Aquaponics Software Idea | ATAG

Aquaponics Software Idea | ATAG

The School of Aquaponics

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The School of Aquaponics


What do you think?


Written by The School of Aquaponics

We are here to push the movement of aquaponics in a forward direction. Our primary focus is help you in your adventure with aquaponics by providing you with the highest level of information. Aquaponics is still in its infancy and we predict that it will be the go to method of farming by many families and urban farmers. Our job is to ensure that they are taught correctly.

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  1. I'm going to have to watch this video again to understand everything. Software to make aquaponics easier to monitor would be great and I'm sure very much appreciated by all who farm this way. My brain hurt trying to comprehend this…smh

  2. I think the Arduino / Rpi solution is the way to go. I've loaded Node-RED IoT control software on my Rpi and I think this would be a good platform to start with. (It is apparently pre-installed on newer Debian OS versions.) Just my opinion, but standardizing on Node-RED eliminates a lot of 'framework' time for me, so I can focus on sensor interfaces and aquaponics specific features. For sensors, I have wasted some time with these cheap sensors that appear inconsistent over time, sometimes a very short time. I'm a SW guy, not hardware, but it seems like with the cheap sensors I'm maybe getting a lot of electrical interference on the serial ports. For me, personally, I'm planning to pay more and use the Atlas Scientific sensors that will remove the compatibility headache. It's worth it to me to use equipment (sensors) that are proven to work, then I can concentrate on the Node-RED flow logic where there is more value, IMO. The architecture I'm using is inherently distributed, but with one or more Rpis in the middle running MySql will be relatively painless since Node-RED already has an interface for it. Anyway, my 2 cents.
    Ultimately, I'd like to replicate a 1/2 size UVI system where I am in NC, but I have more learning to do on the end-to-end business functions (produce distribution, certifications, AG regulations, etc.) before I commit;)

  3. I comprehensive software that sends notifications with suggestions for solutions such as when the PH dips below the desired levels it sends suggestions like, Check nutrient saturation, etc and also a software that gives advice on harvest etc. BTW your web cam is a good Idea as well.

  4. I'm currently running a small system to Iron out issues and get accustomed to growing with this type of system. Once we get it down we'll be expanding to a commercial system. So I personally agree with the Aquaponics god on what should be included in your software. Your cannabis plant will need red light for flowering and 0 blue light unless you want a hermaphrodite plant.

  5. Danny I think you are doing great. There are a lot of stuff that needs to be added to your software, and i am sure i will be one of your clients when your software is ready!

  6. Where do we submit ATAG questions? I would like to know why the biological filter is typically kept separate from the sump tank. Is it simply for ease of operation and/or construction? It seems like it would simplify construction and minimize the footprint of the build to put the biological filter media (hydroton, gravel, etc) in the sump tank. Also, why isn't sand typically used as a biological filter media?

  7. Brooklyn LOVE the vids man! Do you know of any simulation programs? I would love to design something and run it through the program to see what kind of yield I could get. Water and nutrients levels. yada yada yada. AQUAPONICS is just blowing my mind! Thanks for putting the education out here.

  8. Good initiative. Like the God of Aquaponics said, it is important to do you market research. Find out how much people would be willing to pay for your software. I would like to suggest that you add sms/app notification to notify should there be extreme circumstances should the farmer be far. Since you will have the water depth sensor, you could also add as an option to have water top up concept i.e. when water in the system is lost due to transpiration and evaporation, the system could top up water automatically provided the user has an extra sump with more or less optimum or similar characteristics water in the system. Consider auto feeding system also.

  9. i would like a software to have those parameters as well as tds and conductivity and turbidity. and for the software to have different species optimal ranges in there and alerts when optimal ranges are not reached. or a way to set your own ranges with alerts through the software. and make sure all the sensors are below the lowest the drain and fill line except for your water level sensor.

  10. I was eagerly waiting for a system like Danny is my idea we should be able to connect our laptop to a electronic board from where all the connections to the sensors are given . so that we have complete control plus motorization of the aquaponics system. including the pumps

  11. How about an app that sends you a text when your fish are about to die.

    It's good to be able to monitor your system when you're far away. But if there's an alarm that reaches out, that allows the grower to relax.

  12. Excellent! Modeling software. he has good knowledge in Aquaculture Engineering, Also Water and Wastewater engineering, there are three software on the way of the market, Here the link (1)
    He can try SWMM, EPA Net, HEC-RAS, Pond fish modeling softwere, Which is free. EPA, NOAA, USGS,
    I will request hime review 1 and 2 , We congratulated him. to come this point

  13. Hi everyone, I was going to say what you have said in this video, however, would it be a good idea to separate every different parts for the system. What I mean is, if you are working on a software for big enterprises, then I would suggest developing the software for every different parts of the enterprise, if they have 6 different types of grow beds (NFT, DWC, Dutch buckets, etc…)I would have 6 different parts on the software for each of them with all the parameters involved in aquaponics, especially the prerequisite ones for each of these. You may want to separate every parts of an aquaponic system that is independent (not related to the next part aside by being joined by the pipes and the water.), what I mean is have a window for the sum tank, every different grow beds, every different filters (be it UV, clarifiers, trickle etc…) as well as the pumps (electricity consumption, water flow, etc..). planting and harvesting as well as parameters for the plants growth for example. What do you think?

