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2.

2 Related Literature
2.2.1 Foreign Literature
According to AHMAD ZULKHAIRI BIN MOHD KHALID (MAY 2011) Aquaculture
is a growing industry with a great potential towards the contribution of the countrys total
fish requirement. Serious efforts have been done to develop and improve the production
of fish by rearing high value fish in tanks or ponds.

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Under the Third National Agricultural Policy (1998-2010), the target is to annually
produce 1.93 million tonnes of fish worth approximately RM8.3 billion by the year 2010.
Consequently, the development of an automatic fish feeding machine can be very
beneficial to the growth of the aquaculture industry. This device is developed to overcome
labour problems in the industry and introduce a semi-automatic process in the
aquaculture industry. It has the ability to dispense dried fish food in various forms such
as pellets, sticks, tablets or granules into fish tanks or ponds in a controlled manner for a
stipulated time. The automatic fish feeder is controlled by a digital timer and it is capable
of feeding the fish in accordance with a pre-determined time schedule without the
presence of an operator. The feeder can be adjusted to the desired amount of food to
release in the aquarium and conveniently moved around to be positioned adjacent to
tank. Meanwhile, the feedback system is applied to this automatic fish feeder to control
the amount of food in the aquarium. This automatic fish feeder can be implemented in
aquaculture system for the benefit of fish culturists.

According to Genesis Reef System (2015) Whether you have a gigantic reef tank
or a prized discus display, youll want our RENEW Automatic Water Change System!
Simply tell it how many gallons to change and how long to take to do the change, then
press a button and walk away. The RENEW system will dutifully start working so you dont
have to, exchanging the specified volume of aquarium water with your premixed
replacement water. No need to turn off your equipment or disturb your prized specimens
theyll be completely unaware of the change going on around them, but theyll certainly
appreciate the benefits of more frequent water changes! Youll appreciate healthier corals

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and fish, more time to enjoy your masterpiece, and not having to clean up spills caused
by repeatedly lifting those heavy buckets.
By performing numerous small changes, the RENEW eliminates large pH swings,
temperature changes, and abrupt salinity fluctuations, all while removing dissolved
organics and replenishing vital trace elements. Connect the RENEW to our STORM
Specialized Top Off & Replenishment Module, and theyll work together to provide you
and your aquarium with unsurpassed water handling the STORM will know when water
is being intentionally removed from your aquarium and wont try to replace it with fresh
top off water like other top off systems will. Plus, you can sit back and relax, knowing that
all of our products have been designed with your aquariums health as our #1 priority
all materials that come into contact with your aquarium water are completely non-toxic,
FDA approved or NSF certified.

The Importance of Using pH Tests To Monitor Water Conditions


According to Kordon LLC, formerly Novalek Inc. formed by biological scientists
in the California Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco, pH test is
important for tropical marine conditions. The pH for tropical marine aquariums should be
kept stable at 8.2-8.3. The most likely deviation in pH is going to be by the water becoming
more acid as the aquarium water ages. To stabilize the pH, the aquarist should use water
changes and/or pH buffers in the water to maintain the pH at 8.2-8.3. For freshwater
fishes, it is best to aim for a stable pH near neutral of about 6.8-7.2. Most freshwater

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fishes are raised, not wild caught, and are already adapted to this level of pH. What has
become known over time, despite what their natural pH water conditions might have been,
is that it is best to keep the pH stable, because even one tenth of a pH change is a
doubling of pH on its logarithmic scale. This is a substantial change in acidity/alkalinity for
the fish 4 and invertebrates in that water. As mentioned for marine aquariums, the proper
pH can be maintained through water changes and/or using buffers that stabilize the pH,
such as for freshwater at 7.0.

How water becomes Acidic or Alkaline


According to Brian Malinconico in his article from Aquarium-Wiki, Acidic or
Alkaline is a term used by aquarists which refers to water conditions and its pH value. He
states that water is said to be alkaline if it contains hydroxyl ions (OH). Hence, water with
a pH higher than 7 is said to be an alkaline. Alkaline water can be high in calcium or
magnesium ions. In a planted aquarium, the plants will give off carbon dioxide when the
lights are turned off. This will make the water with less alkaline. The opposite of alkaline
is acid. Some species of fish have difficulty breeding in alkaline water even though they
can live quite happily in acidic water. Neon tetras and Cardinal tetras are the most
commonly known examples of acidic solutions. Typical alkaline living species of fish are
Mollies and Platies. Keeping aquatic animals in the wrong side of their normal pH level
will greatly shorten their average life expectancy. For example, keeping Neon tetras in a
pH of greater than 7 will reduce their lifespan from an average of 20 years to only 2 or 3.

