Logging Data, Monitoring and Aquarium Controller Devices, Part 1


Regular aquarium maintenance is vital to healthy reef-keeping for our aquatic friends. Keeping track of all of the periodic tasks such as water testing, temperature monitoring, and par tracking can be a lot to keep up with. Traditionally, hobbyists would keep a logbook to track their vital information and to ensure that they were regularly performing all necessary functions and keeping an inventory on-hand of foods, additives, tests and the like.

AquaNerd has identified several products on the market today which can automate your routine and connect most or all of your equipment and accessories to form a single integrated system. This could make the tedious job of keeping a logbook a thing of the pass allowing you to experience the overall enjoyment which attracts enthusiasts to the hobby.

In the “total aquarium” system market, there are several different companies and products which take varying approaches to system design and equipment integration.  Some companies are taking the proprietary approach whereby you purchase their controller and peripheral equipment which is specifically designed to interact with and share data with the complete system through the controller.  Neptune Systems and their Apex Controller is an example of this proprietary approach.  Other companies have taken the path of designing devices and software which will allow their own products or a third party’s products to be compatible with and form a complete “total aquarium” system.  One example of this is shown by IceCap which has announced a new controller device that is able to bridge the gap between the Maxspect Gyre and the Neptune Apex Controller.  As our aquariums become “smarter”, our lives should become relatively easier.  In part 1 of Logging Data, Monitoring, and Aquarium Controller Devices we provide you with a list of Data Logging Software that is currently on the market today.  The list includes free and pay apps which can help you to get a better handle on managing and maintaining your aquarium.  If you are already using one of these data logging platforms or a different platform, then we would appreciate your sharing this info in the comment section below.

Data Logging Software

AquaLog 3.0 (cost: free)

Platforms: MAC

Record and keep track of all records associated with maintaining an aquarium. Includes sections to track water chemistry, fish records, expenses, tank maintenance, includes a journal, calendar, and photo gallery. Designed by ArcTan Technologies. Be mindful that you will be asked to fill out a user survey online before downloading the program.
Read more at http://download.cnet.com/AquaLog/3000-2130_4-10027868.html

AquaLot Standard Edition (cost: free)

Platforms: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7

Record and manage processes associated with a marine, reef, or freshwater aquarium. Features include stock management, event management, collects and collates data into tables and graphs, technical specifications for equipment, species menu with customization, calculates expenses, manage contacts, and more. Software available in English. Standard Edition tracks all ‘standard’ features for a single tank. (see PAID section for details on the professional version)
Read more at http://www.aqualot.de/en/order.php

AquaLot Professional (Cost: $30.00)

Platform: Windows XP and above  – Demo: Free version available for trial

AquaLot is the leading professional aquarium software. It can record and quickly manage all events and processes associated with your aquarium. The program is designed for all aquarists. It is suitable for all levels of users from those with only one aquarium at home to breeders with several breeding and show tanks. Although a freeware version is available, the professional version will track multiple aquariums and features user-customized events, income and expenses, an enhanced database, and stock management for an unlimited number of tanks.

Aquarium Manager (Cost: free)

Platform: Online (web based)

Online manager that lets you log all water quality parameters, test results, water changes etc., keep track of expenses, water quality and trend analysis, and see other aquarists’ tanks for comparison. You can create an account at the site.
Read more at http://www.aquarium-manager.com/

AquarioGuest (Cost: $46.00)

Platform: Windows XP and above – Demo: Free demo available

The secret of a successful marine aquarium is to record and track the tank life. The AquarioGest software simplifies your maintenance by saving all events and vital information regarding your marine and reef aquarium. Available as both a stand-alone application on CD and a live online version.

