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Aquarium Log Development

Update:Aquarium Log Development
By: Scott Zachow & Gene Schwartz
One year ago, almost to the day, began offering a new service for it’s members; The Personal Online Aquarium Log. The Personal Online Aquarium Log idea was nothing new, it was something that was consider as a service on for some time. The problem was there was no time for it to be developed “in house”. In December 2003, that was overcome and development of the 1st available Online Aquarium logging system was started. After 6 months of development, the first version was released to the public.

Logging marine aquariums is an important aspect of maintaining your aquarium and doing so in paper notebooks can become a daunting task. It is difficult to find when a certain fish or coral was added and see trends about the growth or behavior and is even more difficult to watch for trends in water chemistry. These notebooks also are impossible to add pictures to to monitor growth. The Aquarium Log was designed to provide a place for this information to be stored and easily navigated to monitor livestock and the tank in general. During the development of the first version, our goal was to develop a useful tool for hobbyist that was available for free.

After several months of the log being publicly available, we realized that the development time was not wasted. The Aquarium Log was used by more than 400 people whom found it to be beneficial to their success. During these first months, there were some bugs that had to be fixed but more importantly a lot of new features that were requested to make logging and tracking a system much easier. In February of 2005, we began collecting these feature requests and development on version 2 of the Aquarium Log began.

Version 2 of the Aquarium Log is packed with features and has an improved looked to make the task of logging simpler. Improved charting of water parameter and improved number formatting is one change. The charts in version 2 are more “flashy” and provide more accurate tracking. Entering test results is also easier and viewing which tests should be performed is always in front of you.

Adding livestock to your log is also improved. The new version allows you to upload pictures directly into the log instead of hotlinking them. This allows you to keep track of growth without having to find another site or using Reefland’s Gallery for storing the pictures. Storing pictures of your tank and livestock also allows the syste to provide you historic views of your tank. Along with this, comments can now be formatted just as you would while posting on message boards.

Another change to this version is a more robust reminder system. The aquarium log is designed to help users maintain their tank and this reminder system will provide that. There are also options available for registered members to receive e-mail updates when a user updates their publicly viewable log. This allows people to watch the progress and learn from others husbandry skills. Along with this, all publicly viewable logs will have their own “forum” within their log for registered members to converse with them about their tanks. These features along with the publicly viewable log allows members to make a “homepage” of their own for their tank.

Ok, we’re sure your wondering when all of these things are going to be available, besides this is an Update right? Development of version 2 is over 50% complete. We anticipate having the log released to the public no later than September 1, 2005. There is a chance that it will be done sooner and a chance it may take longer. In the mean time be sure to give us your feedback in the Support Forums, specifically in our Feature Request or Change Thread. You can also continue to monitor the progress of the development of this free resource there.

Scott Zachow & Gene Schwartz