hunt and eat other animals; meat eater (e.g., sharks).

Carnivorous: Eating animal tissue(the eater is referred to as a carnivore).

Carpels: Female sex organs. They contain the Ovules which become seeds when mature.

Carrying Capacity: The total number of individuals of a population that a given environment can sustain.

Catadromous Fish: Fish that spawns in seawater but feed and spends most of its life in estuarine or fresh water.

Cation: A positively charged chemical. For example, calcium (Ca+2), and Magnesium (Mg+2) are cations.

Cation Exchange: A process where positively charged ions of one chemical are preferentially replaced by positive ions of another chemical. For example, water softeners replace Ca+2, and Mg+2 ions with the sodium (Na+2) ion.

Caudal: Pertaining to the tail or posterior portion of the body. The caudal fin is the tail fin.

Caudal Filament: A threadlike process at the posterior end of the body.

Caudal Fin: Single fin at the end of a fish, also known as the tail fin.

Caudal Peduncle: The part of the body which attaches the caudal (tail) fin to the body. The surgeonfish's spines are located on the caudal peduncle.

Chaetognaths: Free-swimming, carnivorous, pelagic, wormlike, planktonic animals; arrow worms. See Arrow Worms.

Character Displacement: A pattern in which two species with overlapping ecological requirements differ more when they co-occur than when they do not. The difference is usually in a morphological feature related to resource exploitation, as in the case of head size, which may be related to prey size.

Checkered: Having a pattern of squares.

Chelate: Pincherlike; having two opposable claws.

Chelators: Synthetic organic acids that enable Iron and other trace elements to be absorbed easily by the plants.

Chemical Filtration: The process of filtering the water through a chemical substrate, most often activated carbon, although molecular adsorption pads and resins are also used.

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): COD is used as a measure of the oxygen equivalent of the organic matter content of the sample. Only the organic matter that is susceptible to oxidation by strong chemical oxidant. COD is typically used when there are industrial wastewater sources, comparing biological to chemical oxidation in the selection of treatment process and performances, or depending on the waste stream it can provide insight into the concentration of reduced inorganic metal inorganic, such as ferrous iron, sulfide, and manganese. Chromium (Cr): The MCL is 0.05 mg/L. The impact of chromium is not clearly defined, but it is known to adversely impact aquatic organisms.

Chemosynthesis: Primary production of organic matter, derived from inorganic substances such as ammonia, sulfur and hydrogen. This is confined to a few groups of microorganisms.

Chiller: A device which makes aquarium water cooler. They generally cost at least several hundred dollars, and home brew solutions involving small refrigerators are seldom successful.

Chinook: The largest species of the Pacific salmon, also commonly called "King." Adults weigh about 22 pounds (10 kg) and are generally36 inches (91 cm) long. Some chinook can exceed 100 pounds.

Chloramine: This substance is sometimes used as a bactericide in municipal water supplies. It it poisonous to fish, but can be removed with many commercially available dechlorinating additives. Unlike chlorine, it will not evaporate from water by itself.

Chloride (Cl): It is one of the major anions found in water and wastewater. The recommended maximum contaminant level is 250 mg/L, since the chloride ion imparts a salty taste to the water. If ions of Calcium and Magnesium are present, the chloride ion may not impart a salty taste until over 1000 mg/L. In addition to human and animal waste, sources of chloride can include natural geological formations, road salt storage and applications, oil / natural base drilling, and saltwater intrusions. High levels of chloride can attack and weaken metallic piping and fixtures and inhibit the growth of vegetation. Chloride ion is detected using a titrametric or potentiometric method.

Chlorine: Chlorine in one of a number of forms is added to water to destroy or deactivate disease-causing microorganisms and is the mostly widely used disinfectant in the United States. Elevated chlorine levels can great aesthetic problems (strong taste and odor) and if organic matter is present it can result in the creation of trihalomethanes, which are potentially carcinogenic with target organs including the liver and kidney. Chlorine will evaporate from water by letting it sit in a bucket, open, for 24 hours.

Chlorinity: Grams of chloride ions per 1000 grams of seawater.

Chlorophyll: Group of green pigments that are active in photosynthesis.

Chlorophyll Absorption: Process of Photosynthesis, occurs between 420-550 nm and at 670 nm. Values for different type bulbs:

1. Actinic= 420nm.
2. Vitalite=420-670 nm.
3. Ultralume=550-670 nm.

Chloroplast: In eukaryotic organisms, the cellular organelle in which photosynthesis takes place.

Chum: Also called Dog Salmon since they are commonly dried and used for feedng dog teams during winter. Chum salmon are common in the Chena.

Cichlid: A family of perchlike freshwater fish characterized by a laterally flattened body, with spines in the dorsal and anal fins, have only a single nostril on each side, have a divided lateral line, and lack a subocular shelf. Cichlids are found naturally in India, Central and South America, Madagascar, and Africa and are a popular freshwater aquarium fish.

Cirri: Short, stubby organs located above the eyes of some coldwater species.

Cladogram: A tree-like diagram showing evolutionary relationships. Any two branch tips sharing the same immediate node are most closely related. All taxa that can be traced directly to one node (that is they are "upstream of a node") are said to be members of a monophyletic group.

Class: A subdivision of a phylum containing a group of related orders.

Climber: An aquatic insect that climbs about aquatic vegetation.

Clinger: An aquatic insect that that is able to cling to substrates and maintain itself in fast-flowing water.

Cnidaria: An animal phylum that includes hydra, sea anemones, jellyfish, and hydrozoan colonies. These aquatic organisms have stinging cells (known as cnidae) that exist on the tentacles of the coral polyp and assist the polyp in capturing zooplankton that are passing by in ocean currents.

Coagulant: A chemical compound used in water clarifiers. It causes fine particles to stick together to be more easily removed by the filter.

Coastal Reef: A coral reef occurring near and parallel to a coastline.

Coelenterate: An aquatic animal of the Phylum Coelenterata which is characterized by a central mouth usually surrounded by tentacles bearing stinging cells, and no anus; includes sea anemones, corals, and jellyfishes.

Coenenchyma: The tissue of a zoanthid that surrounds the polyps. Consists of mesoglea and may have sand imbedded in it.

Coho: A species of Pacific salmon. In the Yukon River drainage, coho are found mostly in the Porcupine River system, although they are found occasionally in the Dawson City area.

Colonial Organism: Organism consisting of semi-independent parts that do not exist as separate units; groups of organisms with specialized functions that form a coordinated unit.

Color Rendering Index (CRI): A number used for rating lite bulbs on a scale up to 100, where 100 is equal to sunlight.

Columella: Central pillar of shell.

Comb Jellies: Members of the phylum Ctenophora, a group of gelatinous forms feeding on smaller zooplankton.

Comensal: An intimate association between different organisms in which one is benefited while the other is neither harmed nor benefited.

Commensalism: An intimate association between different organisms in which one is benefited while the other is neither harmed nor benefited.

Communities: Different species of fish kept in the same aquarium.

Compensation Depth: The depth at which there is a balance between the oxygen produced by algae through photosynthesis and that consumed by them through respiration; net oxygen production is zero.

Compensation Light Intensity: That light intensity at which oxygen evolved from a photosynthesizing organism equals that consumed in its respiration.

Competition: An interaction between or among two or more individuals or species in which exploitation of resources by one affects any others negatively.

Complete Metamorphosis: A developmental process in the life cycle in which there is a distinctive pupal stage that precedes the adult stage.

Complex Life Cycle: A life cycle that consists of several distinct stages (e.g., larva and adult).

Concentric: Sculpture which is parallel to the margin in cap shaped shells.

Conductivity: The theoretical definition of conductivity is the "reciprocal of the resistance of a cube of a substance 1 cm on a side at a specified temperature". Typically the units of measure are microhms/cm (uohms/cm) or microsiemens/cm (uS/cm). Conductivity or specific conductance is a measure of the ability of a fluid to carry a charge which is directly related to the concentration of dissolved substances. As the total dissolved substances in the water increases, the conductivity of the water also increases. For More information see Total Dissolved Solids.

Cone of Depression: A depression in groundwater levels around a well in response to groundwater withdrawal or pumping water.

Confined Aquifer: Also known as an artesian aquifer. It is the saturated formation between low permeability layers that restrict movement of water vertically into or out of the saturated formation. Water is confined under pressure similar to water in a pipeline. Drilling a well into this type of aquifer is analogous to puncturing a pressurized pipeline. In some areas confined aquifers produce water without pumps (flowing artesian well). When pumping from confined aquifers, water levels often change rapidly over large areas. However, water levels will generally recover to normal when pumping ceases.

Conformer: An organism whose physiological state (e.g., body temperature) is identical to, and varies identically with, that of the external environment.

Conic: Shaped like a cone.

Conspecific: Refers to animals of the same species or that have a similar appearance.

Consumer: A plant or animal which gets its energy by consuming, or eating other living things.

