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Old 06-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #346
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Looking nice.

I'm pretty sure a design feature/advantage of a peristaltic pump is no back flow. I'm guessing they hadn't considered the height difference you have, or the quality of peristaltic pumps can be had better. Watch out that your corks don't actually plug the top of the syringes or else the pressure will be back - you could place a hole in the side of the cork to ensure no pressure build up, but still keeping debris/dirt out of the syringes (I'm assuming that's what they are for).


Please do post a video of the whole setup in action when you get so far!



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Old 06-14-2014, 01:26 PM   #347
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just realize your tank wasn't put on top of a Styrofoam, is it easily subject to break ?
furthermore it is a custom made stand, you must be a really good carpenter
No, it won't easily break. Lots of tanks aren't on styrofoam. It's sitting on a 1" thick table top I made out of 1x3's, on top of 2x4's and 4x4's. I'm not worried in the least, and it's already been sitting there almost exactly a year.

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This is unbelievable. You sir, are a very smart man! You will need to create a how-to guide for idiots like me to even make use of your code you're gonna make available. And charge people a little bit for it man! You deserve something for this lol.
Ha! Thanks. Well I do this for fun, so no need to make any money. This tank wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for all of the free advice, information, and learning that this site provides.

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I'm pretty sure a design feature/advantage of a peristaltic pump is no back flow. I'm guessing they hadn't considered the height difference you have, or the quality of peristaltic pumps can be had better. Watch out that your corks don't actually plug the top of the syringes or else the pressure will be back - you could place a hole in the side of the cork to ensure no pressure build up, but still keeping debris/dirt out of the syringes (I'm assuming that's what they are for).


Please do post a video of the whole setup in action when you get so far!
Yeah they do block back flow, but like you said, I don't think these are meant to hold 42" of liquid. They were only $14 pumps, and aren't exactly medical grade. I don't think they are meant for precision. That said, you can get more than enough precision for fert dosing with programming and a little ingenuity.

I'll post a video of it working when it's done.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:03 PM   #348
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Today I got my auto doser working again along with putting the project back in it's box, and mounting the IR LED through the box. This needed to get back up and running in a safe box again, because it'll be a while before I finish my bigger arduino project.


Here is the auto-doser and Current Satellite Plus controller. You can see the LED coming out the top of the box, and the 2 CSP IR receivers hanging over the top of it.



And here is one last pic of the liquid fert containers, all filled up and ready for the week! It'll be nice to not have to remember to do this every day.

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Old 06-14-2014, 09:08 PM   #349
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Also, in case anybody is curious, here is my dosing mix:

Marco Mix (mixed into 16 ounces of water)
2 tbsp KNO3
1.5 tsp KH2PO4
1.5 tsp K2SO4

Micro Mix (mixed into 16 ounces of water)
1.5 tsp Micros
3/4 tsp Iron

16 ounces of water with those amounts provides 48 doses of 10 mL each, matching the recommended EI dosing amounts for a tank this size. The only variance from standard EI dosing is the extra Iron in the micro mix. I do that for the red plants.

With 6 doses per week, that's exactly 8 weeks of dosing. So I get 2 months out of each mix. I got the ferts from GLA.

Last edited by AnotherHobby; 06-14-2014 at 09:20 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:42 AM   #350
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Normally I'm good with my math, but for some reason it escaped me that my dosing is every other day from each tube. Thus it's 3 doses per week from each tube, and not 6. I just looked at my ferts and wondered why they are only about 1/2 empty on Friday. It dawned on me that 60 mL of 10 mL doses is two weeks.

My whole touchscreen arduino aquarium controller project is going a little bonkers with the GUI. I figured out how to make the SD card read data FAST, so now I'm back to gradient buttons and I'm adding way more features that I originally planned. For now I'm going to hold off on posting much more until I'm done so I don't clutter this thread up with Arduino stuff. I think I'll just start a new thread with all of the parts, code, graphics, and schematics when I'm done.

The tank is looking very lush and healthy. Right now I'm trying to decide if I should keep trimming it as it is, or start letting the hydrocotyle start to grow low and in front of the a. reineckii mini. Ignoring color differences in the red plants (the CSP lights rock!), do you prefer the a. reineckii mini more exposed as in the second picture, or the hydrocotyle transitioning across from right to left as in the second picture (I'm referring to the bright green clover looking plant sweeping across the bushy red plants). I'm torn, because I really like both.



