Hunter X's Arduino Whole Tank Controller (52K Warning)
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Old 12-26-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
HunterX
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Default Hunter X's Arduino Whole Tank Controller (52K Warning)

Hello Everyone!

Parts list on post #13
Code on post #156

A few months back I stumbled across an Arduino thread. I can't remember what exactly led me there but I remember a thread about Auto Dosing FERTS sparked my interest. While I was back home, I'm currently deployed to Kuwait, I was growing tired of dosing FERTS every morning before leaving for work. Not so much the mixing of FERTS and playing in the tank, rather having to get up 20 mins early for work was getting old. Naturally, the ability to dose FERTS automatically pecked my interest immediately. Like many I started researching and learning how the "Arduino" worked. As I researched it I noticed several individuals were using it to control parts of their tanks. I hadn't noticed a design that controlled all of aspects of the tank. With that being said, I decided I wanted to try and build one that would control all my filters, heaters, FERT dosing, power heads, CO2, lights and feeding. If had the ability to plumb an ATO I would have it control that as well. (currently renting my house). Seeing how I wanted to control so many components, the Arduino Mega was the only board that would have enough inputs/outputs to meet the requirement.

1ST Step: Fortunately for me, the Army saw fit in its wisdom to have a "Wood Shop" on post so Soldiers could have something to do during their down time. That is where I started. I originally planned to have the controller box fit under my stand but after I completed the box, I decided it turned out locking too nice to be hid under the stand. So it will sit beside the stand.



The stand was designed to hold three bottles of premixed FERTS under it. MACRO, MICRO and FE. I figured that would cover the FERT requirements. Below you can see the 3 dosing pumps as well as how they are wired. I choose to use bricks with quick disconnects to keep the wire as neat and tidy as I could.





Next to the DC motor controller are the three variable DC controllers. I stacked them to create more room in the box. They are used to reduce the 12 volts from the 12v AC to DC converter to 9v for the Arduino, 5v for the relay board, and then 5v for the Sensor Shield. I will run 12 volts straight from the AC to DC converter to power the 12v for the DC motor controller.

Speaking of power, the below pictures shows how I take the 120v coming into the box to the distro blocks and then to the relay board so I have the ability to turn on and off each of the 120 plugs. Each of the fist tank components will plug into the 120v sockets (not the lights).





I loved the idea of everything being on a schedule which is controlled by the Arudino but what if I wanted to shut down just one pump to clean or one of my power heads. I didn't like the idea of having to always unplug it or power down the whole Arduino in order to do that. I decided to have a button that I could press to shut down the corresponding item/relay so I could perform whatever maintenance I needed to do. So across the front you see 8 green buttons. The buttons light up when the corresponding component is power up. The LED within the button works independently of the button. Remember the Arduino controls the relays automatically so if the programming has that component "on" the corresponding button will light up. But if I push the button the automatic control will be interrupted and the corresponding relay will shot off. Ok but what if I want to shut everything down do I press all the green buttons or unplug the Arduino? NAH that is what the two red buttons below the LCD do. If I bush the red button on the left it shuts down everything except for the lights. So guess what the red button on the right does? Give up? It shuts the lights off. With all the buttons all you have to do is release them and the automatic control will take back over.

I still have to get the AC to DC converter installed, it was on back order for three months. I also have to get the DIN connectors installed so the controllers for the LED can plug into the back along with temp probe. The heater is turned off and on by the arduino based on the TEMP of the tank. So as long as the probe doesn't fail it doesn't matter if the heater gets stuck on, the Arduion will just kill the power to heat when it gets to the HIGH Temp Limit. I have to get the DIN for the autofeeder installed to. So yeah I'm about 85%. Below are a few more pictures. I would love any insight or comments you may have!








Last edited by HunterX; 03-21-2014 at 08:02 PM.. Reason: EDIT
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:01 PM   #2
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Very well done. Its nice to see hobbyist use dosing pumps for planted tanks. Nice woodwork as well
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
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Very well done. Its nice to see hobbyist use dosing pumps for planted tanks. Nice woodwork as well
Thank you! I can't wait to get it home and see how it performs!
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:02 PM   #4
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this is great! can we get a parts list, schematics?

