Currently we have a single tag. However, there is a significant difference between freshwater aquariums, and saltwater aquariums.

The care, maintenance, denizens, and level of expertise required varies significantly between the two.

We have 18 questions (at the moment) under the current tag, and the tags include freshwater specific, saltwater specific, and some that seem to apply to either type.

Should we have and ? Should these be used in addition to the existing , or should they replace it? Or should we have and , which should be used in conjunction with where appropriate?

  • I think aquarium tag is enough, other detail can be added in question itself. Every detail can't be presented through tag only. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:25
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    @AnkitSharma This isn't really a detail. Freshwater vs. saltwater is more akin to a difference in culture. Saltwater enthusiasts aren't going to be interested in questions regarding freshwater tanks, and vice versa, which is exactly what the tag system exists to help with.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:29
  • Its like further characterization, I mean similarly we will require furry-cat , non-furry-cat etc etc. Its just my opinion. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:33
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    @AnkitSharma No offense intended, but I'm going to assume you aren't very familiar with aquariums? That's a really bad analogy. "Furry" and "non-furry" cats would both have very similar care and feeding. About all that freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums have in common is that they're usually made out of glass, and have things living in them. The types of creatures, preparation, maintenance, and feeding for both are completely different. It's certainly a bigger distinction than cats and indoor-cats.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:36
  • I am also against indoor-cats , i mean why we are going to make further characterization of tags and then more further...till tag flood. I know what is freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:38
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    I didn't mean to imply you don't know what saltwater and freshwater aquariums are. Rather, do you know anything about the differences in how to maintain them? Here's a decent summary. The difference between the two is at least as significant as the difference between aquarium and pond.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:40
  • No offense, I think this discussion is not going anywhere, we can agree to dis-agree each other on this topic. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:42
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    Fair enough. Although I would encourage you to post an actual answer explaining why you don't think we should have distinguishing tags.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 13:44
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    @AnkitSharma - I know way too many people with fish tanks (aquariums). There really is a distinct difference between the two for the maintenance and set-up procedures. Coming into this question already knowing this, and now realizing there is a tag issue, I am pro-multiple tags.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 21:09
  • Both answers below have been edited recently, so if anyone wants to change their votes, feel free. :)
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


I'd like to see the tag stay as is, applied to all aquarium-related posts. Aquariums are a huge topic that has lots of facets. I know that originally there was a separate Aquarium site on Area51 that got folded into Pets.SE. I agree with that decision, but the fact is that there are lots of tags that could be considered "sub" tags of . Here are some ideas: . I'm not suggesting that we create all of these tags before we have questions for them, but they would be good tags for the right questions.

I would like to see all aquarium posts have the tag; this allows aquarists to filter pets.SE for their interests. Then if a question is specific to saltwater or specific to reef aquariums, they can add the appropriate tag to their question.

If you have tags labelled and , people will start to type in "aquarium" into the tag field, see the tag come up, and then select it. Most won't also decide to include the tag, because it is redundant. They'll think, rightly so, that the tag isn't needed, because the other tag already says "aquarium". So we'll end up with a bunch of questions tagged , but not .

You might say, "But if we don't include the word "aquarium" in the tag, then we'll have a bunch of questions tagged , but not ." You are right, but in my opinion, if a question is only going to have one tag, the tag is most important. The general tags are always more important than the specific tags. The purpose of the tags is not to define the question; that is done with the title and body of the question. The purpose of the tags is to help users group and filter questions into useful categories. The best way to do this for aquarists is to have one tag that will appear on every aquarium-related question. The and are just optional bonus tags that can be added to questions later by the aquarium question enthusiasts.

  • The problem I see here is justified misuse of those other tags. What keeps me from adding saltwater to a question about dogs swimming in sea water?
    – Baarn
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 8:11
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    @Baarn The tag wiki can describe when the tag is appropriate, and users can remove the tag when it doesn't meet those guidelines. Practically speaking, I think it'll be a non-issue with tags like saltwater.
    – user43
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 8:17
  • saltwater is an adjective, for example "saltwater aquarium". salt-water is an adjective with a noun, "a bowl of salt water", describing water with salt in it. As you note in chat, salted-water or salty-water could be used in those instances, should they occur. Also applies to "fresh" in these same instances.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 15:01

I'd prefer and to the non-"aquarium" versions.

Unfortunately, SO's search currently makes questions with these tags harder to find, so using them may be a bad idea.

I'd delete this answer, but the comments below are helpful.

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    I think this is the best choice because freshwater and saltwater without aquarium lose the intended meaning. Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 15:11
  • @JamesJenkins We can attempt to address that by putting instructions in the wikis/excerpts for those tags, but I find that such instructions are frequently missed. I agree that this is the best way.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 15:25
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    Would it be preferable to have the tags listed with aquarium first for sorting purposes, as in aquarium-freshwater aquarium-saltwater ?
    – JoshDM
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 21:40
  • I like this - either specify the type of tank you have if you have a question specific to that type, or just use the general tag if it applies equally to both.
    – user105
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 22:45
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    The point of tags is making the questions easier to find for searching. These tags actually make the question harder to find than a question tagged freshwater and aquarium unless you know exactly what words to use in the search.
    – user9
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 15:29
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    @Chad: The fact that searching "freshwater aquarium" in the site search doesn't find questions tagged "freshwater-aquarium" is certainly an argument against my answer, although I'd argue that it's also a bug in the search algorithm. :(
    – Wooble
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 16:56
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    @Wooble, if you edit your answer, up-votes can be retracted if you're so inclined.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 20:41
  • @Chad I'm not sure I understand how these tags make the questions harder to find. Could you please elaborate? When I'm searching tags, if I type "fre", I see freshwater-aquarium. If I type "aqu", I see freshwater-aquarium, aquarium, saltwater-aquarium, and aquatic-plants as the tag suggestions. Similarly, I had not difficulty in the generic search box.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 11:21
  • @Beofett: try searching for just "freshwater aquarium". It will not find all of the questions tagged "freshwater-aquarium", yes this would be a natural search phrase to use.
    – Wooble
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 15:54
  • @Wooble Ugh. Perhaps that should be logged as a bug.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 20:42

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