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Change of pH level
The Marine Environment Protection Committee in its article, Harmful Aquatic
Organisms in Ballast Water, states that each species of fish has its own narrow range of
pH preference and levels and outside of this range will cause health problems. For
example, koi prefers a range between 7 and 8.5, while some tropical fishes prefer water
that is slightly acidic. There are several ways that pH can affect fish health. High acidity
or alkalinity can cause direct physical damage to skin, gills and eyes. Prolonged exposure
to sub-lethal pH levels can cause stress, increase mucus production and encourage
epithelial hyperplasia (thickening of the skin or gill epithelia) with sometimes-fatal
consequences. Fish also have to maintain their own constant internal pH. Even small
fluctuations of blood pH can prove fatal. Extreme external or water pH can influence and
affect blood pH resulting in either acidosis or alkalosis of the blood. The other
consideration is diurnal shifts in pH, mainly as a consequence of photosynthesis. Large
fluctuations (even though they may still be within the preferred range) are likely to be
stressful and damaging to health of the fishes.

Effects of pH to the fish


According to Brooklands V.I.P Pet Products located in New Plymouth, in the
province of Taranaki, New Zealand, pH-level in water is the measure of how much
hydrogen is found in the water. Hydrogen is a chemical that is found all over the earth.

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The pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution or the power of


Hydrogen
The pH scale ranges from 1(acidic) to 14 (basic). A change of one pH unit means
a tenfold change in concentration. Some fish can tolerate a range of 5 to 9 pH. Other
fish cannot tolerate a change in one pH unit. Effects of pH on aquatic organisms:
- Affects breathing
- Cause stress, and diseases
- Affects the reproductive cycle of fish
- Affects the nitrogen cycle

How does a pH meter work?


If you're using litmus paper, none of this matters. The basic idea is that the paper
turns a slightly different color in solutions between pH 1 and 14 and, by comparing your
paper to a color chart, you can simply read off the acidity or alkalinity without worrying
how many hydrogen ions there are. But a pH meter somehow has to measure the
concentration of hydrogen ions.
An acidic solution has far more positively charged hydrogen ions in it than an
alkaline one, so it has greater potential to produce an electric current in a certain
situationin other words, it's a bit like a battery that can produce a greater voltage. A pH
meter takes advantage of this and works like a voltmeter: it measures the voltage
(electrical potential) produced by the solution whose acidity we're interested in, compares

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it with the voltage of a known solution, and uses the difference in voltage (the "potential
difference") between them to deduce the difference in pH.
What's it made of?
A typical pH meter has two basic components: the meter itself, which can be a
moving-coil meter (one with a pointer that moves against a scale) or a digital meter (one
with a numeric display), and either one or two probes that you insert into the solution
you're testing. To make electricity flow through something, you have to create a complete
electrical circuit; so, to make electricity flow through the test solution, you have to put two
electrodes (electrical terminals) into it. If your pH meter has two probes (like the one in
the photo at the top of this article), each one is a separate electrode; if you have only one
probe, both of the two electrodes are built inside it for simplicity and convenience.

The electrodes aren't like normal electrodes (simple pieces of metal wire); each
one is a mini chemical set in its own right. The electrode that does the most important job,
which is called the glass electrode, has a silver-based electrical wire suspended in a
solution of potassium chloride, contained inside a thin bulb (or membrane) made from a
special glass containing metal salts (typically compounds of sodium and calcium). The
other electrode is called the reference electrode and has a potassium chloride wire
suspended in a solution of potassium chloride.

How does it all work? When you dip the two electrodes into the blue test solution,
some of the hydrogen ions move toward the outer surface of the glass electrode and
replace some of the metal ions inside it, while some of the metal ions move from the glass

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electrode into the blue solution. This ion-swapping process is called ion exchange, and
it's the key to how a glass electrode works. Ion-swapping also takes place on the inside
surface of the glass electrode from the orange solution. The two solutions on either side
of the glass have different acidity, so a different amount of ion-swapping takes place on
the two sides of the glass. This creates a different degree of hydrogen-ion activity on the
two surfaces of the glass, which means a different amount of electrical charge builds up
on them.

