I'm the wrong person to ask this, as I am completely inexperienced with aquariums, but I think I've caught something early that probably needs a standard.

We have 2 questions regarding aquarium pH and conditions, one with and the other with (recently replaced with per below), both of which are not obvious and seem to mean the same thing according to the questions they're used on.

Is there a standard term aquarium owners use to refer to hypothetical tags or ? I think is too broad.

We probably should be using whatever is commonly used in the aquarists (aquarium enthusiasts / fish-keeping) community.

Can someone with appropriate experience or research please provide a proper suggestion?


I've been wondering about this. Getting water right is one of the most complex and frustrating parts of fish-keeping, so we're going to have a lot of questions of that nature. I just created yesterday because we need either that or .

I don't think it matters which we use. The two terms mean basically the same thing and are used pretty interchangeably, and in practical terms typing "water" will show either as a tag option. But these are the two options really, unless we want to get really granular with , , , etc. Strictly speaking, those are the individual water parameters that make up water quality.

One thing I've noticed, and the reason I went with , is that people tend to talk about quality when they have a problem with bad water and parameters when they have a question about good water. Like, "What water parameters do pearly danios need?" vs. "Why is my water quality so poor?" But is a more common and inclusive term, and for what it's worth, public aquariums usually have what they call a water quality lab.

Edit: I think the two concepts are so closely related, it would be confusing not to have them as synonyms. If we needed a level of precision that would distinguish the two, we should have a high-level and more targeted etc. But I think that's overkill at the moment.

and are not aquarist terms of art, so I'd vote no on them. is another option, but it's a little too specific: not all these questions will be chemical in nature.

  • If I'm reading you correctly, your conclusion is: (1) use "water-parameters", (2) replace "controlled-environment" {for the instance it's currently used} with "water-parameters", and (3) if "water-quality" appears, don't make a synonym of it to "water-parameters". – JoshDM Nov 15 '13 at 19:02
  • I actually think water-quality and water-parameters are close enough to be synonyms -- sorry, should have been clear about that. So: 1. Yes, unless anyone feels strongly for water-quality; 2. Yes – toxotes Nov 15 '13 at 19:28
  • You're saying this to the person who recently helped manage distinguishing "Feeding" / "Eating" / "Diet" ("Chewing" / "Pica" / "Biting"), so I'm a little sensitive to the distinctions between tags at the moment. :-) – JoshDM Nov 15 '13 at 19:31
  • 2
    Hah, well, these hairs won't split themselves! – toxotes Nov 15 '13 at 19:40
  • 1
    I've killed "controlled-environment" for consistency; for now we'll leave this as a a W-Q vs W-P vs "terminology" open discussion. – JoshDM Nov 15 '13 at 19:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .