• Reefware - Track your tank(s) parameters, livestock and more

    A new resource is now available to help aid in routine fish tank maintenance such as checking water parameters, monitoring livestock behavior and growth, and keeping track of your aquarium's monthly and fixed expenses. This new resource is a free online program called Reefware.

    The official site URL: www.reefware.com

    I spent about 45 minutes on the website to see what it can do and where it is going. The first thing you'll need to do is log in.

    Once your email activation has been confirmed, you'll be able to start entering whatever data you know now, and you can log back in for future entries. I created a tank profile for the 400g as well as another profile for the 10g frag tank. Profiles ask for name, gallons, dimensions, fresh/saltwater, and the date of inception.

    Entering water parameters is easy, and for precision use the Up and Down arrows on your keyboard.

    Any regular media changes can be entered to stay on top of this task. Check when you changed it last, as well as when it expires (based on a date you've set yourself). Carbon lasts a week, and biopellets need replenishing every couple of months for my system.

    The dashboard updates accordingly.

    Adding all your livestock initially would be quite the undertaking, but if you are OCD about every detail in your tank, this tab will keep you busy updating.

    Livestock entries include date of purchase, size of fish/coral/invert, and provides the scientific name. Upload an image of the item (1 meg limit), and type in some notes if you so wish. If the item doesn't exist in the database, you can enter those details yourself. I discovered that the Mystery Wrasse wasn't included when I entered a few of my own reeflings, so I filled in the various fields. The other fish entries were self-propagated after a very quick search within the database.

    You can use the built-in calendar to set reminders for necessary tasks. I dose Prodibio twice a month, and I was able to set the date to recur monthly for each dose from now on.

    The next step was to connect my Apex Controller with Reefware. I entered the login data, but the status bar hasn't bridged the connection yet. When creating the account, it does require opening the port number which can take up to 24 hours to complete the process. Once the port has been approved, the status bar will display current readings. The option to share your stats with others is included.

    Water parameters can be entered and graphed, and expenditures can be entered as well. For some, knowing how much things cost may not be a great idea but knowing when you bought specific gear would help with warranty claims. If you've entered your water and electric rates, each piece of equipment will tally what it costs to run in dollars and consumption. I entered my trusty Euroreef skimmer:

    Reefware allows you to set SMS (text messages) and email notifications. Users are able to set notifications for upcoming scheduled tasks, when filter media needs to be replaced, and when tank parameters go above or below a certain value. I didn't test this out.

    I did a search for a Reefware App but none existed. This website will work with a smartphone or tablet that uses a browser. If you have WIFI or cellular connectivity, you'll be able to access the tank remotely to check some vitals or enter any data you want to retrieve later. This website has been optimized for mobile. Here are a few screen shots. Once signed in, the menu provides access to all features.

    The livestock page scrolls down with each item that has been added. If you included pictures, it'll look better.

    Checking the Schedule, it shows tasks for the month.

    The main dashboard would be more interesting if the Apex was communicating with the site, of course. But what I'm most curious about is how it knows how much evaporation is taking place, or how much water is left over in the reservoir. What measures this?

    Back to the settings page, I found that you can enter how many gallons are added per set period. I entered 3.6g of water for every 24 hour period, so the software is mathematically providing the percentage that has transpired in that daily period. It would be nice if the software could report how much water is left in the reservoir since the last time it was filled up. My reef has a 45g reservoir that holds about 10-11 days of top off water, so if it told me 40% was available, I could ask my tank sitter to replenish the RO/DI storage via email or text.

    If you don't have a website dedicated to your reef's history, this free software may be a nice choice.

    I tested the site with Firefox and Chrome on an iMac, Firefox on Windows 8.1 as well as the iPhone 5 with i0S 7.0.2.