This charge difference means a tiny voltage (sometimes called a potential


difference, typically a few tens or hundreds of millivolts) appears between the two sides
of the glass, which produces a difference in voltage between the silver electrode and the
reference electrode that shows up as a measurement on the meter.
Although the meter is measuring voltage, what the pointer on the scale (or digital
display) actually shows us is a pH measurement. The bigger the difference in voltage
between the orange (inside) and blue (outside) solutions, the bigger the difference in
hydrogen ion activity between. If there is more hydrogen ion activity in the blue solution,
it's more acidic than the orange solution and the meter shows this as a lower pH; in the
same way, if there's less hydrogen ion activity in the blue solution, the meter shows this
as a higher pH (more alkaline).

Who do we have to thank for this clever stuff? First, Nobel-Prize winning German
chemist Fritz Haber (18681934) and his student Zygmunt Klemensiewicz (18861963)
developed the glass electrode idea in 1909. The modern, electronic pH meter was

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invented about a quarter century later, in 1934, when American chemist Arnold Beckman
(19002004) figured out how to hook up a glass electrode to an amplifier and voltmeter
to make a much more sensitive instrument. He was a granted a patent in October 1936.
Fish foods
An article regarding fish foods was also taken into account. It is written by Nathan
Miller, entitled Aquarium Fish Food Tips. This article provides useful information
regarding the different kinds of food for the fishes. The author grouped fish foods found
in major aquarium shops into two categories: flake foods, and freeze-dried foods. These
foods provide a complete and balanced diet for the fish and are available in a variety of
forms: floating pellets, sinking pellets, granules, tablets, and flakes.
Pellets are available in forms that are denser or lighter than water. This
allows the fish to feed in a more natural way - if the right pellet is provided. Some
fish prefer to feed off the bottom of the tank while others prefer to feed off the
surface. Like flakes, pellet foods are available in many varieties, each with a
specific purpose.
Flakes are the most common type of processed foods, and are available
in a very wide variety. Some flakes are prepared to provide the nutritional
requirements of specific varieties or species of fish, and others are designed to

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counter nutritional imbalances, while still others are balanced to enhance color or
growth or to encourage spawning.
Granules are like very small, hard flakes or tiny pellets. Currently, only a
limited variety of fish food granules are available, usually prepared for the general
nutritional needs of small community fish.
Tablets are large flat pellets. Most tablets are of a sinking variety, but there
are some that cling or sink to the side of the aquarium so that the aquarist may
observe the fish being fed. Most of the sinking tablets provide the nutritional needs
of scavengers and bottom feeders.

2.2.2 Local Literature


Microcontroller Based Self-Maintained Aquarium
According to Von Arvie A. Barbosa, Christopher B. Barro etal, There are a lot
of factors to be considered when designing a self-maintained aquarium system such as
water quality, fish populations, physical size of the aquarium, and the kinds of fishes inside
the aquarium.
Water quality is a general term that refers to several categories such as: physical
and chemical characteristics, pollutants and contaminants (toxic chemicals, petroleum
derivatives), and biological agents, like water-borne disease organisms. Each of these

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categories includes a set of parameters used to measure and describe the degree of
quality of each. Some of these parameters may include water temperature, pH level, and
dissolved oxygen.
Water quality of the aquarium affects the system in a way that it determines
whether the water needs to be filtered or replaced. Fish population may affect water
quality. An overpopulated aquarium system may lower the dissolved oxygen which might
cause serious problems to the health of the fishes.
The physical size of the aquarium could determine the number of fishes that could
live in it. Small containers may not be healthy for certain types of fishes and may cause
overpopulation. In addition, it is important to consider the kinds of fishes that will stay in
the aquarium because some of them have characteristics that might cause trouble with
some other inhabitants. Is is also possible that some of these fishes may not be supported
by the automatic feeder. Refer to Figure 1 for the complete process of the system.

