THE forum and online store dedicated to Halocaridina rubra aka the Hawaiian Opae ula shrimp! 

Having issues with your tank or inhabitants? Need to know what equipment to use or have other questions? Post here!
 #166  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 10:20
 When it comes to aquarium definitions, abbreviations or buzz words it can leave new and current shrimp keepers confused or misinformed. I have put together a set of common terms for Opae ula keeping and what they mean. I hope this helps!

You may use the links below to take you directly to that section/letter.
 #175  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 16:25
Acidic relates to the pH scale where a measurement of the shrimp tank water under 7 is considered "acidic" and over 7 as "basic or alkaline" and 7 is considered "neutral".

Activated Carbon
Activated Carbon sometimes abbreviated as "AC", this is a form of carbon that is used in aquariums to remove dissolved nutrients and contaminates. Only issue with using activated carbon is it needs to be replaced every month or you run the risk of leaking back out contaminates.

Air Pump
An aquarium air pump is a device used to force air into aquarium tubing. The tubing is placed into the aquarium (used in conjunction with an air stone) to increase water agitation and increasing the dissolved oxygen level in your tank.

Air Stone
An air stone is used in conjunction with an air pump and tubing, the air stone is placed at the end of the tubing in the tank. These "stones" produce lots of small air bubbles which float upwards causing the waters surface to become agitated and thus increasing the dissolved oxygen levels in the water.

Aeration is usually referred to in the context of "you need to increase the aeration in your tank". This means that you need to increase the surface agitation by using a device to agitate the surface of the tank water. You can do this by using air stones, power heads pointed at the water surface, and via return filters or other aquarium pumps.

Algae can be both simple and complex in form with varieties growing on nearly any surface within an aquarium. There are brown diatoms, blue-green algae, green algae and red algae. Algae needs nutrients such as carbon dioxide, phosphates and nitrates to grow.

Alkaline relates to the pH scale where a measurement of the shrimp tank water is over 7 and is considered "basic or alkaline".

Alkalinity you'll usually hear reef keepers discussing. Alkalinity is basically a measurement of how well the water in your aquarium can buffer against a drop in pH. An alkalinity test kit will measure the levels of elements such as carbonates, bicarbonates and some other elements. It is usually measured in units of meq/L or ppm which are essentially the same.

Ammonia (NH3)
Abbreviated as NH3 (one part nitrogen and 3 parts hydrogen), ammonia is released into the aquarium from uneaten foods, dead shrimp, shrimp wastes and other biological processes. It is easily measured using an aquarium test kit and is the first reading you'll get at the beginning of the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Ammonia is always being released into the aquarium and adequate biological filtration is needed to prevent the life forms from suffering because it is very toxic to shrimp. Ammonia is thought to be the number one killer of shrimp in aquariums, most likely due to aquariums going through the nitrogen cycle.

Anaerobic means that there is no oxygen is present or an organism does not require oxygen.

Anchialine pools
Anchialine pools are tidally influenced saline pools that occur along the coast but are not openly connected to the ocean. This includes water in natural depressions, fissures, quarries, and craters.

Aragonite is a form of calcium carbonate, this term refers to a substrate used in the aquarium to raise or maintain high pH and alkalinity levels.
 #176  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 16:28
The term 'berried' is used when a female shrimp is carrying eggs. For example: 'one of my female Opae ula finally became berried and is carrying several eggs underneith her'.

Biological Filtration
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 biological filtration such as bio-balls, filter floss, sponge filters, etc. Beneficial bacteria colonies can form on nearly every surface in the tank including the filter, the tank walls, and the substrate.

Brackish Tank/water
A Brackish tank's water sits somewhere between freshwater and marine. These tanks have water with smaller amounts of dissolved salts and they may try and replicate locations where freshwater rivers meet oceans.
 #177  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 16:30
Calcium Carbonate
Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) is a main component of many rocks, seashells and crushed corals.

Chaetomorpha is an algae that grows in saltwater and is one of the better types of algae for hobbyists to use for nutrient export.

Chemical Filter
Chemical Filter is an aquarium filter type that removes dissolve nutrients from the water. The most common form of chemical filtration in the aquarium is using activated carbon.

Chloramine (NH2CL) is used as a disinfectant in tap water. Most municipalities use either Chlorine and/or chloramine to treat drinking water. These chemicals are harmful to shrimp.

Chlorine (Cl) is used as a disinfectant in drinking water. It is very toxic to shrimp.

Crustacean is an invertebrate with a hard exoskeleton. Examples of crustaceans include lobsters, crabs and shrimps.
 #178  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 16:31

Dechlorinator is a water additive used to eliminate chlorine and sometimes chloramine from tap water.

Deionization (DI) is the process of removing ions from a solution (water) using an ion exchange resin. Sometimes used in conjunction with a Reverse Osmosis water filter to remove impurities from tap water before using it in the aquarium.

Denitrification is a process where nitrates are converted to harmless nitrogen gas that escapes at the tank water surface

DI is the abbreviation for DeIonization

Dissolved Oxygen
Dissolved Oxygen is the amount of oxygen dissolved in the aquarium water for use by the tank inhabitants. Shrimp need oxygen in the water for respiration/breathing.

Distilled Water
The distilling of water is the process where water is heated to a boil, the water vapors (steam) are collected in tubes where they cool and drip into another clean container. Distilled water could be considered pure water in that it removes many dissolved solids, salts and organics.

dKH is the abbreviation for Degrees of Carbonate Hardness and is a measurement of total alkalinity.
 #179  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 16:58

An Ecosystem can be thought of as an environment or location and all the organsims and animals that make up this environment along with their relationships with each other and their relationship with the environment.

Endemic means that a fish or animal is native to the particular place or geographical location.
 #180  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 17:01

A Filter is a piece of aquarium equipment used to clean the aquarium water through mechanical, biological or chemical methods.


'FW' is an abbreviation for the term "Freshwater".
 #181  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 17:28

GAC is an abbreviation for Granular Activated Carbon.

GH is the abbreviation for General Hardness. This is a measurement for the total amount of dissolve minerals in your tank.
 #182  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 17:32

A habitat is the location where an animal, plant or fish naturally lives. It can be important to understand the natural habitats of the animals we keep in order to try and replicate them in the aquarium.

Hard Water
Hard water is water that contains many minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. When you have hard water (use a test kit) it can be more difficult to regulate the aquarium pH.

A heater is a piece of aquarium equipment that is used to increase or maintain the temperature of the aquarium water. There are many types and varieties of aquarium heaters on the market and it can be a good idea to invest in two lower wattage heaters instead of one higher wattage heater in case of heater malfunctions.

HOB is abbreviation for "Hang on Back" and refers to aquarium equipment that can hang on the back of the tank. Most aquarium products will list in the product description whether or not they are HOB. HOB equipment eliminates the need for running your own plumbing lines outside the aquarium but the downside is that you can easily see the equipment hanging on the back of the tank.

A Hydrometer is a device used to measure the specific gravity of the aquarium water. Brackish tank and saltwater tank keepers need this device to monitor specific gravity levels.
 #183  by odin
 24 Apr 2016 17:37

Internal Aquarium Filter
Internal aquarium filters are any type of filter that needs to be operated inside the tank. Examples of internal aquarium filters are the undergravel filter, sponge filter and corner filter.

Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone. In aquariums, invertebrates are snails, shrimps, crabs, corals, anemones, etc.