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Old 06-21-2014, 12:55 AM   #351
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The tank is looking very lush and healthy. Right now I'm trying to decide if I should keep trimming it as it is, or start letting the hydrocotyle start to grow low and in front of the a. reineckii mini. Ignoring color differences in the red plants (the CSP lights rock!), do you prefer the a. reineckii mini more exposed as in the second picture, or the hydrocotyle transitioning across from right to left as in the second picture (I'm referring to the bright green clover looking plant sweeping across the bushy red plants). I'm torn, because I really like both.
I like having the Hydrocotyle transitioning in front of the A. reineckii mini. I think that the bottoms of the A. reineckii end up looking a little raggedly, so the Hydrocotyle keeps it looking clean and tidy and transitions the foreground well. However, when I tried what you did, I found it a bit of a PITA trimming the hydrocotyle and controlling runners from invading other areas. I eventually always have to rip it out and start again. Aesthetically, I think the transition is better. My 2 cents. Either way, this is the most advanced, worry free tank.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:30 AM   #352
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I like having the Hydrocotyle transitioning in front of the A. reineckii mini. I think that the bottoms of the A. reineckii end up looking a little raggedly, so the Hydrocotyle keeps it looking clean and tidy and transitions the foreground well. However, when I tried what you did, I found it a bit of a PITA trimming the hydrocotyle and controlling runners from invading other areas. I eventually always have to rip it out and start again. Aesthetically, I think the transition is better. My 2 cents. Either way, this is the most advanced, worry free tank.
I wouldn't have noticed as much until you posted but I agree. Add some Hydrocotyle ASAP haha. It does give a really good "late foreground" or low midground, however you want to say.

I do love the Belem or whatever Hair Grass you are using, more than the UG to be honest. UG is nice looking but the Hair Grass looks more "delicate" where the UG looks beefy and full. We all know why that changed but I do think it actually looks better, more than being more practical.

In general, I think a blend of the old scape and the new would be perfect. I like the Hydrocotyle, as said, I also like the Blyxa at the base of the branch. However, I like the more defined stem groupings of the current tank, must be stunning in person.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:59 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Asu1776 View Post
I like having the Hydrocotyle transitioning in front of the A. reineckii mini. I think that the bottoms of the A. reineckii end up looking a little raggedly, so the Hydrocotyle keeps it looking clean and tidy and transitions the foreground well. However, when I tried what you did, I found it a bit of a PITA trimming the hydrocotyle and controlling runners from invading other areas. I eventually always have to rip it out and start again. Aesthetically, I think the transition is better. My 2 cents. Either way, this is the most advanced, worry free tank.
I really don't mind trimming the Hydrocotyle. I find it easy to trim because I can just hack it up like a hedge and it looks great within a day or two. It just grows super fast, so you have to stay on top of it. I have to trim weekly anyway, so it's fine by me.

Aesthetically, I think I also like it transitioning across better too, and that's a good point that the bottom of the a. reineckii isn't that nice looking anyway. I think I like it because it's so bright and can create really cool visual flow.

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I wouldn't have noticed as much until you posted but I agree. Add some Hydrocotyle ASAP haha. It does give a really good "late foreground" or low midground, however you want to say.

I do love the Belem or whatever Hair Grass you are using, more than the UG to be honest. UG is nice looking but the Hair Grass looks more "delicate" where the UG looks beefy and full. We all know why that changed but I do think it actually looks better, more than being more practical.

In general, I think a blend of the old scape and the new would be perfect. I like the Hydrocotyle, as said, I also like the Blyxa at the base of the branch. However, I like the more defined stem groupings of the current tank, must be stunning in person.
Thanks for the input on the scape. I also like that blyxa at the base. If you look at the second pic, a tiny piece is floating in the same spot it popped loose and I didn't notice it until after I took the pic. It's so small it's growing insanely slow, but it's been planted where the downoi used to be.

I don't mind it looking a lot like it did at first. I loved the layout when I originally came up with it, and I still do. I've only had it a year, with ups and downs, so I'd like to enjoy it for quite while longer.

I also like the looks of the dwarf hair grass 'belem' better than the UG, now that it's filled in. I get what you mean by "delicate" in that it's thinner and each blade is more visible than the UG. I still can't believe I grew ALL of it from this one piece!

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Old 06-23-2014, 04:00 AM   #354
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Here is a little teaser on my DIY touchscreen Arduino aquarium controller. SD card now reads very fast, so I can have fun with heavy graphics.

I might be over doing this thing a little.

The Home screen shows date, time, temp, hours since last feeding, current light mode for both lights, doses remaining in each of my fert reservoirs, current status of power outputs, and access to other apps (extras is also a screen of more apps).

8 other apps/screens are also done. I'm having way too much fun.

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Old 06-23-2014, 04:15 AM   #355
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I also like the looks of the dwarf hair grass 'belem' better than the UG, now that it's filled in. I get what you mean by "delicate" in that it's thinner and each blade is more visible than the UG. I still can't believe I grew ALL of it from this one piece!

Ah yes, the beauty of dwarf hairgrass 'belem' . I'm growing it too, and I have to say, once it fills in, it looks beautiful.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:39 AM   #356
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Wow!

I stumbled upon this thread 90 minutes ago and have been hooked ever since. I've been doing this for 46 years now and even so I have learned an absolute ton of information from all of these posts.

