SimACo – simple aquarium controller

SimACo controller logo

SimACo is the SIMple Aquarium COntroller mainly created for freshwater aquariums. But all controller’s functions can be used also in marine aquarium. My main idea was to make a simple, easily controllable, reliable and relatively cheap device which helps to make aquarium owner’s life easier. Buying separately all required fabric-made controllers for separate functions is expensive so this controller is cheaper alternative and it has all main functions required to control freshwater aquarium equipment. Controller is not overloaded with not very useful functions like camera to watch your aquarium fish in real time. This is semi-DIY controller because in order to assemble controller soldering is not needed: all boards are already soldered. You will only need to connect all parts using usual wires. More complex connection wires already comes with controller. SimACo best fits for the users which like DIY and have basic electrical and IT skills and know what the wire is:). Controller is powered from the mains, wide AC voltage is supported: 120-230V.

Controller can do many repetitive aquarium maintenance jobs:

Control LED lighting. Four channels available so you can control four different colors LEDs manually or automatically. Controller outputs 3.3V PWM signal. LEDs can not be connected directly to these outputs: for this you can use additional Mean Well LDD-XXXH driver board or MOSFET driver board. Check the details below.
In manual control mode user can turn LEDs off or on; when LEDs are on, LED brightness for each channel can be set from 0% to 100%. In automatic control mode controller can change LED brightness uniformly through a selected period of time. This means you can simulate sunrise, sunset or moonlight effects when LEDs are uniformly dimmed for example from 0% to 100%. Also LED brightness can be set to stay constant through a selected period of time. Controller has LED temperature sensor. This sensor can be attached to LED radiator. Sensor will measure radiator temperature. User can set temperature limit when controller will activate cooling fan to cool-down radiator. Also there is temperature alarm setting: when alarm limit will be reached controller will generate alarm.

Turn off/on automatically high voltage (120-230V AC) devices, like water filter, air pump, CO2 valves, aquarium fluorescent or metal halide lights etc. Eight channels available. Each channel has inbuilt separate timers which have 1 minute resolution. Timers allows to turn on/off aquarium devices several times per day. Also manual control available where you can turn on/off channels manually.

Aquarium water temperature is measured using water temperature sensor. Controller will activate water heater or cooling fan block when water temperature drops down or rises. Thus controller will support constant aquarium temperature, set by user. User can set low and high water temperature alarm limits. Controller will generate alarms when these limits will be exceeded.

Ambient temperature sensor will measure air temperature in your room where aquarium is placed.

Measure water PH and control CO2 valve if you are using one. If carbonate hardness in aquarium is stable then controller can adjust CO2 level in in the water by measuring PH level and turning CO2 valve on or off. Thus controller will support constant water PH value, set by user. Also controller can shut down CO2 at night when plants do not need it. User can set low and high water PH alarm limits. Controller will generate alarms when these limits will be exceeded.

It can automatically fertilize aquarium with liquid fertilizers using peristaltic pumps. Four types of liquid fertilizers can be dosed. User selects dosing time, dosing amount in mililiters and days at which fertilizers will be dosed. Controller automatically calculates the time needed to keep pump activated. After dosing fertilizers amount left in containers is calculated. Each type of fertilizer can be dosed automatically up to 24 times per day. Also manual dosing available: select fertilizer type, dosing amount and press button “Start manual dosing” – fertilizer will be dosed immediately. When fertilizer amount in container will be low, controller will generate alarm – user will know that it is time to refill containers.

Top-off function: aquarium can be refilled with water automatically from the reservoir if aquarium water evaporates. Two modes available: Auto top-off and manual top-off. Automatic mode allows you refill aquarium every day at the time selected. Manual mode lets you to refill aquarium immediately. Water level is monitored in aquarium and reservoir with water using two float sensors. For a better protection from aquarium overfill (if float sensor fails) there are limited aquarium fill time protection – top off will be stopped if fill time is exceeded. Alarm will be activated on fill time threshold reach. Also there is alarm to inform user when water reservoir is empty.

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS): if you are using UPS to supply power to your aquarium devices you can set controller to disconnect non-critical loads when blackout occurred. SimACo has integrated mains voltage sensor in order to know when power from the mains is lost. Alarm will be generated during blackout to inform the user that aquarium devices are running on battery.