Contaminant: Any unnatural biological, chemical, physical, or radiological substance or matter contained in water. Tri-chloroethylene (TCE) is a synthetic cleaning solvent sometimes found in groundwater near manufacturing sites.

Continental Drift: . Horizontal movement of continents located in plates moving via sea-floor spreading.

Continental Shelf: A broad expanse of ocean bottom sloping gently and seaward from the shoreline to the shelf-slope break at a depth of 100 to 200 m.

Continental Slope: See Slope.

Contraction: The shedding of the leaves at the onset of the dormant period.

Controller: A device which measures some parameter of an aquarium, and then switches on and off another device to affect the aquarium. Typical controllers include redox, and pH.

Convergence: The contact at the sea surface between two water masses converging, one plunging below the other.

Convexity: Having the property of curving outward, like the outside of a ball.

Copepod: Small, shrimplike members of zooplankton that belong to the Order of crustaceans.

Copper (Cu): The MCL is 1 mg/L. At 1 mg/L, the water may taste bitter and is highly toxic and may disrupt the metabolic processes, especially for children. For freshwater the concentration should be less than 0.036 mg/L.

Coprophagy: Feeding on fecal material.

Coral: Colonial animal that secretes a hard outer calcareous skeleton; the skeletons of coral animals form in part the framework for warm-water reefs.

Coral Colony: A group of coral polyps that takes the specific shapes of that species of coral.

Coral Polyp: A small aquatic animal with a tube-shaped body and a mouth surrounded by tentacles; coral polyps are responsible for the production of coral reefs.

Coral Reef: A collective structure consisting of dead skeletal limestone that has accumulated over time and a result of the coral animals that cover the structure's surface. As a result of a series of ecological relationships, the coral reef structure is directly responsible for the production of much of the earth's fish and marine life.

Coral Reef Ecology: The study of the relationships between the living and non-living things that exist in and around the coral reef environment.

Coral Reef Ecosystem: A community of many different underwater plants, fish and other marine life in a coral reef environment and the existing relationships among all the living and non-living things there.

Corer: Tubular benthic sampling device that is plunged into the bottom in order to obtain a vertically oriented cylindrical sample.

Coriolis Effect: The deflection of air or water bodies, relative to the solid earth beneath, as a result of the earth's eastward rotation.

Countercurrent Exchange Mechanism: Mechanism by which two vessels are set side by side, with fluid flowing in opposite directions, allowing efficient uptake and retention of heat, oxygen, or gas, depending upon the type of exchanger.

Counter-illumination: Having bioluminescent organs that are concentrated on the ventral surface so as to increase the effect of countershading (see also countershading).

Countershading: Condition of organisms in the water column that are dark-colored on top but light-colored on the bottom.

CRI (color rendering index): A number used for rating lite bulbs on a scale up to 100, where 100 is equal to sunlight.

Critical Depth: That depth above which total integrated photosynthetic rate equals total integrated respiration of photosynthesizers.

Critical Salinity: A salinity of approximately 5 to 8% that marks a minimum of species richness in an estuarine system.

Crushed Coral: A Calcareous substrate material with pH buffering abilities, for marine and African Cichlid aquaria.

Crustacean: A class of arthropod with 10 jointed legs, antennae, and a hard exoskeleton. Crustaceans are primarily aquatic organisms. Examples includes lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and copepods.

Cryptocaryon: Cryptocaryon irritans is a parasitic infection where white spots appear on the body and fins. Fish will scratch themselves against rocks and breathing may become rapid if gills are affected. Treatment can be done by copper or other anti-parasite remedies, but this is incompatible with inverts. Cleaner shrimps and wrasses will remove the parasites, but may not keep up with a major infestation. Cryptocaryon is often referred to as the marine equivalent of the freshwater white spot disease, Ichthyophthirius, or Ich.

Ctenophora: See Comb jellies.

Ctenophores: Transparent, planktonic animals, spherical or cylindrical in shape with rows of cilia; comb jellies.

Cuttings: Detached parts of stem plants: they take root after planting and become new plants.

Cyanobacteria: Cyanobacteria is commonly referred to as red slime algae by hobbyists although it is not really an algae; it is a bacterium. Poor water quality with excessive nutrients is the usual causes. To combat cyanobacteria, perform frequent water changes, siphon out detritus, and if you have a salt-water aquarium, use a good protein skimmer.

Cycling: See Nitrogen Cycle.

Cylinder Pump: A type of air pump which can produce great volumes of air, though they are noisier than the more common diaphragm pumps.
 
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