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 Indoor Breeding with Arduino 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:59 am
Posts: 132
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Update:

After reading all of the comments here on the forum, I decided to 'supersize' my lighting options and add lumens!

The first thing I did was to go out and buy a 500 watt halogen worklight for $15.

Image

At 10,000 lumens, this light should have given more than enough light, and a significant amunt of heat. The flies were excited, but no mating after several hours and 500watts at average power prices around here would be over $100 over the next few months.I took it back.

Instead I've gone with 2x 48 watt Nelson CFLs, which should output 5,670 lumens which combined with my other lights should be 8,160 lumens. That should mean according to this table that I'm getting 10,000 lux at 25 centimetres away. Of course, my flies are far more than 25 centimetres away if they're sitting on the ground, but as soon as they take to the air it improves. I've used those baton-like worklight

Image



Image

I've already got one who decided to fly inside the light and fry itself, but luckily the CFLs have little loops onto which I can attach a wire guard to prevent that happening again.

Still no luminance sensor - i will have to make a complaint on ebay.


Last edited by BorealWormer on Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fix BB code



Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:07 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:41 pm
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Location: Mississippi Delta
Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
The flies will mate in a 2 gal jar if the light and temperature is right. Exposing them inside any enclosure to direct sunlight likely will kill them in few minutes coz they cannot dissipate quickly the heat transmitted by infrareds, hitting and warming up their body. If you are using direct sunlight you must provided them with cool air, but the sharp gradient of temperature is critical and almost impossible of balancing, or perhaps using a thermal camera, gun thermometer etc for measuring the body temperature of the flies. That is the reason of the lack of matings, often observed, if inside a greenhouse.

But the best choice is providing heat and light separately, I meant the light source should not emit infrareds.


Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:04 pm
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Alfredo one of the features of my enclosure is that I use a screen instead of glass, but when I'm not using external sunlight I can lower a reflective shield over the screen. This means that whenever there is sunlight there is also ventilation. Your comments before about CRI make me wonder whether there's something wrong with the colour temperature of the lights in my enclosure. What have you heard about the right colour temperature for mating?


Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:11 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Just because I'm becoming obssessed with this, I thought that I might write a little more about the Zhang 2010 study that managed to mate black soldier flies with a halogen lamp.

Firstly, they used a 500 watt halogen lamp - this one in fact:

Image

They used cages that were 1.8 metres long by 1.2 metres wide and 1.5 metres high covered in white cloth.

When taking light measurements, they used an apogee quantum sensor PPF reader 50cm below the light source. The reason they used a PPF reader and not a lux reader is because the insect eye is more sensitive to different wavelengths than a human eye. Insects generally like the lower end of the spectrum, especially UV light, as can be seen in this graph of the colour sensitivity of an onion fly:

Image

Lumens and lux are fine-tuned to the human eye, and PPF is fine tuned to the leaves of plants. Neither of these is identical to the sensitivity of an insect, and both measurements are really second best options. If you compare the sensitivity of the onion fly to the light output of an incandescent lamp (below) you will see that they are almost opposite. Because PPF is basically counting the number of photons between the 400nm and 700 nm wavelengths, our raw number ignores the fact that the flies shouldn't really care for any of the photons in up in the higher ranges, they want photons near the UV. Essentially the PPF reader awards points for infrared light that the flies cannot see very well.

Image

The study claims that the philips floodlight gives 135 PPF at 50cm distance (I guess they suspended the light sensor off the ground) however this is tough to reconcile if we want to turn it into something that we can calculate with retail products that WE can buy.

135 PPF from a halogen lamp is equivalent to 6750lx according to this calculator, but if I use this calculator a 500 watt halogen lamp should only provide 3,000 lux at 50cm. Who knows!?

I finally received my lux sensor yesterday and I wired it up right before I went to bed. at ~60cm from my lights, the lux sensor was reading...1,830lx! If I cross reference this with what the calculator expects from 136 watts of flourescent lights and consider that I have fly-wire (newly installed) in front of the lights then it reconciles to within 20 lux. Not too shabby....but hardly 6,750 lux.