Filter’s flow rate monitoring: monitor flow rate of your one or two aquarium filters.  Filter flow rate monitoring helps to find out when filter is clogged and it is time to clean it. To monitor flow rates cheap chinese flow rate sensors can be used. Sensors must be connected to the main board through additional flow sensors board. You can set threshold values for the sensors when SimACo will generate alarm due to the low flow rate value.


SimACo controller has main parts which are essential; also there are additional parts which user can select if he needs ones.
Main SimACo set has two boards: main board and buttons board (5 buttons keypad). Also there is 20×4 LCD module and several other parts. Main board is like motherboard in PC: all aquarium equipment is connected to it. LCD and buttons board connects to the main board with flat cables.

Also two sensors and three boards available as additional parts:

  • LED temperature sensor;
  • Ambient temperature sensor;
  • MOSFET LED driver board to control LED strips with a constant 12V or 24V voltage;
  • LDD driver board to control LED lighting made of LED modules which requires constant current and flow rate sensors board;
  • Flow sensors board which can monitor water flow for two external filters.

Also there is a 3D printed box for SimACo controller – you do not need to drill a holes in your own box where controller will be mounted. In the downloads page you can download controller’s box drawing and print the box yourself if you have 3D printer.

Price starts only from 148,61 !

If you want to buy it, go here.

Main set

Main bard v.3.0 20×4 3.3V LCD with connection cable CR2032 3V battery
USB cable Buttons board v.2.0 with connection cable Rocker switch
Water temperature sensor (L-2,5m)

Additional parts

3D printed box LDD-XXXH LED driver board v.1.0 Ambient temperature sensor (L-2,5m)
MOSFET LED driver board v.1.0 Mean Well LDD-300H... LDD-1500H driver LED temperature sensor (L-2,5m)
Flow sensors board v.1.0
3D printed box


SimACo main board has such channels (physical outputs to the controlled devices):

  1. Four channels for LED lighting control, named LED1-LED4;
  2. Eight channels for 110V-230V devices control, named DEVICE1-DEVICE8;
  3. Four channels for peristaltic pumps control, named DOSING PUMP1-DOSING PUMP4;
  4. One input for LED temperature sensor, named LED T° SENSOR;
  5. One input for aquarium water temperature sensor, named WATER T° SENSOR;
  6. One input for ambient (room air) temperature sensor, named AMBIENT T° SENSOR;
  7. One input for water PH sensor, named PH SENSOR;
  8. Two inputs for water top-off float sensors, named AQUARIUM WATER LEVEL SENSOR and RESERVOIR WATER LEVEL SENSOR;
  9. One input for mains voltage sensor, named MAINS VOLTAGE SENSOR.

Additional features:

  • SimACo is controlled through WiFi – you can connect to your aquarium controller from any place in the world where is internet connection. For this you must have Windows computer or Android device with installed Angry Fish application (it’s free).
  • All main controller settings are automatically saved to non-volatile memory so there is no need to restore every setting after battery replacement or blackout.
  • Controller has incorporated bootloader. Bootloader allows to update microcontroller’s program (firmware) through USB cable using Windows Angry Fish application when new firmware and software versions available.
  • if you want to change parameters for the particular channel, you can easily identify in Angry Fish application or LCD screen which channel you are editing. For this there are implemented two features: 1. descriptions for LED, 120V-230V devices and dosing pumps channels can be set; 2. all channels has it’s own icons; icons for LED, 120V-230V devices and dosing pumps channels can be selected from the list in order to correspond real device connected to the channel.
  • Main board has inbuilt 12V/1A power supply for the dosing pumps and other aquarium equipment. This reduces the number of external power supplies needed for your aquarium equipment.
  • Controller has inbuilt alarm system: you will know when LED radiator temperature is too high; water temperature is too high or too low; when water PH is too high or too low; levels of liquid fertilizers in containers are low; level of water in top-off container is low; aquarium top-off time exceeded and several others. If alarm exists, buzzer will beep warning the user that action must be taken. The levels of alarms are flexible and can be configured by user.
  • Main board has terminals for the switch. User can disconnect all high voltage 110V-230V devices in order to do aquarium maintenance safely.
  • SimACo logs values from sensors and aquarium devices states: water temperature, cooling fan state, heater state, ambient temperature, water PH value, CO2 solenoid state, lighting device state, two flow rate sensors values.

