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 How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes

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JohnnyAMH
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PostSubject: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:49 pm

How do you track your tank water parameters and water changes? It's important for me to understand my water quality and the last time I changed water. How do you all keep a record of stuff like that? Do you write it down? Keep a data base? Does anybody have a favorite software or web site that they use? Any body think it's not important at all?  Neutral

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
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DL Lawrence
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:52 am

Hi Johnny-

When I was starting a new tank, I would write down all the parameters I could test with in my API kits.  Ammonia, NO2, NO3, Ph, Kh.   I test twice a week or weekly on a new tank and was writing everything down in the little log book that came with the test kit.  

Now, on my SW nano reef tank, I keep a spreadsheet- there's a lot more parameters to watch. After every weekly WC, I have columns  for all the parameters I can test for, and note the amount of water changed, and any significant events in the tank.

I did a Google search for "water parameters testing spreadsheet".  It found some templates in MS Excel that people have created for tracking water parameters on numerous forums, that are shared.  Mine's pretty simple- It was posted on Reef Central, here's the thread I hijacked it from:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1398935

It should be pretty easy to modify it for all the FW parameters, and is downloadable with permission to modify from the author. I was able to find a few on the forums that were offered to share, both FW and SW.   Or, I'm sure there's a FW specific one out there as well.  Some were pretty cool!
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:29 am

I'm a gadget lover.... and always interested in technology.

So I've never tracked anything by paper and pen.

I used to have Apple Products and used an APP that I still love called: AQUA PLANNER it's a great app and there is a free trial version but you can only keep, I think, one tank and the free version does have some other limitations. But the paid version (which was only like $3.00?) has unlimited number of tanks. The app tracks all kinds of marine and freshwater param's. It will provide charts and has other features as well based on entries....

I'm using an Android tablet now and I'm using a free app called AQDIARY. I don't think they have a website, it's a very simplified program as it's free. But you can track multiple tanks and works great for scheduling and alerting you to maintenance.

I've also dabbled around in PC spreadsheet programs and you can have a look at this thread: http://cvas.forumotion.com/t1025-water-parameter-and-maintenance-tracking-worksheet?highlight=worksheet - this is a VERY comprehensive worksheet.

Short of checking on nitrates in my overstocked African tank, I don't measure and track param's like I once did.

My main purpose of the "electronic app's" is to assist me in keeping up with my maintenance like water changes and filter cleaning's through automatic notifications on my tablet which is especially useful trying to keep track of multiple tanks. But I also use them for recording equipment, livestock, plant additionas and overall changes to my aquariums.

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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:59 am

I keep a WORD document for each tank.  I used to write everything down in a three-ring binder, but computers changed all that.  Each tank has its own document, set up like an online blog.  Everything is in chrono order, from planning to set-up, with photos and explanations of everything that has happened to that tank.  

Every so often I print the documents.  They are kept in a three-ring binder. I'll bring it to the next meeting for show and tell!
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JohnnyAMH
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:09 pm

@Deb wrote:
I keep a WORD document for each tank.  I used to write everything down in a three-ring binder, but computers changed all that.  Each tank has its own document, set up like an online blog.  Everything is in chrono order, from planning to set-up, with photos and explanations of everything that has happened to that tank.  

Every so often I print the documents.  They are kept in a three-ring binder.  I'll bring it to the next meeting for show and tell!
Very Happy

Thanks Deb! That's a fantastic offer and I apologize for my slow reply. My wife has been keeping me busy getting ready for the holidays. I'm always interested in how other hobbyist manage their tanks. I'm still exploring options myself. I know that there has got to be a better way than what I have been doing...  Rolling Eyes

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:16 pm

Thanks for the replies... When first started fish keeping I learned to be observant. A part of that is to have a good idea as to the water quality of individual tanks. I used to keep a mental record but as I added more tanks and attempted to breed consistently, I needed to log water parameters and water change dates. I used to log everything in a notebook.

When I first found an online web site that allowed one to save and retrieve test and historical aquarium data I was elated. What I liked most was the site’s ability to generate graphs and charts that made it easy to spot trends. Later, I found that method of record keeping to be unreliable. The site worked well at first but eventually it was abandoned by its owner and all my tracking data was gone… Poof!

I tried running downloaded software but I found it buggy. I was almost glad when I got a new computer and had to find another method of recording data. I went back to the online web sites but again I have been disappointed by reliability. What I did enjoy about these online sites was that I could access my data from any computer in the house.

I have been considering creating my own spread sheet and generating my own charts and graphs. I would then like to share that file with the rest of my network. Does this sound feasible? Does anyone have a better suggestion?
BTW: Here’s a link to the site I currently use. It does have problems. If you know of one better please share a link.

