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Old 01/23/2019, 07:51 PM   #251
Sisterlimonpot
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I needed to add a float switch to the RODI barrel because I've walked into the equipment room on a number of occasions to find that there was water puddled under the RODI.

Having a float valve to shut off the flow of RODI water into the barrel wasn't enough, even though it stopped the flow, the solenoid that allows water to flow through the RODI was still energized, meaning that the RODI was building up pressure and for some reason, no matter how many times I replace the o-rings in the DI containers they still leaked. A float switch will fix that by shutting the solenoid off.

Here's what I cut for that:









I had to drill holes to secure this one:



That's it for now, I still need to design the holders for the reservoirs and then wire it all up.... Last thing I did was to put the module and BoB on the wall.



More to come, stay tuned!!


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Old 01/23/2019, 08:02 PM   #252
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Oh, I forgot, I also made a peristaltic pump for a calcium reactor, but at the moment it is being put through its paces as an ATO pump.



Here's the build thread


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Old 01/23/2019, 08:08 PM   #253
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Really solid work. Iím envious of the laser etching capabilities. Everything is far more professional looking rather than hack woodworking tools when it comes to those delicate parts. Thanks for the update.


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Old 01/24/2019, 06:28 AM   #254
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Awesome work Jimmy. You're doing the right thing by QTing yourself. It's too bad it didn't work out with the LFS for you or me. it would have been a nice benefit. You'll have the tank stocked in no time, just keep this fish moving through QT!


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Old 01/24/2019, 07:26 AM   #255
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Jimmy, I'm glad you've decided to do the QT yourself. Now you'll know exactly what (and that!) each fish has been through and how it responded, that it's eating, what it's eating, how much, etc. There is no substitute for having that knowledge and you really can't rely on someone else to care as much as you do. Will be interested to hear about your experience with LA as I've had mixed success (and 100% success with DD).


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Old 01/24/2019, 11:57 AM   #256
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'Bout time you update. Was starting to think you had given up.

Getting healthy fish is always a problem. Depending on someone else to QT can be a bigger issue. Good luck with that.

So you are going even more automated with a auto water change system? Man is there going to be anything for you to do with the system other than sit and watch?

On a different note, I'm headed out to King of the Hammers race in 2 weeks. Gonna be fun. We missed/didn't race Parker this year, otherwise I would have invited you out.


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Old 01/24/2019, 08:22 PM   #257
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Quote:
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Really solid work. Iím envious of the laser etching capabilities. Everything is far more professional looking rather than hack woodworking tools when it comes to those delicate parts. Thanks for the update.
A little over a month ago I was bummed because the laser tube cracked while cutting a probe holder. Believe it or not the Chinese company that I bought it from had great costumer service. Any time I had a problem they would respond in less than 24 hours.

Well, apparently the company folded or changed names because when I emailed them to source a replacement tube I received a failed delivery reply. I couldn't find any way to contact them. So, I turned to the web and tried to educate myself on what the best way forward was. I had to learn a lot about what tubes would be suited and which ones would work with my current power supply.

Long story short, I discovered that the best tubes came out of Germany and China. A company out of Beijing called Reci seemed to be hands down the preferred place to get them. $600 later, I mounted and aligned the tube and I'm so happy that the old one cracked because the laser is cutting better than it did on day one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SawCJack00 View Post
Awesome work Jimmy. You're doing the right thing by QTing yourself. It's too bad it didn't work out with the LFS for you or me. it would have been a nice benefit. You'll have the tank stocked in no time, just keep this fish moving through QT!
Thanks Bill, with you as the gold standard of how a reef tank should look, I have to come to terms with the fact that I can't keep up with your progress, I have to settle for slow and steady with fingers crossed that I don't run into any major problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McPuff View Post
Jimmy, I'm glad you've decided to do the QT yourself. Now you'll know exactly what (and that!) each fish has been through and how it responded, that it's eating, what it's eating, how much, etc. There is no substitute for having that knowledge and you really can't rely on someone else to care as much as you do. Will be interested to hear about your experience with LA as I've had mixed success (and 100% success with DD).
You're 100% right. while feeding them today, I noticed that the copperband is becoming faster at eating food. He used to get a piece of mysis in his sights and follow it around for 3-4 seconds before eating it. Now he sees it and immediately eats. Which is going to be a good trait when he's introduced into the tank.... the diamond goby eats anything, he's just along for the ride.

