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Temboo — aquaponic “HELLO WORLD” equivalent June 1, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, Balcony aquaponics, internet of farming, Internet-of-Farming, rik94566.
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With the help of Temboo – my aquaponic Balcony Unit generated its first TEXT Message:

SMS

MESSAGE IS:

aquaponic Balcony Unit grow bed now filling.

aquaponic BIO-REACTOR – part of a Balcony Unit design just published on INSTRUCTABLES May 31, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in Uncategorized.
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Just published on INSTRUCTABLES the section on BIO-REACTOR build for the Balcony Unit.  AdditionAL sections will be published now to document the building of a Balcony Unit.  So stay tuned as more content will be generated in support of releasing the Balcony Unit as a open source project for all to view – share – build!

CLICK LOGO BELOW TO VIEW INSTRUCTABLE:

LOGO

Here is a preview of the INSTRUCTABLE:
Picture of Aquaponic BIO-REACTOR - part of a Balcony Unit design
Balcony--000-BU1.jpg
Balcony_Back--001-BU2.jpg

aquaponic BIO-REACTOR – Balcony Unit

aquaponic BIO-REACTOR is a component of a lager aquaponic Balcony Unit System ( see in pictures above). This instructable is to document the build of the BIO-REACTOR and is referenced in the assembly directions for putting together the Balcony Unit. This provides a comprehensive guide to parts and materials used in the construction of the BIO-REACTOR. You can find individual items of the build at www.rik94566.wordpress.com if you do not want to spend the time to gather all the parts on your own or have extra materials left over from the build.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

DIY BIO-REACTOR – converts toxic fish waste to non-toxic plant fertilizer using moving bed media (big system component not found in any small systems).

WHY IS IT NEEDED:

Three basic rules in aquaponics are as follows:

1:1 RELATIONSHIP — between fish tank volume and grow bed volume.

NUMBER OF FISH (stocking density) — The general rule of thumb for a home, media-based aquaponics system is one pound (500g) of fish for every five to ten gallons (20 to 40 liters) of fish tank water.

FEEDING FISH – only feed fish the amount of food they can eat in 5 minutes.

The BIO-REACTOR is needed because most if not all small systems and owners of these systems break all three of these rules. Breaking these rules causes systems to fail or never reach a balance. The BIO-REACTOR builds a buffer into the system so when the above rules are not followed the Balcony Unit can still work without major system issues that new auqapons (people new to aquaponics) are unaware of or know how to correct.

Temboo – my new found friend May 28, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, Internet-of-Farming, Temboo.
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Ever since the release of the “Internet of Farming” YouTube interview –  the recurring question is how to get the code working on my Arduino for my situation.  Well —  the reality of it is that everyone has a very different situation and totally different conditions specific to their setup and needs.

In the video I was using what was the best solution at the time to overcome this programming issue for me and what I was working to accomplish.  I spent a lot of time on research and internet searches and came up with the best solution at the time.  Fast forward 3 years and factor in advancements in technology and now things have progressed at a fast rate and new tools and companies are popping up in this next big area of technology growth IoT – Internet of Things.

I started learning about Temboo  ( https://temboo.com/ ) on different blogs that I follow and checked them out and began to learn more about their solution.  It seemed very simple in concept and very close to what I was looking for to help others on the same journey I have been on for a long time now.  Couple this with the Balcony Unit I have been developing over the last year for entry level people wanting a solution to learn Aquaponics and use automation  — it was a clear match.  It is a match because if someone built a Balcony Unit for themselves or purchased a kit of parts then they can customize the software solution for their needs using Temboo.  All I would have to do is supply a base code to get people started and then they can take their Balcony Units ( or other projects you have ) to whatever level you want.  There you go a PERFECT WORLD!

So as it goes I contacted Temboo about working with me on the Balcony Unit and the article for MAKE Magazine that is schedule to run sometime in the Fall of this year.  Well it turns out Temboo was interested in this effort and will be working with me to get some base code build that all of you will have access to right here for the Balcony Unit.  John Sigmier of Temboo reached out to me and let me know Temboo was interest in this effort.  So I will be blogging about all this effort now that we are close to pulling it all together for the finished Balcony Unit effort.  You will be reading about this effort and what I learn in this process.

