reef-pi is a DIY reef aquarium controller based on Raspberry Pi. It eases maintaining reef aquariums by automating day to day reef keeping chores.  Reef aquariums are saltwater aquariums with live corals. Keeping corals alive in the captive environment requires precise lighting,  strong water movement, and more stable water chemistry (salinity, pH, calcium etc) than fish-only marine aquariums.

A nano reef tank (29 gallon), powered by reef-pi

The controller software runs on Raspberry Pi and uses ancillary electronics for all of its functionality. It's a modular controller and can be configured to run only a small set of features. Due to the open nature of the project, it's also easier to adopt reef-pi electronics to accommodate new or custom hardware (pumps, lights etc). This is the first guide in reef-pi series which provides an overview of the controller software features, installation process and finally testing it with some common electronics (LED dimming, etc.) . Though reef-pi projects main goal to automate reef aquariums, it can be useful in freshwater aquariums or even general purpose equipment control (e.g. a web-enabled powerstrip or building a Christmas lighting setup, etc.)

Following is a list of features reef-pi provides (also called as modules):

  1. Equipment control. On-demand or periodically using timers.
  2. Salinity control, by detecting water level and when it falls below a threshold (due to evaporation) pour fresh water into the tank.
  3. Temperature control. Monitoring tank temperature and switching on/off heater and chillers to maintain it within a range. Alert if temperature goes outside the specified temperature range.
  4. Light simulation. Simulate diurnal cycle, lunar cycle and other means of sunrise to sunset simulation using LED lights.
  5. pH control, continuous monitoring of tank pH , control equipment and dosing based on thresholds and alert if it goes beyond a specified range.
  6. Automated dosing. Periodically add chemical reagents (e.g. calcium & alkalinity supplements) or liquid food in the tank.
  7. Macro. Automate multi-step reef keeping workflows such as water change.

All in one (multiple modules) controller based on reef-pi. 

All in one (multiple modules) controller based on reef-pi

reef-pi dashboard, configured with different the modules, where each module is represented as individual tabs. 

This guide was first published on Sep 12, 2018. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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