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Author Topic: Too hard for First Arduino Project? Aquarium Monitor  (Read 1786 times)
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Hey Guys,

I have a UNO and what I was thinking of making is an Aquarium monitor, that measures ambient temp/humidity, water temp, ph levels.

Eventually take the project one step further and have a 4-way (up,down,left,right) menu for setting parameters where if the water temp drops or rises, or ph level drops or rises past changeable figures and audible alarm will sound aswell as showing a red light, and eventually send a tweet/email/SMS??

Is all that possible and feasible for a first time arduino project??

Thanks
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 02:52:33 am by kleggy » Logged

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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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All doable and feasible, but ask yourself: do you want to trust your fish to your programming skills?
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All doable and feasible, but ask yourself: do you want to trust your fish to your programming skills?

Haha my girlfriend wasn't even crazy about my idea to timer PWM our aquariums LED light, let alone control the living conditions of a few hundred dollars worth of fish...

Personally I'd say doable but not a great first project. But it may depend on your other experience.
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All doable and feasible, but ask yourself: do you want to trust your fish to your programming skills?

All of these parameters are information that is handy to know. Because this doesn't control anything, rather tells you information, in my eyes you are still better of with this thing rather than not knowing this info at all.

Would it be possible to have 3 LEDs attached, with a reset button as well? Eventually all I would like to be able to see would be the 4 arrows, reset button and 3 LEDs.

Green: Working
Orange: Error
Red: Alarm
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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Quote
Haha my girlfriend wasn't even crazy about my idea to timer PWM our aquariums LED light
I can understand concerns like that; just because humans are not particularly sensitive to 500Hz flicker doesn't mean other creatures aren't also.

Quote
Because this doesn't control anything, rather tells you information, in my eyes you are still better of with this thing rather than not knowing this info at all.
But presumably, you are going to base decisions on the presented information, so if the information is incorrect because of a programming error, you're still in the same situation as if you'd put the computer in the driving seat.
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I would think that part of the project would involve a calibration phase when you were using the Arduino system AND manual pH test and thermometer, and tweaking the software to fully model the parameters - over a few weeks.

I would also have a sensitivity setting in the software or control hardware where you could adjust the alarm-limits.  I would set the limits pretty tight to begin with so you can see the red light activate without endangering the cute pets' lives.

I imagine a further phase where you would put some fishtank water into a separate container and add some NaHCO3, boiling water or whatever and test the alarm points at lower sensitivity levels.


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I would think that part of the project would involve a calibration phase when you were using the Arduino system AND manual pH test and thermometer, and tweaking the software to fully model the parameters - over a few weeks.

I would also have a sensitivity setting in the software or control hardware where you could adjust the alarm-limits.  I would set the limits pretty tight to begin with so you can see the red light activate without endangering the cute pets' lives.

I imagine a further phase where you would put some fishtank water into a separate container and add some NaHCO3, boiling water or whatever and test the alarm points at lower sensitivity levels.




Testing in a controlled environment would definetly be part of my initial plans.

How reliable would a system like this be. Once all the sensitivity and parameter issues have been addressed, by manually checking and comparing with manual tests. Would it be safe to say that I could use this without any issues or worries about false data being showed in the future?
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I would trust software to monitor the temperature of a fish tank and sound an alarm if it goes out of limits, i guess you already have a thermostat regulating the heater on your fish tank anyway.

It would also be interesting to experiment with chemical parameters, like pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, turbidity etc.., but only in an empty tank.

Just measuring pH and adjusting it would be tricky. pH sensors also need regular calibration with buffers, and biofilms accumulate on the surface of the probes. You would certainly learn a heck of a lot just building a system to sense and adjust an empty tank, for temperature and pH.
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Don't forget a heartbeat.  Nothing worse than finding out the green LED is still on because the CPU isn't.
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You may want to do a google search of this forum and the old forum for key words like aquarium and fish to pull up the previous similar projects.
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Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.   smiley-cool

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