Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

arduino's have a future in aquaponics in my mind.  Not many people talking about their use of arduino's and aquaponics.  Windowfarm groups are much more active with arduino's and control of systems.  I have just completed my auto mode function that I presented at Make:SF meeting featuring aquaponics in the Bay Area.  The auto mode function controls the following components:

 

water pump - controlled by relay with timer function for turning on and off when needed

media probe - determines water level in grow bed will cause water pump to shut off when needed

gravity feed valve -  drains grow bed after time period

float switch - controls water level in tank and protects water pump in case water gets to low in tank

start button - when pushed starts auto mode function LED lights goes from red to green for on

 

My media probe needs to be re-calibrated and I am moving to a new resistor configuration on this demo unit.  Once completed I will do a video to demonstrate the functionality and how the cycle performs.  I will next develop the KILL BUTTON function.  Then move on to 4 one-wire temperature probes and LCD display of options and temperature readings at request of user.

 

 

 

Views: 7683

Replies to This Discussion

Andrei,

I have not seen affordable sensors for ammonia, nitrate and nitrate testing as yet.  I have just found a DO sensor to work with an arduino, but as yet have not tried to purchase one.  To me I find pH, DO and temperature as the most important things to track in my systems.   I will use chemical testing for all other items like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as the bacteria controls the conversion rates from ammonia.  Using pH, DO and temperature I have a very good idea how my bacteria is doing and my plants confirm for me that I have the right chemistry.  I have found that as long as I provide the correct growing environment for bacteria growth all other factors fall in line with plant and fish needs.


Andrei Shindyapin said:

Does anyone have links to electronic ammonia, nitrate, and nitrate sensors, preferably not too expensive? I just came across this article, and thought it might be applicable to sensing those items in the water, albeit with substantial modification.
That sounds good... it makes sense to control the variables from which it's possible to infer (almost) anything else of importance. Can you post the link to the DO sensor?

Rik Kretzinger said:

Andrei,

I have not seen affordable sensors for ammonia, nitrate and nitrate testing as yet.  I have just found a DO sensor to work with an arduino, but as yet have not tried to purchase one.  To me I find pH, DO and temperature as the most important things to track in my systems.   I will use chemical testing for all other items like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as the bacteria controls the conversion rates from ammonia.  Using pH, DO and temperature I have a very good idea how my bacteria is doing and my plants confirm for me that I have the right chemistry.  I have found that as long as I provide the correct growing environment for bacteria growth all other factors fall in line with plant and fish needs.


Andrei Shindyapin said:

Does anyone have links to electronic ammonia, nitrate, and nitrate sensors, preferably not too expensive? I just came across this article, and thought it might be applicable to sensing those items in the water, albeit with substantial modification.

Kobus,


I agree with you on the fact that a number of companies provide solutions for automation of aquariums and aquaculture.  I have researched a number of them and found them to very complex, costly and closed sourced.  My problem with them is that you need to sign up for their support packages and anytime you want to make changes it requires there tech support people to make many of the changes for you.  I have 5 systems that are located in 5 different locations.  All with different system requirements.  Depending on the configuration I have up to 10 different components that I plug and play with to achieve the  desired controls.  All of this is done with open sourced hardware and I can change out any or all components at anytime in about 5 to 10 minutes.   I can add any number of probes and sensors without any technical support help, I just adjust the code to accommodate the system location and the components being used.  It is a lot of work at first to learn what is needed and how to do it, but as more aquapons work and make their work available to others we all benefit in the long run and make our systems easier to manage with less inputs.  It has been my experience that open source has always proved to benefit the most users at a more affordable cost structure over time and the learning curve can be spread out over a larger user base. 


Kobus Jooste said:

I see a lot of discussion here about trying to write code for probes and controllers to monitor and alert you guys if something goes wrong.  Not sure if you have checked out existing companies but there are an array of examples of companies that already supply the whole bang shoot for aquaculture and even home aquariums.  I am currently investigating a company called aquatronica.  It allows software modifications and updates, and already have data logging, sms / modem communication and all the other bells.

 

I tried to attach their pdf but it is over 5 mb

Agree with you on all the bits I understand.  I first got put off electronics in high school as I'm colourblind and could not tell the components apart (circuit board stuff).  That disinterest grew with the development of electronics components and thus, while I may well be able to figure it all out, I do much better at designing and building other components to my systems and sourcing monitoring stuff from companies that have roughly the type of thing I am looking for.

 

As someone with a aquatic ecology background, I think I also have a slightly different approach to water quality.  The three parameters you mention will never be enough for me.  There are so many fine interplay scenarios where I would like to have my finger on at least 5, and with equipment that was programmed to take each other's reading into account.  I know I am not capable of doing that.

Rik Kretzinger said:

Kobus,


I agree with you on the fact that a number of companies provide solutions for automation of aquariums and aquaculture.  I have researched a number of them and found them to very complex, costly and closed sourced.  My problem with them is that you need to sign up for their support packages and anytime you want to make changes it requires there tech support people to make many of the changes for you.  I have 5 systems that are located in 5 different locations.  All with different system requirements.  Depending on the configuration I have up to 10 different components that I plug and play with to achieve the  desired controls.  All of this is done with open sourced hardware and I can change out any or all components at anytime in about 5 to 10 minutes.   I can add any number of probes and sensors without any technical support help, I just adjust the code to accommodate the system location and the components being used.  It is a lot of work at first to learn what is needed and how to do it, but as more aquapons work and make their work available to others we all benefit in the long run and make our systems easier to manage with less inputs.  It has been my experience that open source has always proved to benefit the most users at a more affordable cost structure over time and the learning curve can be spread out over a larger user base. 