I've been wanting to build one with one of the raspberry pi's I have here.

I'm rather new to electronics, so i've been having trouble figuring out what components to purchase. But, I'd be surprised if we don't have the same pumps.

gorgeous work all around.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scapegoat View Post
this is great! can we get a parts list, schematics?

I've been wanting to build one with one of the raspberry pi's I have here.

I'm rather new to electronics, so i've been having trouble figuring out what components to purchase. But, I'd be surprised if we don't have the same pumps.

gorgeous work all around.

Thank you everyone! I should be able to do a parts list realitively easy. I think I have all the packing list that came with the parts. I schematic may be a little harder....

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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Nice work! Makes me want to get back to finishing up an aquarium web controller. I'm starting to see limitations though, so the Rasberry PI might be a route.
I was looking at adding WEB Control to mine as well. I'm curious as to what limitations you see. Thank you in advance for your reply!

Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-28-2013 at 09:51 AM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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Agree with scapegoat above. Can we get a parts list, schematics, and maybe where you ordered the parts from?
This is an awesome project and I'm looking at building something like this myself.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:59 PM   #7
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Nice work! Makes me want to get back to finishing up an aquarium web controller. I'm starting to see limitations though, so the Rasberry PI might be a route.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:30 PM   #8
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Fantastic!!!
Very nice, clean setup!
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:23 AM   #9
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That's impressive, I've been brushing up on my programming because I have an Arduino on the way and I plan to build my own tank controller. I'm sure I'll find quite a bit of inspiration from this thread.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum View Post
That's impressive, I've been brushing up on my programming because I have an Arduino on the way and I plan to build my own tank controller. I'm sure I'll find quite a bit of inspiration from this thread.
Thanks for the kind words. I wanted to share it for just that reason. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterX View Post
Thanks for the kind words. I wanted to share it for just that reason. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks I'm sure I will. It'll take some time however I plan on testing each feature independently before I put it all together. It's been even longer since I messed with hardware than coding.

The primary feature I want is to automate a small water change daily. I already wrote the basics for my own random lightning storm. We'll see what happens I hope to have at least 6-7 other features. I'll probably need a mega board in the future haha.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum View Post
Thanks I'm sure I will. It'll take some time however I plan on testing each feature independently before I put it all together. It's been even longer since I messed with hardware than coding.

The primary feature I want is to automate a small water change daily. I already wrote the basics for my own random lightning storm. We'll see what happens I hope to have at least 6-7 other features. I'll probably need a mega board in the future haha.
Automating the water change should be pretty easy. I still have to write the code for my lighting. I'd love to see your code HINT HINT. I would highly recommend the mega. Specially if you want to control the whole tank. I'm working on my parts list now so should have that up in a few hours.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterX View Post
Automating the water change should be pretty easy. I still have to write the code for my lighting. I'd love to see your code HINT HINT. I would highly recommend the mega. Specially if you want to control the whole tank. I'm working on my parts list now so should have that up in a few hours.
I'll be looking forward to the mega, but until then I get to enjoy finding individual projects that I'll put in the final controller. Once the code is gone over with a fine toothed comb for efficient and bugs, I'll be sure to post it around the forum. (Surely to continue to be hacked up by the professionals haha)
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:10 PM   #14
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See Attached PDF for Parts List.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf HunterX's Tank Contoller Parts List.pdf (127.0 KB, 310 views)
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
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See Attached PDF for Parts List.
Man you are fantastic!

I've been really debating between getting an neptune apex or rolling my own solution. I've got two raspberry pi's here just waiting to be abused. I've been trying to decide between going the respectable, but obvious, route of using python. Or taking the plunge with node.js, well more specifically meteor.js; which is a web sockets based library that uses node.

I'm intending on a fully web based GUI for the controller so i'm really thinking i'd lean towards meteor, with one of the handful of node gpio libraries. meteor js code is shared by the front and back end, with the ability to have front/back specific code that isn't seen.

thanks for your shopping list. hardware is a bit confusing for me as I've really no experience there.
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