Simplest way to get aquarium temperature readings?

I’m trying to find a simple way to connect some kind of submersible thermometer to SmartThings.

I’ve searched through the community a bit but all the solutions seem kind of complicated, involving buying a probe and a separate device and wiring them together with custom device handlers, which is a bit overwhelming for me at this point.

Ideally I’d like to be able to just buy a smart thermometer that already works underwater and connects to smartthings, but apparently those don’t exist (or are extremely hard to find, anyway).

So if I have to go the “buy a probe and wire it to some other device” route, what is the absolute simplest way to do it? Are there any devices I can hook up and have them just work without hunting down special device handlers online?

Thanks as always!

The short answer is no.

Water in and of itself blocks a lot of radio waves, so there just aren’t very many devices that are fully submersible. That’s why the probes are used. But as you know, they require custom code.

(A lot of breeders are also concerned that radio transmissions actually in the water will disturb the fish.)

On top of that, smartthings itself simply isn’t reliable enough to use for something that might be a health hazard if it failed. That’s not me saying that: that’s the company’s own product usage guidelines.

There are some reliable systems from other companies made specifically to automate aquarium care, but they are pretty expensive. Neptune Apex and Seneye are wellknown brands, and some community members have them, but they don’t integrate with SmartThings.

What exactly were you hoping to accomplish?

I was hoping to be able to get alerts if the temperature ever dropped too low or rose too high. I have a ‘dumb’ thermometer in the tank already, so the SmartThings functionality would just be extra protection for the fish.

Ive thought about using a probe like discussed here attached to arduino/ESP

Or, i wonder if you took apart a ST multi sensor and stuck it to the aquarium somehow (trying to get the circuit board sensor close to glass as possible). Then cover it with a small box(???) to insulate it from the air.

Two things…

  1. Check HERE for some info.
  2. I did see somewhere (?) that a cheap video camera was used for watching the thermometer and notifications were generated when the temperature passed into specifically selected areas of the dynamic image. It seems this would be somewhat difficult.
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To see what other people have done, look at the quick browse list on the community Dash created wiki, go down near the bottom of that page for the “project reports“ section and choose the list on “animals.“ That’s where the aquarium topics are. :sunglasses:

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

Lots of people using a probe attached to lots of different devices. See the link I put in the post just above this to the community-created wiki.

However, that would be off topic for this particular thread, since the OP has asked for a solution that doesn’t require any custom code.

Also, don’t take any electronics device apart that’s going near your aquarium. Two words: galvanic corrosion. :wink:

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Hello,

So, I just have a small freshwater tank. I just stuck one of the Smartthings (2nd gen?) multisensors on the outside of the tank on the glass. I find that its temperature readings match the “real” thermometer I have floating in the water very closely. I use it with some basic routines to ensure my heater goes on and off if water is lower than 72 or higher than 76 (I also get alerts).

Worth a try and don’t have to deal with submersible probe/ thermometer.

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The Qubino zwave products have a temperature probe (sold separately) that just snaps in with no wiring and is able to be used in water. I haven’t tried it, but it seems pretty simple. Tagging @TheSmartestHouse as they can probably provide guidance on which of the Qubino units is best for your purpose, and they have links to the DHs on their website.

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Any of the Qubino modules will work well, it’s probably the cheapest to get the thermostat module since it already includes the probe:

It will need to be powered by a 24-30 VDC power supply (instead of 120 VAC) if the probe is going to be submerged.

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Still trying to understand using the Qubino with submerged probe. Does one simply buy a wall adapter and strip the ends to hard wire? Also would it need to go into some kind of enclosure? I currently use a Fibaro FGK to monitor my aquarium but would like to find a non-battery powered solution.

Not so long ago I have seen an electrical thermometer for aquariums. It is the most exact thermometer I have ever used because when I was following the temperature it was showing all the ecosystem in my saltwater aquarium was feeling great. Even all live organisms on a live rock were feeling great, and I wasn’t changing them. But there are a lot of Coralline Algae on my life rocks. It acts as the cement which binds the reef materials into a sturdy structure.

I use the Sensative Comfort strip… with a catch.

While it is water resistant, it is not waterproof. What I did to waterproof it is pretty simple. I used the paintable clear Flex Seal… it is waterproof and aquarium safe once it cures.
Amazon: Sensative Comfort
Amazon: Flex Seal Liquid - Clear

This is all I did step by step:

  1. I went ahead and included it to my hub.
  2. Shook up the can really well and opened it
  3. I got one of those hanging close pins and put it on one end of the strip.
  4. holding onto the close pin, dipped the strip as far as it would go into the can.
  5. Because the strip is longer then the can, when I pulled the strip from the can, I let it dry for about 4 hours on the close line. Then I put the pin on the end that was dipped and then dipped the end that was clean.
  6. Let it cure for 24 hours before I added to my tank

Its pretty simple and affective. I tried to get the Fibaro Door/Window sensor w/ DS18B20 external sensor to work even using JJ’s handler and could never get them to read the temp… I got fed up with it and just did the flex seal route… This idea only works for the sensative strip… This solution won’t work for Multi-sensors out there that you can replace the batteries. Sensative is a 10 year deal and that’s that.

I did see where a guy used a mulitsensor, and vacuum sealed it in a food saver, for his pool and that worked too - he just cuts it open when he wants to replace the battery and seals it back up. But for the aquarium, that solution would have been hard to hide.

I’ve been vacuum sealing ST multi sensors in bags then putting them in my canister filters. been work great for months.