Now the third controller’s version is created; hardware equipment, software and firmware is completely finished and tested. New functions are constantly added. The heart of the controller is Microchip PIC24F series microcontroller.

Below you can see all aquarium equipment which can be connected to controller:



There are three ways to control SimACo:

  • wireless WiFi connection. This type of control is most convenient. Using Windows computer or Android device with WiFi connection you can change SimACo controller settings, view your aquarium devices status. For this you will need to install Angry Fish application designed for Windows or Android operating systems from the download section. You can connect to controller from your Windows/Android device directly (Android/Windows device — SimACo) but even better is to have a router. Through a router (Android/Windows device — router — SimACo) you can control your aquarium controller from anywhere.
  • through a buttons keypad. With keypad you can control mostly used SimACo functions. Information is displayed in the simple 20×4 light crystal display. You can edit settings with keypad scrolling through the menu and editing required parameter.
  • USB cable. You will need USB cable and computer with Windows OS for controller’s firmware update.
    In order to start to use controller you must to configure WiFi connection first. WiFi connection configuration can be done also using Windows PC and USB cable. Or use Android/Windows device to configure WiFi, in this case USB cable will not be needed.
Windows/Android device connection to SimACo controller through WiFi

Windows/Android device connection to SimACo controller through WiFi

There are Angry Fish application  screenshots:

Controller has implemented “Fast Control” function: with one long press on buttons UP, DOWN, SELECT or ENTER in the 5 buttons keypad you can quickly activate selected action. These actions can be: show desired menu on LCD or activate some functions. This is very convenient to use “Fast Control” functions for frequently used actions. For example you can program button UP to show water temperature and button DOWN to show aquarium PH level. In this case you will not need to scroll through LCD menu to find desired parameter: simply press and hold button UP or DOWN for one second to view current water temperature or PH.

SimACo has its own internal clock. When power cable is removed, controller will keep counting time using internal 3V battery.

LED and 120-230V Devices channels in AUTO mode are controlled using timers. Timers allow to turn on/off channel at any time; also the allow to change LED brightness uniformly through a period of time. Every timer has its own order number, channel type, start time, end time, starting brightness (only for LEDs), end brightness (only for LEDs). There are 50 timers in total. These timers arel be shared between four LED channels and eight 120V-230V devices channels. One timer can control one LED or Devices channel but the same channel can be controlled using several timers. For example LED1 channel can have 3 timers assigned, LED2 -5, LED3 – 5, 120V-230V DEVICE1 – 2. So in this case 12 events will be used and 38 will remain unused – they can be configured to control other aquarium equipment.

3D printed box

Box is printed of PETG plastic using 3D printer. It’s size is (with rubber feet): 215mm(W) x 215mm(L) x 88,5mm(H). Box has holes for wiring, LCD display, buttons board, rocker switch, PH sensor. Also it has holders for LCD, buttons board, main board, MOSFET LED and LDD LED driver boards. There are reserved place for two boards which will be produced in the future (for additional functionality). Box is not waterproof so it must be protected from the moisture. It has several parts and is assembled using screws. Boards in the box also are fixed with a screws.

Now about each function separately:


LED lighting control

In nowadays more and more aquariums have LED lighting – lighting with light emitting diodes. LEDs help to reduce current consumption, this reduces your bills for electricity. But there are more useful aspects of LEDs. With diodes you can far better select the spectrum of light than with fluorescent, incandescent or metal halide lamps. Aquarium plants mostly needs blue and red light. So aquarium owner can mount in to the aquarium hood white, red and blue LEDs. White LEDs will be for the general aquarium appearance, blue and red LEDs will be useful for the plants. And here comes one more good property of LED lighting: they can be dimmed. It means that LED brightness can be adjusted from 0 to 100 percents. With dimming you can achieve practically unlimited lighting possibilities. You can reduce or increase each color’s brightness and that way achieve more different colors. SimACo for that purpose has four separate channels. So four chains of LEDs with different colors can be connected to SimACo. With SimACo in Manual mode you can adjust each color’s brightness whenever you want. Auto mode has even bigger possibilities: you can in small steps increase or decrease brightness of each color during selected interval of time. For example: you woke up at 7:45 o’clock in the morning. You want to make such regimes: sunrise imitation – full brightness eight hours – sunset imitation – moonlight imitation during night. You can set channel of red LEDs to reduce their brightness from 8 hour (100% brightness) to 18 hour (50%). So you set such time intervals (press to enlarge):

