Typhon/Hydra/Jarduino/Meepduino? Need Lunar & Temp Control


New member
I have spent hours trolling through the various threads on DIY arduino-based controllers and I think I have completely twisted my brain into a knot. There are many options our there, which is a good thing, however many of these threads have died, some projects look to be completely abandoned, etc. Here are a few I have been reading up on:

(code last updated in 2011)

http://code.google.com/p/jarduino-a...e=JARDUINO USER MANUAL v1.2 beta.pdf&can=2&q=

Meepduino 1.6

This one combines some of the above projects and then begins another:
(Another) DIY LED Controller - Simple Arduino Style

These are all a bit overwhelming, especially because the first posts have not been edited to provide the latest status on the projects, code, board files, etc.
I have quite a bit of EE experience, especially with microcontrollers, arduinos, and various shields and communications protocols. I am definitely a noob when it comes to aquarium control, which is why I am turning to this forum for assistance in pointing me in the right direction.

I am hoping I can lay out my controller needs and ask for input from forum veterans on which direction I should focus my efforts.
Here is what I am trying to accomplish:
  • Coral tank (size YTBD)
  • Daylight LED control
  • Lunar cycle LED control (I have data for % illumination for cycle)
    (using Cree XP-E's, I've been advised to use LED's with 4400K CCT)
  • 2 Temp sensors (Waterproof DS18B20)
  • Temperature Control (heater & chiller)
  • Reporting (poll sensors, led's, report status to remote web server)
  • Alerts (email alerts for sensor and/or led errors)

I gather I will need this basic hardware to accomplish this:
  • Arduino or compatible board (MEGA2560 or other with lots of I/O)
  • Arduino power supply
  • LED's and drivers
  • driver power supply
  • LED shields
  • RTC shield
  • Temp Sensors
  • Heater
  • Chiller
  • Ethernet Shield (or possibly use an Arduino Yun with built-in Eth)
  • LCD module/shield

In sum, I am asking which of the many arduino-based projects on this forum would best suit my project goals, and for input and feedback on how I should go about this. Thank you in advance for your time!


New member
More info

More info

To add more info (and hopefully entice some replies):

We are working with a 2,200 gallon coral tank in an Aquarium (I cannot [yet] say which one). We want to mimic daylight, lunar cycles, and temperature for the native location of the coral. We are a non-profit organization and are tyring to avoid the high costs associated with a professional control system, so we are attempting this DIY approach. I also have not found a system that can accept input data on lunar cycle,etc...but I am just getting started.

I am a lowly 'IT guy' working with our aquarists to come up with a soltution. Reef Central, You're our only hope.....


New member
Not 100% DIY but the coding part can be anyways..
This can do all you want.. and is CHEAP compared to other off the shelf solutions..
I'd suggest the plus version for more memory space..
There is code for it where you can put in a long/lat and it can mimic the light schedule of that geographic location,etc.... even lightning storms/clouds,etc.. if you wish


New member
Storm X controller, not a full featured controller, mostly just lighting, with a little room to expand the code, but does geographic sunrise and sunset over 16 LED channels, clouds and lighting, along with moon light intensity changes based on moon phase. (it doesn't do moon rise and moon set though, I've never seen a controller that does for a price I'd ever consider paying) has temperature and fan controls built in. Along with a few left over pins for input and outputs for whatever you might be able to add to the code.

Reef Angel might be the best though given the public aquarium application, more features and expandability and a much bigger online following thus far.


New member
Thank you so much for the replies and suggestions! The reef angel looks like it has all the capability we would need, but it is also appears to simply be a custom Arduino Mega like the projects here. The code is open-source, so I think we could build this for less than the reef angel price point.
The Storm X controller looks even better, and has a better price point. I like that it already has lunar cycle simulation based on geolocation, and modular add-ons such as the Meanwell LDD-H driver boards (which include pull-down resistors to prevent 100% led at reset). At first glance I think this will be the option we go with. Thanks again!!


New member
Well the storm X doesn't take care of anything but your lighting...
Reef Angel (with wifi module) can control/do everything in your "accomplish" list above and much more..

Not to mention even though you are "non-profit" I'm sure your time is worth something and you will spend 10 times as much time/effort trying to "roll your own" controller.. In the end you will find that it probably costs less to buy off-the-shelf.

But of course its not nearly as fun to just buy something all done :bounce1:


Team RC
I'm in the midst of creating an Arduino controller, more or less from scratch. All you have listed is well within the capabilities of an Arduino mega. From my experience thus far, a few things to keep in mind:

How are your programming skills? Arduino is programmed in a C++ variant, so if you're not reasonably proficient writing code, something like reef angel or another ready-made solution will be your best option.

A big part of making your own controller, aside from the programming is the physical packaging. I have a basic program written and all the parts work just fine, but figuring out a way to put it together so it's protected, easy to connect/disconnect the various components and will remain functional is not trivial.

The other consideration is time. Writing and debugging a program takes time, and devising and assembling the package also takes time. Of course, for some people this is half the fun. :)