woejillis's reef-pi build thread

woejillis

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Location
United States
I'm a long-time lurker of reef-pi and decided to bite the bullet recently. I currently use smart power strips by Kasa and Smartthings to control and automate my equipment and am building a reef-pi system to take over monitoring and automation of my 120 gal (20 gal sump) LPS tank.

Current Situation:
  • Automation equipment
    • Smartthings to manage control and create dashboards through ActionTiles
    • Kasa powerstrips to control on/off of all equipment
  • Sensors
    • Water/flood to detect leaks and shutoff pumps
    • Temperature to notify of overheating
  • Aquarium equipment that is controlled
    • 2 return AC pumps
    • 2 UV lights (1 on each return pump)
    • 3 AC wavemakers (hydor koralia pumps)
    • Protein skimmer
    • ATO
    • GFO reactor
    • Sump light to grow chaeto
  • Automations
    • When main pump is turned off, turn off all other equipment
    • When main pump is turned on, turn on all other equipment
    • Turn on protein skimmer at 8 PM for 10 hours
    • Turn on sump light at 8 PM for 12 hours
    • If water detected behind tank, shut off pump1 (which then shuts off all equipment)

Desired Capabilities with reef-pi:
  • Monitoring
    • Sump temperature
    • pH
    • Sump pump return water level
  • ATO (will replace a Hydor Smart Level Controller)
  • Dosing
  • Automation/Controls (remove automation from Smartthings and migrate to reef-pi)
    • Heater on/off
    • ATO backup shutoff
    • Equipment on/off routines
      • Feeding time automation
      • Water change automation
  • Wavemaker controls (will need to update to DC wavemakers)
  • Lighting control (convert my black-boxes to be controlled with reef-pi)

Parts list:
 
Last edited:
Fritz
OP
W

woejillis

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Location
United States
Temperature controller: (sensor setup)

I did not need to setup and configure outlets to control the heater on/off but simply wanted to add a temperature sensor for monitoring.

The temperature probe I purchased came with a board so I was not required to build the temperature probe circuit that is outlined in the official reef-pi build documentation. I only needed to follow the configuration/testing guide, here:
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-guide-3-temperature-controller/configuration-testing

Notes:
1.) VCC from the temp probe circuit board connects to a 3V power pin on the raspberry pi (Pin 1)
2.) DAT from the temp probe circuit board connects to GPIO 4 on the raspberry pi (Pin 7)
3.) GND from the temp probe circuit board connects to Ground on the raspberry pi (Pin 9)

Once connected, I could enable the Temperature capability as outlined in the official configuration guide and then add the temperature sensor, found here:
https://learn.adafruit.com/reef-pi-guide-3-temperature-controller/configuration-testing
 

StlSalt

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
356
Reaction score
413
Location
St. Louis, MO
I just started my build and while it's not as ambitious as yours, yet, I just ordered the same Temp Probe you used. You mentioned dipping it in silcone to prevent rust. Is this a pretty common issue with these probes? I wasn't going to dip it in silcone but sounds like it might be a good idea. PH probe is next for me but I wanted to get something easy working to give myself confidence before I shell out the dough for the PH probe. Like your build and will be following along thanks for posting it.
 
OP
W

woejillis

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Location
United States
ATO controller:
I just started my build and while it's not as ambitious as yours, yet, I just ordered the same Temp Probe you used. You mentioned dipping it in silcone to prevent rust. Is this a pretty common issue with these probes? I wasn't going to dip it in silcone but sounds like it might be a good idea. PH probe is next for me but I wanted to get something easy working to give myself confidence before I shell out the dough for the PH probe. Like your build and will be following along thanks for posting it.

Thanks for looking. I debated on whether or not to make a post and it's encourage to see someone reference it so quickly! My plan is to make a separate post on my experience with each subject I've tackled so far, including issues I run into along the way.



I am not sure sealing the probe was necessary but I couldn't find anything definitive on the metal-tipped temperature probes in saltwater aquariums. I found posts regarding freshwater where it didn't seem to be an issue but most other posts I read mentioned to simply 'get a plastic-tipped probe' but I couldn't find one readily available on Amazon.

I just wanted to take full precaution and seal it so that the metal wouldn't have any chance to cause harm to my tank.
 

