I recently purchased a fish tank and I'm interested in automating certain parts of it.
This is the first time I've done this, so it's safe to assume I'm a complete noob on everything that is involved with running this kind of ecosystem.
After reading a bit, if I understand it well, this concentration of various molecules in the water is *very* important to the well-being of my future fish.
So far as I can tell, bacteria play an important role in maintaining the right chemical balance of the water.
I've purchased a some fluid which already contains the right bacteria colonies to regulate these chemicals.
The excrement that the fish produce has a high concentration of ammonia, which the bacteria will convert to nitrate which my plants can 'eat'. (Ammonia -> Nitrite -> Nitrate)
Right now I have to wait for the bacteria to grow, in about 2-4 weeks some sort of equilibrium should have formed.
However, various sources tell that this balance is very delicate. It will be disturbed by things like: refreshing the water, putting in different fish, temperature fluctuation, variations in light intensity...the list goes on.
Like I mentioned before, I want to automate my fish tank. Ideally I would like the 'system' to automatically restore the balance when it is has been disturbed.
To achieve this I think I need to monitor the concentration of these substances.
I have a background in electrical engineering and programming.
In high school I had some classes on chemistry and biology. Its been a while... but I think/hope I still know the basics. Regardless, my knowledge is basic at best.
Any advise is greatly appreciated!