SimACo v.2.1 user manual

Help page content

Requirements for SimACo

  • LEDs: additional LED drivers must be used, SimACo generates 3.3V PWM (pulse width modulated) signal, so your drivers must be able to work with 3.3V PWM signal level. Mean Well LDD-XXXX series drivers can be used.
  • AC voltage devices: maximum total current on all four Device1-Device4 channels must not exceed 4A. There is protection fuse in the main board which can be blown if you will exceed this current.
  • Temperature sensor: based on DS18B20 chip. Not required, but if not used, automatic control of heater and cooling fan will be disabled.
  • 12V power supply for main board: 12V, 1.5A min. 12V electrical circuit is protected by PTC fuse which has 1.4A cut-off current.
  • 5V power supply for main board: 12V, 0.5A min.
  • Dosing pumps: 12V peristaltic pumps must be used. One pump’s current in any case can’t exceed 0,5A or 6W otherwise output transistors can be owerheated.
  • Auto top-off (ATO): aquarium float 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. ATO pump must be 12V, 800mA max.
  • Battery: 3V standard CR2032 lithium battery.
  • Fan: 12V, two wires, max power can be 3,6W or 0,3A. Two fans can be connected in parallel, but total power must not exceed 3,6W.
  • Personal computer: you must have a PC with Windows operating system in order to edit SimACo settings.
  • Angry Fish application to control SimACo (free download).

Controller assembly

There is recommended connections schematics how to assemble controller components and to start to work with SimACo, click to enlarge.

aquarium equipment v.2.1 connection diagram


First off all, if you are planning to use controller to control high voltage (120-230V AC) aquarium devices, like water or air pump, CO2 valve, heater, fluorescent lamps, you will need to connect controller to the AC wall socket. First mount all components into the plastic box which is impermeable to electric current. Then fully close the box, only after this you can connect SimACo’s high voltage power supply cable to the wall socket. Remember that touching controller parts when controller is connected to the mains you can be injured by electric current or you even can die. Connecting aquarium devices to SimACo use cable end sleeves:

cable end sleeve

There are several connections in the main board:

prog. – programming connection, may be not soldered. Not used.
J7 LCD  LCD connection. Used to connect 2×16 LCD module.
J3 buttons – keypad connection. Used to to connect 5 buttons keypad.
J1 (12V) – +12V power supply connection. Used to supply power to the peristaltic pumps, AC devices relays, fan, buzzer and ATO pump.
5V – +5V power supply connection. Used to supply power to the SimACo controller.
J6 aux I2C – I2C connection. Used to connect additional modules to the main board.
aux 12V – +12V connection, this is the output from 12V power supply. Used to connect additional modules to the main board.
T0C sensor – temperature sensor connection.
led1 – led4 – LED connections. Connect LED drivers to this connection only, LEDs can not be connected directly to those outputs. LED all “-” connections are connected together, so you can use only one “-” wire for all four LED strings.
fan – aquarium fan connection. Fan can be connected directly.
pump1 – pump4 – dosing pumps connection. Pump’s all “+” connections are connected together, so you can use only one “+” wire for all four peristaltic pumps, if you want.
120 – 230V in – AC voltage input connection, 120-230V. You do not need this if you are not using devices which require high voltage (devices connected to the J5-2 output).
devices – output connection to AC voltage 120-230V devices. All devices must share one neutral wire, connected to the J5-2 “N” contact. This wire must be branched out in the separate powerstrip with 4 outlets where aquarium devices will be connected.
reserv. sensor – connection for ATO reservoir sensor.
aquarium sensor – connection for ATO aquarium sensor.
ato pump – connection for ATO pump.
USB – USB 2.0 type A connection.

Connect buttons board to the main board with flat 8 contacts cable. Connector J3 in the buttons board must be connected with the keypad J3 connector in the main board. Both J3 connectors have one white dot marking on both boards. Boards must be connected in such way that the marked contact in the buttons board must be connected with the marked contact in the main board.

how to connect buttons board how to connect buttons board

Connect LCD module
to the main board J2 LCD connector with two eight pin flat cables. The pin marked “1” on the LCD must be connected to the main board’s contact marked with the white dot. Wrong connection will likely cause the damage to the LCD or main board components. Because J2 connector has 16 contacts, two eight-contact cables must be used.

how to connect 16x2 LCD module how to connect 16x2 LCD module

Wrong connection of the LCD, buttons board or ATO module may cause damage to the SimACo components easily!