  14. Thanks Brooklyn! Really appreciate all the feedback and I think that sets me in the right direction. I'll definitely grab an EC sensor, the overall nutrient level seems like a good idea to see. Would this also pick up algae levels and other things in the water or just the straight nutrients the plants need? I've heard a lot of hydroponics growers use this but, with the extra "nastiness" of our water, didn't know if that would be a reliable reading. The problem with my fish tank is it's so small that the pH sensor has to sit pretty much next to the dump point. I've done more research on the sensor and it uses Lithium ions to attract the hydrogen ions in the water and determine the electrical potential between two wires. I'm wondering if it's such a fast flood and drain that every time it drains it attracts a lot of these hydrogen ions and the sensor doesn't have time to settle out between the next dump and it looks like I have a lower and more unstable pH. When I test with my API kits, I'm at a 6.8 so I'll have to figure out a better averaging while I store my metrics or straight up just get a better sensor and try that out.

    Definitely ripping off the foam filter right away on that tank! That thing was getting clogged and making my bell siphon stop working so really glad to hear that's a bad idea. I was going to try anything to not to have to clean out that tank…such a pain to get in and out of that closet. Definitely going to have to re-engineer my plant layout, thanks for being straight up with me on that. I might go to a mainly lettuce/smaller leafy stuff for my closet system and call it a day. We're spec'ing out the room for the basement grow (we were actually just waiting for your responses here so thanks for the quick video response!) and should have that set up in the next few months.

    Also, thank you everyone so far for checking out the site and giving me recommendations. I was hoping to use a log in system with with google or facbook OAuth2 so I didn't have to worry as much about authentication and take care of authorization in my PHP code. It is SSL encrypted with a signed certificate through LetsEncrypt. Highly recommend them. And yes, it is PHP/MariaDB on the backend and JQuery/Flot graphs on the front end using AJAX as the interface between the two.

    Really glad to hear what sensors should be used and it would be super helpful if anyone has experience with any specific sensors. I was hoping to save some money and hear from experience what brand sensors work well out in the field. Also, I am really liking the subscription based idea and doing a software as a service (SaaS) model. Everything is either open source or written by myself so figured that would be the cheapest operating cost route to start out. Seems like it would work well if I had a few local growers I could personally work with and be the central server upload points for them all. There's a lot of new "grow ops" here in Massachusetts (mostly hydro) since the law passed and a lot of people that don't know what they're doing starting out. Thanks again Brooklyn and all you aquaponic mortals!

  15. Hey Danny good start. If I were you I would tingle around with what I have now like with my current setup of the aquaponics. Taking ppl suggestion now would be too early. 
    Ph reading going low and high does not seem to be true or maybe the sensor is getting dry at some point. Water O2 is good to know for the fish.
    One thing I had in mind was controlling the water pump and the aeration pump there by saving electricity. Switching on the aeration at max during the Day and lowering it with speed of the aerator using phase control during the night. Same goes for the water pump. Add a shunt to monitor the electrical devices to monitor if one of them goes off.

  16. For the sensor input, maybe make them optional as not everyone will need all the available sensors. Also, maybe consider offering it as a subscription based service where the farmer has a local pc collecting the data and uploading it to their online account that they could access anytime. Lastly, a dashboard could be helpful to give a birds eye view if all is good or something might be heading towards a problem range.

  17. Hello,

    System portion:
    My ideal system would have the Pi be the central server and host the data and interface with arduino(s) to collect the data from the sensors. The Pi can be configured to look for software updates that might be part of a premium package option. Sensors would be pH, humidity, temperature (waterproof with an option to add extra so people can decide how many they want), light senor, and flow rate sensor. Arduino communiates via wifi to Raspberry pi so users can decide where they want the sensors, all they need to do is power the Pi in a central location, and get power to where they want the sensors. Arduino with modular capability so I can buy huidity and temperature sensors today and add more temperature sensors and a light sensor in 6 months from now.

    Should provide the ability to control relays for turning on/off fans, etc depending upon criteria. (If temp1 > 80, output 1 = high)

    I really like working with AmCharts. ( It handles large amounts of data and is super configurable so that would definitely be part of the solution for me.

    Access via reactive webpage for PC and mobile (for remote monitoring while away).