This time around, the fish were extremely healthy upon arrival, and was impressed with how well they took to the acclimation process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty Old Shellback View Post
'Bout time you update. Was starting to think you had given up.

Getting healthy fish is always a problem. Depending on someone else to QT can be a bigger issue. Good luck with that.

So you are going even more automated with a auto water change system? Man is there going to be anything for you to do with the system other than sit and watch?

On a different note, I'm headed out to King of the Hammers race in 2 weeks. Gonna be fun. We missed/didn't race Parker this year, otherwise I would have invited you out.
Yeah, I geek out with all the different ideas and possibilities there are to make my tank fit my needs. Lately I've been more hands off and turning my attention to other things to waste my time on. Once I get the AWC system up and running there won't be much for me to do except maybe tweak a code of fine tune a pump.

Tank parameters have been pretty stable lately and I finally got my lights dialed in. Thanks to Bill, I've been getting a regular supply of SPS frags to test out in my tank, and the ones he gave me in the last 3-4 weeks have been doing well and showing great signs of growth and color.

I still need more fish in the tank, despite feeding heavy multiple times a day, my N and P are still undetectable. I'm only dosing 3 ml of vodka to the tank daily just because I don't want hair algae to take hold again. I'd like to stop vodka all together but I need some grazing herbivores in the tank to keep algae at bay.


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Old 02/03/2019, 08:30 AM   #258
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Kitchen counters make the best work surfaces. Like the sump.


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Old 02/20/2019, 04:36 PM   #259
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Oh, I forgot, I also made a peristaltic pump for a calcium reactor, but at the moment it is being put through its paces as an ATO pump.



Here's the build thread
Woah nice! You've got skills man.


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Old 02/20/2019, 07:35 PM   #260
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Woah nice! You've got skills man.
Thanks,

That's the old version, here is the new one




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Old 02/21/2019, 05:27 AM   #261
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Thanks,

That's the old version, here is the new one

So is this one for dosing? Or is it designed for continuous use? Appears to be the former. Have you created a new pump for your calcium reactor as well?

Looks really good!!


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Old 02/21/2019, 06:45 AM   #262
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So is this one for dosing? Or is it designed for continuous use? Appears to be the former. Have you created a new pump for your calcium reactor as well?

Looks really good!!
Ideally this will be for the calcium reactor. Right now it's programmed to dose continuously at a rate of 0.1ml per minute to 120ml per minute. however with some work in the code you can have it do what ever you want. I'm trying to add 2 other features, 1: to work with the OSC code for the apex (on for XX:XX off for XX:XX) for dosing, and 2: have it as a stand alone unit, so that you can dose a total of XXXX ml over the course of 24 hours. That way there are options.

My coding is sub par at best, and I've been trying to take the current code and try to reverse engineer it but I'm not having much luck. At the same tie trying to remove a lot of the coding that isn't necessary. I will eventually get it right, it's just taking a lot longer to learn new tricks.


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Old 03/01/2019, 01:27 PM   #263
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My rendition of 300

Incredible work with the peristaltic!

Interfacing with the Apex: Iím working on a side project right now that will use an outlet from the Apex to simply close a relay which will be the low-voltage interface to my aftermarket device. Itís just a simple low voltage control signal (ON/OFF) at that point with isolation between the two. Is that similar to what youíre trying to do?

It would require a little bit of circuitry for the pump to look for that ďinterruptĒ but fairly straight forward.

Did you ever make progress on your automated light rack? Let me know if I missed that and Iíll dig back through the thread.

EDIT: after reading back over your post, my suggestion doesnít make sense. I guess your problem isnít turning on the pump with the Apex, but the multiple modes you hope to implement through Apex. Sorry for the confusion.



