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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Here is an interesting graphic, decided to dig deeper into my canopy trapping heat.



02:00 I opened the hood and went to bed (Water: 75.2F / Ambient: 73F)
12:00 I closed the hood (Water: 72.7F / Ambient: 72.3)
19:00 Opened the hood and shoved a fan blowing at the water (Water: 74.5F / Ambient: 76.1)
23:30 Current temp 70.9 and falling (Ambient 73.4F)
10:00 Next Day, Not Shown (65.3F Water / 69.9F Ambient) Almost 5 degrees lower than ambient!!

and the temperature keeps dropping, 4-5 degrees below ambient so far.. the spikes in dining room temp are me opening the back door for a little bit for the dogs or fresh air.

Given this experiment I have decided its worthwhile to add some cooling to the canopy and tank. Its roughly the same temp in the dining room right now from 24h ago and look at the difference in water temp. (over 5 degrees and counting)

This gives me a good benchmark to try to replicate with the lid closed and no big loud fan sitting ontop.

To start Ive ordered a Noctua NF-R8 redux-1800 PWM computer fan to provide forced intake into the canopy from the rear, with a dog-hair filter. I will control the speeds via my Beagle to run quiet unless tank temps start getting too warm. Dont think I need much air exchange with canopy to maintain equilibrium with ambient, the LED at my current levels produces very little heat.. One of the primary reasons I went with LED was to help me keep the tank cool.. I am going to seal off the rear of the canopy and force the air to exhaust out the gap around the front and sides of the canopy.. this will help cooling and prevent light leaking on the wall behind the tank. (except through the fan, hope the dust filter helps)

I am thinking I will get two of the 140mm Noctua redux fans and make brackets to sit them ontop of the light diffuser top at both ends of the tank blowing straight into the water.. wire them all up in parallel.

If I can replicate these results I think this will really help my fish come summer when the ambient temps start to climb and the humidity drops.. Cheaper to setup and operate than a chiller and since I have automatic RO top off I dont mind extra evaporation.

Isint data-analysis fun? :D If you've been thinking of adding a blower fan on top to lower temps, and you live in a dry environment.. just do it.

Here is the chart the next morning, with the tank nearly 5 degrees below ambient!
 

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That's interesting you were able to get the tank water 5 degrees below room temp by forcing evaporation. I have a rimless open-top tank and southern New Mexico is very dry, so I have used natural evaporation during the summer, but have only been able to maintain a 1-2 degree lower water temp. I'm going to try one of the clip-on fans and see if I can match your results...

While on the subject of water temperatures, during the summer my 'cold' faucet water can be above 85 F, so I use a 10 lb bag of ice floated in the tank during weekly refills. It hasn't had any noticeable negative impact on the inhabitants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
wow thats some hot tap water, im sure you could fill a garbage bin, run a fountain pump and put a fan on it.. cool both your house and the water.. but it'd take a day or so.

I was able to get 6 degrees total when all was said and done, I did not have the fan on high and I suspect two fans at opposing ends of the tank will be more effective.

The narrowness of a 55g can make it look like you got a really deep nano

I enjoy watching the tank from this perspective.. the left half of the tank is all floaters now, should give some shade to the anubias.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
ugh so my Calico Ryukin has developed a swim bladder issue, and I fear for the worse.. I will be out of town this weekend and he has developed a problem like this before but it got better within a few days. I noticed him having issues before last weekend and cut out there normal food and gave them cooked peas. This morning I found him upside down stuck behind a rock, but still alive.

Right now he is in a plastic colander with some plants and gravel at the top of the tank, starting to relax but still obviously in distress.

tank parameters are perfectly fine, 20ppm Nitrate 6 days after PWC, 0ppm Ammonia/Nitrite/Chlorine, pH 7.4-7.6, Temp 72F and have been for months.. last issue was KH was way down and pH had droped a point until I noticed a few weeks ago but a little baking soda took care of that. I havent yet switched to RO PWCs as I still have a few loose ends to take care of and Ive been very busy. I do a 33% PWC every 7 days and RO top off every 2-3 days.