Aquarium controller events example

Table shows possible LED lighting configuration.
All LEDs must be connected to power supply through additional devices, called drivers. Driver is needed for two purposes: it supplies constant voltage/current to LEDs circuit and allows to dim LED lighting. Manufacturers make several types of drivers: without control, PWM controlled, DC voltage 0-10V controlled, controlled using resistance, controlled using triac and mixed type. SimACo generates 3.3V PWM signal for LEDs control, so driver must have inbuilt PWM control an accept 3.3V voltage level. SimACo has two LED driver boards: MOSFET driver board and Mean Well LDD drivers board. Each board has four channels.

  • MOSFET driver board is designed to be used with LED strips or LED modules which requires constant voltage 12V or 24V power supply.
    LED moduleLED strip
  • LDD driver board has four Mean Well LDD-XXXX series drivers soldered in. Board must be used with LEDs which requires constant current power supply. This board mostly can be used with powerful LED (1-3W) strings, connected in series or COB LEDs. COB mostly requires about 36V power supply.
    LED module with heatsinkCOB LED
Mean Well LDD-XXXX series drivers


According to the manufacturer, LDD series drivers have such features:

DC/DC step-down converter
Wide input voltage: 9 ~ 56VDC
Wide output LED string voltage: 2 ~ 52VDC
High efficiency up to 97%
Built-in EMI filter, comply with EN5 5015 and FCC part 15 without additional input filter and capacitors
Built-in PWM and remote ON/OFF control
Protections: Short circuit / Over temperature
Cooling by free air convection
Compact size
Low cost, high reliability
Suitable for driving illumination LED
3 years warranty
Fully encapsulated with IP67 level for pin and wire style
Non-potted, optional conformal coating for SMD style

MOSFET and LDD driver boards both connects directly to the main board. Also additional power supply is required to supply power to the LEDs. Power supply voltage and current must be selected according to the selected LED lighting type, voltage and consumed current. If you already have complete LED lighting system which is fed from the wall socket, then you can connect it to the any DEVICE1-DEVICE8 outlets. But then you will lose ability to control LED brightness using controller and you will only have the ability to switch your LEDs OFF or ON at the time, set by you.

All LEDs will loose their light output during life time. The lifetime of a LED module is defined as the time it takes until its light output, or lumen maintenance, reaches 70% of the initial output. Lifetime hardly depends on LED crystal working temperature. Those two variables are inversely proportional: high temperature means short life time and vice versa. Below is the graph which illustrates how life time vs temperature dependency:
Also there is no a temperature threshold below which LEDs will serve forever and their light output will remain stable. So you must keep LEDs as cool as possible. For this purpose LED temperature sensor and LED radiator fan can be connected to the controller. Sensor will measure radiator temperature and will activate cooling fan to cool-down radiator. So controller will keep temperature stable. User can adjust desired temperature level from 30°C to 95°C. Also there is temperature alarm setting: when alarm limit will be reached controller will generate alarm. User will be warned that controller can not support required temperature.

AC 120-230V voltage devices control

There are 8 channels designed to control AC voltage (120-230V AC) devices like water filter, air pump, CO2 valves, aquarium fluorescent or metal halide lights etc. All channels have OFF, ON and AUTO modes. In OFF or ON modes channels will be permanently turned off or on. Also each channel can be controlled by timer.. Timer is activated when channel is set to AUTO mode. In this mode channel will be turned off and on automatically. In AUTO mode each aquarium device can be turned off and on several times per day.
All channels are universal, but 6 of them are dedicated for the particular equipment. Here is additional modes listed for Device#1- Device#8 channels:

  • Device #1 – filter control (OFF15 function);
  • Device #2 – water cooling fans control (WATER FAN mode);
  • Device #3 – CO2 solenoid (CO2 SOLENOID mode);
  • Device #4 – water heater (HEATER CONTROL mode);
  • Device #5 – aquarium top-off pump (TO PUMP mode);
  • Device #6 – LED radiator cooling fan (LED FAN mode);
  • Device #7 – no special mode;
  • Device #8 – no special mode.

