Aquarium monitoring and the ESP8266

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I really like the price point of the ESP8266 and the ease of use it offers tinkerers to add wifi to their projects and in particular the Arduino.

I have an issue with topping up from evaporation in my aquarium so I decided to hook up a system (designing a pcb and software from scratch) that not only tops up the aquarium when it’s running low, but can send me an email before its resivour is too low.

On top of that it can monitor (and log online, I’m using the temperature. One other nice thing it can do is tell me when I need to empty my protein skimmer collection cup – without having to open the cupboard door.

Here’s what the prototype looks like:


Setting up my mini research system at home

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Its a bit of a mess at the moment but this will be my home based test system where I’ll try out equipment I’ve developed including CoralCam and trial differing filtration methodologies. My plan it to fill it predominately with brooding corals. The aquarium itself is the stunning new TMC Signature which is pre-drilled and comes with a very versatile sump.



Ciseco Delivers Again – Reef Temperature Loggers

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Just before Christmas I gave Ciseco a spec of a product that would be incredibly beneficial for an expedition setting off to Chagos in the British Indian Ocean Territory this February and in record time with there office move and a whole suit of new products launching as well as EVE they sent me pictures today of the first prototype temperature data loggers. More to follow on this, but its a great spec product significantly cheaper than anything else out there..

Now I just have to figure out how to waterproof it to 30 meters!

Ciseco – everything micro electronic at the right price!/

Horniman Coral Delivery – project now underway!

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ImageSo you may have read the abstract (here) I jointly presented with Jamie Craggs at the Horniman museum at the RCUK convention this year, well the project is now well underway with the first corals having arrived today!

Horniman Blackout!

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ImageToday the research system was blacked out as part of the environmental control project we are working on. This uses technology to control the temperature and moonlight and as such we don’t want any external interference from the moonlight shining through the window so Jamie Craggs the Aquarium Curator at the Horniman Museum came up with this – looks fab!

Reef Mapping – An automated GPS enabled remote control boat mapping system

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ImageAt RCUK I saw a very interesting talk about classifying coral reefs by the corals that live there and the traits they posses. It was very interesting and knowing the method currently used to map reefs – a bucket with a glass bottom I invested in spending some of my own time looking how to take photos and use a grid mapping system to do that, here is the beginning of that project – “an automated GPS enabled remote control boat mapping system”, I hope to update this blog shortly with some progress!

RCUK – Using marine microprocessor technologies and environmental sensors to investigate environmental spawning cues of scleractinian corals in captivity.

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This is one of a series of projects I entered an abstract and poster for at the Reef Conservation UK Conference this year, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work on this project.

Using marine microprocessor technologies and environmental sensors to investigate environmental spawning cues of scleractinian corals in captivity. A collaboration between the Horniman Museum & Gardens & ZSL Conservation Programmes
J, Craggs1, Gary Fletcher2

The ex-situ settlement and growth of sexually produced coral planula larvae has great potential as a technique that can aid coral reef restoration efforts and provide a supply of highly sustainable cultured corals for the aquarium industry. The precise environmental cues that trigger corals to spawn in captivity however remain largely unknown. Taking advantage of the latest marine microprocessor technologies and environmental sensors, this investigation aims to better understand these spawning cues in captivity and will investigate the influences of the lunar cycle, diurnal changes, seasonal temperature changes and nutritional input on gamete production and release.
Through this work it is proposed the development of an underwater detection camera to track releasing of gametes from broadcast spawners and planula in brooding corals enabling remote observation possibilities in the future.