Here’s mine…  Arrow TankKeeper.com

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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ddavis1979
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:13 pm

I am an aquarium cowboy and I havent tested the water in months.

When I first started the tank and was doing the cycling, I tested the water religiously. I was doing a "fish in" cycle and started adding a few fish slowly, one week at a time while using a tank cycle product. On the 2nd tank, I just rubbed filters together from the 1st tank and hoped for the best. I tested the water a few times, but never much.

Now I only test the water if there is a problem. I havent had any problems or fish death in about a year.....so its been about that long since I tested.

I am not the poster boy for responsible fish keeping, but I also have over 50 fish and havent had anything die since last Summer 2013.....so take what you will from this post Smile haha

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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:33 pm

@ddavis1979 wrote:
I am an aquarium cowboy and I havent tested the water in months.

When I first started the tank and was doing the cycling, I tested the water religiously.  I was doing a "fish in" cycle and started adding a few fish slowly, one week at a time while using a tank cycle product.  On the 2nd tank, I just rubbed filters together from the 1st tank and hoped for the best.  I tested the water a few times, but never much.

Now I only test the water if there is a problem.  I havent had any problems or fish death in about a year.....so its been about that long since I tested.  

I am not the poster boy for responsible fish keeping, but I also have over 50 fish and havent had anything die since last Summer 2013.....so take what you will from this post :)haha

Hahaha, I understand! I track water changes and cleaning as well as a few water parameters to prevent problems. The main reason is to dummy proof against my senior moments. I don’t test most parameters often. But, I do like to be aware of some type of baseline values in case I do have a problem. What I do check most often is nitrates. They tend to build up over a period of time and there are quite a few variables that effect it. What is most important is to do what works for you…  Cool

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:54 pm

Oh well, I'm back into this thread again... The online aquarium maintenance web site I was using crashed again. This time I got fed up and created an Excel Workbook with a spreadsheet for each tank. Then I shared it with the other computers on my network. I must admit that I use husbandry tracking as a crutch but it helps me so much... keyboarding!

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:34 pm

Oh well, I'm back writing in this thread again.. Neutral
This is what happened. I woke up this morning and found 4 small Plecos dead. That's about half the Plecos in that tank. It's not a big loss, I have plenty more in other tanks. I had noticed two nights ago that the fish in that tank looked good and ate well but were not swimming vigorously. I siphoned the debris in all my bare bottom tanks and started changing water.

After getting started changing the water I opened my Excel file that use to log my maintenance and record some Nitrate levels. I discovered that I had not done a water change in three weeks and my Nitrate levels were through the roof. That's bad husbandry and I'm the blame. I glad I had a record to review...Rolling Eyes

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:11 am

Sorry to hear of your losses Johnny... Sad

It is good that you had the record to rely on, when we have a loss it is most important to learn why.... and the record keeping is essential.

I'm still using AND loving the Aquaplanner App by Jose Weeks (found on the Apple App Store) with my iPad. You can capture all kinds of great information, it's totally customizable AND what I really love is the notification alerts - you can set up time frames and alerts for operations such as water changes and filtration cleaning and when you are keeping  multiple tanks this notification feature is hugely helpful. Of course when you receive the alert, you need to complete the activity... Smile

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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:02 am

Wow, Johnny - that's rough. I hate to hear about those plecos. Crying or Very sad

This is a good lesson, though, and sometimes when you've been in the hobby a long time you get a little complacent, or if not that, you rely on habit to tell you when the time is right to do your normal routine, or at least I do. It used to be "every Sunday," or whatever, then when something came up I'd remind myself to do it the next day, throwing my schedule off, then I'd mark it on the calendar.

I think I keep a regular schedule, then I look at the calendar and, whoops, I realize it has actually been way too long, though it doesn't seem like it. Kids, work, life, etc., and you don't realize that weeks have gone by. I could have sworn I did it last week, but.....

An app sounds like the ticket, or setting up email reminders for yourself, or something like that. Something like nitrates can sneak up on your tank, where everything looks hunky dory and there aren't any symptoms, until, suddenly, there are.

Thanks for sharing, Johnny, and thanks for the tip about the app, Tracey.

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PostSubject: Re: How Do You Track Tank Water Parameters and Water Changes   Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:45 pm

@thegundog @Liz
Thanks guys. You got my point exactly. I have fish in that tank that are a lot more important to me than the plecos. Fortunately, the plecos got my attention. I have used aquarium maintenance apps before and there are some nice ones out there. Any method of record keeping helps...Cool

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)
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