StlSalt

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
356
Reaction score
413
Location
St. Louis, MO
I just got reef-pi loaded yesterday, and bought that temp probe like 15-30 minutes before your post. Crazy cosmic forces collide and you are using the exact same one. I do like the idea of covering the metal probe in some silicone I think I'll follow your lead here, I already have some aquarium safe silicone so why not?? I'm looking at the whitebox labs stuff but it's kind of pricey so I'm still researching how I'm going to set up my PH probe. Might grab a Kasa smart power strip to start playing around with it.
 
Lazys Coral House
OP
W

woejillis

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Location
United States
I just got reef-pi loaded yesterday, and bought that temp probe like 15-30 minutes before your post. Crazy cosmic forces collide and you are using the exact same one. I do like the idea of covering the metal probe in some silicone I think I'll follow your lead here, I already have some aquarium safe silicone so why not?? I'm looking at the whitebox labs stuff but it's kind of pricey so I'm still researching how I'm going to set up my PH probe. Might grab a Kasa smart power strip to start playing around with it.
When I set out on implementing reef-pi, I didn't realize it worked natively with Kasa and I was trying to figure out how to link the two (as I already had Kasa strips hooked into Smartthings).

I love the Kasa strips (using Smartthings) and was incredibly pleased to see their integration into reef-pi. I would highly recommend you pull the trigger on those.

The pH probe is really pricey. I didn't know enough (and still don't) to determine a cheaper path so went ahead and bought what the original reef-pi configuration guides suggest.
 
OP
W

woejillis

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Location
United States
My optical water level sensor seems to have failed. The ATO in reef-pi doesn't register when the water level meets the contact sensor. The ATO I created in reef-pi worked as expected for 2 days. Then 2 days ago at 11:15 PM , the ATO settings kicked the pump on and doesn't turn off even if the contact sensor is submerged in water.

Upon testing the voltage on the contact sensor, the voltage is erratic and doesn't change whether the sensor is immersed or dry. I'm not sure what I should expect though. I'm expecting a solid reading for one scenario (either wet or dry) and a reading of zero for the other scenario.

I'm communicating with the vendor through Amazon now. Nowhere in the listing does it say the sensor CAN'T be submerged but the vendor is stating that submerging the sensor could damage it.

Anyone else have issues like this? Has anyone had long term success with a specific contact sensor? The sensor from the original documentation doesn't resolve to a legit product page anymore.
 

Ranjib

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
8,532
Reaction score
15,031
Location
Palo Alto, Bay Area
My optical water level sensor seems to have failed. The ATO in reef-pi doesn't register when the water level meets the contact sensor. The ATO I created in reef-pi worked as expected for 2 days. Then 2 days ago at 11:15 PM , the ATO settings kicked the pump on and doesn't turn off even if the contact sensor is submerged in water.

Upon testing the voltage on the contact sensor, the voltage is erratic and doesn't change whether the sensor is immersed or dry. I'm not sure what I should expect though. I'm expecting a solid reading for one scenario (either wet or dry) and a reading of zero for the other scenario.

I'm communicating with the vendor through Amazon now. Nowhere in the listing does it say the sensor CAN'T be submerged but the vendor is stating that submerging the sensor could damage it.

Anyone else have issues like this? Has anyone had long term success with a specific contact sensor? The sensor from the original documentation doesn't resolve to a legit product page anymore.
I had similar issues with them, hence I went with float sensors for last two years
 

Schreiber

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
401
Reaction score
538
Location
Knoxville
How do you wire in float sensors? Do you connect it to 3.3v power and a GPIO pin?
You'll wire it like the following diagram shows, then set it up as an input on that GPIO.

1610735316515.png
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
OP
W

woejillis

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
12
Location
United States
You'll wire it like the following diagram shows, then set it up as an input on that GPIO.

1610735316515.png
Got it, thanks!

Is keeping the optical contact sensors 'dry' the problem? I'm considering using a square acrylic tube to place into the sump which would create a 'dry tower' of sorts that I could install low/med/high optical sensors.
 

Do you own your DREAM CORAL?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 61 16.2%
  • NO

    Votes: 304 80.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 12 3.2%

Online statistics

Members online
805
Guests online
3,744
Total visitors
4,549
NY
Top