He had one real bad bout with swim bladder disorder several months back but fasting him and feeding only peas fixed him right up within a few days.. My Ranchu has developed a persistent disorder in the last year thats pretty minor and it has learned to cope with it.. but now I fear it will get worse with time.

Normally I am feeding them sinking pellets on an auto feeder in small feedings twice a day above the sand and they munch on the frogs bit and hornwort regularly.. I toss em some veggies once or twice a week.

I am thinking I am now paying the consequences of unwittingly raising them in far to small of an environment.. Ive known that there life expectancy would be shorter due to my ignorance, but been trying to ignore what I cant fix.

Hard to watch my tank right now and see him suffering.. if he dont improve before I leave town I may have to make a hard decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
so I canceled my trip this weekend and starved out the entire tank this week, this made the calico much more eager to eat my peas after a few more days.. He got quite a bit worse, spending about 36h straight totally stressed out, upside down resting in the hornwort... looked horribly pathetic, was painful to watch but this morning he was swimming upright and seems to be on the mend.. My wife reminded me he was my very first fish, he is older than I thought and went longer in the small tank than I remembered.. The Ranchu was only in it for a few months... Dodged a bullet this time, whew.

Now for progress, I installed the vent fan on the canopy and tied it into the controller where I can adjust the speed.. the unused pairs on that cat6 cable will be used for the float switches soon.. There are two free fan plugs for directly cooling the tank with 140mm fans when they arrive. I am going to setup the fans to keep the tank between 68-74 to the best of their ability.



If you look on the far right you can catch the cabinet closer I installed to gently set the lid down and keep it from slamming and startling the fish.
There are two gold hooks you can also see, these are my light hangers when I am working on the tank and need to move the light out of my way without worrying about it taking another dunk.
Ive added a battery backed RTC to the beaglebone, just so its not dependent on a network connection to operate properly.

Here is a shot of my primary automation controller for the whole house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Thats just the dashboard, there's alot more devices than that but many are never manually operated so you have to drill down further to find them.. bug zapper, server room cooling/monitoring, lawn sprinklers, greenhouse control, exterior lighting, even a block heater for my diesel car so I have instant heat in the winter.. not to mention all the security sensors and cameras, Ive got a 12x IP PTZ on the back corner of my house that auto tracks activity around the property.. Open the back door, gate, mailbox, windows (also break), or walk around my parking area and its zoomed in and watching you.

My aquarium is one of the last things to get networked and automated... the more I add to the network the more clever my house becomes. After this project is done I am going to add electronic locks and two factor auth keyless entry.

I never expected how attached I would become to my fish, even my mom asked me to not drive 1k miles to visit for mothers day weekend and insisted I keep an eye on her sick grandfish.. I didnt tell her the fish was sick, did not wish to worry her, my little sister spilled the beans.. there were a multitude of factors at play in the decision to abort the trip (like snow this weekend!) but I do admit that lil fish weighed heavily in the decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Fan Speed Controller

got the 140mm fan in the canopy and wrote a program to monitor the water temp and adjust the fan speed accordingly..

basically the program does:
fans off under 68F (20C)
@ 68F fans come on @ 40% speed
Linearly increases speed until water temp is 73.4F (23C)
@ 73.4 and above fans run @ 100% speed

This has been doing a excellent job at keeping my tank at the target temp, so far.. the real test will be in a month or two when its much hotter in the house, but so far the fans have not even reached 100% speed.


Here is the last 24h of temps, keeping it between 68-70F I could probably tune this more so there is less variation but I am happy with it as it is.. I want it to drop cooler at night so it holds onto that the next day.. also seems more natural than trying to hold 70F perfectly.

The Top Off and WC system is almost complete, I am going to start testing it this weekend and work on dosing strategies. Ive got some Ruby Golden White Clouds arriving today via Priority Mail and I am eager to get em in the tank.