Connect wires from LED lighting to connectors led1 – led4 in the main board.
Connect high voltage devices to devices connector in the main board through 4 outlets powerstrip. SimACo switches these devices through relays. If you have a filter, it must be connected to device1 output because this output has filtering capacitor. If you have a heater, it must be connected to the device4 output. Other aquarium equipment can be connected to the device2 and device3 outputs.
Connect temperature sensor to connector sensor in the main board. Temperature sensor has three wires. Connect black to “-” connection, red to “+” and yellow to “DQ”.
Connect aquarium fan to connector fan in the main board.
Connect dosing pumps to pump1 – pump4 connectors in the main board.
Connect aquarium and reservoir float sensors to the aquarium sensor and reserv. sensor connectors.
Connect ATO reservoir pump to the ato pump connector in the main board.
Insert 3V batterry in the main board battery holder, watch polarity.
Connect +5V power supply unit 2.1/5.5mm connector to the 5V connection in the main board. After this you must see writings “General settings” in LCD. If LCD is blank, adjust LCD contrast with potentiometer LCD contrast.
Connect +12V power supply unit 2.1/5.5mm connector to the 12V connection in the main board.
Connect 120-230V power supply cable to the main board 120 – 230V in connector.

How to reset controller

  • Disconnect 5V power supply, wait 20 – 30 seconds and connect again. You can reset controller if it malfunctioning or you need to enter Firmware Update / WiFi Configuration mode.
  • Also automatic reset is implemented, controller will reset itself if important error occurs.

Three ways to control SimACo

There are three ways to control SimACo: through a buttons keyboard, USB cable and wireless WiFi connection. For the first time initial setup you will need USB cable and computer. For the every day usage you can use WiFi or the buttons keypad. With keypad you can control mostly used SimACo functions. Using PC with WiFi connection you can access all functions. Also you need to install Angry Fish application from the download section.

Standard, Firmware Update and WiFi Configuration working modes

SimACo has three working modes: Standard mode, Firmware Update mode and WiFi Configuration mode.
Standard mode is the default mode and is used to control aquarium equipment through WiFi connection.
Firmware Update mode is used to update SimACo controller’s firmware.
WiFi Configuration mode is used to configure SimACo WiFi settings in order to establish wireless computer – SimACo connection. This configuration is required to do only once.
When SimACo boots up, first it boots in to the WiFi Configuration mode. Then it checks if firmware is OK (firmware present and is not corrupted). If firmware is OK, it automatically boots to the normal working Standard mode. If firmware is not OK, SimACo stays in the WiFi Configuration mode.

How to enter different modes:

To enter WiFi Configuration mode you must:

  1. Disconnect +5V power supply, wait 20 seconds.
  2. Press and hold “bootload” button, soldered in the main board.
  3. Connect +5V power supply.
  4. After 5 seconds release “bootload” button.
  5. Connect USB cable between SimACo and computer. In the Angry Fish application’s right top corner you must see blue USB icon.

To enter Firmware Update mode you must:

  1. Disconnect +5V power supply, wait 20 seconds.
  2. Press and hold “bootload” button, soldered in the main board.
  3. Connect +5V power supply.
  4. After 5 seconds release “bootload” button.
  5. Press “bootload” button shortly. After that you will enter to the Firmware Update mode.
  6. Connect USB cable between SimACo and computer. In the Angry Fish application’s right top corner you must see blue USB icon.

To enter Standard mode you must:

  1. Press reset button in the main board.
  2. USB cable can be disconnected, it is not required in the Standard mode. When SimACo is connected to PC wirelesly, in the Angry Fish application’s right top corner you must see blue WiFi icon.

If you are in Firmware Update or WiFi Configuration modes: “bootload” button press toggles between these two modes.

Configuring SimACo WiFi settings through USB cable

So first time after you have received SimACo, you will need to connect it through USB cable to PC in order to do the primary WiFi configuration. Now i will describe how to establish communication through USB cable using Windows operating system:

  1. Switch SimACo controller to the WiFi Configuration mode.
  2. Connect USB cable between PC and SimACo. In the Angry Fish application’s right top corner you must see blue USB icon.
  3. After successful connection through USB you must configure WiFi connection. There are two ways to connect SimACo to PC through WiFi: direct connection or through an access point (router).