Last edited by halmus; 03/01/2019 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 03/01/2019, 07:12 PM   #264
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Incredible work with the peristaltic!

Interfacing with the Apex: Iím working on a side project right now that will use an outlet from the Apex to simply close a relay which will be the low-voltage interface to my aftermarket device. Itís just a simple low voltage control signal (ON/OFF) at that point with isolation between the two. Is that similar to what youíre trying to do?

It would require a little bit of circuitry for the pump to look for that ďinterruptĒ but fairly straight forward.

Did you ever make progress on your automated light rack? Let me know if I missed that and Iíll dig back through the thread.

EDIT: after reading back over your post, my suggestion doesnít make sense. I guess your problem isnít turning on the pump with the Apex, but the multiple modes you hope to implement through Apex. Sorry for the confusion.

Hey halmus,

I have been fumbling through arduino for the last few weeks and finally got a working pump to do everything that I set out for it to do. I wanted it to
1. Be calibrated
2. Stand alone to continuously dose specific amounts 1-48 times (every 30 minutes) a day from 0.1-999.9 ml each time.
3. Stand alone continuous flow anywhere from 0.1-80ml per minute
4. Used with Apex to dose precise amounts

Here is the latest video:





Unfortunately, I haven't made much progress with the automation of the light rack, with my new found knowledge of stepper motors, I feel a little more at ease with how to make it work.

It's not at the front of the list but it's on the list.


What is this aftermarket device that you speak of? You definitely peaked my curiosity.


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Old 03/02/2019, 06:58 AM   #265
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Old 03/02/2019, 09:34 AM   #266
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So, youíre using arduino to control the stepper for the pump? Youíve got a lot of the brains in place then. I suspected that.

If you want any help or tips with the Arduino code, let me know.



I donít want to derail your thread. I should update mine soon. Basically, Iím finally getting around to measuring volume of water in my RODI tank as well as my fresh water top-off reservoir. Those two tanks will talk together and interface with the Apex. So, Iíll be able to top off my fresh water top-off remotely and know itís idiot-proof from overflowing. (Since this idiot has done that twice now and my wife Iíve had done it once)

Iím using this sensor to which provides variable resistance based on water depth:
https://milonetech.com

I really wish the Apex would open up a module with variable voltage input (0-5VDC) which we could map to a graph based on our needs! Itís totally doable from a technology standpoint and should be trivial for them. It would be an awesome interface for your project and mine. I need to yell at them again.


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Old 03/02/2019, 10:33 AM   #267
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A month ago, I was looking for someone who was an arduino coding expert, and I ended up spending weeks in a frustrated and confused state to get where I am... someone like you would've achieved a better product in an afternoon hehe. The take away from the project, I learned that no matter how hard I try, I will only be able to scratch the surface with coding... there's a disconnect in my brain to figure out how to get from a carefully planned out vision to the final product.

That water level sensor that you told me about with the etape is a great idea... I would love to use it for my two 55 gallon barrels. Before going with float switches I looked for tape that was the proper length and I couldn't seem to find any... plus the special sizes were so expensive. you got lucky with getting the lengths that you have.

I don't begin to know the vision or direction that Neptune systems is going, but I would love to have them offer an expansive module that allows sensor capabilities outside of "open" and "close".

Have you considered using a temp sensor port? Theoretically you could use that port to sense (I'm assuming) a range of resistances. It wouldn't be hard to figure that out. The reason why the temp sensor would be great is because we have the ability to manually calibrate it in fusion. I think all the PM modules have a temp sensor port and they can be renamed.

Anyway... just thinking out loud. I can't wait to see the progress you made with the etape. I'll be watching for it.

Edit: I just looked at the link you provided, looks like they have a wider range of sizes, I'm definitely anxious to see what you come up with now!


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Old 03/02/2019, 03:11 PM   #268
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I had a chance to talk to a Neptune representative at a local show (Reef Stock) today. He said that the ASM module does allow for this type of application even though it's designed for the PAR monitoring.

