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The Perfect Fish Keeping Journal


Betsy
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Hi friends!!

I'm in the market for a fish keeping journal for my tank(s)...I have tried multiple apps, but they really aren't doing it for me.  I like having a physical book to write in...just because it's so easy to access (IMO).

If you were to create a journal to keep track of a tank...or maybe all of your tanks...what would it look like?  What would HAVE to be in it to make it useful to you?

For me, I'd definitely want:

  • Page(s) for livestock (with a spot for date and number added, water requirements, a way to keep track of losses, and maybe a spot for a sketch or a photo)
  • Page(s) for plants (similar to livestock pages)
  • Monthly/yearly budget pages to keep track of spending (slash...do I really want to know?)
  • Weekly spreads for water stats and maintenance notes

What would your journal look like? 🤓 What things would you want to keep track of? 🤔

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47 minutes ago, Betsy said:

Hi friends!!

I'm in the market for a fish keeping journal for my tank(s)...I have tried multiple apps, but they really aren't doing it for me.  I like having a physical book to write in...just because it's so easy to access (IMO).

If you were to create a journal to keep track of a tank...or maybe all of your tanks...what would it look like?  What would HAVE to be in it to make it useful to you?

For me, I'd definitely want:

  • Page(s) for livestock (with a spot for date and number added, water requirements, a way to keep track of losses, and maybe a spot for a sketch or a photo)
  • Page(s) for plants (similar to livestock pages)
  • Monthly/yearly budget pages to keep track of spending (slash...do I really want to know?)
  • Weekly spreads for water stats and maintenance notes

What would your journal look like? 🤓 What things would you want to keep track of? 🤔

Great question / suggestion. If there was an aquarist’s Moleskine, I’d be buying them in bulk!

We have made print outs for our tanks. We end up scribbling all over the margins 😂

0D6EC20B-00F1-400F-A65D-DC5B564A0258.png

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I just do a computer folder with documents, but it might give you ideas.

Each animal species gets a document. I record what parameters they need, when I bought the first one(s), and dates of events like births, injuries, or tank transfers.

One document is for plant needs and what tanks they seem to do best in, though that will likely become a species-per-document thing like the animals.

The document I'm on most often is an ongoing list for all tanks. Each tank's list starts with water parameters, then I add any other variables: 

Date

55 gallon

ammonia

nitrite

nitrate

maybe temp, GH, kH, etc

Things like: Added bacteria. Turned heater down 2 degrees. Added hornwort.

20 gallon

same list as above - total of 7 bodies of water right now

 

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3 minutes ago, CalmedByFish said:

Each animal species gets a document. I record what parameters they need, when I bought the first one(s), and dates of events like births, injuries, or tank transfers.

One document is for plant needs and what tanks they seem to do best in, though that will likely become a species-per-document thing like the animals.

I love the idea of keeping track of the parameters that livestock needs!!  Especially because of my last fiasco with the rasboras...I'd love to have a section for plants and for fish like what you're describing here!  A page per plant or per animal varietal is solidly good!

And, births/injuries/tank transfers is brilliant!

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Just now, Betsy said:

I love the idea of keeping track of the parameters that livestock needs!! 

I'm glad my ideas are helpful.

On the one document where I keep a list of dates with parameters, I pooled a range of what parameters are safe for ALL the critters at the top. I try to keep all tanks within those boundaries in case I have an emergency and need to plop critters in whatever random water is closest.

Maybe your fish-keeping is more complex, but for someone who tries to stick with hardy animals and plants, that works. 

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5 minutes ago, H.K.Luterman said:

I've been thinking of putting together a binder to use as a journal; that way I can add/remove pages as needed and organize sections with little tabs. Each tank would get a tabbed section. Each entry would be water parameters and any changes/notes, like what CalmedByFish described.

I LOVE this idea!  I feel like some fish keepers would love a tab per tank (Like you and me!  I am definitely that person, too!!), and some people might like an at-a-glance sheet for the week!

I'd definitely do a tab for plants and a tab for animals...and a tab for expenses (even though I reallyyyy don't want to know, haha!).

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4 minutes ago, CalmedByFish said:

On the one document where I keep a list of dates with parameters, I pooled a range of what parameters are safe for ALL the critters at the top. I try to keep all tanks within those boundaries in case I have an emergency and need to plop critters in whatever random water is closest.

I think that is extremely important...it'd be nice to have a sheet for each species...and then have an at-a-glance sheet for all species that includes the parameters of their home tank.

Sooo many good ideas!!!  

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2 hours ago, Betsy said:

Hi friends!!

I'm in the market for a fish keeping journal for my tank(s)...I have tried multiple apps, but they really aren't doing it for me.  I like having a physical book to write in...just because it's so easy to access (IMO).

If you were to create a journal to keep track of a tank...or maybe all of your tanks...what would it look like?  What would HAVE to be in it to make it useful to you?

For me, I'd definitely want:

  • Page(s) for livestock (with a spot for date and number added, water requirements, a way to keep track of losses, and maybe a spot for a sketch or a photo)
  • Page(s) for plants (similar to livestock pages)
  • Monthly/yearly budget pages to keep track of spending (slash...do I really want to know?)
  • Weekly spreads for water stats and maintenance notes

What would your journal look like? 🤓 What things would you want to keep track of? 🤔

Great idea! I need to start one ASAP! Mine would look similar to yours, though I think it would work better for me on a computer, as I am pretty disorganized when it comes to papers!

