Marine Aquarium Controller (yet another one)

I hope to have this one be more informative than most of the others and i think this will cover most all topics having to do with building a Controller.

I am new to Arduino (4 days) and i feel that a good project to get used to the world of circuits would be to dive in head first and probbably drown doing it.

I have never before picking up the smartfun kit built a circuit in my life.

I am looking to have the whole shabang for a controller this includes

  • Monitor pH
  • Monitor Temp.
  • Monitor Salinity
  • Auto Top Off
  • Auto Shut-off valve for over flow so sump does not over flow
  • water level sensors for sump and display tank.
  • fan control for temperature management
  • light timers
  • power management on individual sockets (15 plugs)(don't know if that many is possible)
  • web interface with live updates of tank parameters
  • perform operations via web management
  • camera with ability to be viewed via web console
  • Wireless networking
  • posible keyboard to alter times for lights
  • EDIT: to add 128x64 LCD

It's a big list i know and i dont know if its all possible could you guys give me some guidance on how to accomplish most if not all of this? i know there are limitations on the power that i have to over come and I have no idea on how to over come that and hte limitations on inputs. Thanks everyone in advance. and i'm not posting this just for myself but also as a guilde for others like me that wish to build their own. who are just starting out

mbradley672: I hope to have this one be more informative than most of the others and i think this will cover most all topics having to do with building a Controller.

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Thanks everyone in advance. and i'm not posting this just for myself but also as a guilde for others like me that wish to build their own. who are just starting out

You seem to have the idea that this thread will evolve into a comprehensive 'how to' guide for your project. That's not really the idea of this forum. If you have a specific problem that you can't solve, tell us what the problem is and where you've got trying to tackle it yourself, and perhaps somebody here will be able to suggest a way forward.

If your only question is 'how should a novice tackle a complex project like this?' then I suggest you start small, look at the examples and test out a sample sketch that does something similar to one of the functions you're going to need. Read and understand the code, modify the sketch and see your modification taking effect. Then when you've got the hang of that, put that aside and start thinking about another of the functions you're going to need. Start combining these into the beginnings of your overall solution. Explore another area, learn how it works in isolation, once you have got the hang of it incorporate that into your solution.

Before you know it, you'll have something that does what you want - which will probably be nothing like what you had in mind when you started out.

I wasn't looking for a comprehensive how to at all but just kind of getting started kind of thing. the main thing i was looking for is mostly like a nudge to the parts and connectors i would need and where to get them from this area is really new to me.

That's a heck of a list. I'm not even going to try and address all of those items, but I would suggest getting a Mega and starting with a few simple inputs and controls, say temperature and a fan.

When that's working you will have a lot more confidence and can move onto the next item.

The Mega should handle all of that but if not by the time you realise it the Due will be out and that certainly will.

It's all doable, no one item there is particularly difficult (well maybe shifting web-cam video will be a problem) but overall it's a pretty complex system.


Rob

Hi, You need to connect with the 100's+ of people doing this. Like: http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/ http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/ (Good) http://www.ultimatereef.net/

Etc: Just Google "Aquarium Control*"

I sell a lot of stuff like waterproof temperature sensors, isolated relays, cables etc. to these guys, and there are very friendly and knowledgeable people willing to help.

Arduino/sensor/relay/controls questions here would be fine...