• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

Tank automation?

Do you have the whole shooting match (apologies to Dick Cheney) setup with the X10 outlets or are you just checking out the software?

There are quite a few people at RC who do stuff like this, although most of them go pretty hard-core, programming their own controllers and interfaces. I've heard that the X10 isn't terribly reliable and that sometimes won't work because of interference.

I'd really like to do something like this, but I'm going to wait until I own a home and can build an in-wall power panel.

Ha Ha!!!! Sorry, no I don't have the whole shabang yet, but am considering the hardware that they are adversertising on their sites. Just checking out the software for now. Ditto on the home ownership here too, but the prospect of a small module and a dedicated computer is pretty tantalizing.
The nice thing is you don't need a dedicated computer, you could check in from the office, where-ever you can install the software. Some people write javascripts so you can control from a website without having to have software installed. I spent three weeks away from the tanks this Christmas with a neighbor kid looking over them. I would have slept better with a system like this (plus a webcam!).

There are a lot of different commercially-available controller boards for aquariums, but this one is particularly tempting to me because it uses off-the-shelf hardware. If you're interested, you might post the link on RC and I'm sure you'll get plenty of opinions and info on the competitors.

To be completely honest, however, I wonder how much utility these are for ceph-keepers, since our systems have a lot less we need to keep in equilibrium than reefers. If we see our pH changing from our office, we don't have kalk reactors we can turn on, etc.

I think techno-overkill might be the exact phrase to use, I tend to over do it a bit. The trial software version is for 30 days, and I'm going to keep notes, and see how it feels. I'll keep y'all posted.

Overkill isn't always a bad thing...Keeping an octopus could be called overkill. If we enjoy setting up and tinkering with the automation, that's reason enough to do it.

With projects like this we should also remember the immortal words of Mr. Scott: "The more you tech-up the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."


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