Here is the stand alone code for my fan speed controller.
Code:
#!/usr/bin/nodejs
// Fan Speed
// Keeps my Planted Subtropic Aquarium Cool
// Copyright 2015 by Ryan  Hunt <[email protected]>
// license CC-BY-NC

var w1bus = require('node-w1bus');                      // npm install node-w1bus
var bus = w1bus.create();
var fs = require('fs');
var request = require('request');                       // npm install request

var fan = '/sys/class/pwm/pwm0/';                       // Path to FAN
var probe = '28-000005e94350';                          // ID of 1-Wire Temp Sensor
var baseuri = 'http://127.0.0.1:8080/json.htm?type=command&param=udevice&idx=34&svalue=';       // Domoticz Base URL for % json update

var duty_max = 25000;                                   // 25 kHz
var duty = 0;                                           // Off
var max_temp = 23;                                      // 73.4F
var min_temp = 20;                                      // 68F

function updateDuty(temp) {
        if (temp > max_temp) { duty = duty_max; }
        else if (temp < min_temp) { duty = 0; }
        else {
                duty = ((((temp - max_temp) + 4) * 5000) + 5000);
        }
        fs.writeFileSync(fan + "duty_ns", Math.round(duty));
        request(baseuri + (duty/250));
        setTimeout(readTemp, 60000);                    // Update every 60s
}

function readTemp() {
        bus.getValueFrom(probe, "temperature")
                .then(function(res){
                    updateDuty(res['result']['value']);
                });
}

function setupGpio() {
        fs.writeFile(fan + "period_ns", duty_max, function(err) { if(err) { return console.log(err); } });
        fs.writeFile(fan + "run", "1", function(err) { if(err) { return console.log(err); } });
        readTemp();
}

setupGpio();
and here is the graph of its speed, matching the temp except when it shut down completely.


The fans are entirely inaudible until ~90% speed, and then even at full speed there pretty quiet and hard to hear with normal background noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
ok some updates, ive been coding alot and working on the water changing system.. but first:



My Trapdoor Snails had a Baby, this is the only one I found.. and it nearly got eaten by a goldfish before I managed to rescue it and rehome it in my 5g.. thats an aquarium heater behind him for a size comparison.

Ive got my Ruby Golden White clouds in the tank, there awesome and added alot of much needed activity to the tank with my aging goldfish.. The Calico is still in pretty rough shape and I think his time is neigh.. but who knows he might hang out like this for a long time.

The Pluming to the RO tank is done and everything is wired up, I ordered a new RO filter because my 5 year old one was on its last leg and no longer providing 0ppm water and had very high waste output... The new filter will be here tomorrow and I will start off with top-offs and then I am going to slowly start softening the water and adapting the animals plants to the new parameters.

Ive refactored alot of code, I kinda stole Finnex 24/7 ramp schedule from another thread and setup a 9h ramping period to 100% and back down but the timing is variable end always ends with the outside sunset.. I am preparing to push all I have done so far to github very soon so anyone is free to grab what they want from my project.

Everything is functional now through Domoticz my status monitor ensures its up to date and provides visual indication through my status LED..
Solid Green = OK/Idle
Blinking Yellow = Busy/Overridden (Fan off, Pump off, Toping off, Dosing, PWC)
Blinking Orange = Warning (Temp, pH approaching critical)
Blinking Red = Alert (Parameters out of bounds)
Red Alert (Tank and Indicator both Flash RED only) = Fatal Shutdown (Flood Sensor, Filling Timeout, Manual Shutdown) this closes all valves, shuts down the pump, co2, fans, suspends programming and must be manually cleared before functionality is restored... sends out all sorts of notifications.

Watchers automatically turn the pump and fans back on after an hour of being manually disabled, incase I forget to turn them back off after turning them off for maintenance.

Now some fresh screenshots


Mobile Version:


Nutrients freshly mixed, starting on dosing system next..

I'll try to get a video here soon of some functionality and life.

Cheers,
-R
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Here is 24h of my lighting schedule, it goes on/off externally from domoticz, it shuts off much earlier than 2am (11pm weekends 10pm weekdays)



Here are the float switches installed:



The floats are open when full and closed when not full, one provides ground to the fill valve the other provides ground to a low triggered input on the beagle.. each providing backup for the other as hardware/software.