Direct connection:

  • You don’t need a router
  • SimACo can be accessed only from your house

Connection through a router:

  • You need to have a router
  • SimACo can be accessed only in your home (without port forwarding)
  • SimACo can be accessed from any point of the world (port forwarding required)

Select one connection type by selecting “Connection through an access point” or “Direct connection” tabs. If you have a router i recommend to use connection through it. This connection type is simpler and requires less configuration.
If you have selected connection through an access point, press “Configure: step 1” button. SimACo will search for the routers. When it will find you router select your router, enter router’s password and press “Configure: step 2” button. Router will assign the IP address to SimACo (controller as station) and SimACo will connect to the router. You can see what is going on in the log window below.
If you want to access your SimACo from a distant location, you must do port forwarding in your router. This means that you must write your SimACo IP address in to the router’s settings. Than all connections which will be made to your router through an Angry Fish application, will be redirected to SimACo. You will need your PC’s external IP address, Angry Fish will show it in the “Connection & update” tab.
Without port forwarding you will be able to reach SimACo only in you local (home) area.

If you have selected direct connection, SimACo will act as a router itself. You must to create SimACo name and password (any you want) and enter them in to the name and password textboxes. You can leave “Encryption” and “Channel ID” fields unchanged. After this press “Configure: step 1” button. In the log window you will see SimACo IP address (controller as a router).
If you have configured your controller to use direct connection (without a router) you must to connect your PC to the SimACo through Windows OS first. SimACo will appear as the router in the available routers list: select SimACo router, press the button “Connect” and then enter router’s password the password which you have set during WiFi connection configuration.
connect controller with your Windows PC
After the WiFi connection configuration  in the “Connection & firmware update” tab info window you must get response that “WiFi connection configured successfully”. If connection was not configured, you will get response “Failed to configure WiFi connection”.

Connecting SimACo through WiFi

Before connecting to SimACo through WiFi first make sure that:

  • Standard mode is activated
  • The IP address in the “SimACo IP address:” field is the same like IP address got during SimACo configuration.

When communicating through WiFi, SimACo is protected against intruders in two ways. First, login password is required when user connects to SimACo from PC. Second, permission to read/update login password is only possible when password access enabled. Password access can be enabled only from LCD menu.
Normally before connecting to SimACo through WiFi user must enter login password, default is “MyHappyAquarium1” . Else SimACo will refuse to communicate. Connected with correct password user can read/write all settings except login password. In order to read/write password user must enable password access from LCD menu. To enable it go to the “General settings” – “Password access disabled” and enable password access. When password access enabled, user has full access to controller: he can read/write all settings and change current password. In this case user can even to connect to the controller from PC without entering password.

There is a checkbox “Load password on start” in the “Connection & update” tab. If it is checked, computer will save SimACo login password and will load it automatically after the Angry Fish application starts next time.

Controlling SimACo with 5 buttons keypad and LCD module

SimACo has keypad with five buttons, every button has several functions. Using buttons you can view LCD menu, check or edit various parameters.

There are two levels menu in SimACo: 1st level (higher) and 2nd level (lower):
aquarium controller 16x2 LCD menu

How to navigate through LCD menu:
button UP scrolls menu up, button DOWN scrolls down. Press button ENTER to go from the higher to the lower level menu. Press button ESC to go from the lower to the higher level menu.
How to edit parameter:
In the menu picture editable parameters are showed in red color. Go to the LCD’s second level menu where desired parameter is displayed. Press button ENTER. The first editable parameter starts to blink. If there are several editable parameters, select beween them with button select. When the required parameter is selected, edit it with buttons UP/DOWN. You can press and hold these buttons for 1 second to change parameter faster. When you are done, press button ENTER to save parameters or button ESC to discard parameters changes. Several parameters which have only two states (for example on/off) can only be changed by pressing button ENTER, buttons UP/DOWN will not work for them. After when buttons ENTER or ESC were pressed SimACo exits Edit mode and saves new parameter value to volatile memory, if ENTER was pressed.

Controlling SimaCo from Angry Fish application

Control and Status windows.
Angry Fish application has two windows: control window and status window.
Angry Fish application's Control and Status windows

In the Control window user can edit all other controller’s parameters, save and retrieve from the memory.
In the Status window user can view the main aquarium equipment parameters, also configure aquarium devices state (enabled or disabled), select aquarium device picture and write description.

Angry Fish Status window controls

Some explanations for Status window controls:

  • active alarm status, more detailed status you can see in the “Alarms” tab;
  • “Save settings” button. It saves aquarium equipment icons and descriptions;
  • water temperature in degrees of Celsius is shown below temperature sensor icon. Temperature will be shown if sensor is connected and enabled;
  • Below dosing pump’s icons is fertilizer’s amount in ml., which is left to dose, when dosing pump is spinning. When pump is turned off, the 0 ml value will be shown.
  • aquarium water and reservoir water levels measured by two float switches. There are two levels: low or high. Black or brown triangles in the icon shows sensor status: black color means that water level is below the sensor (low level) and brown means that water level raised float switch’s moving part (high level). Equipment icons meaning:
channel disabled iconbackground grey, no icon – channel disabled,
channel off iconbackground blue – channel enabled, device is turned off,
channel on iconbackground green – channel enabled, device is turned on,
channel status unknown iconbackground grey – channel enabled, device status unknown. Note: temperature sensor’s and ATO sensor’s icon’s background will be always grey.