Device #1 channel is designed to control aquarium filter. It has special function: OFF15. Activating this function aquarium filter will be disconnected for 15 mins. After this it will set to the previous state. This function is useful when you need to feed your fish and aquarium filter flow scatters food flakes all around. OFF15 function can be activated from keypad by long one button press, using Fast control function.
Device #2 channel is designed to control 120-230V aquarium fan block when is set in WATER FAN mode.
Device #3 channel has CO2 SOLENOID mode. This mode is designed to control CO2 solenoid valve according to the water PH measurements.
Device #4 channel is designed to control aquarium heater. For this purpose HEATER CONTROL mode can be used.
Device #5 channel is designed to control top-off pump. For this purpose TO PUMP mode can be used.
Device #6 channel is designed to control LED radiator cooling fan. For this purpose LED FAN mode mode can be used.

In the board Devices outputs connects to the various aquarium equipment through the mechanical relay contacts. The reason why electronic relay was not used is that electronic relay can not fully turn off device, and this can cause aquarium fluorescent lamps flickering, when they are in the OFF state.

Aquarium water temperature measurement and support

Aquarium water temperature is measured using water temperature sensor. Sensor is based on Texas Instruments LM35 chip. Controller will activate water heater or cooling fan block when water temperature drops down or rises. Thus controller will support constant aquarium temperature, set by user. User also can set low and high water temperature alarm limits. Controller will generate alarms when these limits will be exceeded.
Rotating fan block fan can be noisy, especially if you are going to sleep and the air in the aquarium room is hot. In this case fans can be turned off at particular time interval. In the angry Fish application you can set time interval at which fan block will be disabled even if aquarium temperature is high.

Ambient temperature measurement

Ambient temperature sensor simply measures your room temperature. This function has one alarm: “Ambient temperature sensor fault”. Alarm will inform user if temperature in the room is too high or too low.

PH/CO2 measurement and support

SimACo can monitor your aquarium water PH/CO2 level and control CO2 valve to keep aquarium PH/CO2 stable. For this purpose PH sensor and CO2 valve from CO2 bottle must be connected to the SimACo main board. You can use any PH sensor which has 50 Ohm BNC connector. This connector is a standard for most PH sensors. How SimACo controls CO2 level in your aquarium water? In the aquarium CO2 level and water PH are directly related through kH (carbonate hardness) parameter. kH value must be stable in the aquarium in order to get exact CO2 value from the measured PH value. If you know your aquarium kH and PH values, you can get CO2 value from these two parameters. So CO2 makes your aquarium water more acidic. This means that CO2 and PH is is inversely related: the more you dissolve CO2 gas in to the water the less water PH will be (water will be more acidic). You can use CO2/PH table to get required water PH value for the CO2 level you want to support.
Normally in a planted aquarium 30ppm CO2 value must be supported. SimACo supports two CO2 level scenarios. First scenario is to support required CO2 level 24 hours/day. This scenario helps to support aquarium water PH stable. It may be useful for some species of tropical fish. Other scenario: CO2 level is only supported at daytime; CO2 valve will be shut down at night. This helps to save CO2 gas. Plants do not need CO2 at night when aquarium lights are turned off. In this scenario water PH will fluctuate during 24 hours period. Also SimACo has inbuilt PH sensor calibration function because sensor must be calibrated every month to measure PH level precisely. For calibration two PH buffers must be used with low PH and high PH values.

Sensor calibration. PH sensor must be calibrated before using. To calibrate sensor PH buffers are used. You will need two calibration buffers: one buffer with low PH value and the second with high PH value. These values can be: 4.00 (4.01), 6.86, 7.00, 9.18 and 10.00 (10.01). It is required that high buffer’s PH value must be greater than the low buffer’s PH value by the 2 PH units or more. For example you can use 4.00 PH buffer as the low PH buffer and 9.18 buffer as the high PH buffer. But buffers with PH values 6.86 and 7.00 can not be used because the difference between the two buffers PH values will be lower than 2. There is a rule: the bigger difference between two buffers PH values the bigger accuracy you will get measuring with your PH sensor. So using of 4.00 PH and 10.00 PH buffers will be the best option. During calibration you will need to know calibration buffer’s exact PH value. Any PH buffer slightly changes it’s PH value according to the buffer temperature. Usually manufacturers declare buffer’s PH value at a 25oC temperature. But they also provide a table with buffer’s PH values at different temperatures. Calibrating PH sensor you must use PH values at a current temperature of the PH buffer. If buffer was in the room for a while you can use a room temperature as buffer’s temperature. For example: PH buffer has 9.18PH value at 25oC buffer temperature. But there is a 30oC temperature in your room, also buffer has the same temperature. Buffer at a 30oC has 9.14 PH value, so you must use value 9.14 during calibration.

