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Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic systems, aquaponics, Controlled Environment Agriculture, DIY aquaponics, general, Internet-of-Farming, IoT aquaponics, pH, rik kretzinger, rik.diy.IOT, rik94566.
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Bluelab pHPEN

For about 3 years I have been using a cheap pH tester. The main reason for using cheap units has been that I did not know the type and configuration that I wanted to purchase for the main unit that I would be using for many years to come. After the purchase of another testing probe made by Bluelab I started researching the pH options the Bluelab offered. As I found many different units that could be purchased for this purpose. So after some time and reading many reviews I selected the pH-PEN. Life has gotten much simpler with this purchase. More expensive YES – but I now save so much time as the calibration holds for a month and is very accurate every time I use the unit. So happy I selected this unit of very high quality and perfect for all my needs. I purchased the unit from Amazon.

Aquaponics — in the future – something like this? August 15, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, CEA, Controlled Environment Agriculture, DIY aquaponics, general.
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BREAK NOW OVER —— August 11, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, DIY aquaponics, general.
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Due to some life changes in the last month or so, I have fallen behind on putting content up.  Looking for a new job and then making a move to a new company is very time intensive.  I have now stabilized this part of my life and got the family vacation taken and fully rested.  On top of all the life changes I under took a total redesign of my aquatubes on my main unit.  This new design addressed a number of problems I had encountered over the past year or so.  Since I was in major rework mode of the tubes, I took the time to build in all the automation aspects to the tubes also even though I am aways off to actually convert to fully automated mode.  So for now I will let these units still operate in the manual mode and work to perfect the control units so I can achieve a major life goal of completion of making my aquatubes smart.   During this break I have been working on a number of developments and process improvements and will be blogging about them going forward.

LAST sensor found — June 12, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, Arduino Your Environment, DIY aquaponics, DO sensor, general, Hacks, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Links, sensor, Sensor Hub, Standards.
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Since I have been on my aquaponic automation quest I have been looking for all the components to make a aquaponic control unit.  Today catching up on my BLOG reading I ran across the last senor I needed to finish the feature set.  It is the DO (dissolved oxygen) sensor.  It is a nice to have functionality and one of the core measurements I want on my dashboard to monitor my aquaponic units.  Finding the sensor in one thing, but to find it and have a reference as to how to connect it up with an arduino is golden.    Now I will have to research out where to buy the sensor and find the time to test it and play with getting it to work.  When I know all there is about the sensor and the code needed to get working, I can then incorporate it into a working controller unit.  Here is the blog reference to the DO sensor.

Dissolved Oxygen Sensor

from Arduino Your Environment by Steve Spence

Looking for a way to detect dissolved oxygen levels? If you raise fish, this and a ph sensor are two important things to monitor (and of course, temperature), and an Arduino is the ideal platform to build upon. The Sensorex DO1200 ($139) outputs a <1mv – 54 mv signal indicating DO levels. Use
analogReference(INTERNAL1V1) to set the top of the input range to 1.1v.

Connect it to one of your analog pins. Very simple to read, just like a potentiometer.Subscribe to Green Trust Sustainability & Renewable Energy by Email

DO Sensor

10,000 views surpassed on Instructables June 11, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponic automation, aquaponics, arduino, CAT 5 Cable, Crop, DIY aquaponics, DS18B20, Float Sensor, Float Switch, general, Glow Panel 45, Gravity feed valves, Hacks, indoor aquaponics, indoor gardens, indoor growing, Instructables, LED growing, LED lights, plumbing, POW-Rduino, Rj45 connector, sensor, Sensor Hub, Stainless Steel Temp Probe, Standards, sunshine systems, Suppliers, Temperature Probe, Yield Results.
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I have written 3 instructables  over the last 2 years.  I have just gone over 10,000 views.  Never thought I would every have had that many views with only 3 instructions.  Always good to know people are interested in what I am interested in.

Passed 10,000 views

Failure – often times results in learning new things! May 6, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponics, arduino, general, Hacks, Standards, Temperature Probe.
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If every time you try something new and it works you never learn anything. I knew this from years of doing different things, but the point was made clear again over the last few weeks. Being new to electronics work this is ever so important. Arduinos can do so much and the creativity that this platform allows is unbelievable. Often times I find that what is not said or documented is as important as the final tutorials. In most of the blogs and tutorials I read they only talk about or list the working version of the project. This is fine in most cases, but to trouble shoot a project when it does not work because of some error is helpful for the person doing the project. I think all tutorials and blogs should document the errors and results of wrong connections to help trouble shoot the project or be able to know in the future where to look for problems should the project malfunction. So from now on I am going to talk about my failures and problems I have encountered on my builds. I feel this is important so I and others can understand how to work out of problems and see results that don’t make sense and know how to fix them.

Enclosure for Arduino — order came — Yea February 19, 2011

Posted by rik94566 in aquaponics, arduino, DIY aquaponics, general, Standards.
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I ordered what looked to be a good option for moving my arduino boards off the bench top to prototype mode.  I was thinking I would have to build some type of enclosure to house boards for my step from bench top to aquaponic control unit.  Then this option surfaced.

I ordered it from this site:


Here are the specs on it:

  • Dimensions: 3.6″ x 5″ x 1.35″
  • Injection molded ABS plastic
  • Enclosure is easy to machine, drill, cut and shape to what you need
  • Brass screw inserts (can be used and reused many times, very durable!)
  • Fits standard Arduinos and 16 x 2 LCDs
  • Fits Arduino with Adafruit Protoshield on top with .45″ clearance
  • Pop out plates for GPS, buttons, sensors, switches, knobs, etc!
  • Holds up to 4 AAA batteries internally using 2xAAA holders. AA’s can squeeze in but the case wont close nicely so we suggest AAA’s
  • Comes with screws for the LCD, Arduino and case
  • Made in Canada!


Figure out how to interface the sensors I am building and using with this enclosure via cat5 cable.  I have some good ideas though and more to come on how I can do it.

Starting the blog June 2, 2010

Posted by rik94566 in general.
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Welcome to aquaponic DIY automation blog.  I have created this blog to track my progress in learning how to automate my aquaponic systems.  I have build a number of small systems with the goal from the start to use technology to the fullest in over all control of these systems.  There are a number of options in the market place for large systems and at a price point well above most people’s budgets.  Most automated aquariums set ups are expensive also and not easy to maintain.  This blog will be about how I progress on the different aspects in working with sensors and microcontroller.  I will only be using  an arduino for this automation.  I selected  it because there is a lot of information about it and lots of people working with it.  Each day new products and sketch examples are indexed on the web.  So I hope you enjoy and that we all will learn from each other on this venture.  This blog being done by Rik Kretzinger.