Controller for maintaining nutrient mix/levels

Has anyone deployed a controller/EC probe/peristaltic pump hydroponic controller?

There’s several commercial ones that’d work in a small scale grow, but they’re aimed higher in the market ($2000 for a controller & 3 pumps). (See, e.g., Bluelab Pro Controller)

There’s also several open source projects to do this, aimed at hobbyists and engineers using rPi or Arduino. (See, e.g., Atlas Scientific)

Curious any experiences you’ve had.

For those less familiar, the idea is that the controller samples EC, and if EC is too low then it’ll add a smidge of nutrients via peristaltic pumps (in the correct ratio for the current week or whatever), measure again and repeat. I’m kind of worried about roll-your-own solutions – error conditions abound which could kill the plants.

(I already have a separate pH controller which works the same way, but just one solution and it’s easier.)

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Tagging @The_Phantom_Reefer .

I caught some closeout on Atlas Scientific gear; an EC probe & hardware, a peristaltic pump. I need at least a second pump, but hopefully I can get it working (adding just one solution) without a second pump.

Am thinking I’d need three total: one for pH base/acid, one for Jacks Part A (+ amendments), and one for Part B (+ amendments).

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I also run hydro but I use gh nutrients. I’m also taking a iot computer class and been thinking of doing a adruino self watering system seeing how blue lab is so expensive. Curious to see what others have to say on this

I’ve concluded that off-the-shelf stuff is either expensive or not precise enough – generally, I want to be smart about adding nutes vs. simply turning a pump on when EC gets low, and peristaltic pumps that have ml controls & accuracy are (cheapest) $100 ea. To interface to the pumps, you need a microcontroller of some sort (w/ I2C), then you need to interface EC reading to the uC … all of that adds up to … well, less than a fancy commercial-aimed system…

As for GH nutes, how many nute concentrates will you have? Can you mix any of them together? I use Jack’s, MKP and Agsil 16H, but only need two concentrates. Plus acid/base for pH.

See that’s what I’m still trying to figure out exactly how to incorporate all this. I run silica blast, gh micro grow bloom, cal mag plus, floralicious plus which I might stop using, also use liquid kool bloom and h202 . I was using hydrogaurd but I read better things about using h202 . Still learning the Adriuno and the coding but would love to have and affordable equivalent to the higher costly automated feeding and watering systems on the market. Us hobbyist and home growers can’t all afford expensive investments like that lol

On another forum, I read:

No idea how true that is, but it is true that GH doesn’t describe how to premix.

How do you feel about trying Jack’s?

Well each nutrient would be in its own 1 gallon container and each would get pumped into a reservoir that has airstone in it of course. Then reservoir would then pump new water into the main water source reservoir to accommodate the needed amount. I’m still kicking ideas around I’m still learning all this programming so to speak

This is what I had in mind for me (in flower; veg nutes are different, but otherwise identical):

(Where the Base is pH up)

If you were intending to pump the trio each separately, you’d need something more like

Which is to say, four peristaltic pumps. But are you using JUST the three GH, or is there other stuff too? You’d need to either mix it so you end up with the three parts only, or add more pumps ($100/ea).