Has anyone created a full Raspberry Pi Aquarium monitoring/control system?

Rob Lion

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Hi,
I understand that Ardiuno's are better at controlling things, but i'm looking to put together a Raspberry Pi 3B monitor/controller.
Main things will be;
  1. read / display Temps, pH, ORP, Salinity etc
  2. control sockets (I have this already and very easy to do using a radio controlled HAT) https://energenie4u.co.uk/catalogue/product/ENER010-PI
  3. control a jeboa DP4 4/8 channel dosing pumps
  4. control jeboa Rw4/8 wave makers
  5. control jeboa DCT pumps
  6. control AI Prime LED lights
Has anyone done this or any parts of it for a Pi?
 

tokemoke

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Fallowing. Mild curiosity but had the guess it'd cost more time n money and headache programming something controlling water eg ato.
 
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Rob Lion

Rob Lion

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it really depends what you really need..... for me, I want to know how my system is doing and be alerted to issues, and to do some of the more mundane tasks for me, all in a single easy to use interface.

At the moment, I have seneye monitoring temp, ph and ammonia with its own pc/web interface, I have 3 Jebao RW pumps for water movement, again with their own phone interface, I have AI Prime lights with their own web/phone interface..... I'm looking to bring it all together into 1 interface with the ability to add other things easily.

These days, adding sensors to aquariums for Raspberry Pi (or Arduino) is easy, so is displaying the info on a small screen or over the web. So is controlling them.

Seneye now have an API kit available to users https://api.seneye.com/ allowing you to read the data from the device and display it on your own system (works with python or html).

New Internet of Things (IoT) developments make monitoring and controlling things real easy like http://www.cayenne-mydevices.com/

If you add pwm controlers and relays to the Pi, you can easily change the cycle and frequency of any lights or wave pumps.

And as i've posted before, you can get RF or IR remote controlled sockets to be able to turn equipment on and off via application to, no soldering needed and I think quiet cheaply (compared to "real" aquarium management system like apex etc) https://energenie4u.co.uk/catalogue/category/Raspberry-Pi-Accessories

There are also a few great threads on R2R on others currently building DIY dosing pump solutions too.

So it really depends what you the user really needs.
 

njtiger aquariums

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How will it be cheaper or better than an APEX?
If you look at my project its comparable to the cheap Apex (Apex Jr) I would say. Both the Apex Jr and my system have four controllable outlets, both have a temp sensor, and both have a display.

* My system each outlet can support 10amps (but I have not fully tested that yet)
* My system has a color 7in touch screen display
* My system is WiFi and Ethernet
* My cost (not including my time ~$100)
* My system auto backups all settings and data once a month (both locally and to a remote storage)
* Can be access via phone/tablet/computer using a web browser
* Get email and push notification

* Apex system outlets are 8amps
* Apex display isn't a touch screen and is smaller than 7in
* Apex is Ethernet only
* Apex cost ~(~$240)
* Can't talk about the software options here cause I never put my hands on one

Now I am not saying my system is better than Apex. Apex has a team of developers behind them. Apex has money backing them. My system is solely funded by myself and developed by myself. Apex is tested where my unit is only tested by me (but been running for about a year with no major issues)

Because my system is developed by me I can 100% configure it anyway I want. I am looking to add more options to my unit as I work on it.

Now I have not seen an Apex system in person but do agree they are nice and if a person is not a tinker/programmer then the Apex is a great system. Because I like to tinker/program I am seeing what I can achieve and as I said at this point my system (again not counting my time into this) is about $140 cheaper than the Apex.
 