    Configurable notifications to be sent via pushbullet/sms/email/etc based on sensor levels.

    Arduino and Amazon AWS to get around most of the local network security issues?

    Configurable growbed layout (with media type) and what is planted where.

    Business portion:
    Building the electronics portion of a project like this is just beginning. In addition to the marketing/selling as has already been mentioned there is the support portion. The commercial growers will be willing to spend lots of money but will require very quick turnaround time. The hobby growers wont be willing to pay as much, but wont require instant support, but can be just as demanding in other types of support. Things will need to be pretty much plug and play so users cant mess it (though some will find a way), and if something breaks you can ship them a new XYZ sensor that they can plug in and not have to disassemble/solder/etc.

    From what I can see and the little bit of experience I have with it the large commercial growers are going to purchase a high end system that most of it would already be available through standard greenhouse control systems. The bulk of what is being discussed is available in two packages. One commercial solution would control the plant side of things, and other would control the fish side. The main benefit of the solution being discussed here is it would be an all in one package. The hobby user with a single IBC tote is probably not going to be able to justify an electronics system that costs 400-500 dollars (arduino, pi, handful of sensors, and a case) when their entire setup might have cost less than 300 dollars. So the large hobby growers or the small commercial growers seem like they would be the target market. How many of them are there is the million dollar question.

    Existing Projects:
    Below are some links that I found for similar projects that are in various stages of development.

  18. Love the longer format video. Thanks for teaching in this format BSM! Osmobot went down this road and switched to Aquaculture-only due to lack of market for AP dedicated sensor suites.

  19. Hello Brooklyn/ Danny K.

    Here are my 2 cents (maybe a few more) on the software development project: First of all, my personal opinion is that it is not commercially viable. Here is why::

    I am a big fan of Arduino's and data science. All the sensors that you need to measure the various variables alone will cost you around 900 US$ (Good ones). That is not including a mySQL- server to store the data, not the Arduino itself, nor the purchase/ license costs for the software. So the total price for a COMPLETE monitoring system would quickly grow near $ 1,500.

    Further more there is the security. You might have your website opened up to the public on purpose, but you have a webcam-stream on there. Personally, I would not want ANYONE to have access to my home network, or be free to have a look inside my system. For a hobby grower, that could be fine, but you mentioned you want to market this to the big enterprises and they want to keep things for themselves. They might have developed proprietary processes which they don't want to share with every one.

    Then there is your public. Big aquaponics enterprises are still rather sparse (unfortunately). So your market is pretty limited and the question is: Can you sell enough units/ licenses to even recover the development costs?

    A hobby- grower will most likely see the potential. Then they see the total investment and they start develop a similar system themselves, since Arduino is a open source platform and there are a lot of tutorials available on the web. And let's face it… Hobby growers are usually pretty handy to begin with. So it wouldn't be to much of an obstacle for them.

    Like Brooklyn said, there are MANY features people would like to incorporate. A planting schedule based on location/ season. Some people would want full climate control for their greenhouse, as well as all the water variables. Revenue prognoses. Projected wear/ tear of the equipment. Maintenance of the system.

    Now. I don't want to discourage you. But before you create something with going commercial in mind… Answer the questions above. I would say: Keep developing the software, it is a great initiative. But change your focus. Do it for YOUR system. And if have a working system and people can come by and see it in action, and it serves their need, they will ask you for it.

    Features I would want the software to have? – Automatic daily flushing of the swirl filter. – Automatic top-off of evaporated water from my (prepared) water storage. – Push notification on my phone in case of an alarm. – Configurable alarms (water level, pH, water temperature, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, DO, ORB, EC). – Option to remotely shut down a particular fish tank from the system (f.e. if there is an ammonia spike, so the ammonia spike doesn't spread all over the system). – Charts of energy source used (Solar panel/ Grid/ Generator). – Fact sheet about that particular harvest (so people can actually see the conditions in which their food were grown).

    As an Arduino hobbyist, I am very interested in seeing what you come up with.

    Chris (Costa Rica)

  20. Constant monitoring of pH,EC,Temperature(Water,inside of the greenhouse, outside of the greenhouse), humidity(inside and outside of the greenhouse), levels of ammonia, nitrite & nitrate, maybe a bit too much to ask, levels of calcium, potassium and iron, PAR levels, how much shade is needed for each veggies, how many hours of sunlight etc
    Planting schedule, fish feeding schedule
    Pump failure alert system
    Flow rate of water, maybe if flow decreases it means somewhere something is clogged
    Electricity consumption by the greenhouse
    Here you go, most of my wants in one software, goodluck !!

  21. I'm working on my own code that is PHP based and targeted at the Raspberry Pi platform and renders its output in your web browser. I will end up making it open-source, but I don't know who it would actually be of use to because it would require a fair amount of electronics ability on their part.


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