Building An Aquarium Controller

So I'll start by admitting that I completely underestimated my skills! I bought "THE MOST COMPLETE STARTER KIT" with the mega and DS3231 as well as a few other odds and ends. I've been able to get a 8 channel relay to "work" along with the RTC. I'm lost trying to display(Serial??) from the rtc onto a lcd but, come up with nothing. I've gone through a lot of forums and tried reading anything and everything I can just seems like I'm missing something. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

What's you're "aquarium controller" supposed to do?

diggleflips:
I'm lost trying to display(Serial??) from the rtc onto a lcd but, come up with nothing.

Have you been able to get output to the Serial Monitor, like with Serial.print(variable)? The LCD should be about the same. If you named your LiquidCrystal object 'lcd' you would use lcd.print(variable) to display on the LCD instead of Serial Monitor.

As DVDdoug said, what is your end goal? There is a lot you can do with an Arduino when it comes to aquariums. Temperature control, lighting control, flow meter, auto top off, auto water changes, auto feeding, auto fert dosing, pH monitoring (not a cheap option, but doable, good probes are pricey). All can be done using Arduino.

Start small and add the features you want as you learn. My first portion of my "system" was the heater controller. Not too difficult. But you'll probably be looking for something other than relays to handle it though. That click sound can get to be annoying.

Google is your friend. Find a sketch someone has done and try to adapt it for your own use. If you have problems, the folks here know their stuff and will gladly help you.

I'd like to just start and control my leds. It's a galaxyhydro 3x55 chinese black box. The wiring has me lost, I bought a sainsmart 8ch relay but then it would only be on/off no dimming right?

@johnwasser I have been able to check and see it through the serial monitor, and I'm not quite sure what you mean. Would the variable be going and putting time, day, month... etc into different lines?

diggleflips:
I'm lost trying to display(Serial??) from the rtc onto a lcd but, come up with nothing.

You need to know, and actually tell us, what sort of LCD you actually have. Unless it is a serial device, which is unlikely, serial doesn't have anything to do with it. Have you succeeded in getting a simple "hello world" programme to work?

It's only a 16x2 lcd with a 16pin header? I did get the hello world message to work. My RTC is a DS3231 that I get working just fine!

diggleflips:
@johnwasser I have been able to check and see it through the serial monitor, and I’m not quite sure what you mean. Would the variable be going and putting time, day, month… etc into different lines?

It’s time to show us your sketch. It is hard to guess what names you used for things.

I’ve been using this and trying to work it into the preset liquidcrystal libraries.


#include <Wire.h>
#include “DS3231.h”

RTClib RTC;

void setup () {
Serial.begin(9600);
Wire.begin();
}

void loop () {

delay(1000);

DateTime now = RTC.now();

Serial.print(now.year(), DEC);
Serial.print(’/’);
Serial.print(now.month(), DEC);
Serial.print(’/’);
Serial.print(now.day(), DEC);
Serial.print(’ ‘);
Serial.print(now.hour(), DEC);
Serial.print(’:’);
Serial.print(now.minute(), DEC);
Serial.print(’:’);
Serial.print(now.second(), DEC);
Serial.println();

}

Essentially, it is just a case of using

    lcd.print(now.year(), DEC);
    lcd.print('/');

etc.,
instead of or as well as Serial.print
It appears that your real problem is in merging the two programmes. This is just a case of including the includes from one in the other, then icombining the setup commands, and the loop commands. In this case there is no particular order.

I decided to skip trying to display on a screen because I just got my sainsmart tft with a shield. My question is, I’d like to power everything with a psu I scavenged from an old desktop. I’ve found my led fixture does use PWM to dim the lights but its over 10v. So I decided a logic level MOSFET should do the trick. How would I go about picking the correct mosfet? And does anyone have any advice on learning the in’s and out’s of coding, is there a decent book, maybe tutorials? Thank you for the help so far!

And does anyone have any advice on learning the in's and out's of coding,

The best advice I could give would be to google "Learn c++" and start working through some of the results. You can probably stop when it gets to classes and objects. You can go back and visit that stuff later once you get rolling. The reference page on this site will tell you about all the Arduino-specific functions but the c++ tutorials will teach you how the language works.