And chalk another up to experience, I burnt up the output for the fan PWM output today plugging the fan back in.. sigh, Ive got one more PWM output not being used so I am not totally screwed.. this time I am putting a diode on the fan pwm output as i think somehow 12v got in when I was connecting it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
yeah its just one of the IO pins on the computer, ive got 8 of these pins available and I am using 7.. so I can afford to loose just one.. push comes to shove Ive got other cpu's elsewhere in the house I could swap out as there not using as many IO's as the aquarium is.

The RO tank is full, the filling pump is all plumed in, wired up and holding pressure...

Today I did a leak test and pressurized the RO line up with the pump, then opened the drain valve while keeping the ball valve to the tank closed.. this effectively pumped RO water right through the manifold and out the drain, flushing the pipes and verifying everything was leak-free.. all those towels and flood sirens I strategically placed were for nothing.. who'd of thunk!? I hate pluming and the fact I did not end up with a big mess is a huge relief.

This weekend I'll attempt a 20% PWC through the system by hand and get some timing information.. I think I am going to setup a schedule to do a 20% PWC every 4 days and a top off every other day in-between.. finally a 40% PWC every 8th time (32 days).. gH and kH boosters will be dosed into the tank as its filling and will hopefully maintain parameters without much of a shock, thus why the smaller more frequent changes.. if I have problems the fallback plan is more frequent smaller water changes.

:alien: no more heavy buckets of RO water from the basement... my back is already thanking me.

all the gear for the 4 channel dosing system are on there way, I am entering the home stretch and can soon sit back and just enjoy the tank again without constant tinkering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
Success, its filled and drained its self a few times without a problem... well once I worked through some issues.

I have to say its quite amazing to push a button on my phone and watch the pump shut off, ~20% of the water disappear out of the tank and then magically re-appear within a few mins, then continue on its way all by its self.

1. Had to move the pump lower so it maintained its own siphon between use and wont blast air out the tank anymore.

2. The gravity drain valve has a screen intake that got clogged with debris near instantly the first use and stopped all flow. Had to rip apart alot to get to it and clean it out.. It sat for a few weeks before being used and its the lowest point in the flow.

I have a solution, I am putting one of these infront of the valve and removing its internal screen.

I can clean that screen much easier without disconnecting hoses, I am hoping with better maintenance and filtration now the debris wont be a problem in the long run.. I think alot of this came from the outflow and spraybar going backwards the first time.

Also checked all the code into GitHub if anyone has the nerve to follow me down the rabbit hole: https://github.com/nayrnet/bbnode-aquarium

The dosing pumps and all required bits are here; they will be installed and calibrated here soon I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
Half the fun is shrinking this stuff down to into a tank of this size, really this is the biggest I can put anywhere but my office.. but that one is planing on being a monster. Everything has been performing perfectly and the goldfish are in good shape.

Major Code Refactor pushed to github, with a badass new lighting program I cant wait to show off..
I worked hard on making the code adjustable and portable for anyone looking for something like this.
source: https://github.com/nayrnet/bbnode-aquarium/blob/master/bin/light.js

Work on Dosing System:

4x D4 Peristaltic Pump, 5mm Check Valves & Tubing, 4ch MOSFET Board.


Fitted and being wired/plumed.. the shelf got lowered and I am going to DIY a mixing table into the bottom of the shelf :D


Easy Maintenance Filter on Drain Valve, cant believe I did not include this from the get go...
This is required IMHO, the last thing I need from an automatic gravity drain is for the thing to get stuck open from debris.

Tons of work done on the hardware and software, just a bit more to go..
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
As promised here is the lighting ramp for a full photoperiod

Sunset today was @ 20:24

There is no smoothing in the graph, thats exactly how it performs.

and here is the evening/sunset ramp profiles showing each channel blown up, starts @ sunset and ends at 10:45pm

I am playing with some alternative evening lighting profiles but I really like this one.

and for comparison, this was the results from my first program:
 
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