Sunday, October 16, 2011


The following is a labor of love to build a saltwater aquarium that looks great, but also doesn't require as much maintenance as a typical fish tank by using automation powered by Arduino.  I originally posted this blog back in 2011, but have recently updated it in 2017 with a few more pieces of information.  It's still online, and definitely in the same place since it's so heavy I have no plans of moving it!

The video below provides a overview of the tank, but the details are in the pages of this blog, so please check those out! 

At the time of building the project I wanted my Arduino to control both my heater and chiller.  For those power demands it was important to have power strips that were rated with high amperage because both of those devices can consume a lot of power.  I went with DJ power panels that were rated for 15amps, and also included built in fuses in the event there was ever a problem with something plugged in.  

Below you can see two of these power strips facing out of one of the cabinet doors.  Power switches mounted like these have been very handy for maintenance over the years.  Every time I do a cleaning or water change, I just flip off the return pump, skimmer, wave power heads, auto-top off, and lights in one easy to access location.  In this blog I show how I modified these power strips to include solid state relays so the power can be controlled by the Arduino microcontroller.

The black box below is my "project box" for the Arduino aquarium controller.  There is much more on the actual controller itself and how I prepared the box to house the controller on other pages of the blog, plus my thoughts on what I learned along the way and would do differently if I were to build a new tank.

If you are ready to jump into the guts of the controller I suggest you move on to the Controller page, or maybe you are more interested in the software that runs everything on the Source Code page.

Other Rojects

Roger + Project = Roject (my wife's equation)