Changing channel’s icon.
Any channel or additional module (board) can be enabled, disabled or different channel’s icon selected. To do this click the channel’s icon. New window will appear where you can select desired icon. Selecting “not used” icon (grey rectangle) you will disable channel. Selecting any other icon enables the channel. Keep in mind that you can chose an icon, which is in the selected channel’s group. For example you click Dosing Pump 1 icon. New window with icons list will appear. There you can choose other dosing pump icon but not a fan or heater icon instead of it. Disabling the channel user disables the channel electrically; alarms also will be disabled.

After new icon selection do not forget to save changes by pressing button save settings button in the Status window. Icon change will not affect any SimACo functions (except “Not used” icon).

Changing channel’s description.
Every channel has its name, or description. Default are LED1-LED4, Device1-Device4, Fan, T0 Sensor, Dosing Pump1-Pump4 and Auto top-off. These descriptions are shown in Angry Fish application and LCD screen. For convenience user can change LED’s, Device’s and Dosing Pump’s channels descriptions through PC application simply by clicking on channel’s description. For example, if you have red LEDs connected to LED1 channel, blue connected to LED2 and white to LED3, you can name channel LED1 “Red LEDs”, channel LED2 – “Blue LEDs” and channel LED3 – “White LEDs”. If you are using Pump1 channel for pottasium nutrients and channel Pump2 for micronutrients, name them “Potassium” and “Micro”. Naming channels in your own way makes a work with SimACo more comfortable because you will know exactly which channel’s parameter you are changing.

Saving and viewing controller’s status.
SimACo has 2 type memories: volatile (RAM) and non-volatile (FLASH). Both memories are used to save SimACo settings. Settings stored in non-volatile memory will be stored even if the 5V power supply and battery will be removed. On all buttons button save settings (Save settings) and button “Save” (password) click SimACo will save settings to volatile memory, after several seconds settings will also be saved to non-volatile memory automatically.
If controller was reset, settings from non-volatile memory will be loaded after restart automatically, so you will not need to do all configuration again for example, after battery replacement.
All similar parameters are joined in groupboxes. Most groupboxes has one button save settings button. After editing parameter press this button to save settings. New value will be saved to controller and controller immediately will start to work with a new settings.
Some parameters values are underlined. To edit them press on this value. New small window will open. Edit parameter value in this window, press OK. Window will close. Then press button button save settings  in the groupbox with the edited parameter.
When Angry Fish application connects to the SimACo, application will read all settings from it. If you want to read all data from SimACo manually, press “Read all data from SIMACO” button in the “Connection & update” tab.
Status window is updated automatically with a 2-3 seconds interval, you don’t need to press any buttons to see current controller status.

SimACo channels control

Understanding channel’s events.
LEDs, Devices, Fan and Dosing pumps channels can be turned off or on manually. But SimACo was designed to do these turn on/off and LED brightness change actions automatically in AUTO mode. The automation for LEDs, Devices and Fan channels is implemented using events. Events have several parameters which can be set by the user.

Events have several parameters: event number, channel type, start time, starting brightness/speed, end time and end brightness/speed parameters.  For LED channels all parameters are used. For Devices channels starting brightness/speed and ending brightness/speed parameters are not used. For Fan channel ending brightness/speed parameter is not used. Editing values which are not used for the particular channel will not have any effect.
There are 50 events dedicated to all four LED channels, Devices channels and Fan channel. Any event line can be assigned to any LED1-LED4, Device1-Device4 or Fan channel.
Every event can control only one channel but the same channel can be controlled with several events. Events for the same channel even may overlap each other by time. If events overlaps, event with a lower number will be executed first. When it ends, the event with the bigger order number will be activated. Take a look at the example:

Angry Fish application events window

Here events #2 and #3 for LED3 channel are overlapping. So at 9:00 o’clock event #3 will be activated and LED’s initial brightness will be set to 0%. Brightness will continuously increase and at 10:00 will reach 30%. At this time event #2 will be activated for LED3 channel, because it’s order number is lower. So at 10:00 LED3 channel brightness will be set to 0%. Next at 11:00 event N#2 will event will end, at this time LED brightness will be 100%. Now because event N#2 has ended but event N#3 has not ended yet, controller will keep event N#3 active from 11:00 to 12:00. LED brightness will change from 60% to 90%. At 12:00 there is no events set for LED3 channel, so this channel will be turned off.
This event’s description in bigger part is valid for Devices and Fan channels too, so the event’s usage for device’s and fan channels will not be described separately.

