Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Automation and Remote Monitoring


Automation and Remote Monitoring

Designs, Experiences, and Ideas for automating an AP greenhouse.

Alerts, Webcams, Temperature, Ventilation, PH, Logging, Graphing, Triggered Responses, Notifications, Remote Control, etc...

Members: 199
Latest Activity: Sep 18, 2018

Discussion Forum

arduino -- Aquaponic automation development

Started by Rik Kretzinger. Last reply by David Leithauser Mar 27, 2017. 46 Replies

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. …Continue

Tags: feed, valve, relays, gravity, control

Automatic Fish Feeder Went Online Today

Started by Jim Fisk. Last reply by Alan Feb 3, 2015. 31 Replies

Well this could be considered a banner day around here as the Trout will be so happy to get their meals on time. I only have around 40 Trout divided between two 330 gal ibcs so I only needed 2…Continue

smart aquaponics

Started by eric maundu. Last reply by Michael M. Moore Apr 18, 2013. 5 Replies

after years of killing fish, we are excited to reveal our first smart aquaponics controller v1.this is basically 10+ years of aquaponics experience in a microchip.…Continue

Aquaponics sensor network project in need of help...

Started by Shaun Mavronicolas. Last reply by Shaun Mavronicolas Mar 29, 2013. 6 Replies

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…Continue

Tags: network, sensor, XBEE, FIO, arduino

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Comment by Frank De Block-Burij (hygicell) on September 3, 2013 at 11:43pm

nice automatic feeder, Matt.

Battery operated, I hope.

If not, this will need a power supply line which complicates things for installation, and when trying to find ways for wireless control from a PC.

has anybody looked into the christmas lights solution I suggested earlier?

Comment by Matt Miskinnis on September 3, 2013 at 9:40pm

*sigh* always a critic I guess...  

I hear what you're saying, but not really the point.  I'm a true Do It Yourselfer, I like being able to control everything I can, and the auger I built was a good solution.  I wanted to be able to customise the size to what I wanted.  What I didn't show in the video is that I actually took off an inch of the auger that I casted - you couldn't do that with what you showed on E-bay as their is a metal rod in it. Also that rod addes to the weight, I didn't want added wieght as if I fill the feeder to 8 lbs of fish food that would stress the motor.  The fully plastic auger i created is light as a feather and strong enough without a rod. Going forward I have plenty of plastic left over  to make more molds.  So instead of including a $20 price tag to each new feeder unit that someone might request (I have had a few requests), I would say it is now just a couple dollars now for that auger part.  I also wanted to learn how to do molds, always wanted to  - so I chuck this up to a learning experience along with learning the Arduino and stepper motors.  I guess it's a control thing, but for future customers it would be a price thing as John Malone showed the hacked arduino board for $5 bucks which I intend to build you include that with my casted mold auger for $3 more bucks, it would just be the cost of the lexan polycarbanate sheets and a motor probably under $30 bucks as a rough estimate - not to bad for a feeder that can hold 8 lbs of fish food huh?  Anyway your open to your opinion, like I said for me it was more for a learning experience. 

Comment by Jim Troyer on September 3, 2013 at 9:28pm

Nice work Matt! 

@ Manross  - Kill joy

Comment by Manross on September 3, 2013 at 7:44pm

I like the build your own plastic auger. fun and you gain the knowledge of how to make the molds and them make the plastic, but they sell them on eBay for $20 with a stainless drive rod already in them.



Comment by Matt Miskinnis on September 3, 2013 at 3:29pm

My new fish feeder (2.0)  is finally done...

Comment by Mark on August 24, 2013 at 11:50am

I have recently put together an automated system using my LPT port on an old laptop that I had. I bought a pre built relay board for about 30 dollars and constructed a control box and installed all the hardware in the box to feed my fish, control my airpumps and waterpumps, and even control my solar tracker. This was an experiment and I hope to hook up a system to the internet next and control the system via smartphone. I have videos on how I constructed and installed all these componets on youtube under "Aceman307". Would love some feed back on the system also any advice or suggestions would be great.

Comment by John Malone on August 23, 2013 at 11:22am


I discovered the Raspberry PI unit quite some time after the Arduino.   As a computer programmer and Linux admin I find it extremely attractive, especially at the price.  A complete computer the size of a credit card for $25-35?  Yes please!

Having said that, I'm still content with the development path that I've traveled, mostly because of the things that I've learnt along the way.  I've played with electronics in the past, passed college level electronics 101 classes, soldered kits together, heck, I worked for six years in an electronics contract manufacturing business with a test/development engineer at my disposal, but it didn't add up to a hill of beans until I actually got a stack of parts in front of me, designed and soldered together a working circuit.   Until that happened it was all still a bit 'unknown' and mysterious.   Now I know why there are capacitors and resistors in a power regulator circuit, why there are multiple power circuits on a board, why etc and etc...

Inquiring minds need to know!

I try to keep things as simple as possible, which seems like an odd thing to say considering what I've described in previous comments, but in reality the complexity that I've experienced is more a description of my lack of knowledge than anything else.  

What I've actually done, which was my goal, is use a micro-controller to post sensor data to the Internet.

