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Aquaponics is a system that combines the conventional aquarium type aquaculture with hydroponics( plant cultivation in water) creating a symbiotic environment. It creates a ecolocogical system in which the excreations from the fish serves as a nutrient for plants, helping the plants to grow and also, the plants intaking the waste of the fish, thus cleaning the water regularly and recirculating to the aquaculture.
This type of system is becoming a lexicon for many people , but the main limitation being, non-availability of electronic system for continuous monitoring and control. Thus, this project is the beginning step in order to enable people build their own monitoring systems.
AMACS stands for Aquaponics Monitoring And Control System, which could be a one step standalone solution to take care of your aquaponic system by continous control, monitor and maintenance of an aquaponic system which is made using PSoC Analog Co-processor ARM M0+. It monitors the environmental conditions, and other factors like pH, conductivity and Temperature of water, Flow rate of water, water level in the pool and in the grow bed etc.,. based on which it autonomously controls the water levels and pH levels , early prediction of failure cases, and give alerts in case of failures like instability of quality of water, requirement of change of water, electricity cut off and water shortage.Parameters to be taken care of:
- Water level in both aquaculture and hydroponic tanks.
- pH of water
- Temperature of Water
- Turbidity / TDS of water
- Flow rate
- Ambient conditions
pH and Turbidity are the main parameters that are to be monitored continuously, and based on variation of these parameters, the alert will be generated if the reading goes beyond the system's tolerances.Building of the Basic Aquaponics systems:
The basic aquaponics system was build as shown in the image and we request you to work on your own model of the system.
In our system, we created the growbed using a big plastic container which is on the top and we purchased a custom dimension aquarium tank made out of glass which is placed below.
The basic system contains a mechanical bell siphon filter at the hydroponics bed and a water pump inside the aquarium, which enables recirculation of water with other particles and thus, enhancing the symbiotic environment.
We built a bell siphon filter on the grow bed in order to solve few of the fundamental problems of the aquaponics system like:
- Making a water outlet at the bottom rather than from the top, but at the same time to maintain a minimum water level.
- Create a simple mechanism for draining of water for maintenance
- Avoid impurities/poop falling back to the aquarium.
The image above shows the content of bell siphon filter. It is pretty simple and is used in out growbed for maintaining the water levels.Sensor Integration
Now, it is time to integrate all the sensors and in the system.
Lets put all the sensors inside the system first. There are few things you need to take care of in positioning of the sensors. Do not place the temperature sensor near the heater. Place the pH sensor away from all other sensors. The turbidity sensor would be effective if you place to close to the water pump. As there is enough circulation of water near by which can help us to get accurate result.
Place the Ultrasonic sensor on any of the corner where you think there won't be any interferences other than water. And mount it to the surface using a double tape.
Left top: pH combined electrode sensor; Center top: Heater; Right top (circular): TDS sensor; Left Bottom inside water: DS18B20(Temperature sensor); Left bottom corner: HC-SR04(Water level sensor)
The only sensor that is placed in the growbed is the water level sensor. You can see that I have placed the water level sensor just beside the water pump. You can place it anywhere you want. But make sure, it does not have any obstacles like rock. Check if it can see and read the water level properly before fixing.
Left circular pipe: Bell Siphon filter; Left bottom corner: Water level sensor;
Also you could be able to see water inlet at the right side of the bed. All these sensors are wired and connected to PSoC Analog Coprocessor in the specific pin definition done in Design Wire Resources Pins assignment GUI.
We don't want to show the wiring that we have done in detail as it is very shabby and also there are complications. All you need to do is connect Vss of every sensor to Vss of Board and GND to GND and signal pins to the specific pin definitions made in the firmware. In this we have powered the Board using a 5V DC output adapter.Firmware Programming
A simple firmware has to be implemented in which various sensor communication protocols are needed to be incorporated so that the readings are done and decision are taken by the controller.
Below is a list of various signal protocol of various sensors that we have used.
- pH sensor : Analog
- Water leverl measurement sensor: Digital Echo and Trig pins.
- Turbidity Sensor : Analog
- Temperature Sensor : 1-wire protocol
You can get download our version of the firmware from the repository and program the device.
Note: I will leave the GPIO pins unconnected in the Design Wire Resources. Request you to allocate and later build the firmware and connect all the sensor inputs accordingly.Alert mechanism
The main purpose of the project cannot be achieved without planning about this final step. In case of any unstableness in the system like change in pH of water beyond a safetly factor, water shortage in the system and too much of impurities due to some instability in symbiotic ecosystem , an alert has to be generated. In my case we have used a buzzer which is connected to the breadboard and the buzzer is triggered in case if the environmental conditions are beyond a certain point. This is optional if you want the system for data logging purpose.Data Logging
The sensor data is streamed through Rx and Tx pins of MCU. I request you to hook up you TTL Rx and Tx to pins respectively. I am using Pin P4 for rx and pin P4 for tx from PSoC.