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Monitoring and control of a marine ecosystem in an aquarium

McCann, Joshua (2015) Monitoring and control of a marine ecosystem in an aquarium. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Research has shown that marine ecosystems are not only complex but also extremely difficult to replicate. Reef aquarists aim to replicate these marine ecosystems within aquariums in their homes, for the aesthetic beauty of such coral reef tanks. To assist aquarists in the task of maintaining environmental parameters in their tanks, a number of control and monitoring systems have been created through the advancement of embedded systems.

The project, that this thesis is based on, involves the development of a control and monitoring system for a marine ecosystem sustained within an aquarium. The aim for the system was to control and monitor water parameters not yet considered by existing systems, in turn improving the stability of the ecosystem and reducing maintenance of the aquarium.

As a part of this report, significant research was undertaken to assess existing systems and further understand the important water parameters necessary for marine ecosystems.

The main focus of this thesis was to outline the approach, design and implementation of the control and monitoring system. This includes details on the systems selected features including:

Control and monitoring of pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Temperature and Salinity.
Control of realistic lighting.
Control and monitoring of system parameters, water levels, pumps and other equipment.
HMI interface for easy monitoring.

To facilitate these features a PiLeven microcontroller has been programmed as a master device and performs all control and monitoring functions along with the communication to slave sensors. Additionally a Raspberry Pi microprocessor was utilised as the computer interface enabling the programming of the microcontroller and HMI for monitoring. At the completion of this thesis all aspects of the control and monitoring system are considered complete aside from the control of the pH and Salinity. Despite this the control and monitoring system was effectively implemented and is ready to house a marine ecosystem.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Cole, Graeme
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