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Re: Software etc.

>Does anyone know where I can find good freeware/shareware software to
>keep track of a freshwater aquarium.  The ones I've found are not great
>and/or aimed almost entirely at saltwater tanks.  I would love to be
>able to track all my readings electronically and have it generate some
>graphs, and perhaps help me figure out what would be the best fertilizer
>to add/how much to add.  If not, I'll probably start my own little
>project to do so in a php/mysql/rrdtool based app.  Anyone interested in
>helping? ;-)

The only stuff I know of is for the Aquacontroller, and it's not cheap when 
you price the entire system.

If you want to write some software to make it nice (sounds like you're 
probably a linux guy too with the php/mysql/rrdtool stuff) I can help you 
with some hardware. I already have an 8-channel 12 bit resolution A/D 
converter that I built several years ago to allow me to read temperature 
sensors from a serial port. It uses a PIC microcontroller and a few misc 
parts, probably about $30-40 in parts to build one. No big deal to modify 
the design a little to allow 8 analog inputs that could be conditioned to 
read temp and pH sensors, and 4 digital outputs to turn things like lights 
and heaters on/off. Right now it has 8 analog inputs and 4 digital "alarm" 
inputs (original design reads temperature sensors in a data center and 
sends alarms if the rack doors are opened). Easy to modify. I use MRTG and 
a perl script to read data from the device.

>Additionally, you guys are again talking about PMDD.  Aside from the
>epson salts, what are the generic names of all these ingredients and
>where can I get my grubby hands on them?!

There is a whole bunch about this on the Krib. The chemical formulas in 
most cases *are* the names of the products when you buy from a chemical 
supply house, you just need to know how to pronounce things like KNO3 
(potassium nitrate) and such.

>Another Q: has anyone tried the M3 Co2 bundle regulator/selenoid/needle
>valve product?  If you haven't seen it, check it out:
>Or would I be better off getting the parts individually?  I also wonder,
>since there is a lot of agitation in my tank (overflow to wet/dry) is
>this going to be a huge problem injecting CO2?  I won't mind refilling a
>5lbs cylinder more often then without the overflow, but will it
>completely disrupt the levels of CO2 in the tank?

If you have an open wet dry I think you'd have difficulty keeping CO2 
levels up. I've heard of people enclosing the units to keep the CO2, but 
I'm not sure if that's all that worthwhile to do. You might want to modify 
your filter so that you don't have as much agitation. I think it was George 
Booth who wrote an article (or might have been a serious of posts) about 
using CO2 with a wet dry. Try the archives and his site that is linked from 
the Krib in the "Plant People" section.

>I'd bet I'm a lazy fool and this has been discussed, help a newb ;-)

I've had a fully automatic water change system designed for some time now 
that will automatically mix a batch of change water with fertilizer and 
dechlor, empty a known amount of water from a tank, and then fill the tank 
with the premixed change water. Haven't had a chance to actually build it 
yet though :-(



Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator