Adding New Technologies into your DIY Aquarium Projects: Part 1 the Smart Tank

 

When I was around 8 years old, I remember my Dad bringing home an old industrial timer used to turn the lights on and off in parking lots. He wanted to use this timer to control the lights for his fish tanks.

With a little rewiring he soon had our DIY project working. When we were away from home, the timer turned the lights on and off for his tanks. This is an early example of using modern technology to control aquarium lighting.

Today you can Upgrade Your Aquarium Lights to WIFI using a simple in-line switch. You can get them at the local hardware store for less than $5. And with the power of computers and smart phones, you can do a lot more with your DIY project than just turn your lights on and off.

The Raspberry Pi and Ardunio are two low-cost (starts under $50) programmable computers, designed for the do-it-yourself customer.  Both products are easy to configure; you just need basic DIY skills.

With one of these computers and third party sensors, you can not only control your lights, you can measure temperature, PH and water hardness. You can actually control your aquarium.  You can even hook up a camera to watch your aquarium from anywhere in the world with Wi-Fi access.

My dad would be impressed. He’d also like the idea of robots to clean your aquarium while you are out. The MOAI Robot, Ocean Swipe 360 and the RoboSnail are basically all Rumba’s for your aquarium glass. With small computers and 3D printing, it won’t be long before DIY’ers will be making their own aqua roombas.

We all enjoy a clean and well-maintained aquarium. Adding smart technologies to your DIY projects is a great way to manage your tanks while you’re gone, reduce the amount of time spent on more mundane tasks, and increase the time spent enjoying your hobby.

Next Month

Adding New Technologies into your DIY Aquarium Projects: Part 2 3D printing

2 thoughts on “Adding New Technologies into your DIY Aquarium Projects: Part 1 the Smart Tank”

    1. These two systems are very different. One feature the two systems share is the use of GPIO pins, or General Purpose Input and Output. GPIO pins area great for DIY projects, making both these systems good for DIY aquarists.
      The Ardunio is easy to learn and user friendly, but less versatile than the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi has a more challenging learning curve, but is in turn, a more versatile system.

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