LED channels control.
There are four channels dedicated to LED lighting. They all have the same functions but are working independently of each other. Channels have three modes: OFF, ON and AUTO. In OFF or ON modes channel will be permanently turned off or on. In AUTO mode LED’s brightness will be adjusted automatically according to user settings.

All LEDs must be connected to power supply through additional devices, called drivers. SimACo generates 3.3V PWM signal for LED’s control, so driver must have inbuilt PWM control an accept 3.3V voltage level. SimACo works nice with cheap Mean Well LDD-XXXH series drivers. These drivers are several types: LDD-300H, LDD-350H, LDD-500H, LDD-600H, LDD-700H, LDD-1000H, LDD-1200H, LDD-1500H. Digits in the type description shows supplied current in mA. If driver marking has additional “W” letter at the end, it means that driver has wires as outputs. For example “LDD-700HW”. Drivers perfectly fits for a wide range LED’s types but requires additional constant voltage power supply unit. There is main connection diagram:
LDD-H LED driver connection diagramSimACo LED output must be connected to the driver’s PWM and -Vin inputs, power supply unit must be connected to +Vin and -Vin inputs. Here is connection diagram for one channel with wired Mean Well drivers:
Meanwell LDD driver connection diagram

Who wants to know more about these drivers, here is a datasheet.

Devices channels control.
Devices channels are designed to control AC voltage devices.

Device1 channel has 4 modes: OFF, ON, AUTO, Off15.
Device2 channel has 3 modes: OFF, ON, AUTO.
Device3 channel has 3 modes: OFF, ON, AUTO.
Device4 channel has 4 modes: OFF, ON, AUTO, HEATER CONTROL.
All channels have OFF, ON and AUTO modes. In OFF or ON modes channel will be permanently turned off or on. In AUTO mode device will be turned off and on automatically according to the events settings.

Device1 channel is designed to control aquarium pumps. It has special mode: OFF15. Activating this mode aquarium pump will be disconnected for 15 mins. After this it will be set to ON mode. This function is usefull when you need to feed your fish and aquarium pump flow scatters food flakes all around.
Device4 channel is designed to control aquarium heater. For this purpose HEATER CONTROL mode can be used. To use heater in HEATER CONTROL mode temperature sensor must be connected to SimACo and enabled from Angry Fish application. In this mode heater will be turned on when aquarium temperature will fall below 0,5°C from the “Maintain the temperature in aquarium” value set. If HEATER CONTROL mode is active and sensor error occurs or user manually disables sensor, Device4 channel automatically will be turned off.

Fan and Sensor channels control.
Fan channel has OFF, ON, AUTO and SENSOR CONTROLLED modes. In OFF or ON modes channel will be permanently turned off or on.

Every fan has its own start-to-spin voltage. It is about 2,5-3,0V or 20-25% from the 12 volts. This voltage in percents must be set in Angry Fish application “Fan start-up speed” parameter. You can find this value by testing fan, connected to SimACo:
Set fan mode to ON. Set “Fan start-up speed” parameter to 0%. If fan rotates, set “Speed in On mode” parameter to 0% and wait while it stops completely. Else set “Speed in On mode” parameter to 20% initial value and press button button save settings. Check if fan started to spin. If no, increase “Speed in On mode” parameter by 5% and again save fan settings. Rise fan speed until fan will start to spin. Then set “Minimum fan speed for all modes” value equal to “Speed in On mode” value at which fan started to spin. SimACo will never try to spin fan at lower speed than the fan start-up speed.

