28G Techy Tank Attempt
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
iano7000
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28G Techy Tank Attempt


Hey, I wanted to throw together a journal of my fish tank progress since just before going high tech to today. I have been working on some technology to automate my fish tank. My goal is to eventually have a tank that takes care of itself.

I'm constantly learning new things about this hobby and I welcome any suggestions. I have really learned a lot from the other journals and discussions on this forum and for those, thank you.

I have been in this hobby for about 10 years. My tank stayed largely the same for a number of years until I finally made the change to a high tech tank. Basically I was a poor student up until recently.

22/02/2004
Tank:20 Gallon Long
Plants: Jungle Val, Java Fern, Some Mystery plant
LiveStock: 6x Scissor Tail Rasbora, 2x Kribansis


Fast forward to 2012, I decided to go high tech. I decided to go for an LED light fixture from RapidLED. That design is shown here.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...&highlight=led

I went with Green leaf to get a full CO2 setup, and diffuser.


While this was on order, I started building a custom CO2 Controller. Its currently implemented, but it's not tidy. Its been a pile of circuit boards and wires for a couple of months. This should change this week as I have some time.


The result for 07/04/2012
Plants: Anubias Nana, Crypts, Java Fern, Cyperus Helferi?, Jungle Vallisneria
Substrate: Changed over from stony gravel to Eco-Complete. I did this by draining out the water, adding it all the Eco-complete into a pile on one side, and the old gravel on the other. I would scoop out the old gravel of the course of 2 weeks. No fish loss, except one scissor tail that suicided out of the bucket I was storing them in during the initial substrate dump.


20/05/2012
Around this time, I upgraded to a 29 gallon tank and proper stand.
I also did some research and started with fertz. I'm following the EI method, with a regiment of:
Day1,
1/4 tsp KNO3
1/16 tsp KH2PO4
1/16 tsp K2SO4
1/32 tsp MgSO4
Day2,
1/16 tsp CSM+B
During water changes I add an extra 1/2 tsp CaNO3 and 1/2 tsp MGSo4 as my water is basically RO here in Victoria BC.
Filter: Fluval 206
Fish: I found my other fish a nice home, then got 15 neon Tetras, 7 Panda Cories, 3 otos, 2 assassin snails



27/07/2012
At this point, I discovered that I need root tabs. I used the flourish root tabs, and all of the crypts finally stopped melting. It took me a while to realize that eco-complete holds nutrients, it doesn't really come with them.



I hope to package my fish tank controller soon, so that it looks like more than a bunch of wires. Its step one for automating my whole fish tank. The steps for the future are day/night cycle with changing brightness, auto dosing, overflow and auto top up. I'm looking forward to getting there.

Thanks for reading,

Last edited by iano7000; 08-26-2012 at 09:26 AM.. Reason: Update image size.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:16 AM   #2
hydrosparky
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I'm planning to get some LEDs from Rapid too. Which ones did you get? I plan to get their non-dimmable solderless 12 LED kit.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:47 AM   #3
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Do you mind sharing the details behind your DIY controller? I am the midst of planning either a 20L shrimp tank or a reef and a DIY controller would help out.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
iano7000
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Quote:
I'm planning to get some LEDs from Rapid too. Which ones did you get? I plan to get their non-dimmable solderless 12 LED kit.
I explain my whole build in the link below,
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...&highlight=led

I ended up going for the soldered dimmable LED since I knew I would be controlling the system with a Arduino micro controller. I knew I could make it tidier than the solderless kit. I also wanted to make use of my RGB LED strip, which would of gotten in the way of the solderless blocks.

Quote:
Do you mind sharing the details behind your DIY controller? I am the midst of planning either a 20L shrimp tank or a reef and a DIY controller would help out.
I'm still in the process of cleaning up this project. I should have some more details in a week or two. I was planning on releasing schematics and design since most of it was taken from bits and pieces on the net. I just put them all together.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Looks like most of your plants could grow without all of the high tech equipment and fert regiment. I see sags, crypts, ferns and Rotala indica.

Why not get some more challenging plants like Limnophila aromatica Ludwigia inclinata, and Pogostemon helferi
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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I agree with Hilde, push your limits
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:55 AM   #7
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Agreed.

"I think I'll set up a 4-bulb ATI T5HO on a 12 inch tall tank directly on, 6bps of CO2, and triple- EI dosing. Then I'll grow some jungle vals."
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Why not get some more challenging plants like Limnophila aromatica Ludwigia inclinata, and Pogostemon helferi
Challenge accepted.

There are some pushers in here, I like that. I will check out my LFS and see what I can find. I know there has been some talk on the forums about LED lighting turning typically red plants green, I would like to see for myself how they do.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:09 PM   #9
izabella87
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very nice plants
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:10 AM   #10
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man, why not push things even more and start up a collectoritis tank? Some eriocaulons would look rad in there. Put them in a tank they deserve! Too bad you're in canada though, could be hard getting stock :c Well, maybe not. I guess it's all relative.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:50 AM   #11
dubels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iano7000 View Post
I'm still in the process of cleaning up this project. I should have some more details in a week or two. I was planning on releasing schematics and design since most of it was taken from bits and pieces on the net. I just put them all together.
Thanks details would be great! Trying to setup a controller for: fan, heater, CO2, lights and maybe an ATO for a 20L
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #12
iano7000
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I finally made some progress on my fish tank controller. I built it to allow up to 8 peripheral devices that can be controlled on a digital clock timer. I have yet to rewire it, but I managed to get everything mounted within the case today. Still needs a little finishing work, but here's an update of what I have accomplished so far. I also got a call to tell me my Limnophila aromatica came in today. I will have some posts up shorty. Hopefully with new growth showing. I tried finding some of the other plant suggestions, apparently Pogostemon helferi is impossible to find in Victoria as it doesn't transport well.





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Old 08-26-2012, 09:40 AM   #13
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that's a great build.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:20 AM   #14
iano7000
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Finished up the wiring. Tested it out today by turning a fan on and off. Seems to work out pretty solid. I already had this system monitoring the PH, and temperature, but now with a bit of programming, I can get it controlling the CO2 relay, air pump, and lights. All of which will be timed off the real time clock with battery backup. That's the green module mounted on top of the arduino mega 2560.

I haven't figured out what I'm doing with the other 5 plugs. I just need to buy more gear I guess.

With Flash


Without
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:26 AM   #15
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What are you using for the ph probe? Do you have a BOM (bill of materials) handy for your build?

I'm looking at making one of these because I need 3+ timers and my current reef power strip with two timers tends to stick causing one of the clocks to get out of sync.
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