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

fsamir

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@fsamir that is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's exactly why I started this post, to see others that have done it and that are willing to share it with others....

I need more details!!! cost? availablity?
I can tell from the pics that you use a jebao dosing pump and wavemakers, this is exactly what i'm looking for!!! :)
Hey Rob,
I don't have precise answers for cost or availability, yet. Costs depends a lot on economy of scale and software licensing price. The DOSEmate's circuit board cost me ~$100 to produce, for example. Everything else depends on the deal with the supplier.
Availability is currently blocked on making a decision on how to license the software, given it can easily be pirated. Hardware is tough business :p


I am planning to position the product on the cheap side, to be compete in price an quality with chinese manufacturers, like Jecod. In fact, as you noticed, I source parts from Jecod and some other manufacturers, like Coral Box, Reef Angel, etc.

The core concept of the computer is to be able talk to any device that allows connectivity, similar to the computers model we are all familiar with, where you can connect a Dell mouse on an HP laptop.
In facto, the REEFmate can already talk to several devices, such as Atlas Scientific probes, Reef Angel Extensions, Coral Box Wavemaker controller, Apogee Par meter, etc.

It is likely the first units will be available as a DIY kit. You buy the parts from me or other suppliers, buy a software license from me and put it together yourself.

Let me know if you have any questions...
 
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Rob Lion

Rob Lion

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Hey Rob,
I don't have precise answers for cost or availability, yet. Costs depends a lot on economy of scale and software licensing price. The DOSEmate's circuit board cost me ~$100 to produce, for example. Everything else depends on the deal with the supplier.
Availability is currently blocked on making a decision on how to license the software, given it can easily be pirated. Hardware is tough business :p


I am planning to position the product on the cheap side, to be compete in price an quality with chinese manufacturers, like Jecod. In fact, as you noticed, I source parts from Jecod and some other manufacturers, like Coral Box, Reef Angel, etc.

The core concept of the computer is to be able talk to any device that allows connectivity, similar to the computers model we are all familiar with, where you can connect a Dell mouse on an HP laptop.
In facto, the REEFmate can already talk to several devices, such as Atlas Scientific probes, Reef Angel Extensions, Coral Box Wavemaker controller, Apogee Par meter, etc.

It is likely the first units will be available as a DIY kit. You buy the parts from me or other suppliers, buy a software license from me and put it together yourself.

Let me know if you have any questions...
I think you are on to a winner with this approach, especially the DIY build part, keep costs low, let people buy into the concept without a mass investment and let them grow their system with more add-ons as and when they need or can afford them! :)

Software licensing is always an issue, so making it free but charging a bit more for the unique hardware is a good route, but will also be an issue with giving out the DIY kit instructions too as people will just buy parts locally :( Then again, if you can compile the software as executable only, you can add a license authorization code element to it, so it runs in demo mode if not authorised. You could also make the software then annually licensed too for upgrades.

I hope you stay away from the proprietary hardware game, apart from the bits that you really have to make, I've looked at many ways to try to use either my Jebao DP4 or DP4Slave dosers via the Pi, but it keeps coming back to ripping the internal out apart from the motors / lights / power supply and pumps, and adding a 4 channel motor controller to the Pi, via gertboard / Ardiuno / add on HAT although the DP4S if the best bet via the existing RJ socket, but I cant yet get the pin uses and requirements for them.

I've looked at your info on web site etc, it says beta testing is closed..... if you ever want another, count me in! I guess its the DOSEMate that interests me more at the moment, as that's the main thing missing on my system that I can't resolve yet, and i'm sure I could rewrite what i've done so far in JSON to stitch the 2 things together. Funny enough I started with Cayenne IoT, but moved to a user drawn GUI because Cayenne was limited in functionality.

I'm happy to share my ideas / code with you with no issue, I have no intention of ever commercially releasing my stuff.... The RF power sockets and RF Jebao wavemaker are real easy and cheap alternatives to 3rd party alternatives, as is integration with a Seneye reef device.

