Being able to keep track of what is going on in your aquarium is very important, especially as a breeder. Knowing what fish dropped a brood, and how many survived to adulthood is important information that can’t be kept in the brain. Also notes on your aquarium equipment, what happened when you set up your tank and introduced new fish, when you changed your filter and water, all need to be noted. It helps to keep yourself informed on the progress of your tank, breeder or not!
The first thing that I suggest is buying a composition notebook. I entitled mine “Something Fishy: Notes on Fish Keeping and Breeding”. In this notebook I write the date, and underneath I write ideas and notes on my aquarium maintenance. A sample entry would be:
“Breeder “Blue” dropped 25 fry today. This is the largest brood she has ever had. Father of this brood is, “Flame Tail”. It will be interesting to see what markings these fry grow into. Also, changed filters in all three tanks, and the Beta vases were also cleaned and water changed.”
In this notebook I also affix store receipts, and make notations on additions of fish (with graphic description of their size and color, who they will be paired up with), when I sell or lose a fish (reason), and when I add equipment or invertebrates to any of my aquariums. I also note the products that I have used to treat diseases, if they worked or not, and write reviews of foods. “Fry don’t like tropical flakes, they ignore it and it only stinks up the tank.” When I go to buy new food I’ll remember not only because I thought that while watching the fry, but because I wrote it immediately after.
Another great thing about this notebook is that it is on hand. I keep it beside my breeding and fry tanks, while I am doing my daily observation I jot down notes about the fish behavior, or when I move more mature fish down to the selling tank. I am able to keep track of everything, and if I can’t remember something off the top of my head, I have the confidence that I wrote it down in my book.
In addition to my Something Fishy notebook, I also have a free account at eFishTank. At this website I am able to record births, deaths, equipment, tank maintenance, tank history, and also provides handy calculators. Now I have an electronic journal of events, and if something happens to my notebook I am still able to have my records.