Kobus Jooste said:

I see a lot of discussion here about trying to write code for probes and controllers to monitor and alert you guys if something goes wrong.  Not sure if you have checked out existing companies but there are an array of examples of companies that already supply the whole bang shoot for aquaculture and even home aquariums.  I am currently investigating a company called aquatronica.  It allows software modifications and updates, and already have data logging, sms / modem communication and all the other bells.

 

I tried to attach their pdf but it is over 5 mb

Was wondering Rik how this was going and if you were able to get more things done for the aquaponic monitoring setup you were talking about in previous posts. I build a greenhouse and want to monitor my PH and DO in my fish tanks and would also like to monitor and control my air temperature in the greenhouse using fans, vents and a wet wall and was wondering if that could be done using these boards and what I had to do to get started on this.

Can the arduino be set up to monitor the greenhouse temperatures in my tanks, greenhouse and turn on fans and a wet wall?

Also was wondering how to monitor my taco zone controler to see what zone valves get used the most and when they turn on and off. I wonder if these could tie into the controller?

Any one have an idea?

Joe -

sorry for a late reply on this. Ran into some family & personal issues that have slowed me down on the aquaponics part of my life.  Arduino can accomplish all the items you talked about in your posts.  pH will be the hardest to pull off right now as I have only seen two solutions for it.  Running fans and pumps is no big deal either.  The problem is that your applications are very specific and will require custom solutions, that means understanding how to hook everything up and then code development to do what you need done.  If you are not a programer then you will need to find someone that understands arduino and will code it up for you.  That can get expensive.  The good news is that arduino is becoming more main stream now and more people are working with the hardware.  Even with all this known you will be able to develop what you want and it will be a better solution than almost all the controlled ag environment equipment being offered by all the major suppliers.  It will take some learning and time, but you will get what you want and you can make changes depending on crops, seasons and fish load.  It really comes down to how fast you want it done and how dependent you want to be on other people.  As with all equipment things go wrong from time to time and you will need to be able to fix things in short order.  I have gotten help from local maker meetings.  That will be a good place to start to learn what is do able with arduino.  You will also meet people that will help you through all this.

 

Rik

Hi Rik,

You were saying that you got help from local maker meetings. How can I find this and were do I start? I have programed PERL, MySql and other languages. What is programing arduino like? I would like to at least read about this and see if I want to go forward. If you can direct me to some good sites that would be great. Is there anything you need help with let me know.

Joe,

arduino language requires a knowledge of C, C+ or C++, not so much C#.  This background is all that is needed and not at a high level.  I found the maker meetings at http://makezine.com/ under forums/community tab.  Events are listed there.  You can also search meetup.com for local meetings for makers.  Another good resource is any local hacker space in your area.  Local robotics clubs are ok, but I have found them to be focused on moving things and playing game stuff.  Even though aquaponics automation is nothing but one large robot that does not move, I was not able to generate much interest in helping me. 

 

This is the project that opened my mind to the possibilities of using arduinos for aquaponics.  Things have advanced a lot since this project was done.

Click to open:

 

You need to check out these sites - both of them have arduino sections and good projects to check out and learn from.

http://www.instructables.com/

http://makezine.com/

 

This is a good starting point for you:

 

I could use some help on a project that is using 5-Button 1 analog pin read for outputting temps for 5 one-wire DS18B20 probes.  I have a good start on the code, but it is slow go for me time wise.  I want each probe to be read and outputted depending on the button pushed and when I push button 1 and hold for 3 seconds all temps will report out to a LCD in sequence.

 

I also have all the core code developed,  that if interested we could open source for others here to help build a strong community of other like minded people that want better control of their systems.  I have a desk top simulation unit I build for testing any type of configuration setup that allows for testing any type sensor.  I am also building a tissue culture lab to generate plant material as I scale up my operations.  The lab will be totally arduino controlled

 

If there is enough interest around the arduino platform we could establish a forum here devoted to code development projects, as I see that as the limiting factor in all this.  Most people I talk with about aquaponics are not programing types and lack general understanding of what is needed, but know that this is the direction we need to go.

.

 

A member here, BullwinkleII, is working on this type of thing as well. He is blogging about it at http://120thingsin20years.blogspot.com/ Leave a comment on his blog and maybe he will give us an update here as well?

I'm waiting on a pump to get my first system going, but I'm chiming in now to help keep the momentum going.  I plan to use the Android ADK (which uses a modified Arduino, the Arduino Mega ADK), to monitor the system with entirely solar power-able components.

I'm also hoping PV panels come down in price pretty drastically.  Oh!  And affordable realtime DO sensors would be nice, but I'm not sure that's coming any time soon.

So, I'll definitely be interested in any existing code.

Does anyone have advice on where to download a non-buggy version of the Dallas One Wire library (if this is in fact my problem)? One that they have used successfully as is...

I've gotten my DHT11 sensor working easily enough. Can also turn off/on various AC mains devices based on time intervals with relays and the Uno...but, couldn't seem to do anything with the Dallas probes, one wire 'parasite power' configuration or not. I've checked and re-checked my circuit, it's not the resistor, so I figured I'd start with the library since it would appear that there were so many 'problems' with the earlier versions?  DS18B20 are the probes in question. 

Thanks.

RSS

© 2019   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service