It looks like you have been at this for a while.... let's get it moving again! :)
 

Donovan Joannes

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You are almost there my friend. More or less it is a complete solution to run a reef tank. I did my DIY reef controller but after getting my lights and wavemakers/pumps working fine, my brain needs to be rebooted several times due to fragmentation of memories and corrupted brain cells.
 

erk

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That is impressive, fsamir. Very elegant and modular design. Love how the software is customizable for each user. Making me rethink my own design.

I'm in the middle of building the GUI for my own Raspberry Pi controller. I use an Arduino Uno to handle PWM and analog signals. Just easier and analog sensors are cheaper than digital. The Raspberry Pi is the brains that tells the Arduino when to turn on the lights and read data from the Arduino. The RPi controls a custom built outlet box thru GPIOs. I used one of those cheap Sainsmart 8 relay boards. I have the lights running with weather and moon phase. I also have the RPi gathering temp data and plotting it. Now just to put this altogether in a single GUI. I'm going to continue using my Kamoer doser, but I'm considering building my own stepper motor doser for tighter tolerances on the dosing amount. It's difficult to find the time with school and a full time career to complete all these projects.

I do have an issue that I'm trying to overcome. I'm using pyqtgraph for the temperature plotting and I'm getting a memory leak. Not sure if the data isn't clearing completely or maybe I'm not clearing the previous graphs after each data update. If you have any tips, please let me know. I can post the code if desired.
 

njtiger aquariums

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That is impressive, fsamir. Very elegant and modular design. Love how the software is customizable for each user. Making me rethink my own design.

I'm in the middle of building the GUI for my own Raspberry Pi controller. I use an Arduino Uno to handle PWM and analog signals. Just easier and analog sensors are cheaper than digital. The Raspberry Pi is the brains that tells the Arduino when to turn on the lights and read data from the Arduino. The RPi controls a custom built outlet box thru GPIOs. I used one of those cheap Sainsmart 8 relay boards. I have the lights running with weather and moon phase. I also have the RPi gathering temp data and plotting it. Now just to put this altogether in a single GUI. I'm going to continue using my Kamoer doser, but I'm considering building my own stepper motor doser for tighter tolerances on the dosing amount. It's difficult to find the time with school and a full time career to complete all these projects.

I do have an issue that I'm trying to overcome. I'm using pyqtgraph for the temperature plotting and I'm getting a memory leak. Not sure if the data isn't clearing completely or maybe I'm not clearing the previous graphs after each data update. If you have any tips, please let me know. I can post the code if desired.
Not sure if it will help you or not. I use jpgraph which is PHP and not python driven; my system is using python and php to allow for easy use on any device (such as phone, tablet, pc, or device itself). Now I have not been to their site in about a year but I just tried accessing it now and its down; not sure if they just having issues or they are gone. http://jpgraph.net/
 
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Rob Lion

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I do have an issue that I'm trying to overcome. I'm using pyqtgraph for the temperature plotting and I'm getting a memory leak. Not sure if the data isn't clearing completely or maybe I'm not clearing the previous graphs after each data update. If you have any tips, please let me know. I can post the code if desired.
If your issue is that the previous plot stays there, and a new plot is either overlaid or more likely squashed above/below/beside it, it is because you need to assign your plot frame to a dummy object, then prior to each plot delete the dummy object (with the plot that's attached). I Use MATPLOTLIB with PYQT, I had that same issue. I use QT Designer to create the graphical interface, and drew a dummy frame, named it "old_frame" and when i go to plot a new frame I delete that old_frame, with nothing in it and then I create on the fly an object called "new_frame" and plot to it, then rename it to "old_frame" at the end after its displayed. That way, next time I run the plot again, say with a different sensor or timescale, it starts by deleting the "old_frame" .... etc.

EDIT: actually I just checked, I create 2 dummy boxes, one for the plot and one for the graph toolbar. Same principle as above.
 
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Rob Lion

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erk

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What kind of motors does the doser use? I suspect standard DC motors, but the documentation doesn't say. I'm thinking of making my own doser using Nema 17 steppers and a custom printed dosing head. Then use an Arduino Uno to control the motors. I want better dosing precision that only comes with stepper motor dosers.
 