There was just a lot of side-tracks that I had to take to get there, and it could have been a LOT easier if I bought off-the-shelf components.  I don't criticize those that go that route, but I'm a stubborn individual that likes to do things the hard way.  I also get immense satisfaction out of making something useful out of odd and ends.

BTW, if you want to pick my brains on any of what I've done, I'm more than willing to help.  Code, SQL, PHP, website, whatever you need.  Just ask.

Comment by Matt Miskinnis on August 23, 2013 at 7:42am

Thanks for the Info John, I do agree that the Arduinos and xbees can get expensive fast!  I may try building an hackduino like you did in the future and the free webhosting sounds like the way to go - I may hit you up on some questions later about that.  I did want to use the raspberry PI as the brain (as I've always wanted one and it only costs like $35) so I could have it outside with the AP system and since it is a linux pc that is the size of the Arduino I couldn't pass it up since it can do more than what a microcontroller can do.   and I have been able to connect it to my home wireless system by simply using a wireless usb dongle so I didn't have to play with a wired router, but I do see the advantages of something that only costs $10 for sure and being able to use it for a case is also a bonus!

@Frank,  don't worry you're doing fine, I didn't know what an Arduino was 3 months ago until I started playing around with it - once you start playing around looking on the net seeing what other people have done you start diving into it.  

Arduino's are PC ready so don't let that fool you, especially when combined with a Raspberry PI.  My web cam bot is set up using that structure and I use the raspberry PI to send commands to the Arduino to move server motors to pan and tilt the camera.  You definitely on the right track with wireless parts like garage door openers, I'm sure if you do some Googling you can find some good hacks.  I'll take a look at your link when I get home today after work.


Comment by Frank De Block-Burij (hygicell) on August 23, 2013 at 1:08am

Hi guys, I'm not exactly a complete idiot when it comes down to programming (programmed some PLC's and programmable relays like Siemens Logo!), but my ears are ringing now with your obvious far reaching knowledge.

Respect, but I've lost all grip.

For a long time I have been looking for a cheap and simple way to wirelessly control i.e. my (own design) extremely simple and cheap automatic fish feeder(s), or pumps and valves, from a PC.

So I wanted it to be multi channel, PC programmable, and, most important, intuitive and accessible to all.

PLC's, programmable relays, Arduino, all are too expensive and too complicated plus not really PC ready.

There must be simpler methods, I thought.

The wireless part is easy and cheap: every car nowadays has wireless in the key to open and close doors from a distance, there are things like garage door openers, wireless remote door bells, all contain what is necessary.

I looked into home automation systems: too complicated and still too expensive. Finally, and by sheer luck, I bumped into christmas lights programming software:

could you guys take a look?



Comment by John Malone on August 22, 2013 at 9:29pm

Thanks Matt,

I was horrified at the price of the ethernet shield and the genuine Arduino/clone you need to put it on.   There's >$80 right there.   No sir! Not for this little black duck.

I am super cheap, and love to tinker with stuff, so...

I wanted to learn how to make a DIY Arduino because I have plans for a bike computer among other things.   Doing a DIY board, I can make it a LOT smaller than the standard Aduino layout.  And then there's the price...

Xbee isn't cheap either, with the chip itself running around $20 a throw and you need one each end, not to mention the modules to mount the chip on.

So, what to do.   OK, build the board using a $1 perf-board and ATMega328P sample chips.  The major distributors will send you low quantities of parts for development and testing via their websites.  Don't abuse this luxury or you'll get black listed.  I know: it happened to me.  Sourced the rest of the electronics from eBay (China) and waited the requisite two - three weeks for delivery.  No problem.  Lots of other things going on in my life to occupy my time.  And then there's the price...

Networking is done via a ENC28J60 module, also readily available from the aforementioned eBay.    You can get them for < $5 all day long.  Use an ethernet cable to connect to an LinkSys WRT54G router, reflashed with dd-wrt firmware and configured as a client to my home WiFi, and 'Voila!' you've got an Internet ready, wireless device.  BTW, there's so much spare space inside the old LinkSys router that I expect to be able to put all the electronics inside the router case.  

WRT54G (or similar) routers can be had on, you guessed it, eBay, for < $10 if you are patient.  I'm patient.  Oh, and I should be able to use the power from the Linksys power supply to drive the electronics. Why have two when one will do?  Did I mention about the price?

The data is being stored on any one of dozens of free web hosting services out there.  I'm currently using, because it's the one that I'm trying out at the moment.  As an aside, there is a lot of difference between free web hosting services.  I got suspended from one, and I still don't know why.  Another was so unreliable that I couldn't develop a real-time solution on it effectively and determine whether it my fault or the website.  YMMV.   But free is free!   You can't beat the price...

Almost all free hosting providers have MySQL database capabilities and support PHP, with access via FTP.  I assume that most are running Apache, but that doesn't concern me as long as the PHP / MySQL runs correctly. That's all I need to get going. A little charting help from Google visualizations and I'm golden. And the price is right...

So, in conclusion, I wanted to learn how to make stuff with micro-controllers without having to break the bank on every little project that drifted across my brain.  And I can dream up dozens of projects pretty quickly!

As you can see, it took a lot of experimentation and research with a wide variety of disparate parts and solutions,  but the price is right...


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