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Robo-Tank is your road to a reliable, affordable and flexible aquarium controller. Now you can keep your kidney and still have a fully automated system for your freshwater or reef tank.
A new era has arrived…Robo-Tank is a hardware solution for the open-source Reef-pi aquarium controller software that runs on a Raspberry Pi.
DIY projects are fun but can also be daunting at times and quite often cost more than expected. Robo-Tank is a great solution to help bridge the gap.
What can Robo-Tank do?
Robo-Tank can control all the equipment for your reef tank or freshwater aquarium with flexibility, you can use any sensor to control any equipment.
- AC power outlets 120v – 240v
- DC powered equipment
- 0–5v PWM outputs to control factory equipment
- 0–10v selectable PWM or Analog outputs to control factory equipment
- Automatic top off system
- Automatic water change system
- Monitor temperatures
- Monitor pH
- Monitor water sensors
Examples of some DC powered equipment
- Dosing pumps
- Water pumps
- LED strip lights
- Cooling fans
- Fish feeders (easy but requires opening feeder and soldering)
Examples of factory equipment that have a port to connect directly to external controllers, these use the 0-5v / 0-10v auxiliary pins. Here's a list of equipment from Bulk Reef Supply.
- Kessil LED lights
- Aquatic Life dimmable T5 HO lights
- Meanwell and other popular brand LED drivers
- Reef Octopus controllable DC pumps, skimmer pumps and protein skimmers
- Reef Octopus Octo Pluse wave pumps
- Abyzz controllable DC pumps
- Royal Exclusiv water pumps
Examples of sensors you can connect.
- Optical water sensors (resistor required)
- Non-Contact water sensors
- Float switches
- Water sensor boards
- Any Arduino compatible analog sensor (resistor/s may be required)
A lot of thought was put into the controller, I wanted it loaded with features in a compact form and after many revisions I’ve come up with two versions that can be expanded.
Both boards have a heavy duty design with high quality components that are over rated for their job, there’s also various levels of protection built in to keep everything running for many years to come.
The standard controller was designed to keep the price as low as possible but still allow you to run all the systems an aquarium requires and beyond. It doesn’t have a pH circuit place holder so you need to connect one externally using short wires if you want this feature. You can see in the image (better image coming soon) what I have allocated ports for but these are just labels, the comparison table below reflects what can actually be connected.
The deluxe controller is a good choice if you want more automation in your system, it controls more DC power equipment and has a place holder to integrate a pH circuit. The pH circuit is expensive so I’ve left it as an option, if you already have an Atlas Scientific pH circuit you can use it instead.
An additional feature is an extra USB socket for an automatic top off system. This allows you to extend the ATO optical sensor cables without cutting any wires, just plug them in and use the length of USB cable needed.
You can see in the image(better image coming soon) what I have allocated ports for but these are just labels, the comparison table below reflects what can actually be connected.
The standard controller has 37 ports overall vs 40 on the deluxe. You can connect any combination of the following as the board ships and up to the total number of ports on the respected version. With minor modifications you can change other port functions as well.
Both controller boards are essentially shields for any Raspberry Pi with a 40 pin I/O header. If you use a Pi 2, 3 or 4 two of the four Pi edges line up with the controller board so you have access to the USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI and audio ports externally when the board is put in a case.
Both controllers have what I call an emergency backup float switch port that will cut the power to DC port 3. The float switch will bypass the Raspberry Pi and most electronics so it’s great for you ATO or any other pump that needs a fail safe backup.