AquaticLog – Basic

Platforms: Online (web based) and as AquaticLog App for iPhone or Android

Online aquatic diary which lets you record any aquarium parameters, monitor feeding and dosing, record equipment readings, supplies, and inhabitants for a single tank. keep a diary, plus there is a dashboard. 14 day free trial; basic membership is free
Read more at http://www.aquaticlog.com/

AquaticLog Pro Version (Pro version is $19.99 / year)

Platforms: Online (web based) and as AquaticLog App for iPhone or Android

An online aquatic diary which lets you record most any aquarium parameter you choose, monitor feeding, dosing, schedule maintenance and reminders, upload and manage photos and videos, keep a diary, plus there is a dashboard. The pro version includes the additions of task scheduling, unlimited aquarium profiles, data export, allows repeat activities, Apex controller integration, automatic dosing and water changes. 14 day free trial. You will create an account at the site.
Read more at http://www.aquaticlog.com/

Aquarium Lab (Cost: $24.95)

Platform: Windows XP and above – Demo: 30-day trial download available

Aquarium Lab allows you to keep track of your aquarium like a scientist, but no degree is needed. The program is built for easy data entry and supports multiple fresh and saltwater aquariums simultaneously. It is a complete aquarium tracking software package for Windows that will help you maintain healthy aquarium conditions.

Aquarix (Cost: $31.00)

Platform: Windows XP and above – Demo: 30-day trial demo available

Aquarix is a program to control every aspect of your aquarium. By using it, you will be able to collect data about the breeding, water changes, light and Discus changing, etc. This program will allow you to record details about your aquarium, such as the filters and pumps installed (quantity, power, dates), and data about the lights and heat devices you have put in your aquarium.

Badmans Tropical Fish Tank Log (Cost: Free)

Platforms: Online (web based)

Track multiple aquariums, monitor water tests, add livestock, schedule routine tasks, list equipment, print out reports. Water parameters are shown in graph form. You will create an account at the site.
Read more at http://badmanstropicalfish.com/tankstats

Doctor Aquarium (Cost: $59 home / $79 commercial)

Platforms: Windows XP, 2000, NT

A data acquisition and controller software package. Monitor and control your aquarium from your windows desktop, or through a web browser. Monitor important aquarium parameters and control tasks. Combine with the DrDAQ data acquisition board to automatically monitor pH and temperature. Use with additional X10 home automation modules to control equipment remotely.
Read more at http://www.draquarium.com/index.html

LibreAquarium (Cost: Free)

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X

LibreAquarium is an Aquarium management system with a Simulation Model Engine (SME) that makes a prediction of the possible measurement values for various pollutants which affect aquatics systems (NO3,PO4, Fe). The simulator consults the recorded analysis to predict the levels of the NO3, PO4, Fe, that the these aquatic system produce. It also uses a central (fish, plant and invertebrates) database to check if the actual parameters are OK, depending on the species that live in the Aquarium.

Maquarium (Cost: $24.00)

Platform: Mac OS 10.5 or higher – Demo: Trial download available

Maquarium is aquarium management software for the novice or expert fish keeper. It allows users to track chemicals, schedule tasks, keep notes, analyze expenses and manage inventory. Maquarium features a built-in database that contains information which helps you track and maintain the delicate needs of each fish, plant, coral and invertebrate in the tank. Furthermore, Maquarium helps the novice by warning of dangerously high chemical values and the recommended course of treatment. It also allows experts to set up custom warning values. Maquarium is a must have for all fish hobbyists.


Platforms: Online (web based)

Manually track aquarium levels or use with aquarium controllers including Digital Aquatics, Reef Angel, or Neptune Systems to track livestock, manage and monitor multiple aquariums, schedule maintenance, and monitor parameters. You will create an account at the site.
Read more at http://www.reefware.com/

Seachem Mobile Dose2 (cost: Free)

Seachem Dose2 is the company’s new iOS app that gives you a pocket reference to help you properly dose Seachem and aquavitro products and also allows you to track your aquarium’s progress including water quality parameters and maintenance.

Other key features of the Dose2 app are: Supplement dosing calculator; tank logs; Treatment and test log results database; Ability to create a report of treatment logs and test results.

Dose2 is available for free on the Apple App Store.


Platforms: Online (web based)

Track your spending, track and monitor all aspects of water quality, maintenance scheduling and records, view and review charts, various libraries, forums, photo sharing, track multiple tanks. You will create an account at the site.
Read more at http://www.tankkeeper.com/Guest/Default.aspx



About Author

Scott Groseclose is the owner of AquaNerd, Aquarium Specialty, Aqua Specialty Wholesale, BioTek Marine, & The Carolina Reef Experience. He has a degree in Biology from St. Andrews University and he has been a passionate reef keeper since 1988.