John Sigmier of Temboo came by to chat and look at the aquaponic Balcony Unit at Maker Faire 2015 -

John Sigmier of Temboo came by to chat and look at the aquaponic Balcony Unit at               Maker Faire 2015 –

Technology is complicated — May 8, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in Controlled Environment Agriculture, DIY aquaponics, Electronic Componets, indoor aquaponics, IoT aquaponics, Temperature Probe.
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I say this because I will be displaying my aquaponic – IoT – Balcony Unit  at Maker Faire next week in San Mateo.  To accomplish the IoT part of the build I have to use technology that allows for internet communication thus IoT!  Well there are many options available to accomplish this task – some not so easy and others not enough features to be effective for this project.

So my choice in this case is the Arduino YUN —

arduino yun

I made this choice because I had one (but had not used it as yet) and the fact that documentation on it is easy to find.  The other fact is that Temboo www.temboo.com uses the YUN as one of its options for their solution to the Internet of Things and I am working with them on this open source project so many others will be able to get up and running in short order and have simpler options to add additional capability based on the persons needs and I will not have to supply the customer support for any aspect of the code other than give everyone a stating point.
WELL –  that is where things got interesting.

Had to work through getting the YUN on the network of choice.  Not a big deal but it took some time and many attempts to get it dialed in because the Arduino instructions tell you to go to arduino.local to find the individual unit.  Well this only works about 60% of the time.  So the solution is to use the IP address of 192.168.24.1 now I could configure the thing to my liking.  Once configured it would not show up in the Arduino IDE at all.  Major issue for me as I had no idea if the unit configured or not.  I finally when on to my wireless router to see if the board was being recognized.  Had to dig out all the USER ID and PASSWORD info and then work through all the menus to determine what in fact was connected to the router.  There is was — YEA

Now I had to research out why it was not listed as a port option in my Arduino IDE.  Well after some time and deep research I found that Arduino IDE only works some times for the YUN on wireless.  So the uploading from Arudino IDE to the board is not an option as most of the YouTube videos demonstrate quite well.  This becomes an issue because I found out that as configured the YUN does not have enough on board memory, so a SD card is needed.

Using an SD card with the YUN requires that the card be format using the YUN.  To do that you need to know that the YUN is connected to the internet and working properly which is very hard to know if it is or not.

So once you know the YUN is connected and you have it connected through cable to your computer you need a file called ” YunDiskSpaceExpander” found on the Arduino site.  Once uploaded you access it through the Serial Monitor of the Arduino IDE.  If all goes well you answer a bunch of cryptic questions and bingo the thing kicks off.  Once do you have a formated YUN SD enabled board.

Now I am ready for the real fun stuff to generate code to be used through Temboo so I will have “Streaming Data” and text messaging in short order – lets hope!

The good news in all of this is that I will be documenting all of this for the instructions to the Balcony unit for all to use and save anyone interested in building one or gets a kit from me that will be up and running in short order.

See you all at Maker Faire next Saturday if you make it there!

aquaponic- IoT device — Balcony Garden March 10, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, Balcony aquaponics, Controlled Environment Agriculture, DS18B20.
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system view -1

aquaponic-IoT device — Balcony Garden

BALCONY AQUAPONIC GARDEN – IoT READY- DIY  or purchase materials locally and build —  by rik kretzinger

With all the interest around the world in aquaponics there are a number of creative units being developed for small spaces.  Many if not most of these solution do not address a number of issues that cause these units to end up on Craig’s List or in the trash at the end of the day. None of these solutions even address the automation aspect of aquaponics to take the stress out of operating a small unit effectively at an affordable price point and can be assembled safely by anyone interested in aquaponics.
 