He said it would accept the variable input voltage and that it could just be calibrated to represent the range desired. Similar to the temp port you mentioned. I might play around with all of that down the road.

He also mentioned ultrasonic sensors that could be used for water depth. (I think that's what he called them). Anyway, he said they're >$300. So, not a cheep toy to experiment with. But, compared to the typical Apex module, I guess cheep is never an option.


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Old 03/21/2019, 04:00 PM   #269
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Thanks,

That's the old version, here is the new one

Thanks for sharing


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Old 06/12/2019, 10:03 PM   #270
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It's been a while since I have posted anything, I figured that it's time to do some sort of update. The tank has been on the slow path to stocking with live stock. For a long time the only fish that I had in there was small fish, and most weren't herbivores, so the algae got way out of hand. Hair algae was at least 6-9" tall and I couldn't even see the rock. It looked like I had a fresh water planted tank, Having almost every issue under the sun with QT, I'm finally starting to see the fruits of my labor.

Here's what I have in the tank right now:

Blonde Naso


Powder Brown Tang


Fox Face (doesn't like his picture taken)


Solar Wrasse (my wife's favorite)

If you look on the left there's a lubbock wrasse

Lemon wrasse (one letter away from greatness [Limon])


Purple Tang (another of my wife's favorites)


Pair of clowns (as of yesterday the male is on the other side of the tank, which I can only assume is that there might be eggs in the tank somewhere)


Lawnmower Blenny (Gramps)


Six Line wrasse (can't get him to stay still)


Not in the photo's is:
mandarin goby,
2 [of the 8] chromis,
& Diamond Goby

I also have 3 more fish in the QT:

Hippo tang
Copperband butterfly
Hawkfish

I also had a powder blue and yellow tang but they didn't make it through the QT process. Funny that those 2 fish have been in every reef tank that we ever had, and to not have them in this set up feels weird.
The tank isn't completely stocked yet, there are a few other fish that we want.

Back to the algae problem, the tangs made short work of the algae, it look less than 2 days for them to completely rid the rock of all of it. I was extremely pleased with their work ethic.


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Old 06/12/2019, 10:05 PM   #271
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All the while I have been slowly stocking the tank with little frags of SPS and LPS coral which means that I had to start watching and maintaining alk and calc.

My intentions from the beginning was to have a calcium reactor supplying the essentials to the tank but every time I got around to take inventory and get everything needed it would fall by the wayside and I'd kick the can down the road. In the mean time I was relying on 2 part dosing and kalkwasser to maintain the levels but it always seemed that I'd forget to refill one or the other and the alk would swing stressing the corals to the point that they stop growing get burnt tips or they stn.

Now that I have a few coveted coral in my tank I needed to kick myself in the butt and get the CaRx on line and get stabilityin the tank. So, today I got up early and got started. The good thing is that with all my procrastination and failures to start, I had accumulated all the pumps, parts and plumbing needed to get it going. I just needed to put it all together.

I know this is a lot over kill but I have a Vectra S1 supplying water to the reactor. I made a manifold with 2 other ports just in case I needed something to flow water through in the future.



Being that this is my first time incorporating a CaRx I did a lot of research trying to use the most up to date practices to get it right. I leaned a lot on @tmb (Tom) experience, It didn't take much convincing to set it up so that the Vectra will pressurize the reactor and using the peristaltic pump on the backside to regulate the flow out the effluent.





Up there on the top is the DIY peristaltic pump. I calibrated it for this configuration and have it constantly running at 20ml per minute. I also programmed the Apex to control the pH inside the reactor to run between 7.03-7.08.

Hopefully this will give me a good starting point, I tested the effluent after the pH dropped to 7.03 and the c02 solenoid cycled 3 times and it was 9.3.

Hopefully that is a good starting point, now comes the constant testing to dial it in.


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Old 06/12/2019, 10:09 PM   #272
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Some tank shots.














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Old 06/27/2019, 11:32 AM   #273
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Nice, bommie style aquascape. Plenty of room for the fish to swim, and corals to grow.


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