2.3 Related Studies


2.3.1 Foreign Studies

Several studies and literature were published regarding the automation of


aquarium systems. An interesting article in the Fish Flash, entitled Automated Water
Changing, written by Bob Krampetz, explains how to construct a siphon/overflow water
change system that does not involve drilling tanks. The author provided illustrations and

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a step-by-step procedure on how to implement a water replacement system. He used


PVC and drip irrigation with valve to control the flow of water.
Equipment called super feeder is made to feed the fishes automatically. It has a
base model that holds 3/4 cup of flakes or pellets, which can be increased with its supplied
2-cup hopper extension. It also has a special "Moisture Trap" funnel which effectively
keeps excessive moisture away from the feeder's food reservoir as well as providing a
means of distributing the food without spills.
The feeder comes with a low voltage power adapter that can be plugged into any
24-Hr lamp timer, a digital timer (for precise timing), or even a home automation power
module. Some people can operate it with a remote 3 control to manually feed the fish. It
has its own internal electronic adjustable feed timer and volume adjustment to accurately
adjust the amount of food you want to dispense per cycle (it drops the food all at once
from a split second to over a minute for the amount of time you selected). The proponents
believed that this equipment can also be used in the feeding system and in customizing
the feeder box.

Acording to Ahmhad Zulkhairi Bin Mohd Khalid ( May 2011 )Aquaculture is a


growing industry with a great potential towards the contribution of the countrys total fish
requirement. Serious efforts have been done to develop and improve the production of
fish by rearing high value fish in tanks or ponds. Under the Third National Agricultural
Policy (1998-2010), the target is to annually produce 1.93 Million tonnes of fish worth
approximately RM8.3 billion by the year 2010. Consequently, the development of an

Pateros Technological College


College St. Sto.Rosario Kanluran, Pateros, Metro Manila
P a g e | 26

automatic fish feeding machine can be very beneficial to the growth of the aquaculture
industry. This device is developed to overcome labour problems in the industry and
introduce a semi-automatic process in the aquaculture industry. It has the ability to
dispense dried fish food in various forms such as pellets, sticks, tablets or granules into
fish tanks or ponds in a controlled manner for a stipulated time.
The automatic fish feeder is controlled by a digital timer and it is capable of feeding
the fish in accordance with a pre-determined time schedule without the presence of an
operator. The feeder can be adjusted to the desired amount of food to release in the
aquarium and conveniently moved around to be positioned adjacent to tank. Meanwhile,
the feedback system is applied to this automatic fish feeder to control the amount of food
in the aquarium. This automatic fish feeder can be implemented in aquaculture system
for the benefit of fish culturists.

Basic Aquarium Water Parameters


Scott Charles in his article Basic Aquarium Water Parameters, identified the
basic parameters. 1.) The pH (Power of Hydrogen) is the measurement of hydrogen ions.
Increased hydrogen ions (less bonding) results in a drop of the pH (more acidic water),
while a decrease results in a pH rise. The pH is measured on a scale from 0-14. Changes
in pH are common causes of fish fatalities. Fish can adapt to most pH levels, if not broadly
out of range, but they don't adapt well to bouncing values. In other words, a change in pH
from 7 to 6 means 10 times more acidic water. A further drop to a pH of 5 equals 100

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times more acidic water. If the aquarist wants to adjust the pH in the tank, he has to
consider the carbonate hardness. The pH in harder water is more difficult to adjust
because it bounces back. Keep in mind to change it slowly as it causes a lot of stress to
the fish. 2.) General Hardness (GH) primarily measures calcium and magnesium ions. It
is important for breeders (some species require very soft water, which is hard to maintain,
requiring constant monitoring for maximum success). Other than choosing the right fish
for the existing conditions, the GH is generally not all that important for the average
hobbyist. 3.) Carbonate Hardness (kH) measures dissolved bicarbonate and carbonate
ions. They are commonly referred to as the buffering capacity. The kH determines the pH
stability and is therefore, very important. The more bond form, the higher the pH. Lesser
carbonate ions results in a drop of pH. The kH of 70 ppm and less will initiate the pH
crash. Therefore, never attempt to adjust these values unless it is absolutely necessary.
Be sure to carefully monitor any changes in kH and pH. If the fish and tank are thriving, it
is not recommended that any adjustments be attempted. 4.) Nitrogen compounds such
as ammonia and Nitrite. Nitrates are well described in The Nitrogen Cycle article. 5.)
Water companies add chlorine or chloramines as a disinfectant to tap water. Chlorine is
less stable than chloramines and airs out in just a few days. Some persons simply let the
water age for a couple of days before doing the water change, thus, airing out the chlorine.
When Chloramine is stable, it does not air out even if heavily aerated. As a mixture of
ammonia and chlorine it passes through the fishs tissue directly into the bloodstream. In
the blood, just like nitrite, Chloramine destroys the oxygen carrying cells and causes all
fish to die within 24 hours.

