Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

This was posted to the group initially but I felt it would be better suited to have a place for discussion here. I do apologize for double posting this, I should have posted this here at the outset in retrospect.

A short intro... I got in to AP at the start of 2011. After firing up the system in May 2011 I quickly realized how helpful monitoring several parameters would be, as I am sure most newbies would find. I am not a software/code guy so I asked someone to help with that part, at a reasonable rate. Unfortunately, it's now over a year since this began and still it's not done.

I had intended to share this with the community once it was complete, for no cost. Seems I need to do this before things are ready as it needs others to help complete it. So my offer is to make available all the code and my crude diagrams to someone who is willing to dive in and wrap this up. The person who wrote the code to date has said he will share what ever "knowledge" is necessary for you to familiarize yourself with the code.

The code has been well commented. It is based on the Arduino FIO and XBEE series 2B radios which are running in API mode. The main app is written in Python and initially is for the MAC platform, however, since Python is cross platform and the DB uses SQlite it is easy adapted to Windows.

There are 2 main sensor types... the one which has been developed now includes relays at the cost of no pH/DO. The second includes pH/DO at a cost of no relays. Typically you would only need one of the pH/DO sensors, the rest would be the relay contact version. Each sensor has the following capabilities in addition to either relays or pH/DO: Temp + humidity, thermocouple temp (for remote temp measurement), water flow, water depth (0-12" for GBs or shallow sumps), light intensity, 3 relays and 3 current clamps for "event" triggers. All this fits into a tiny 4x2x3/4" case. It's wireless needless to say (XBEE radios in API mode) allowing many sensors around a greenhouse for example, to be polled.

With the data in a DB I was hoping to be able to easily display information visually through a web page/iPhone/iPad app (not part of this project but needed). I was going to begin by using a third party tool.

Things were getting close before the developer said he has no further time to complete this for me. So here we are... is there anyone interested and willing to commit to completing this project with me for the community? This project does require someone who is very experienced with the Arduino, XBEE radios using API mode and Python. This seems to have turned into a complex little project with hardware that has been tough to get working with the limited capabilities of the Arduino.

I have built three complete sensors on Veroboard as my test bed, in this tiny footprint.

I am based in Vancouver, BC but am certainly willing to see how completion of this can happen remotely.

I do realize there seem to be a lot of these little projects springing up but to my best knowledge, as yet, I haven't come across anything that is freely available that does everything each of these sensors does in one unit.

Anyone interested?

Here is a picture of the simpler probe hardware:

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Replies to This Discussion

Possibly, My problem is that I don't have all the hardware that you are using.  I do have a fairly mature project of my own that could incorporate a lot of these things.  I am currently working on arduino using bluetooth instead of xbee.  I was thinking of going python on my home computer until I found that I had an old droid phone that can lay around the house and actually be a handheld remote and a server to cosm for reporting.

I had an ethernet shield that I found out was faulty after wasting several hours.  I would like to go back to that approach.  It leaves more flexibility in my opinion for  expansion.  I wont yet though because I am having fun with the challenge of the droid programming and making the phone become a very low power server without paying for a dial plan.  Once I get it working with bluetooth, ethernet will be very easy to plug in and expand on.

Let me do a little more work on my system.  With the holidays coming up, I plan to have time to finally finish some of the hardware aspects.  I will post it and then we can talk about picking up your work.  I like xbee and can see how it could be nifty for several reasons.

Thanks for the open source attitude.  I am a big fan.

Hi Shaun,

      Count me in as well. My hardware is in route, didn't make the sleigh but shouldn't be too far behind. I will probably not get xbee for a couple weeks, but should have most of the hardware you have soon. I will be building a dome greenhouse soon, but wanted to work on the sensors, while it is cold, as I live in CO. If it is easier to just deal with Rex and I  follow along, that is fine. Big advocate of the open source/linux paradigm, so if we can divide and conquer, all the better . 

best regards,


Thanks Rex, thanks Robbie. I met Justin, a local programmer here in Vancouver, who is currently helping complete this. Once things have progressed I'll post some updates. Right now it's just easier to work with someone local because of the hardware aspect.

Thanks again,


I hear a lot of talk about this arduino

can somebody explain to me the advantages of an arduino compared to programmable relays like the Siemens Logo! ?

these are easy to program


I think I can help , too. We do irrigation automation with zigbee.  Can you tell me where to get probes (brands, models, etc) and sensor components?

Just a little update... this project has not progressed. I have decided to shelve it indefinitely. I hope someday someone will get something going on Kickstarter for the aquaponics community specifically. What I had been working towards was very modular and expandable, and wireless, these are certainly elements needed for a system such as this.

I am letting all the hardware go at 40% of what it cost new and will include, for free, the $1200 small Python app as it stands... it is a WIP (made to work with MAC but easily ported over since it uses SQLite). I cannot offer any support, it comes as is... it is however well commented and a base on which to build.You're getting it for free if you take the hardware.

I will post a list of all the components I have in the next 2 weeks or so.



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