To use fan in SENSOR CONTROLLED mode temperature sensor must be connected to SimACo and enabled from Angry Fish application. Fan will be turned on when aquarium temperature will rise 0,5°C above the “Maintain the temperature in aquarium” (MTA) value, that is MTA+0,5°C. Fan speed will be automatically increased if temperature will increase. When temperature will reach MTA+1,5°C fan will turn at full speed. Fan will be turned off when temperature drops below MTA + 0,2°C. For example, you set maintained temperature to 26,0°C. If temperature will rise up to 26,5°C, fan will start. When water cools down and temperature drops down to 26,1°C, fan will be turned off. There is 0,4°C gap between fan on/off. This ensures that fan will not be turned off and on frequently when aquarium temperature will fluctuate a little.
Rotating at full speed fan can be noisy, especially if you are going to sleep and the air in the aquarium room are hot. In this case fan speed can be reduced or increased at particular time interval. First set time interval in “Time interval from XX hour till YY hour”. Then edit parameters: “Set max. fan speed when interval is not active” and “Set max. fan speed when interval is active”. Both parameters will limit fan speed. The first parameter sets max. fan speed only when current time is not in the time interval between “from” and “till” time values (interval inactive). The second parameter sets max. fan speed when interval is active. So you can increase or decrease maximum fan speed only at desired time, for example, at night.
There is “min fan speed” parameter also. It is valid if it’s value is >0. Parameter is usefull if you don’t want fan to stop when aquarium water temperature is normal. For example, you have non-waterproof electronics in your aquarium hood and you want to remove water vapour from the hood constantly. Then you can set “min fan speed” to 30-40%, MTA value to 26,0°C. Then fan will never be turned off. When aquarium temperature will fall below 25,5°C, heater will be turned on but fan will continue to rotate according to the “min fan speed” parameter set.

Dosing Pumps channels control.
12V dosing pumps must be connected to SimACo main board. You can use 1-4 pumps depending on how many different fertilizers yo are using. Generally there are 2 modes for dosing pumps: automatic and manual. You can set automatic mode for selected amount of fertilizers dosing on selected days. Or you can select manual mode if you want to doze fertilizers right now. By pressing “Stop pumps” button user will stop pumps in both modes.
On first SimACo run you must test your dosing pumps flow rates. In the other words you must know how many mililiters of fertilizer are pumped through 60 seconds interval and set this parameter in “Pump flow rate ml/min” for each pump you are using. The test can be done using manual dosing. You must have a stopwatch. Take a spare container where pump will pump fertilizers. In the Angry Fish application set initial “Pump flow rate, ml/min” values for all channels to 1 ml and save settings. Then close application. With keypad in the 1st pump’s manual dosing menu set “Fertilizer1 man. XXml start” fertilizer amount parameter to 99ml. Start the pump with keypad, wait 60 sec and then stop the pump. Controlling the pumps from Angry Fish application can give you inaccurate result because pump will be started and stopped with some delay. Measure amount of pumped fertilizer. Do this measurements for all pumps, then set the measured flow rates in “Pump flow rate ml/min” fields for each pump using Angry Fish. SimACo knowing flow rate and fertilizers dosing amount will calculate how many time to run pumps in order to dose required amount of fertilizers.
Also on every fertilizers change you must update “Fertilizer amount left in container” parameter. Controller is created in such way that it will try to dose fertilizers even if “Fertilizer amount left in container” value is 0. After every dosing fertilizers amount left in containers, is automatically calculated so you can check this amount even not seeing containers with fertilizers.
Parameter “Start to pump fertilizers at X hour” sets the begining of automatic fertilizing. Pumps will pump fertilizers one after another – not all at the same time. This prevents fertilizers mixing with each other. If either pump is not enabled on the current day, it will be omitted.
You can start manual dosing using controller keypad. To do this select menu 509 – 512 according to required channel. It is manual dosing menus. Enter Edit mode with the ENTER button and edit fertilizers amount you want to dose with buttons UP/DOWN. Next press the SELECT button, word “start” will start to blink. Press ENTER and the dosing operation will begin. If you want to interrupt manual dosing, select the word “stop” and press ENTER. When manual dosing is active, at the 1st line of LCD you will see blinking “dosing active symbol”. At the second LCD line you will see the number with amount of fertilizers left to dose (in ml).

Auto top-off control.
auto top-off mounting example
Auto top-off function is used to refill aquarium with fresh water automatically if current aquarium water evaporated and water level dropped. Two float sensors (switches) and one pump is used for ATO function. 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 pump end attach to the aquarium wall. Do not immerse hose in to the aquarium water to prevent siphoning effect. One float sensor – aquarium sensor you must put in the aquarium. It will track aquarium water level. Sensor must be attached to the aquarium wall about 8mm below the desired aquarium water level. The other sensor – reservoir sensor you must put in the reservoir with fresh 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.
ATO module can refill aquarium automatically everyday at a time, set by user. Also user can start manual refill at any time. Manually ATO can be activated from Angry Fish application or using LCD menu. ATO module will refill aquarium automatically or manually if all these conditions are met:

  1. Aquarium sensor is in the LOW position (aquarium needs to be refilled).
  2. ATO module is enabled.
  3. “Auto top-off: reservoir water level low” alarm is not active.
  4. “Auto top-off: max aquarium fill time expired” alarm is not active (this condition is valid only for automatic refill).