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Water replacement
In an article Aquarium Basics: Partial Water Changes by Haname, the writer
states that aquarist should gradually replace the water if it is already acidic or basic. It
states that the most frequent and most fatal mistake made by 7 beginners is to think that
they need to "clean-up" the tank every now and then. It means to scoop up all the fish
into a bucket, remove everything from the tank, give it all a good scrubbing, assemble
everything back, and dump the fish back into the aquarium. If this happens the fish will
be stressed and might die due to lack of oxygen.
Haname said that the good and consistent water quality is the single most
important element of a healthy aquarium. To maintain water quality, a regular schedule
of partial water changes is essential in most aquarium setups. Partial water change is so
important (as opposed to total "clean-ups"), because it involves the concepts of Basic
Aquarium Water Parameters and the Nitrogen Cycle.
The researchers asked Mr. Amador Domingo Jr., an aquarist who has been
constantly growing different kinds of fishes regarding the partial change of water based
on a regular schedule. He said that for an average tank, water should be changed . of
the total volume of water in 24 hours. This was proven by a series of tests that were
conducted on the design.

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In the article Nitrogen Cycle by Vanny Devos, Tiago Beltrao and Marcos Avila,
they stated that if the pH reading is higher than 6.8, fish create ammonia as part of its
biological processes. It is created by the decaying materials in the tank like uneaten food
and dead plants. Ammonia in an aquarium has no place to go but into the water. It is a
highly toxic chemical even in very small quantity. Bacteria is an aerobic creatures, which
needs oxygen to survive. A group of bacteria known as nitrosonomas, break down the
ammonia into nitrites. Similarly, nitrites are also lethal in small amounts, but not as small
as ammonia and are also broken down by bacteria. This group of bacteria, known as
nitrobacters, also requires oxygen to do its work. The nitrites get broken down to nitrates.
Nitrates are not lethal except in extremely large amounts. There are only a few ways to
regulate the amount of nitrate. Plants remove nitrate by using it as food. There is a type
of bacteria (anaerobic) that will consume nitrate, but oxygen drives them away, and large
amount of surface area is needed to be exposed to very slow moving water in order for
them to work. Large amounts of 10 these bacteria are lethal to fish. The other way of
removing nitrate is through water changes. If the pH is lower than 6.8 and becomes stable
at that point, ammonia is not an issue because the lower pH ammonia becomes
ammonium. Ammonium is harmless except when in very large amounts. It is even easier
for the plants to use them for food, and is unusable by the nitrifying bacteria.

2.3.2 Local Studies


According to Marlon Chua and et.al (2010), Ornamental fish industry is now
becoming highly competitive and keeping ornamental fishes now is worldwide hobby.

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However , fishes especially of salt water, are very delicate and there are many factors
affecting their growth and survival, one of the top reasons why aquarium fishes die is
due to overfeeding, improper, and poor water quality. And attending to these problems
is tedious and time consuming.

By creating a system that would automatically feed the fishes and maintain water
temperature and salinity, the fish owners wont need to worry about feeding the fishes
or worry about the temperature and salinity of the water. The functions of the system
are controlled by a single microcontroller. The automatic feeder uses a rotating scoop
to dispense fish feeds of about 78mg every rotation of the feeder. The chilling unit
maintains the water temperature between 24-26 degrees Celsius by automatically
turning it on and of as needed. When salinity/specific gravity of water goes up to 1.025
the system adds a few amount of water every minute until the specific gravity returns
to normal. The system has water levelling function to prevent under and overflows. The
system can also automatically prepare salt water and make partial water changes.

Through this system, manpower used in feeding the fishes or maintaining water
temperature and salinity can be completely eliminated. For fish breeders and retailers,
cost can be lessened by replacing some of the employees with the use of the system.
And for pet owners, this system can eliminate the time and effort.