Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey all,

i wanted to know if someone can recommend a good testkit.

Has anyone a DO-meter or a TDS meter?

Would be interested to hear what measurements, what test kits (brand name) you use?

 

Cheerio

Ben

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The fact that the labNavigator can monitor Ammonia and Nitrate I find very cool.  And I think if one were to rig it up with Ammonia, Nitrate, pH and DO it would be a really good item for Aquaponics, other probes that might be handy to aquaponics include salt level and temperature so one would have to make choices about which ones to constantly monitor and which to occasionally check, I would perhaps do temperature instead of nitrate for constant monitoring if I didn't have another means of logging the temperatures.  I only looked at the price of the base unit and didn't go on to look at the prices of the different probes and all the other stuff that would probably have to go with them so I don't know what a complete kit for aquaponics would run.
Kobus, I wished i would have the money to buy  the hanna photometer. Could anyone you suggest any water kit under  200 dollar, where results are exactly to read out and where i can do more then 50 times of testing? The Test kit in the aquaponiccommunity shop is good, but i look for something where i can do testings every second day for a long time period. Any recommendations?
I've been following the progress of the Aquaponics Controller (inline monitor). I think this meter/controller has great potential at a very reasonable cost. The primary drawback is you'll need to assemble it yourself.
Yea for those into tinkering with Arduino electronics projects, you can do a lot of fun stuff.
Benhelhe, I cannot afford this stuff if it was not for a research project!  Because the data has to be publishable, I have only researched the higher end of equipment.  What I have observed though, is that the multitudes of probes and controllers just rapidly makes cheap complete monitoring impossible.  Even the "cheap" aquatronica units are worth as much as my entire greenhouse (if not more).  The hand-held probes are also never configured to have all you need - always one or two parameters missing, requiring you to buy at least two of them.  I have not found anything filling the gap between chemical test kits and a bunch of hand-held probes.  I am not familiar with the Arduino equipment everyone seem to report about though.

BenHehle Beamz said:
Kobus, I wished i would have the money to buy  the hanna photometer. Could anyone you suggest any water kit under  200 dollar, where results are exactly to read out and where i can do more then 50 times of testing? The Test kit in the aquaponiccommunity shop is good, but i look for something where i can do testings every second day for a long time period. Any recommendations?

Arduino is an open-source single-board microcontroller

It isn't ready made equipment but something that people can use to build and program their own projects.  It is something often used for small robotics or other microcontroller appropriate equipment or automation.  Only appropriate if you are into building your own electronic projects.

Turbidity (Dissolved Solids) Tester?

...

Try taking a 4" or 3" disc, Paint alternating Black and White pie shells on it (at least four - prefer 8 ).

Put it on a rope with a weight under the disc.

..

Lower it into the tank and note where it becomes unreadable - this is the point where your dissolved solids ratio is higher than 60% by volume.  You can also judge the whole turbidity ratio by what you see as you lower the disc.

..

I had a client that used one of these discs (he got it from a chemical company that specializes in test gear for waste water plants).  I pointed out that he could also tell by watching the fish disappear as they dove down into the tank - he resonded by asking how to train the fish to tell you how deep they are... Tou Chea...

..

Dave

Phoenix, AZ

Badump bump

I've just recently started up a home system. My fulltime job is as a controls software engineer at a national lab. So for fun, I've embarked on setting up a monitoring/control system. Total overkill for my home setup, but I hope to learn enough to possibly apply this to what appears to be developing commercial aquaponics businesses here. I've heard of Arduino, but I'm going the Koyo PLC route (available on ebay surprisingly cheap). The main issue for me is finding good sensors at a good price. PLC's are nice because you can code up equipment protection logic, like "don't start the pump if the sump is empty". But mainly, I want to log data to experiment with different variables like Terri. I plan to combine manual test-kit input with automated monitoring. I hope to be able to control at least temp and lights initially.

I see relatively inexpensive sensors from Vernier (looks like what is in Terri's setup), but you can't drop them into a big tank as they aren't waterproof. Sensors from places like sensorex.com or automationdirect are pricey. Any suggestions for inexpensive, waterproof sensors would be great. I plan to save on cost by wiring them myself into the PLC. I'll video some of this so everyone can laugh :)

The only waterproof sensor I have is a DS18B20. It's the same as the regular Dallas 18B20 temperature sensor only its encapsulated in stainless steel. But you are probably looking for a bit more...

Try these guys here...

http://aquaponicscommunity.com/group/automation?

Don't think there's such a thing as overkill for folks like us...  the data you log today will definitely help tomorrow. 



claude saunders said:

I've just recently started up a home system. My fulltime job is as a controls software engineer at a national lab. So for fun, I've embarked on setting up a monitoring/control system. Total overkill for my home setup, but I hope to learn enough to possibly apply this to what appears to be developing commercial aquaponics businesses here. I've heard of Arduino, but I'm going the Koyo PLC route (available on ebay surprisingly cheap). The main issue for me is finding good sensors at a good price. PLC's are nice because you can code up equipment protection logic, like "don't start the pump if the sump is empty". But mainly, I want to log data to experiment with different variables like Terri. I plan to combine manual test-kit input with automated monitoring. I hope to be able to control at least temp and lights initially.

I see relatively inexpensive sensors from Vernier (looks like what is in Terri's setup), but you can't drop them into a big tank as they aren't waterproof. Sensors from places like sensorex.com or automationdirect are pricey. Any suggestions for inexpensive, waterproof sensors would be great. I plan to save on cost by wiring them myself into the PLC. I'll video some of this so everyone can laugh

Claude,

You're right, inline/submersible sensors are extremely expensive. If you can afford them, they're an excellent choice for  monitoring/control systems.

There are a few tricks for protecting the lab grade (non-submersible) sensors against humidity and direct splashes. You can use locktite to seal the probe body / lead housing interface and use plastic heat shrink tubing to cover it. Just be careful not to overheat the probe. 

For added protection, I took a round plastic ziplock container and drilled holes in the lid for each of the probes and one large hole in the bottom of the container (which became the top) for the leads. I glued a silicone rubber sheet over the probe openings. I cut holes in the rubber slightly smaller than the diameter of the probes to give the probes a snug fit. The next time I use this setup, I'll place a dessicant pouch inside to help reduce the humidity.

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