Aquarium and Pond Log
A log is one of the best tools aquarium and pond hobbyists can use. Records in a spreadsheet will help you track any changes to your system(s) and how they may affect health. With the aid of a log you can extract long term trends and see how changes you made affected the system. There are multiple things you can track that will make you a better hobbyist.
My application of choice for a log is Google's "Spreadsheet." Access to the application is free with a Google account. The spreadsheet data is stored on Google "Drive," which is in the cloud. Since the spreadsheet is stored in the cloud, you can access it from any PC or mobile device.
Some examples of data points you can track in a log are:
- Logging can help you decide on a good water change schedule by monitoring how fast nitrate accumulates.
- You can track the health and treatment of new fish in a quarantine system. Log the date and type of medication added.
- Log the type of minerals added.
- Quantity of fertilizer. Observation of a noticeable difference can take up to two months.
- Temperature. Raising or lowering the temperature can induce spawning, increase growth rate, or cause stress.
- Ammonia, nitrite, pH, nitrate, alkalinity (KH), general hardness (GH), calcium, magnesium, total dissolved solids (TDS) test results can help determine when adjustments would be required. Nitrate affects the pH/KH and will help you determine how much and how often you need to add an alkalinity buffer.
- Installation of new lights, filters, ultraviolet sterilizer, heater, or other hardware can affect the system.
- When fish lay eggs, hatch, and fry are free-swimming.
- Food fed and growth rate can also help you determine what food will provide the best growth rate.
- Maintenance such as filter cleaning, removing excess plants and or animals.
I've attached links to a log for an example and a copy with data removed so you can download (or copy/paste) it and save it to your own Google Drive: