DIY Arduino monitoring .... while tank cycles I had to do something

Discussion in 'New Members' started by LesseW, 13 Jan 2015.

  1. LesseW

    LesseW

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    Hi all,

    I was asked to start a new thread on my Arduino project that monitors my tank. My tank is only 1 week old and still waiting for the cycling phase to end so I started designing an Arduino based system to monitor my tank in the mean time. I travel often so I needed a reliable system to monitor my tank and one which I can access remotely. Also, my tank is standing in my "ManCave" so i wanted my electronics to look a little "rough" instead of keeping everything in a nice little box, this also give me the freedom to easily add more sensors/Relays which can control for example: Auto top-up pumps.

    My Hardware setup:

    1. Arduino UNO
    2. LCD shield
    3. 2x LM35 temp sensors
    4. 1x Ultrasonic (US)distance sensor (used for water level)
    5. 1x pH probe
    6. 4x LED lighting for Sump bacteria
    7. Auto top-up pump addition in March only....
    8. Salinity sensor addition in March only....
    9. External GSM module which sends a sms when a parameter is out of range

    All my sensors are connected to Analogue pins except for US-sensor, Us-sensor uses 2 digital pins (1x Output and 1x Input).

    Connection between arduino and PC with USB cable which transmits serial data, I monitor the serial data with the "Serialport monitor" in the Arduino software. Remote connection to system made possible with TeamViewer (Free SW for personal use).

    I said it before but I cannot overstate it: for this system to work one needs basic SW and HW knowledge. If you want a reliable system that has been tried and tested then invest in a system bought from your LFS, they are pricey but worth it.

    Also, when a parameter goes out of range I always confirm with manual sensors like Thermometer/Refractometer or take a water sample to LFS when in doubt.

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    Last edited: 13 Jan 2015
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    would be interesting to see progress on this controller.
     
  4. vipercore

    vipercore

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    Looking good.
    Where are you getting the salinity sensor from?
     
  5. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    So far I am hoping to get it from Reefangel, any other suppliers you know of?
     
  6. vipercore

    vipercore

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  7. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    Thanks @vipercore but this sensor looks flimsy. Let's see what Reefangel can help us with. will post pics once I bought one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    For now the salinity module (R2000+) is on the ice since I still need to stock my tank....I decided to use the refractometer instead until my tank is stocked. I added a 12V DC pump to my Arduino which controls the top-up of RO water, the amount of RO water is determined by the distance the US-sensor measures from the water level.

    For power backup I looked at pure-sine wave inverters, but I decided that they are overpriced. I bought a modified-sine wave inverter to control a low wattage heater(set the thermostat to 2 degrees lower than my main heater, the second heater will switch on when power fails and when water temp drops by 2 degrees). I connected another 12V DC pump (return pump) to the 12V battery with a relay on the positive wire, if power fails the relay closes and it start the 12V DC return pump (relay closes when power fails).

    If power is out for longer than 8 Hours then I will have to borrow a Genie.

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  9. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    for the Electricians:m86:: all wires are sealed with heat shrink and the relay board only has 5V/12V connected. Relay board will go into a box soon though.
     
  10. KeeganP

    KeeganP

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    Do you have a fire extinguisher? :tt2: Looks like a fire hazard.. :lol:
     
  11. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    :lol:, Relay board and inverter will go into a box, and secured, tomorrow. Then I can assure you the 0.1% fire hazard will be gone.
     
  12. KeeganP

    KeeganP

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    lol, I was just pulling you leg man.
    Looks awesome, when I grow up I want to also DIY one some time. :thumbup:

    When you have time maybe you can post those schematics for us noobs. :)
     
  13. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    Hi All,

    I have been quite busy over the past few weeks with my system. Currently I have the following hardware which monitors my tank:

    1. Arduino Mega (UNO just did not have enough Pins)
    2. 2x Temp sensors (accurate up to 0.1 degree celcius)
    3. 1x pH sensor (accurate to 0.1)
    4. 1x US level sensor
    5. 1x Lab grade pH sensor to do "spot" readings with. The sensor is from Atlas scientific and a bit pricey but very accurate and only needs calibration once a year
    6. 1x Lab grade Salinity sensor, also a spot measurement until I can connect it to an isolation powersupply then it will be continious
    7. 2x 12V pumps connected to a battery back-up system. 1x for top-up and 1 for circulation when power fails
    8. GSM controller. My system sms me whenever a parameter goes out of its limits
    9. Real time clock to control lights and feeding pumps through Relay boards

    I also invested in Labview and wrote a program to control the Tank from my PC as well. There is 2-way communication between PC and Arduino, Arduino is the master though and should PC connection fail then Arduino takes over.

    I have some of these sensors spare if anyone is interested, I can share the Arduino code for each probe (pH, temp, Salt, Level) to function. I am willing to share the PC software exe file but I need people to split the costs with since I had to pay for the Labview programming language. if your intersted you can PM me.

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  14. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Really awesome.
    Clever persons DIY:thumbup::m12:
     
    Reef-O likes this.
  15. Vishaal

    Vishaal

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    @TaahirS ... totally agree with you :)

    Well done thou LesseW...

    Now only if we could get Ammonia , Nitrate , Nitrite , Calcium ....etc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    Those probes are very pricey and they do not last long when used continously. The ones I found were R30,000 upwards and not worth the investment. For now we will have to use the standard test kits.
     
  17. Ridwaan

    Ridwaan

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    Awesome project..Well done!!

    But why didn't you just buy a reef angel?
     
  18. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    Well you could if you want to spend more for less. Ex. Reef angel LCD 460 buck, LCD for Arduino 150 buck. Reef angel controller 4000+. Arduino Mega 500, power supply 200, real time clock 150 with total price being less than 1000. This gives you more inputs/outputs than reef angel.

    Accuracy, bring it on!;)
     
  19. Vishaal

    Vishaal

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    Please let us know where you bought all the above @ ?
     
  20. LesseW

    LesseW Thread Starter

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    Cumminica but the Atlas Scientific probes (salt and pH) i imported, they are pricey but extremely accurate and only needs calibration once a year. I also share the Temp value with the module so the pH and Salt are Temperature compensated. I have one of each spare if you are interest.
     
  21. JacoD01

    JacoD01

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    Tagging along. Gather some info...
     
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