Matthew C Good : Musician, Software Engineer, Hobbyist.

FishApp Update – It’s Doing Stuff

It looks like the FishApp is already providing me with some really neat and useful insights into my aquarium.  I recently added the ability to overlay and toggle multiple series on the graphs it displays, to make it easy to see if one parameter has an effect on another.  Take a look at this snapshot I took today:

Water age & nitrate levels over time

Water age & nitrate levels over time

This chart shows the average age (in days) of the water in my tank compared with the levels of Nitrate I measure using an aquarium test kit.  I compute the water age using information I record about water changes I do to my tank (a more detailed explanation can be found in the original FishApp post), and Nitrate is a mildly-bad chemical the can build up in your tank over time.  It’s the end-product of the Nitrogen Cycle in most fish tanks, and can only be removed by water changes or chemical absorption (which some plants and special filter media can do).

At least that’s the theory.  What this chart is showing me is that the theory seems to actually work out in practice, and that my tests are precise enough to actually be useful – always a good thing.  Even though I only have five data points for the nitrate series (because I don’t always test as much as I should), it is easy to see the nitrate curve following the water age curve.  They actually track pretty well, I think. You can see an ugly spike in the water age when I wasn’t paying enough attention to the tank, and the resulting high nitrate levels, which backed down after a series of regular water changes.  When the water age started creeping back up again, so did Nitrate levels, and then both went down again after we moved from Tennessee to North Carolina (and changed out about 2/3 of the tank water for fresh in the process).  Very cool.

Since nitrate is the last state that fish poo reaches in the nitrogen cycle, it would not surprise me if there were a delay between water age and its effects on nitrate levels.  I don’t really have the data to support that right now, but I will try to be more diligent in my testing, and perhaps we can figure that out soon.

If there are any aquarium owners out there who are interested in the FishApp, you can sign up free and track your own fish tank in a similar fashion.  Here’s a link to sign up.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply