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The Keeping of a Fish Journal

Written by John G. DiVenuti

In June 1976 I purchased with S&H green stamps my first aquarium a ten gallon.  A short while later I also purchased with more stamps a stand.  I was started in the hobby.  I started my fish journal.  The journal proved to be an invaluable tool.

For thirteen years I have kept a number of tropical fish.  I have kept a variety of tropical fish everything from angelfish to piranha.  I used a journal to record all the different fish I would purchase.  I would note the types of fish purchased, the price of the fish, the number purchased, and the aquarium they were housed in.  I would also record in the journal any fish that would die.  Doing this I am able to have an accurate inventory of the fish I am keeping.  By referring to my journal I know how long I have had fish in my tanks.

The first fish I bred were black molly.  I now had more info to record.  Other breeds of fish followed the molly.  A record of the different fish that were spawned was kept.  Items such as the number of fry in a spawn, the type of fish spawned and what conditions were maintained in the spawning tank.  Items such as Temperature, pH, and type of décor in the tank whether flat rocks, live plants, spawning mops or flower clay pots were provided.

After the fish have spawned there is additional information which can also be stored in the journal.  The size of the brood, the amount of time it took the eggs to hatch if the fish were not live-bearers, how long the mother held the brood before she dropped them if she was a live-bearer, and the foods that you used to raise the fry.  Also you can record the progress of the fry.  The sizes they reach at different times in their lives and how long it took for them to reach adulthood.

I raise a lot of fry to sell to different pet shops and to friends.  I also, from time to time trade fish to my friends.  I like to record these transactions in my journal.

The journal helps remind me when different tanks are due for water changes.  I record the aquarium that the water change is done on so that later on I can refer to the journal to see when each aquarium is due for a water change.  This is very helpful considering I now have fourteen aquariums set up.
The journal is helpful in keeping track of live food cultures.  By recording the date the culture was started you know when it is ready to use.  I also keep directions for mixing the salt into the water to raise brine shrimp.

What you keep in your journal is up to you.  That you keep a journal is the most important thing.  I hope you will agree with me when I say that the journal you keep is a very valuable tool.  If you are not already keeping one I hope you will start.  I’m sure you will enjoy the hobby more when keeping a journal.