Also there are two – low PH and high PH alarms implemented which will inform user that PH level is not normal.


Liquid fertilizers dosing

Four channels are dedicated for this function. For every channel exact dosing time can be selected: day of week, hour and minute. You can dose four different fertilizers up to 24 times per day. You can omit dosing of different fertilizers in certain days if you need infrequent dosing. For example you can dose PO4 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and dose NO3 on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. SimACo main board has integrated 12V power supply for the dosing pumps. Power supply has 1,0A max output current. So 12V dosing pumps must be used. Max current for each dosing pump must not exceed 1A. There is protection fuse in the main board which can disconnect 12V power supply if you will exceed this current. This fuse will reset automatically when the fault is removed.

Aquarium dosing (peristaltic) pump

At the beginning pump flow rate (ml/min), required daily dose amount (ml), dosing time (day of week, hours, minutes) must be set for each pump. User also can set fertilizer amount left in container. SimACo knowing flow rate and required dose amount automatically calculates time which is needed to spin the pumps. So you do not need to calculate time period manually. Fertilizing starts at the specified time. First spins the first pump. When it stops, then the second pump starts to spin, then the third and the fourth pump is activated last. This prevents fertilizers mixing with each other. If either pump is not enabled on the current day, it will be omitted. When fertilizing is done, SimACo automatically calculates amount of fertilizers, left in each container. User can set the alarm when fertilizers amount left in container is low.

There are 2 modes for dosing pumps: automatic and manual. In automatic mode controller doses fertilizers at a time, set by user. In manual mode user must select fertilizer type, dosing amount and press the “Start manual dosing” button in the Angry Fish application menu. Dosing will be started immediately. Manual dosing also can be activated from the LCD menu.

Aquarium top-off (TO)


Picture below shows where all main TO components must be mounted:

auto top-off mounting exampleTop-off (TO) function is used to refill aquarium with fresh water automatically if aquarium water has evaporated and water level has dropped. Especially this occurs in the hot summer days when aquarium does not have the hood. In this case water must be refilled daily or at least weakly. This boring job can be automated with SimACo.Two float sensors (switches) and one pump is used for this function. Reservoir water level sensor measures water level in the reservoir. Aquarium water level sensor measures water level in your aquarium. When the aquarium water level is low controller activates pump which refills aquarium. Aquarium sensor must have contact closed, when water level is low. Reservoir sensor must work in reverse order: it must have contact open, when water level is low. This ensures that TO operation will not be activated if wires to any sensor are broken. Pump must have 120V-230V working voltage.
Mounting: put pump in the reservoir as close to the bottom as possible. Pump will pump water from the reservoir to the aquarium. Also you need a hose. Connect one end to the pump and the other hose end attach to the aquarium wall. Do not immerse hose in to the aquarium water to prevent siphoning effect. Mount reservoir sensor in the reservoir with the water. Reservoir sensor must be attached to the reservoir’s wall above pump’s top point. This sensor will track reservoir water level and will prevent your pump from running dry. Many pumps can run only fully immersed in water else pump can be overheated. Aquarium sensor you must put in the aquarium. Sensor must be attached to the aquarium wall at the desired aquarium water level.
TO function has two modes: automatic and manual. In automatic mode SimACo will refill aquarium automatically everyday at a time, set by user. In manual mode simply press the “Start manual top-off” button in the Angry Fish application menu. Top-off operation will be started immediately. Manual top-off also can be activated from the LCD menu.

When pump starts to refill aquarium automatically, controller counts time and constantly compares pump run time with time value set in the “Maximum aquarium fill time” field. This field can be set from 0,5 min to 25 min. It is needed to protect your aquarium from overfill in case if aquarium sensor started to malfunction. If aquarium sensor is in low position but “Maximum aquarium fill time” limit is reached then controller will stop the pump and “Top-off: max aquarium fill time expired” alarm will be generated. If everything goes OK pump will stop when aquarium sensor will rise. You can view the both sensors states in the Angry Fish menu or LCD menu if top-off function is enabled. When water level in the reservoir is low, “Top-off: reservoir water level low” alarm will be activated.