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Hello everyone, I messaged @Betsy about possibly creating an excel sheet for an aquarium journal we can create and use for our aquariums. One that can be easily printed and used in a binder. We discussed various options like for people with many tanks or people that like to see a page for one aquarium at a time. I put something together really quickly just to gather some suggestions for it. This is just a rough draft so make all the comments you would like. This rough draft is for people that like to track one aquarium at a time on a sheet. I hope the quality is decent. We would need to find a way to be able to share this document as well. Let me know what you guys think! 
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For a tank per tab binder, I think a tank overview sheet first would be nice, with the weekly spreads repeating after that!

(All links lead to a PDF file in my Google Drive...y'all are welcomed to use if you like it!) (Please let me know if this isn't allowed!)

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Here's what I was thinking for a weekly spread, kind of thing:

51083326_Screenshot2021-04-298_31_13PM.png.00d8dfa288f9aec216a4b545d9be8851.png

Hope someone finds this useful/helpful!! 🤓👍

This is version 1...first attempt!  So, feel free to feedback if you want to!

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@Betsyand @Isaac Myou guys are go getters! I too have been playing around with the best option for journaling. A friend bought me a printed journal that I like a bit but really just like writing in a steno notebook until I need to look up stuff.  I have stacks of papers that I desperately need to organize in a binder BUT then there a fish to watch or plants to fuss with, videos to watch, forums and articles to read..... the expenses is a good idea then I know how much I have yet to spend. here is a picture a journal page for more ideas

 

20210429_212035.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello everyone, @Betsy and I have been working on a journal for our aquariums. We want to share it with everyone here on the forum as we think it can be a helpful tool for people to keep track of their aquariums. We are not experts nor do we claim to be so use the aquarium log at your own discretion. We decided to use Google Sheets as it allows people to keep the journal on their phone and it allows us to make charts. Although, we may come up with a pdf that can be printed for those that prefer that method. This is the first iteration of the aquarium log so any comments and suggestions are more than welcome(especially if someone is experiencing an error). 

We have come up with a basic aquarium log that is not specific to a planted tank. It is more basic and general. 

Basic Aquarium Log:

-Tap water & local fish store water parameters section

-Livestock information section

-Water parameters (ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, gh, kh, temperature) and water changes. The cells are interactive and will change color as per the table legend. 

-Charts for water parameters (Ammonia, Nitrite, & Nitrate chart, ph, gh, & chart, temperature chart)

 

We also have an aquarium log that is for planted aquariums. It is the same as the basic aquarium log except it has a section for plant information and an Easy Green calculator(the Easy Green calculator was created by us as a general tool for hobbyists. It is important to note that Aquarium Co-Op has not reviewed it for accuracy). 

The aquarium logs can be downloaded here:

Basic Aquarium Log

Planted Aquarium Log

 

We hope you all find this helpful! 

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6 hours ago, Isaac M said:

@Betsy and I have been working on a journal for our aquariums.

@Isaac M brought all the magic - y'all should check out the charts on the tabs!  He did an amazing job! 🤓👍

If you're a beginner cycling your tank for the first time, or someone trying to keep track of a particular stat, the Basic Aquarium Log is MONEY! 

And the Planted Log is a great way to keep all of your information in one place (plus, it's got all of the same charts as the Basic!)!

Even if you don't take measurements every day, both sheets are really useful.  Isaac knocked it out of the park! 

We'll have to find that nitrogen cycling chart that @Daniel has posted before and keep the basic log link close by for resources to give to our cyclers!! 🚲🚲🚲

 

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12 minutes ago, Betsy said:

@Isaac M brought all the magic - y'all should check out the charts on the tabs!  He did an amazing job! 🤓👍

If you're a beginner cycling your tank for the first time, or someone trying to keep track of a particular stat, the Basic Aquarium Log is MONEY! 

And the Planted Log is a great way to keep all of your information in one place (plus, it's got all of the same charts as the Basic!)!

Even if you don't take measurements every day, both sheets are really useful.  Isaac knocked it out of the park! 

We'll have to find that nitrogen cycling chart that @Daniel has posted before and keep the basic log link close by for resources to give to our cyclers!! 🚲🚲🚲

 

I'll find that and repost it here.

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@Jeremy_fishguy well this is something that we recently made so we have not been using it for very long. However, this journal is something I would recommend be used at bare minimum when setting up the aquarium and every time you test your water whether that be daily (if doing a fish-in cycle), weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly, etc. 

A lot of the ideas we had for this was based off of common errors we see in fish keeping and we hope this can help with setting up & sustaining an aquarium with less mistakes. For instance, we have a research and quarantine process section for fish, we have a section for researching plants(even just to make sure that it is an aquatic plant). We also have areas for tap water testing, local fish store water parameters and charting your own parameters. This will help with acclimating your fish (or just choosing which store best suits your water), new tank syndrome (cycling) and old tank syndrome (too much minerals in water or crashing ph & kh). 

I have yet to see the nitrogen cycling chart @Daniel has posted before, I am very interested in this! Haha 

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Posted (edited)

Well I have to admit, I've never used a journal like this before, but I think its time we change that. I love all of the features. And how when I type in my GH it transfers to my GH (dGh) and it tells me when I should do a waterchange, etc. 

Also I love the easy green calculator, great Idea!

Everything about it is genuis!
Question, how do I know my LFS water parameters? just test the water that comes in the bags?

Is it just me or does the Amonia, Nitrite, Nitrate Chart as well a the Temperture Chart says "no data"?

Edited by James Black
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Hi @James Black, I am glad you like it! As far as the LFS parameters, usually you can just ask them and they can tell you. I have never tested the water in the bag but I guess that could work too if thats your only option haha 

The easy green calculator is not working? The nutrients in ppm are not changing when you change the tank size and/or amount of pumps? 

Do you have it on your drive already or no? Are you using it on your phone or on your computer? 

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