Building on the Automated Water Change System powered by Home Assistant, I present a simplified version that anyone can set up without necessarily being a Home Assistant user. Understanding that Home Assistant might be overly complex for some, we've found a solution in readily available smart switches such as SONOFF. This enables the same level of convenience - remote switch control, scheduled weekly switch activations, and voice control - without the complexities of setting up Home Assistant.
This solution is suitable for casual fish keepers who don't maintain a large number of tanks. Simply topping off the water is not enough. Consistent water changes are necessary to ensure that the dissolved waste in the water is sufficiently diluted. Manually changing the water is more effective because you can siphon out the dirt from the bottom of the tank, but this method requires strict discipline. Many people give up after some time. Therefore, this automated water change system is a better option than not changing the water at all. If desired, you can manually siphon up the dirt from the bottom of the tank once a month, which is less taxing.
There are a few points to keep in mind regarding this system:
- The items used in the example are intended for nano tanks. To adapt the system for larger tanks, you'll need to employ a larger pump and pipe.
- It's critical that the water is removed at a rate faster than the ATO (Automatic Top Off) can replenish it.
- It's advisable to pump the water directly into a drain. If a drain isn't near the tank, you can opt to pump the water into a bucket. However, this adds a layer of complexity as you'll need to ensure the bucket doesn't overflow.
In addition to its smart control feature, this design offers several other benefits:
- It doesn't occupy much space, offering a very compact solution.
- The system is affordable and easy to build, without the need to drill holes or deal with complex external overflow designs.
- It presents very low risk. If the pump fails, it merely halts the water change process, unlike an external overflow system where a siphon failure could result in water spilling out of the tank.
- There's no continuous water flow noise. It operates with very low noise, and only when the pump is running for a short period, unlike overflow systems that create constant water flowing noise.
- The system ensures low water wastage as it only changes water on demand, not continuously like an overflow system.
These are the items used in this project:
- SONOFF Micro
- Mini submersible water pump (USB powered)
- Suction cup
- 3/8" water filter tube
- 3/8" elbow fitting
- 3/8" tee fitting
In conclusion, the task of maintaining an aquarium requires dedication, particularly for regular water changes, but with the use of this simplified Automated Water Change System, the process becomes significantly more manageable. This system, utilizing easily accessible tools like SONOFF smart switches, combines convenience with efficiency, effectively reducing the risk of system failure, noise, and unnecessary water waste. By simplifying and automating a typically demanding process, this solution makes it easier to maintain a beautiful aquarium, even for beginners or those with limited time for tank maintenance. This innovation effectively demonstrates how smart home technology can be integrated into all areas of our lives, including our fish tanks.