Robo-Tank DIY Aquarium Controller For Freshwater, Saltwater and Reef Tanks
Robo-Tank is an all-in-one aquarium controller and the new kid on the block looking to build a name. It started as a DIY solution but has grown into a plug and play system as well. Inside the 3D printed case is a 32-bit microcontroller running at 84 MHz so everything is done in real time. It comes equipped with a 7” touch screen, a energy monitoring AC power bar, pH probe, temperature sensors and the necessary accessories.
I've been developing the controller over the past 3 years and the hardware has gone through many revisions, it's of high quality and reliable in a real world environment which can manage any saltwater or freshwater fish tank. Although Robo-Tank is geared towards aquariums it's also great for horticulture as growing typically uses similar equipment.
Robo-Tank is a fully functioning controller but still under development as there are still features I plan to add, all future software updates are are available free which can be easily upload to the controller using your computer.
Full Featured Energy Monitoring
Robo-Tank is equipped with a full featured AC power bar which uses highly reliable TRIACs for switching and will monitor power consumption for each outlet which can save your fish tank when things go wrong.
As an example if your heater turns on but isn't drawing the typical power you will get an instant email alert so you can take action before your aquarium cools down. After plugging anything into the power bar for the first time you can easily start a training mode for the outlet which will run for 24 hours and determine the levels for the alarm.
You can also setup an emergency mode using the touch screen which is stored in the power bar. This is great if the power goes out and your power bar is plugged into a UPS backup power supply, it will automatically switch each outlet during this event and restore when connection is made to the controller again. This can put your saltwater or freshwater tank in a life support mode during those natural disasters.
Watts, amps and watt hours consumed are all logged and can be viewed using graphs, with these it's easy to know exactly how your equipment is operating. There's also detailed logs which show daily or monthly consumption and cost for individual outlets or the overall power bar. The controller also generates cost estimates for each outlet or overall which can help you bring your cost of operating down plus much more.
Aquarium Data Logs and Graphs
Look back in time on your aquarium using graphs and logs. The controller logs all of the sensors connected allowing you to view each of them in a day, week, bi-weekly or monthly format. You can switch between a bar graph and line graph and easily navigate through the days, weeks or months. The current day or range of days being viewed is displayed at the bottom so you always know what you're looking at and the current sensor value is also displayed. You can also turn on an optional vertical grid so you get a clearer view and the colors on the graph match the button on the menu.
All the graphs have an auto-range feature, this finds the minimum and maximum value for the data being viewed on your aquarium and draws the graph based on that, you can also zoom in or out from there. Each of the sensors data is logged every 8.5 minutes and all the data goes on the SD card. There's no limit how much data is stored, the display is setup to look back 10 years in time. Each day's data for the sensor is stored in a seperate file CSV for easy importing into Excel or other programs. The file name is the date the file was created so its easy to go through the files and pick out certain days.
There's also a detailed equipment log which will record any actions taken with any of the equipment, it records the time, action and what caused it to switch.
Custom Controller Rules
When you access the customs rules page on the controller you are presented with a list of the rules that have been created. These are sorted by sensor type in the same order as the image. For example all rules related to water temperature will show up first, then air temp, etc... If you need to remove a custom rule simply press the delete button and its gone or you have the option to disable it until later use.
The custom rules allow you to control AC outlets, run any dosing pump or control the DC accessory ports. If you create a rule which runs an aquarium dosing pump you can set a timer so that dosing pump never runs again until that time has past plus other advance features and timers. The custom rules also intergrate into the maintenance and feed schedules so you have full control during all periods of operation without mixing them.
Customize AC Outlet Icons
With up to 64 AC power outlets it can be hard to remember what's plugged in each outlet, if not nearly impossible. Luckily we have a solution, you can assign custom outlet icons to all of the outlets and choose from a wide range of 60 icons. For example, you have a power head plugged into outlet one so you set that outlet as a power head. Two months later you decide you want a heater plugged in outlet two, simply change the icon to a heater. Heater and chiller outlets are special because they turn on/off automatically based on a temperature you select, when you move the heater or chiller icon from outlet 2 to outlet 3 the controller knows and will now control outlet 3. You can plug in 3 heaters or chillers and control each of them independently based on your selected temperature range. Each outlet has its own on/off schedule, the schedule shows what you have plugged in each outlet so you always know. You can also assign a custom name to each outlet using an on screen keyboard which will appear through out the user interface and in the equipment logs.
This same set of features is available for the DC accessories, the controller supports 4 but can be expanded to 16.
Customize LED Slider Colors
Robo-Tank has 16 5v PWM LED channels available for your aquarium giving you complete control over your lighting. Each channel has 4095 increments allowing you to control small and large LED with precision. Schedule up to 11 different fades each day and have the option to run a lunar moon. There's also 10 temporary lighting mode which is great for adjusting the light at any given time without affecting your four regular lighting modes.
Its easy to change the values and see the changes you make because each channel is controlled using a slider. And of course like the power outlets, you can customize the color of each slider so it reflects the LED color on that channel. When you update your lighting system change each of the colors on an given channel and see what you control not guess.