From time to time we put the AquaShield to the test. We build aquaponic and hydroponic systems to be monitored and controlled by the AquaShield. With this we can have a first hand experience how our device performs in real growing environments. This time we built a small indoor hydroponic system for some tomatoes, that just outgrow their previous aquaponic system. So it is quite an interesting project, not only because the AquaShield runs a diy hydroponic grow system but also the plants that were grown in an aquaponic environment before.
We also made a video about the whole build, that you can check it down below. In the video we will show: what type of sensors we will use to monitor the whole setup, what active components we will control by the AquaShield and also how to setup the software to run the whole system automatically.
For the base of the setup we used an IKEA stand and we also used an IKEA product for the nutrient tank – what can I say, we just love IKEA products.
One of AquaShield’s main advantage is that is a monitoring AND controlling device. You can set up workflows based on the values (measured by the sensors attached to the device) and also on a time schedule.
For this particular setup we will control an LED grow light (actually it will only work as a backup, since the whole setup is surrounded by glass) and an air pump. The grow light will be switched on for 12 hours every day, but it would be also possible to create a workflow to control the grow light based on the amount of light measured by the AquaShield.
The airpump will be always switched on, but we will have the option to easily switch it off through the AquaShield app for maintenance.
We like to overengineer everything and this case is no different. We will add these sensors to this diy indoor hydroponic system:
- 2 x digital temperature sensors
- light sensor (measuring LUX)
- relative humidity of the air
- PH sensor
- EC sensor (or electrical conductivity)
- level switch sensor (installed in the nutrient tank)
With these we will able to keep the nutrient solution under continuous observation, track the PH, and electrical conductivity – both are super important to run a hydroponics setup successfully – and also the temperature of the liquid. We will also be able to monitor the water level in the tank with the installed level switch.
Thanks to these sensors, you don’t have to run tests every day. You can set up alerts based on the PH and EC and you will be alerted if the solutions quality is not right for your plants, so you can intervene immediately.
AquaShield is capable to send you emails but it is also super easy to check the application dashboard and see your system’s overall health even remotely.
Besides the PH and EC alerts we also set up an alert if the nutrient level is too low and you have to refill the tank.
NEW VERSION IS COMING SOON
AquaShield is already capable to handle complex workflows and monitoring all kind of indoor growing systems (check out all the smart features here) but now we will take this device to the next level. We are already working on the new version of AquaShield, that will be able to handle new types of sensors, like soil humidity, ammonium or nitrite sensors as well as nutrient pumps (so you will be able to build workflows to balance the PH with PH+ and PH- solutions and also to add nutrients automatically).
Sounds cool eh? Than sign up and get a 25% discount on our pre-order at the beginning of 2021!