If any of these conditions are not met pump will not run and will immediately stop if this occurs when pump is running. Also pump can be stopped at anytime by pressing “Stop ATO pump” button in Angry Fish application or starting the pump from Manual ATO LCD menu.

When pump starts to refill aquarium automatically, controller counts time and constantly compares pump run time with time value set in “Max. time when aquarium must be filled from the low level to the high level” field. This field can be set from 0,5 min to 25 min. It is needed to protect your aquarium from large overfilling in case if aquarium sensor started to malfunction. If aquarium sensor is in low position but “Max. time when aquarium must be filled from the low level to the high level” limit is reached then controller will stop the pump and “Auto 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 LCD menu if ATO system is enabled. Go to the “Auto top-off settings” in the LCD menu. There in the second level menu you will find “Sensor state:” menu. The status of the aquarium sensors will be indicated by writings “Hi” or “Lo” (sensor is in the high or low position). For example: “Sensor state: Aqua:Lo Res:Hi”. This means that the aquarium sensor is in the low position (needs to be refilled) and the reservoir sensor is in the high position (water level is OK). If ATO is disabled, sensor state will be indicated by writing “NA” (not available).

Dosing and ATO pumps queue.
Five pumps can be connected to SimACo: 4 dosing pumps and one auto top-off pump. SimACo program works in such way than the only one pump can work at the particular range of time. Controller program has the queue which distributes pump’s work. The queue prioritizes pump’s work in such way:

  1. Only one pump can run at the same time.
  2. Auto dosing operation has higher priority that the auto ATO operation: if auto dosing and auto ATO operations must start at the same time, first ATO pumps will run one after another. Only after that ATO operation will start.
  3. Manual dosing and manual ATO operation can be activated if no one pump is active. For example, if automatic dosing is active, SimACo will not respond to the “Start manual ATO” button press.
  4. If manual dosing or manual ATO operation is active and auto dosing or auto ATO operation must start, auto operation will wait till manual operation will be finished and only then will start.


How time intervals work.
Some controller settings have starting time and end time values. These settings are:

  • LED’s, Device’s and Fan events settings (“start time” and “end time” values),
  • Fan settings (“limit max. fan speed to XX% from YY hour to ZZ hour” in SENSOR CONTROLLED mode),
  • buzzer sound time settings (“buzzer enabled from YY hour til ZZ hour”).

When controller’s time reaches starting time value, action begins. When controller’s time reaches end time value, action ends. In other words action will be activated when the controller’s current time is ≥ than the start time and < than the end time.

Here is a simple example: LED1 channel’s event time is set from 8:30 to 16:00 hour. At 8 hour 30 min and 00 sec LED lighting will be activated. At 15 hour 59 min and 59 sec LEDs still will be on; at 16 hour 00 min 00 sec the lighting will be turned off.

SimACo firmware checks for events change one time per second. This is valid and for LED channels brightness change in AUTO mode. There is one thing the user must to know:
if LED channel is set to change LED brightness, for example, from 0 to 100% during one minute interval, brightness will be not evenly changed. This is because brightness must be changed by 100 steps of brightness through the 60 seconds (steps) of time. To achieve an even full – scale brightness change i recommend to use 5 minutes or bigger time interval.



The presence of any active alarm is displayed in Angry Fish status field. In alarms tab you can check which alarm/alarms exactly are active. Green color means that there is no alarm, red means that alarm is active. Also you can see alarms in the LCD module. If any alarm is active, the blinking “!” sign will be shown in the screen.
You can activate buzzer which will sound active alarm exists. Also you can set time interval at which alarm will sound. Buzzer will beep three times at the every start of ten minutes in the selected time interval.
Some alarms will reset automatically. Others must be reset manually through Angry Fish application or 5 buttons keypad. If alarm in Angry Fish application’s ALARMS tab has a “Reset” button near it, that means that alarm will not be automatically reset even if alarm conditions will be removed. In this case alarm can only be reset manually.
SimACo has several types alarms, they are:

N# Alarm When activated How to disable alarm through Angry Fish application
1 Channel Pump1 fertilizers daily dose too low PumpX automatic spinning time in Automatic Dosing mode is less than 5 sec. Disable channel if this channel is not used or

dilute fertilizer with distilled water and increase dosing amount of fertilizers.

2 Channel Pump2 fertilizers daily dose too low
3 Channel Pump3 fertilizers daily dose too low
4 Channel Pump4 fertilizers daily dose too low
5 Channel Pump1 fertilizer amount, left in container, is too low PumpX fertilizers amount left is less than the alarm limit set Disable channel if if this channel is not used or

refill fertilizer bottles and increase PumpX fertilizers amount left or

decrease alarm limit value.

6 Channel Pump2 fertilizer amount, left in container, is too low
7 Channel Pump3 fertilizer amount, left in container, is too low
8 Channel Pump4 fertilizer amount, left in container, is too low
9 Aquarium water temperature is too low Water temperature is lower than the “Temperature too low” alarm limit Check if heater is working or
decrease alarm limit value.
10 Aquarium water temperature is too high Water temperature is higher than the “Temperature too high” alarm limit Check if fan is working
or increase alarm limit value.
11 Sensor fault alarm Sensor is disconnected/malfunctioning and sensor is enabled If you want to use sensor:

  1. Connect good sensor,
  2. press “Reset” button in Angry fish” application’s ALARMS tab. .

If you do not want to use sensor:

  1. Disconnect sensor,
  2. disable sensor in Angry fish” application,
  3. press “Reset’ button in Angry fish” application’s ALARMS tab.
12 Auto top-off: reservoir water level low Reservoir flow switch is in the “low” position (not rised). Refill water reservoir or
check if reservoir float switch is working correctly.
13 Auto top-off: max aquarium fill time expired ATO pump’s working time was bigger than “Fill aquarium at XX hour” parameter Check if ATO pump is working or
check if aquarium float switch is working correctly or
increase “Max time when aquarium must be filled” parameter.
Then press “Reset’ button in Angry fish” application’s ALARMS tab.
14 System fault: SimACo restarted Controller has stuck and was restarted automatically. Press “Reset” button in “Angry Fish” application’s ALARMS tab or reset this alarm from the LCD menu.

Using “Fast control” function

Using Fast control” function with one button press you can rapidly change channel’s states or to go to the desired menu without scrolling through LCD menu.

List of “Fast control” 25 actions:

  • none
  • LEDs settings (first level menu)
  • Devices settings (first level menu)
  • Fan and sensor settings (first level menu)
  • Dosing pumps settings (first level menu)
  • Alarms settings (first level menu)
  • Auto top-off settings (first level menu)
  • Time and date (second level menu)
  • Current aquarium temperature (second level menu)
  • Fertilizer1 manual dosing, ml (second level menu)
  • Fertilizer2 manual dosing, ml (second level menu)
  • Fertilizer3 manual dosing, ml (second level menu)
  • Fertilizer4 manual dosing, ml (second level menu)
  • Change buzzer setting (enabled/disabled)
  • Change channel LED1 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO)
  • Change channel LED2 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO)
  • Change channel LED3 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO)
  • Change channel LED4 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO)
  • Change channel Device1 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO-OFF15)
  • Change channel Device2 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO)
  • Change channel Device3 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO)
  • Change channel Device4 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO-HEATER CONTROL)
  • Set channel Device1 to OFF15 mode
  • Change channel Fan mode (OFF-ON-AUTO-SENSOR CONTROLLED)
  • Change auto top-off module setting (enabled/disabled)

Four buttons in keypad – UP, DOWN, ENTER and SELECT have this function. Any of those four buttons can have one action assigned. You can program buttons actions in the Angry Fish “General Settings” tab. Simply select action for the particular button and press button save settings button. “Fast control” function is activated when button is continuously pressed for more then 1 second. There are default programmed actions when you first time run controller:
Button UP: change channel LED1 mode (OFF-ON-AUTO);
Button DOWN: set channel Device1 to OFF15 mode;
Button ENTER: current aquarium temperature (second level menu);
Button SELECT: alarm settings (first level menu).

For example your LED1 channel is in OFF mode. With a first long press of button UP you will change this mode to ON. With a second press you will change this mode to AUTO, with a third press you wil set channel to OFF mode again. So you don’t need to scroll menu on LCD to find LED1 channel control if you want to turn on/off aquarium lighting. You can rapidly do this with a one button press.

How to update SimACo firmware

Warning! If your old and new firmware version numbers are different, non-volatile memory will be erased and set to default values, so all your settings will be lost.
Firmware is updated through USB cable. So in order to update firmware you need:

  1. Switch SimACo to bootloader mode.
  2. Connect USB cable from PC to SimACo.
  3. In the “Connection & update” tab” Firmware update” groupbox press button “Choose hex file” and choose desired .hex file with SimACo firmware.
  4. Press button “Program firmware” and firmware will be programmed to SimACo.

Programming will take about 2 minutes. If Angry Fish application during programming throws firmware update error, try to restart application and to program firmware again. After programming you can press a “reset” button in the main board to return to the Standard mode.

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