UPS battery energy saving

This function can be used when power to the aquarium devices is supplied from Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Such devices do not have big energy reserve when mains power is off. For this reason energy saving function allows to disconnect automatically non-critical aquarium equipment when the power from the mains is lost. You can disable any output: channels LED1-LED4, 120-230V Device #1- Device #8 and DosingPump1- DosingPump4. SimACo board has integrated mains voltage sensor which must be connected to the mains using cable. Sensor monitors if mains voltage is present or not. In case if mains voltage is not present SimACo will disconnect selected aquarium equipment automatically and connect this equipment again when power is restored . When power from the mains will be lost “Mains voltage not present” alarm will be activated.

Flow rate sensors

YF-B1 flow sensor

To use flow sensors with SimACo external flow rate sensors bord is required. Board has terminals for two flow rate sensors. They are numbered #1 and #2. Sensor #1 monitors flow rate of filter #1, connected to the channel Device #1 in the main board. Sensor #2 monitors flow rate of filter #2, connected to the channel Device #8 in the main board. If you have only one filter, you can disable the second sensor. In the Angry Fish application flow rate coefficient k must be set for both sensors. This coefficient is provided by manufacturer. SimACo needs coefficient for flow rate calculation. Next you must set flow rate alarm limit for the sensors. When flow rate falls below this limit, alarm flow sensor #1 (#2) flow rate low will be generated. Alarm will be triggered only if filters are in ON mode.
Both flow sensors are read in 15 seconds intervals.


 SimACo logs the data from five sensors: ambient temperature, water temperature, water PH value, flow rate sensor #1 and #2. Also some channels output states are logged which affects these three sensors values: cooling fan state, heater state, CO2 solenoid state and lighting device state. From the graphs you can make several conclusions, for example how effective are cooling fans, how good your CO2 diffuser is. You can check how water PH level swings through night/day periods, how ambient temperature affects aquarium water temperature, how aquarium lighting affects PH level etc.
Aquarium sensors and devices are logged automatically, logs are done at 10 min interval.
2560 logs can be written to SimACo memory. So maximum about 17.7 days time interval can be logged. When logs memory is full, oldest logs will be rewritten continuously with the new logs.


There are several alarms, they alerts the user that something is going wrong. Alarms are:

  1. LED temperature high limit exceeded;
  2. LED temperature sensor fault;
  3. Water temperature low limit exceeded;
  4. Water temperature high limit exceeded;
  5. Water temperature sensor fault;
  6. Ambient temperature sensor fault;
  7. Water PH low limit exceeded;
  8. Water PH high limit exceeded;
  9. PH sensor fault/calibration error;
  10. Channel Pump1 fertilizer amount in container low;
  11. Channel Pump2 fertilizer amount in container low;
  12. Channel Pump3 fertilizer amount in container low;
  13. Channel Pump4 fertilizer amount in container low;
  14. Top-off: reservoir water level low;
  15. Top-off: max aquarium fill time expired;
  16. Mains voltage not present;
  17. Flow sensor #1 flow rate low;
  18. Flow sensor #2 flow rate low.

You can view current active alarms in Angry Fish application’s Alarms page. This page is refreshed automatically. Application has bell icon: if one or more alarms are active then red bell icon is shown. If there is no active alarms then bell is green. Grey bell icon means than alarms status was not read yet. Also you can view each alarm status in the LCD screen, “Alarms settings” menu. In the top right corner of LCD the blinking “!” sign will be shown in the screen if one or more alarms are active.
Also you can activate a buzzer which will sound when active alarm exists. Time interval at which alarm will sound can be selected. Buzzer will beep three times at the every start of ten minutes in the selected time interval.
Some alarms reset automatically when problem is removed, other requires manual reset. If alarm in Angry Fish application’s Alarms window has a “Reset” button near it, this means that alarm will not be automatically reset even if alarm conditions will be removed. In this case alarm can only be reset manually. Manual reset can be done through Angry Fish application or 5 buttons keypad.
If channel is disabled, alarms for this channel are also automatically disabled.

My contacts:
you can write to me in comments; Facebook link and my email address are at the bottom of this page.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *