2 STAGE WIFI ENABLED WATER CHANGE SYSTEM
What it does
The benefits of a wifi enabled water change system are endless. Not only does it make the tiresome task of tank maintenance effortless, it allows for you to take longer holidays without the added concern for the welfare of your fish. An automatic W/C system allows for a more effective and sustainable use of water. Therefore decreasing the total running cost of your aquariums.
Some more benefits:
*Less power consumption
*Less water consumption
*Efficient use of time
*Ease of maintenance
*Ability to go on holidays for long periods of time.
How it works
This particular system functions with two key components an Intermittent drip system and a Drain and fill system.
An intermittent drip system relies on all tanks on a particular racking system to be plumbed to the same sump. Mains water will run through a solenoid valve to the sump of your particular system. This sump must be drilled and plumbed to a drain line which should exit you're shed or house to your garden or storm water drain as this will be your waste water.
In this situation a drain and fill system is used as a continuation of my intermittent drip system. This method functions by draining your tanks to a set water level and filling them back up to a set water level. For this to work each tank must be plumbed to its own drain line (see pic.3)
Setting up the intermittent drip system.
The first step in this process is to install a drain line. This will be the basis of your system the bigger pipe the better. In my case I used 2” dwv pvc pipe.
Next you must drill the sump, be careful not to drill too close to the surface but no lower than the top of the return pump, as the sump is required to hold a certain amount of water in the case of a pump failure or blockage. The sump can then be connected by 2 inch tank fittings. In my case i used two however more can be added depending on the size of your system and your desired flow rate.
Once the drain line is in place you can start assembling your manifold.
Your manifold will consist of a solenoid for each zone. The number of zones will depend on how many tanks you have in your system. In my case I decided to have two, one for my 4ft racking system and one for my 6ft tank. These solenoids will be connected to your mains via some tees and elbows again the amount will vary depending on the size of your system. (see pic.1)
Each zone will then run to the sump of each tank in your system.
Try and position it to run in on the opposite side of your sump, and preferably to the bottom to eliminate the loss of clean water. (See pic.2)
Setting up the Drain and fill system.
(disc: replace ball valves with solenoids or incorporate both this particular system is designed to have a manual override)
This system relies on a series of timers and will need some configuration as there are many variables to take into consideration regarding your home and location.
Firstly you must set a water level in this case I have chosen to make it half way so i will be able to effortlessly change 50% of the water in each of my tanks. These water levels will vary and multiple water levels can be setup for each tank.
I set the water level by opening the drain line and timing how long the water takes to drain to your desired water level (e.g) if it took 10 minutes to drain my tank to halfway i set this valve to open for 10 minutes. The same principal works with filling my tank if it takes 5 minutes to fill my tank then the solenoid that provides water to my tank will open for 5 minutes. (the exact requirements for your system will vary and may take some trial and error)
There are many variables that can cause this system to malfunction or overflow etc. this is why i recommend using it in conjunction with the intermittent drip system given that the sump is already drilled for the drip system it ensures there is plenty of redundancy making this system fail proof.
The next step in this process is creating a second manifold this will be used to fill the tanks individually this will ensure that no water is wasted. This manifold will have a solenoid/zone for each tank you would like to fill. e.g if i had 5 tanks I would need 5 solenoids.
The manifold will have to be connected to mains however this time each solenoid will go to a separate tank. E.g solenoid labeled zone three will go to tank three same with zone 4 etc. (see pic.4)
(disc: ball valves can be added for manual override but are not essential)
Wiring the solenoids
The process of wiring the solenoids is perhaps the simplest of the steps.
Each solenoid will come pre wired with two wires consisting of your common wire and your zone wire that leads to each zone on your irrigation controller. The common wires for each solenoid should all be wired together and one wire from each solenoid should be wired to its designated zone. (more detailed instructions can be found on your controllers official website or in the device manual)
The intermittent drip system must be wired to zones 1 and 2 the order of which you wire the rest of the solenoids is up to you i recommend ascending or descending numerical order.
Now the fun part begins!
First things first, you will need to download the Hunter Hydra wise app(or any app associated with your device), create an account and follow the prompts until it leaves you to select you're zones.
Disable the option for a master valve or set it to an unused zone.(see pic.7)
First things first let's configure the Intermittent drip system.
In the app label zone 1 and zone 2 as the tanks of which they fill pictures can then
be added for further cosmetic purposes. (see pic 5)
Next configure the drain and fill system. Each tank should have 2 solenoids/zones one for the tank to drain and one for the tank to fill.
These zones should be configured in ascending order label zone 3 as “Tank 1 drain” and zone 4 as “tank 1 fill” (if they are wired in this way) then repeat the same steps for zones 5 and 6 except label according to the tank there connected to e.g zones 5 and 6 will be labeled as tank 2 etc.
Now to get the timers setup i will use the same example that I had mentioned previously. The tanks take 10 minutes to drain to my desired water line and 5 minutes to fill to my desired fill line.
This means for the zones labeled as “fill” a timer should be set for 5 minutes and the zones labeled as “drain” a timer should be set for 10 minutes.
These timers should be set apart to ensure you are not filling at the same time you're tank is draining for example if you wanted the tank to drain at 9:10 you will set it to fill at 9:20 although i recommend allowing an extra 3 minutes before filling as redundancy. It should then shut off and you're water change should be complete by 9:28. These times can be altered and multiple tanks can be changed at the same time. (everything else is based on personal preferences.)
What you will need:
*Hunter wifi enabled irrigation controller I used the Hunter PRO-HC 12 station
(the amount of stations depends on how many tanks you would like to have on your system)
*you need a minimum of 1 solenoid for you're intermittent drip and 2 per tank for the drain and fill system. (I opted for 25mm solenoids with flow control solenoids without flow control can be used but a valve of sorts will be required to regulate flow.
Plenty of pvc elbows tees and pvc pipe the amount you need will depend on the size of your system and just how far you want to run it. In my case i used 24m of 20 mm PVC, 3 meters of 25mm PVC, 2x 25mm elbows, 1x 25mm tee, approx.20x 25-20mm reducing couplings, approx 50x 20 mm pvc elbows and 2x threaded 25mm valve sockets per 25mm solenoid. (ball valves can also be used if you wish to have the option for manual override)
(disc:this system works for me and my setup however i can not do the volume calculations of your setup so it may require some trial and error to get it working)