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fsamir

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What kind of motors does the doser use? I suspect standard DC motors, but the documentation doesn't say. I'm thinking of making my own doser using Nema 17 steppers and a custom printed dosing head. Then use an Arduino Uno to control the motors. I want better dosing precision that only comes with stepper motor dosers.
What doser are you referring to? Cheap ones will use brushed DC motor, slightly better ones will use brushless DC motors and very specific and specialised ones, will use stepper motors, such as Nema.

In practice, cheap motors can deliver decent precision and 1ml is usually not a problem. Precision doesn't depend only on the motor, but also on everything else around it, like the ability for the rollers to seal the silicone tubbing, the software that runs it, power supply, etc. A stepper motor no doubt can improve precision, but the application has to justify the much higher extra cost.
 

domination2580

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for anyone that's interested.... 2 new products in the market place , ideal for DIY'ers

First is a new wifi enabled 4 port dosing pump....!
image_show.jpg

http://www.fish-street.com/coral-box-wf-04-wifi-dosing-pump

It's the missing link to my system, I just need to find a way to intercept the ios/android wireless (not bluetooth) signal commands, so i can get the Pi to make them instead :)

they also have a wifi controlled 300Watt heater ;)
image_show (1).jpg

http://www.fish-street.com/aqua-wfi-heater

DIYing just got even easier ;)
Too bad you can't use android
 

erk

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Just wanted to share the program I wrote for my aquarium. It runs on a Raspberry Pi and communicates over serial with an Arduino Uno. I chose this method because I have the Uno and didn't feel like buying expensive digital sensors when I already have analog sensors. I created the GUI in QtDesigner and did most of the programming in Python 3. This is my first time programming in Python and it was a lot of fun. Simple but powerful language. I plan to keep improving the programming and making the controller more robust.


EDIT: Ignore the temperature. The aquarium isn't setup yet as I was trying to finish the program before I completed the tank setup.
 
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MartinH

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I have some questions.....
At the moment I have an Pi 3 running with node -red controlling my fish tank.
Seneye is conntected at the Pi, and with virtualhere connected to my laptop.
This all is working fine, but to get the full seneye "experience" my Laptop must be on the whole time :(

But, what I want is this:
Read data from the Seneye sensor with the Pi, plus have acess to the data from the Seneye Cloud from anywhere, but without my windows PC running all the time, is this possible?
-> without the Seney Bridge thing.
Thank you. and greetings from switzerland
 

erk

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I have some questions.....
At the moment I have an Pi 3 running with node -red controlling my fish tank.
Seneye is conntected at the Pi, and with virtualhere connected to my laptop.
This all is working fine, but to get the full seneye "experience" my Laptop must be on the whole time :(

But, what I want is this:
Read data from the Seneye sensor with the Pi, plus have acess to the data from the Seneye Cloud from anywhere, but without my windows PC running all the time, is this possible?
-> without the Seney Bridge thing.
Thank you. and greetings from switzerland
Never heard of Node-RED until now. Wish I had known. I did all my programming in Python3. Since Node-RED is run inside of the OS of the RPi, why don't you use the PC capabilities of the RPi to send the Seneye data to the Cloud? If it is compatibility between the Linux distro and the Seneye software, look at the Microsoft IoT distro for RPi. It might allow you to run the Seneye software like you would on your laptop.
 
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Rob Lion

Rob Lion

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@MartinH sorry for the delay... been real busy.....

Yes, you can set up your Pi as a seneye server, and do without the need to have anything connected to your PC.

full details that I used are here.

http://www.ma55ey.co.uk/2015/04/using-raspberry-pi-as-remote-seneye.html

in short, your turn your Pi into a seneye server using the virtualhere application, seneye is plugged into a hub, hub into the usb port of Pi. It takes a little playimng with but its quiet easy, so much so thats how i do my temp and pH readings for my controller.

you may need to also read up on

http://answers.seneye.com/en/Seneye_Products/seneye_developer_information

to get more ideas.
 
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Rob Lion

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sorry in my haste.... you will also need additional software such as WINE andextragear to run the seneye app on the pi.
 

erk

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sorry in my haste.... you will also need additional software such as WINE andextragear to run the seneye app on the pi.
Does the Microsoft IoT distribution not allow running .exe files on the RPi? Wouldn't it be easier to go that route instead of using WINE?
 
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