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DIY Aquarium Controller/Monitor

Discussion in 'Equipment & DIY Ideas' started by AquaStudent, May 6, 2018.

  1. AquaStudent

    AquaStudent Members

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    I have been brainstorming and researching for the past few months on building a custom aquarium controller using an arduino. I've seen things like the Apex and others but I feel like I can do something better for about a quarter of the price.

    Right now the design would be to:
    • monitor tank temperature (possibly at multiple locations, perhaps top and bottom)
    • monitor room temperature
    • use the tank temperature to control the heaters and prevent over-heating
    • temperature status lights to visually alert if the temperature is out of the desired range (Blue=cold, green=happy, red=hot)
    • float-switch to notify if water level drops (leak)
    • Under tank water alarm
    • webcam image of the aquarium (from inside the tank)
    • organize all the data into an excel file and automatically email daily updates, track changes
    • automatically send an email alarm if one of the above triggers fires
    Other features I would like to include but am not sure of the best way to do it is a pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate probes. If used on a planted tank the gH, kH, and dissolved C02 would also be nice to track.

    Perhaps long-term I can do something similar for a reef tank. Some measurements that may be nice to track over time or features to include on a reef monitor that I could think of would be:

    • Salinity
    • Conductivity
    • Calcium
    • PAR meter (although this may be difficult to hide)
    • Some alert on a protein skimmer?
    • light controls (this wouldn't work with my current systems but if you built them together from the start this would be nice)
    • pump controls

    I'm curious, what would you like to have automatically tracked in your aquarium?

    If anybody has any experience with this type of project I would love to discuss it with you.
     
  2. mchambers

    mchambers Occasional Corydoras Breeder / Board of Directors
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    Great list! I'd add conductivity to the list of freshwater measurements.
     
  3. AquaStudent

    AquaStudent Members

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    Good call! I was thinking cool conductivity and TDS were the same thing but try do tell a different story.

    I just realized that my planning spreadsheet is slightly different than what's on that first post. If there's not a good way to post a document I'll make an image.
     
  4. b considine

    b considine Global Moderators
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    Not to derail this thread, but aren't TDS and conductivity intimately linked? Amount of TDS determines conductivity or something?

    I'm asking for someone else...

    Blaise
     
  5. AquaStudent

    AquaStudent Members

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    I think they are very similar but not exactly the same. I had the same thought and did a bit of Google searching. If I can find the documents again I'll repost.

    I do recall that the units were different.
     

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