Your tank is absolutely fantastic. Both before and after your "tsunami". Staying with it after an episode like that and so generously giving out information throughout this process says a lot about you as a person too. You will find as I have that it just gets in your blood after a while. Remember the 8 foot space in your home is bare for a reason (:

I have one question for you and some advice as well. Have you had any problems with your pleckos uprooting plants? It doesn't look like it but I thought I would ask anyway. Now the advice. Do yourself a favor and get about four coolie loaches. They will help to keep the tank clean, won't effect your bio-load, look amazing in the belem... (great contrast), get along great with every fish you have, and are an absolute blast to watch.

Thank you again for starting such an incredible tread. I'll be sure to check back in with you soon.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #357
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Just absolutely spectacular. I would love to make something like this for my terrarium. Unfortuntely I suck at programming stuff. I tend to get ready made stuff even if they cost more. I have two independent timers to control lighting (all or none) and one second timer for a misting system. I also hooked up a hygrotherm to control fans, but need to hook up the humidifier and fan to get better control.

Last edited by vraev; 06-23-2014 at 12:07 PM.. Reason: Edited
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:51 PM   #358
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Wow!

I stumbled upon this thread 90 minutes ago and have been hooked ever since. I've been doing this for 46 years now and even so I have learned an absolute ton of information from all of these posts.

Your tank is absolutely fantastic. Both before and after your "tsunami". Staying with it after an episode like that and so generously giving out information throughout this process says a lot about you as a person too. You will find as I have that it just gets in your blood after a while. Remember the 8 foot space in your home is bare for a reason (:

I have one question for you and some advice as well. Have you had any problems with your pleckos uprooting plants? It doesn't look like it but I thought I would ask anyway. Now the advice. Do yourself a favor and get about four coolie loaches. They will help to keep the tank clean, won't effect your bio-load, look amazing in the belem... (great contrast), get along great with every fish you have, and are an absolute blast to watch.

Thank you again for starting such an incredible tread. I'll be sure to check back in with you soon.
Thanks! It's a giant and continual learning experience for me, and I love that we have this place to share and learn form each other. Regarding my plecos, they have not been uprooting anything. They've been really well behaved other than chasing the cories a little at feeding time.

As for the kuhli loach, that's interesting because I bought 2 of them last winter, and both died within a day. I have no idea why, and I've never had anything else die after being introduced. I thought they were super cool, but I've been gun shy about replacing them.

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Just absolutely spectacular. Can you please share some links on where I can learn from the very ABCDs to start doing such programming and how to create those controllers? I have a terrarium with automated misting and multiple LED lights. Would love to create a localized touchscreen controller for each light, scheduling, fans, misting etc.
Thanks! The auto doser is what started me on the Arduino stuff. The thread that got me going was on here on TPT: Arduino auto dosser. From that thread I was able to build a simple 2 pump auto-doser. Just doing that project taught me a lot. While messing with that, I figured out that I could control cheap LED strip lights. I'm not sure where I got that info, but the snowball was rolling down hill, and I was figuring it out. I learned about the touch screen and how to make it work from this LED lights controller with TFT LCD touch screen thread (named Stilo). I learned how to control the Current Satellite Plus lights via IR from this thread here on TPT: Guide: Arduino based LED controller for Current Satellite LED+.

So it's kind of all over the place.

It came pretty easy to me because I've worked in IT for almost 20 years, so I have a very technical background, and my brain is also geared for this stuff. I've done lots of programming and scripting, but never in C or C++, so that was new. However, I had a very firm grasp of programming structure in general, and many languages are quite similar. The Arduino site has massive amounts of info and is super helpful. Google is also your best friend.

Making the GUI graphics was easy for me because I work in the graphic industry and I'm pretty comfortable in Photoshop. I can post the PS files, but if a super slick GUI isn't that big of deal, there are button libraries that are easier to use and save a ton of work. (see the Stilo touch screen link above)

The best way to figure it out is just to dive in and start building what you want. As you work through it, you'll start to figure everything out. There is nothing like just digging in and doing hands on work. That's how you learn. I think that with the help of the Internet, most smart people can figure this out given enough time, interest, and patience.

The parts are super cheap for the most part. An off brand Mega is just $17. The TFT screen was also just $17 on evilbay (item 271201097446). The SD card reader was just $2.50. A breadboard is about $4 and wires will run you another $3 per 70 pieces. After that the parts you need will depend on your build, but less than $50 you'll have enough to build the core of what you need for a full touch screen controller. I got almost all of my stuff off DX.com because it's so cheap, although shipping is slow because it's in China (usually a couple of weeks).
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:42 PM   #359
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I absolutely love your autodoser. I never would think of putting them outside of the stand, in view so you can make sure everything is going as planned with just a quick look. Very attractive and functional. Great work.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:49 PM   #360
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Your kuhli loaches may have been starved when you got them. They don't do well in most fish stores. They need plant growth and lots of it since their eyelids are transparant, as well as proper food that your tank provides. They'd love algae wafers that fall in your belem. Do a one hour drip acclamation and give about four poor khuli loaches living in some pvc pipe another chance.
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