IAquaDesk - IoT Enabled Aquaponics Using Intel Galileo(Intel IoT)

Introduction: IAquaDesk - IoT Enabled Aquaponics Using Intel Galileo(Intel IoT)

Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic creatures supplies the nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. An ecosystem where plants and fish help each other to thrive.

IoT enabled aquaponics helps to constantly monitor and analyze the conditions of fish and plants, Take automated corrective actions to balance the variations based on data from the internet and learnings from the collected data to maximize the yield and reduce risks and manual intervention. The Solution gives a complete realtime overview of the various parameters collected from system like Temperature, PH, soil moisture, O2 content etc.The user can control the various systems like heaters, lights and fish feeders remotely using the app. All the collected Data can be analyzed to get an insight into the growth as well as the Energy/systems utilizations.

iAquadesk is an IoT enabled interactive desktop Ecosystem to form as a proof of concept for the above mentioned approach for Aquaponics, while being Educative and adding Asthetic Beauty to your home or workplace. The system was completely designed to make it be viable as a home decor that makes Aquaponics reach to the masses.

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Step 1: The Build, the Technology, the Things

The Build:

Its a self designed, handmade open bottom aquarium made of acrylic that beautifully demonstrates the physics of atmospheric pressure and has a plant grow bed balcony below the cantilever beam containing water.

The technology:

The Entire IoT infrastructure is powered by the Intel Galileo platform that collects data from the sensors deployed and pushes it to the Intel Enable IoT cloud where the data is monitored actively and alerts are sent out on rule violation. The system also sports a cross platform mobile Application that has realtime sensor data monitoring as well as manual controls to all of the systems. The auto function automatically monitors and takes corrective actions based on data from the internet.

The things:

  1. Intel Galileo board
  2. Sensors: temperature , Light, humidity
  3. Actuators: DC water Pump, Led lights(12v Strips), Relays,Peltier Heater, mini servo motor
  4. Aquarium, Growbed , Aqua clay/ white ceramic rings,Mat sponge
  5. Grove starter kit https://software.intel.com/en-us/iot/devkit (Optional, will make life easy)

Step 2: The Aquarium and Grow Bed

The build in this instructable is an open bottom aquarium with an unique cantilever beam that sports the fishes swimming above the plants, but you could simply build any type of aquarium or upgrade your existing one.

The Aquarium is built using transparent acrylic sheets. you could build with the dimensions that match your desktop or living room. the one in the images is built to be of around the size of an ipad, that would fit well on your desk beside your laptop.

  • Cut the acrylic sheets according to your design
  • Temporarily fix the sheets in pairs using a tape and apply acrylic cement
  • wait for the acrylic cement to harden and add another coat of silicon sealant

To learn more on building an aquarium with acrylic

Once you have completed the aquarium build, test for any leaks and use the remaining acrylic sheets to build a grow bed. Make sure you create holes/outlets to the grow-bed.

Add the mat sponge to the lower layer and place the aqua-clay above it. You can add you plants to this layer.

Add piping from the grow-bed to the aquarium where you will place your dc pump.

The grow bed needs to be above the water opening so that the filtered water can run down, be creative and you can create a beautiful waterfall.

Step 3: Adding I to the AquaDesk

Now that the basic structure of the aquaponics setup is ready, Lets make it IoT enabled.

Connect the Seed grove kit board to the Galileo board and add the following:

  • 4 relays
  • Soil moisture sensor
  • light sensor
  • waterlevel sensor
  • tank heater(i used a peltier here)
  • temperature sensor
  • (optional ph sensor)
  • Add the wifi module and configure wifi connectivity.

Add the Water pump to the aquarium where you placed the piping and wire the pump through a relay.

Connect the lighting above the plants and add the heater to the tank, run their wiring through another relay.

Use the soil moisture sensor to measure the water content in the growbed. Add the temperature sensor and ambient light sensor to the tank. Connect them to the seed kit.

Create a simple feeder as shown in the video below and run the wiring through the relay. you can use acrylic to build the feeder instead of the steel shown in the video.

Connect the intel Galileo board to the Intel XDK IoT edition and write javascript code to control the relays and read the values from the sensors


Start from the following samples :-


// Load mraa.js module.
var mraa = require("mraa"); //Initialize gpio 8 and 6 var myButton = new mraa.Gpio(8); var myrelay = new mraa.Gpio(6); //set input direction for button and output for relay myButton.dir(mraa.DIR_IN); myrelay.dir(mraa.DIR_OUT);

function readButton() { //if button is pressed, send HIGH signal to relay. if (myButton.read() == 1) { myrelay.write(1); } else { myrelay.write(0); } } setInterval(readButton, 10);


//Load grove module.
var groveSensor = require('jsupm_grove'); //Initialize temperature sensor class on Aio #1 var temp = new groveSensor.GroveTemp(1); console.log(temp.value());

Use the Intel Enable IoT cloud to store all the recorded data from the sensors


Write an app using the intel XDK to connect to the board and actuate the relays.

Start with the HTML5 companion app, you can use the data from the cloud stored earlier to plot all the historical readings. Also derive metrics related to the tank. The samples also show the socket communication examples, use them to actuate the relays. Find the screenshot of the app built for iAquadesk. the possibilities are endless.

Use the app to remotely monitor and control the system.

The working E2E iAquaDesk:

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    4 Discussions

    Woah the system looks awesome and like it's going to work perfectly. Not to mention how cool it is that you made your own tank!