AUTOMATION COMPONENTS:
1 – DHT-22 – Humidity and Temperature
2 – DS18B20 – 1 wire Temperature probes  (grow-bed and fish tank)
1 – Analog Float Switch in Fish Tank for water level tracking
1 – Analog Water Sensing Probe in grow bed for tracking water level and timing of cycles
4 – Relay Controlled outlets
1 – Master System Kill Relay – should anything go wrong with the unit
1 – Stainless Steel gravity feed Valve N/O – allows for precise control of cycle times and water level control in grow bed,
 
BALCONY GARDEN KIT FEATURE SET:
27 gallon fish tank
27 gallon grow bed – this allows for the aquaponic standard of 1:1 ratio of water to grow bed volumes be maintained for a healthy system
DIY Solids Filtration unit – allows for solid wast capture or removal and reuse in system
DIY Bio-Filter reactor – converts toxic fish waste to non-toxic plant fertilizer using moving bed media (big system component not found in any small systems)
Overflow Preventer – will not let any water to escape from your grow bed should you encounter a system problem
Root Clogging Preventer Mechanism  –  this is the problem no one talks about in aquaponics – roots clog everything – unless you plan for the problem
System power down – should a power failure occur
Air supply back-up for fish tank – should power failure occur
Plug-N-Play construction of kit
Once assembled and cycled easy to maintain.
Starter water – bacteria rich and ready to jump-start your system provided with the kit
Small footprint – big results
High percentage of materials can be locally sourced at a big box store and rest at Amazon if you want to do-it-yourself (DIY)
System allows for a high degree of control of the flood and drain cycles depending on what you are growing and environmental demands
Allows for expansion of sensor set and moving to solar back-up option in the future
Unit can be converted to off-grid applications easily – will require a different power configuration of components and equipment
Starting code for system on which ever micro-controller platform a person would like to use
system view -2
system view - 3

NO POSTS IN A LONG TIME — March 10, 2015

Posted by rik94566 in Uncategorized.
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Well this is a true statement.  Many things have taken place since Maker Faire in 2014 and now.  Some good and some not so good.  But now is the time to get back to blogging about all the developments of importance in regards to aquaponic automation and systems in my world.

The really good news was that during Maker Faire – Keith Hammonds an editor with Make Magazine approached me with an idea about doing a article on automated aquaponic system build using only items that could be constructed with parts and materials purchase at local big box stores.

I got very excited about this idea and possible project.  As in all things execution on ideas is what make the world go round.  I developed the concept and started on the execution of the concept.  Then some of the not so good things played out and I had to scale down my time commitment to aquaponics and could not deliver the project before years end of 2014.

Well the build is now on track and details will be in the next post that will take place just after this one.

TOWER SYSTEM – set-up at Maker Faire 2014 May 22, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in adafruit, agponics.com, arduino, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Electronic Componets, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, One-wire, Raspberry PI, Tower System, Tower Tubes.
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Maker Faire - 2014

EDITOR’S CHOICE – not once – but 3 times @ Maker Faire – WOW May 21, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, Raspberry PI, sensor, Tower System.
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Very few displays achieve 3 EDITOR CHOICE AWARDS —

MAKER FAIRE - AWARD

Automated Aquaponics for Business or Pleasure: A Scalable Approach May 14, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in Uncategorized.
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RADIAL FLOW FILTER – just completed April 2, 2014

Posted by rik94566 in agponics.com, aquaponic automation, aquaponics, aquaponics electronics, Controlled Environment Agriculture, DIY aquaponics, Electronic Componets, indoor aquaponics, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, PRODUCTS, radial flow filter, Tower System.
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IMG_1365Since first conceiving of the Tower unit as a concept I knew they needed to be operated differently than DWC and Media bed in how you deal with the solids from the fish.  Media beds —  it has not been that big a deal for me because my rule is that any tank size smaller than 350 I filter the water and break-up the solids and then put back into solution by pumping back into the grow beds.  This way I lose no nutrients that the fish produce.  Has worked well for over 3 years now.  In the testing that I have done with the towers I found that solids need to be dealt with or things will plug up.  I still will be reintroducing the broken up solids back into the system put it will take place downstream of the bio-filter component and re-injected into the new buffer tank that stabilizes fish tank water volume and height.  This all came out of research I was doing on how best to handle solids in aquaponics.  As designed this radial flow filter can handle up to and maybe a bit more than a 1000 gallons of fish tank water.  The only thing left to figure out on this radial flow filter now is where I will be locating the outlet for the clean water.  That will be dependent on fish tank water level.  Should have fish tank completed this coming weekend and make the determination on this aspect of the build.

I put together a youtube slide show if you want to see more detail of the radial flow filter:

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