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9 things about the new Husbandry Log Templates that will transform your workday!

An exclusive look at how to make the most of the new feature

The Aquatics team at Species360 has been hard at work building a solution to improve the speed of data entry for husbandry records in ZIMS. Our solution? Husbandry Log Templates. Check out all the helpful hints for this new feature:

ditch the old clipboard - Husbandry Log Templates1. Ditch the clipboard

Husbandry Log Templates (HLTs) are designed exactly to replace those rusty, mackerel blood-stained clipboards on the back of your tanks, beloved as they are. HLTs allow you to choose the record types that you need to track and enter, all from one screen. You can choose from almost every type of daily husbandry record type you need to track and customize the template to your workflow.

Record types available in HLTs:

AnimalEnclosureLife SupportComponent
Checklist ItemChecklist ItemChecklist ItemChecklist Item
Feed LogFeed Log
Training Session
Enrichment Session

Husbandry Log Templates on mobile2. Enter data on the go

Husbandry Log Templates are the first major feature that utilize the new responsive design capabilities in ZIMS. That means that the screen will change according to the size of the screen you are using. Since they are touch-screen friendly, tablets and phones can both be used to enter data for HLTs. ZIMS is optimized for the Google Chrome browser, so, for the best experience, we recommend downloading the Chrome app for ZIMS use on any mobile devices. The Chrome app is available for Android and Apple tablets and phones.

3. Record All. The. Things. Or don’t. Your choice.

When you add a column to your template, you have the option to choose which fields are important to you. Those that aren’t won’t clog up your data entry screen. For example, let’s say you are an aquarist who wants to track the salinity on an exhibit daily, but you don’t care about tracking the measurement equipment used. When you set up a column, simple leave the toggle for “equipment” red/off, and the field won’t show up on your template screen.

HLTs also give you the option to lock in measurement type and unit of measurement (UOM). This saves you time on data entry, as well as space on your template. If you typically measure salinity in parts per thousand, you won’t have to enter those fields each time because they’ll be preset Typically weigh your food in grams, but sometimes need to track count? No problem – don’t lock the UOM, just set it as default. It will default to grams, but you’ll have the option to change it if needed.

lock icons - Husbandry Log Templates


4. See your latest entries (or keep tabs on your intern)

Husbandry Log Templates offer a completely new feature for templates – the latest added records section. You can quickly view the last five sets of records entered using the template for reference. This makes it easy to compare records and spot trends. The latest added records section is expandable/collapsible, so, if you don’t need it, you can hide it while you’re doing your data entry.

5. Cross off your daily system or animal checks

If you’re an aquarist or keeper, there may be things that you want to make note of inspecting during daily routines without creating a permanent record. The new checklist item feature in HLTs will help you keep track of these tasks as they’re completed. You’ll be able to view those checklists in the most recent records section. Checklists are available for animals, enclosures, life support systems and components, and users can title them according to their needs. You can also create an entire template just for checklist items. This might be useful if, for example, you have a night crew that does rounds for routine animal or system checks. Checklists give you the option to answer “yes”, “no”, or “n/a – no answer”. This does not create any records on the entity itself – for now, these will only appear in the most recent records section. Want to see these in more places? Please let us know! Feedback helps us continue to serve you better. Email your support rep at

checklist - Husbandry Log Templates

6. Use multiple sheets to keep it organized

Husbandry Log Templates are designed to be as flexible as possible. Since you can now track a large variety of records all in one place, we added the ability to have multiple sheets of records in your template. This allows you to enter and view all of the relevant information for one system, or for multiple systems, in one easy place. For example, you could track your enclosure water quality measurements and maintenance activities on one sheet, and track animal feeds, training and enrichment on another. This also helps speed up loading time for those templates where you want to track lots of records for various entities so that you can get to your data and data entry fields faster. You can name your sheets by clicking on the tab.

7. Just add a row

For activities like animal and enclosure feeds, and enrichment and training sessions, aquarists and keepers often offer multiple items or train several behaviors in a single session. Animal feed logs were recently improved to speed up data entry by allowing for multiple food items in each session. HLTs continue to expand this functionality by allowing users to enter more than one enrichment item, training behavior, or food item during a single session. Just click on the “+” icon at the end of your column section to add an additional row for that session.

add a row - Husbandry Log Templates

8. Finish it later

For HLTs, we’ve included the draft functionality that was first introduced with aquarist daily logs. Every 30 seconds your data entry fields will be auto-saved to a draft record, available in the Draft Records section of the Manage Templates screen. Need to finish something later? If you close out of your template, you’ll be asked if you want to save it as a draft to finish later. If you choose no, all will be deleted, including the auto-saved files. If you want to return to finish your work later, select yes. You’ll be able to pick up where you left off when you are ready. This also helps ensure that your data entry is saved regularly in case you lose Wi-Fi while entering data from a mobile device – you’ll be able to go and reopen your draft record once you are back within Wi-Fi range.

9. Is that all?

No! We aren’t quite finished developing HLTs, but we wanted to get this feature out to you as soon as possible. Coming soon – viewing Saved Records. In addition to Draft Records, a new section called “Saved Records” will be available. In this section, you’ll be able to open your template and choose a date range to view all of the data entry done from that particular template. For example, want to see all the records entered for the month of January? Just sort by that date range. All of the data entered using that template will display, similar to how you view the most recent records section of the template. We also plan to add exports to allow you to export this view for additional data manipulation in Excel and PDF formats.

10. Sounds great. How is this different from Aquarist Daily Logs?

Aquarist Daily Logs are built in the traditional grid design similar to water quality and animal measurement templates. They are ideal when you want enter the same type of data records for a series of enclosures, life supports or components. For example, if you have a rack of fish breeding tanks, and you want to track the same kinds of measurements, notes, enclosure feeds, and maintenance activities on every tank, Aquarist Daily logs are ideal. Or, if you are checking your life support systems for a gallery and want to track flow rate, system pressure, filter changes, and water temps for every system, the grid format is the fastest and easiest way to do that.

Husbandry Log Templates are better suited for tracking different data points across a variety of entities. For example, you may have an otter exhibit where you want to track enclosure, LSS measurements and maintenance on one sheet, while individual otter feedings, enrichment and training sessions would go on another. Mixed species exhibits, where you may be target feeding some specific animals, and broadcast feeding the enclosure as a whole are also well-supported by HLTs. You can track enclosure and LSS measurements, individual animal feeds, and the general enclosure feed all on one sheet.

Wrapping it up

Husbandry Log Templates are designed to improve the efficiency of your daily data entry, so that you can spend less time on a computer, and more with your systems and animals. To learn more, check out the Help document or, if you’re logged into ZIMS, try out the guided tour.

How’d we do?  We love hearing your feedback and ideas for how we can continue to make ZIMS the best records keeping solution for aquariums and zoos.  To let us know what you think, please contact us at

Meredith Knott

Species360 ZIMS Product Owner

a perfect fit

I LOVE the husbandry log templates, super super excited about them!!! It fits what we need for one of our areas 100% perfectly.

Ashley Arimborgo, Registrar

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