Hello Arduino Team,

I am just writing you to thank your team for the platform i used to automate my Aquaponic system. i can not code or to say a complete newbe and the forum and my research allowed me to come up with a few programs i hacked to my desire to completely automate the water pump and valve operation in my low voltage/currant 24 volt system.
the system consist of one air pump (60 watts) not controlled by Arduino, one water pump (80 watts) and two 2 solenoid valves (12.5 watts each) controlled by Arduino Leonardo and 5 volt relays.

with the low voltage platform you created it allows me to go Solar with just two panels that completely covers all my power needs thus using AC as a back up ONLY in case of problems. with winter approaching i will not have fans installed just yet but in spring time i will add 24 volt low currant fan motors all controlled by your AWESOME PLATFORM. i also have a PH monitor planned that constantly monitors the PH level of the water controlled by the Arduino.

by adding multiple LED’s to the out side cover i can at a glance tell what stage the system is in at any given moment and also with a flashing indicator LED to let me know what stage is coming up.

this system has totally changed my way of gardening, taking vegetable growing to a whole different level and with confidence of knowing my cute little Arduino Leonardo has my back.

I thank you very much, it would have not been possible without your presence .

Your Eager Aquaponic Enthusiast,
D Livesay

I also forgot to add the layout of my system. it is an ebb and flow system meaning it fills then drains on a continuous cycle. the system is a gravity fed system that requires far less energy than your regular Aquaponic system that cycles continuously. the system times can be changed but i like it set to 8 cycles per 24 hrs giving the plants enough soak time to absorb nutrients and clean the water then drain to fish tank then to overflow sump tote to be re oxygenated for the next cycle.

Code available if you want it, just ask. it is newbie -ish but it works very well.

Just a word of the wise.

You do not have to wait 30 days of cycling for good bacteria to form. there is a shortcut that cuts that time down to about 10 days.

cycle your water for a few days to evaporate the chlorine, then add a bottle of pure Ammonia or food grade Ammonia then cycle for a day. add a gallon of Bio bugs (AKA Nitrifying bacteria) then circulate for one week. test with test kit to confirm bugs took to the system then add fish and plants.

adding filter material around the inner walls of the fish tank and through out the sump and gravity feed tank will be an excellent place to house billions of good bacteria that are the backbone of your Aquaponic system converting (NH4) Ammonia to (N02) Nitrites then to (N03) Nitrates which is the nitrogen the plants require and thrive on.

by using the Arduino platform it allowed me to automate my system in a low voltage/currant set up that can be powered by just two solar panels using AC as the backup.

I used the Leonardo for my set up but actually any Arduino will do.

Happy Arduino Aquaponics. :)

Below are the two programs i have.

  1. Start program used for the 10 day start up.
  2. used in run mode there after.

Times can be changed according to pump size, gravity feed time…ie pipe size, soak time, drain time and aeration times. program can be modified according to your system.
LED’s are a fantastic visualization on front panel to let you know where the program stage is at all times.
I am very proud of this program and the Arduino platform and especially the Leonardo board. this system works wonderfully and exceeded all my expectations.

sketch_Aquaponics_Startup.ino (15.2 KB)

sketch_Aquaponics_Run.ino (15 KB)

This sketch controls an Ebb and Flow Aquaponic system utilizing three relays and led lights for visualization of currant stage and upcoming stage. relay 1 water pump pin 2, relay 2 gravity feed solenoid valve pin 3 and relay 3 grow bed drain solenoid valve pin 4. 1-5 led's indicate stage complete pin's 5-9, led 6 is upcoming stage indicator pin 13.

stage 1 pump, stage 2 flood, stage 3 soak, stage 4 drain and stage 5 aerate.

Relays power to opto's are all tied together so each relay pin connected to the Arduino has to go low before the relay will turn on. high means off, low means on, so in setup declare them high before loop otherwise all three relays will be on because the Arduino starts all output pins low. led indication is a different story, they are started low and go high to be on.

Interesting project, thanks for sharing! I'm doing Hydroponics so far but thinking of Aquaponics as well... Do you have pictures of your system in action?

Regards Charly

I had a Hydroponic system but still was not satisfied with the output verses input. the natural evolution of the system was to add fish to feed the plants. as long as you don’t go crazy with the fish food the system will stay balanced and the output was about 6 times as much.

all I have at the moment is a video of the controlling system but will make a video of the system in action soon when i get a chance.

what i need to do is make a schematic of the system as a whole but what i have posted so far will get a person there.

I wanted to have the system control the PH level or at least monitor it and also the temperature of the air and water but that would add a complexity way beyond my understanding of coding so i decided to add those features separately so the newbies like me can build it easily.

Here is a rough video of the earlier build of the control box when i got the sketch correct. the function on the paper coincides with the LED’s. the box has since been fully built assembled and installed. the box has a clear Acrylic cover you can see below the parts so i can drool over my baby.
works very, very well.

here is the link to the control box running, not in system.