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Rob Lion

Rob Lion

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Raspberry Pi 3B = £35 (includes wifi/USB/bluetooth etc)
7" touch screen = £55
Case for everything = £10
SD card/software = £8
Seneye Reef = £100 (+£6 per month for Ammonia/Ammonium measurements) or ( Temp probe+£30+ pH probe with Hats £50)
4 gang RF or IR sockets and controller Hat £30 x 2 (so 8 controllable 13amp sockets)
Jebao 4 pump doser (including containers, bracket and shelf)=£95
Additional 4 pump slave = £50
Ultra sonic Distance measuring Hat for accurate ATO water level = £5
Water leak detection Hat =£10
8x dosing container low level warning float levels =£2.50 each = £20
Pwm board for 16 channel lights =£30
Pwm motor controller for 4x wave makers = £30
ORP probe and HAT = £50
Salinity Probe and HAT = £50
Air temp / humidity probe = £10
misc items, boards,cables, etc = £100
software all free, just takes time to research or develop. Reef keeping is a hobby, I enjoy it, this is just an extension to that enjoyment :)
Total cost for all singing all dancing home built system= £700

Apex 2 pump dosing pump =£340 so 8 pumps cost 4x£340 = £1,360 on their own!
Add on the cost of Apex system and probes etc to match above specification would cost £2500 at least.
 

Frop

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How will it be cheaper or better than an APEX?
My guess is he would probably enjoy the project of putting everything together rather than the instant package.

I have thought about attempting some DIY aquarium automation. But I am beginner I'd have to study everything first. We have the books though and my wife's major was in electronics.
 
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Rob Lion

Rob Lion

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agreed, as I stated above, reef keeping is my hobby, creating my own reef monitoring / controlling system is an extension to that hobby :)
But the cost saving is nice to have too :D
 
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Rob Lion

Rob Lion

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If you can't see that £700 is less than £2500, then I'm not sure what to say.

I guess it would be pointless for me to add that the DIY system can also handle more amp load in sockets, (13 amps not apex 8 amps), it has 7 inch touch screen, can do more than just monitor and control the aquarium , but monitor and control your whole home via wifi, and web browse, or mail server, whatever you want it to do,.... its only limited by your imagination, not your pocket like the Apex system is.
 

Anero

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I have done something very similar but for aqua/hydroponics, the most expensive thing is going to good quality probes. when I was building my garden control kit I used the atlas scientific stuff. https://www.atlas-scientific.com/

they have some really cool and easy to setup controller boards for their probes but, they are pricey and I dont think they make anything for monitoring nit/phos.

I'm currently looking at getting back into reef keeping and would be willing to help out where I can with a project like this. I have a bit of hardware and software development experience.
 

cowbot7

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Hi rob lion I think I saw a solution for you. A program called openHAB. It can combine different Internet of things devices into 1 app for controlling them.
 
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Rob Lion

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Many thanks @cowbot7 for the consideration.
On research it seems most IoT generic apps miss out on decent user defined widgets, but i'm sure they will improve over the coming year. To that end, I've started my project using PyQt and QT Designer, they are python based applications to combine the native Raspberry Pi GUI with the standard python coding, making development a lot easier, it also ports seamlessly onto Windows,any Web browser, Android and iOS front ends. At the moment I'm doing my development on Windows and testing on the Native Pi.

I'm using my Seneye reef for all sensor measurements at the moment, In time I will replace these with probes.

here's a sneak peek at where i'm currently upto :)

Capture.JPG
 

njtiger aquariums

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Many thanks @cowbot7 for the consideration.
On research it seems most IoT generic apps miss out on decent user defined widgets, but i'm sure they will improve over the coming year. To that end, I've started my project using PyQt and QT Designer, they are python based applications to combine the native Raspberry Pi GUI with the standard python coding, making development a lot easier, it also ports seamlessly onto Windows,any Web browser, Android and iOS front ends. At the moment I'm doing my development on Windows and testing on the Native Pi.

I'm using my Seneye reef for all sensor measurements at the moment, In time I will replace these with probes.

here's a sneak peek at where i'm currently upto :)

Capture.JPG
Looking good man.
 

aquaman30k

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Following along. I've been kicking around the idea of building my own controller using spare HVAC BAS controllers but the inexpensive and robust Raspberry Pi would make for a killer setup. Especially if it was running a slim OS/app instead of a full blown Os like Linux.
 
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