So herein lies the rub. If these calculators are accurate, then in order to replicate the light levels in the experiment I will need an additional 4900 lux hitting my sensor. If I simply ignore their fancy-pants quantum sensor and just think about how much light comes from a 500 watts halogen (which if you'll recall I tried before) then I'm just missing 1,000 lux. I'm inclined to believe the second one, as for what it's worth, 6750lx would require 500 watts of flourescents - which is just insane.

I'll soon post new pictures of my re-vamped enclosure which has incorporated the advice of all major sages and oracles of note.


Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:31 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Update time.

There's a saying silicon valley about what it takes to be a succesful entrepreneur - fail early.

Because I put so much work into my first breeding setup I was unwilling to admit that it was a failure, and thought that through small tweaks that I could get it to work. That was obviously not the case. Reasons that it probably failed might include:

- not bright enough
- wrong spectrum of light
- low density of flies
- not warm enough
- not humid enough
- too much space

In any case I decided to make a clean break and draw upon my experience to build the indoor arduino breeding box 2.0!

Image

Features include:

200W LED floodlight, cool white light with a CRI>80
60cm of vertical flying space
TSl2561 illuminance sensor
DHT22 humidity-temperature sensor
Humidifier
Sealable access port and viewing window

Image
Tissue box for scale.

Here's an interior view:

Image

This thing is bright. really bright. It maxes out the default settings on my illuminance sensor at 27,000 lux. The entire interior is covered with highly reflective emergency blanket material. I get a headache if I look in there for too long, and therefore I have since installed a shutter on the window.

The LED is so efficient that it doesn't get too hot to touch, and the internal temperature of the enclosure doesn't exceed 30 degrees. I have pegged humidity at 80% with the arduino, and included cooked carrot offcuts as an egg-laying attractant. Now that everything is properly rigged up I will begin posting data dumps from the SD card.

Personally I don't think that I'll get any eggs until the population density increases, and in the future I will seek to dramatically decrease the substrate in the pupation bin so that they are never more than 8cm from the surface.


Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:36 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Image

Today's data. Total flies ~5


Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:09 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:41 am
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Location: Riverside, MO
Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
I'm thinking about trying to overwinter some pre-pupae and maybe even some immature larvae in an array of small styrofoam coolers in my garage. It's attached to the house, but un-heated... so it gets quite cool but doesn't quite freeze.

I'm hoping to find some kind of device that I can plug into an outlet in the garage and keep track of temp and humidity - something I can maybe connect to wirelessly with the PC and download the graphs periodically.... but I did some quick checking and I'd rather not spend $1000...

Any bright ideas? :D

P.S. .. The Arduino BroodBox 2.0 looks super rad... I'm pretty happy with my easy-breezey patio aviary - but If I had to bring it indoors I think I would take lessons from you. Going to start googling your model numbers and see if it's something I can work with.


Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:35 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:41 am
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Location: Riverside, MO
Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
I guess this is an order of magnitude cheaper... and might be a lot simpler than bridging the distance from garage to PC with a pair of arduinos.
http://www.acurite.com/environment-system-with-temperature-and-humidity-01059.html

Times like these I ask myself how much I love this hobby, and how willing I am to risk angering the wife...


Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:06 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Nice thread guys ...

I am also using an Arduino for monitoring and controlling Temp and Humidity. Lighting not yet, but soon to follow.
The remote sensors (posted above here somewhere) can be nice to start monitoring, but if you want to have more control (and you want) then you should use a setup that also is able to control the temp and humidity. Arduino is great for that, although the programming is not easy...

I am using direct sunlight, in combination with artificial light, with different result so far. In a greenhouse, with makes regulating the temp and humidity difficult, but soon (winter is coming up) will work only inside, and probably with artificial light only. Probably will have one side to a window, that can be opened to solve the glass issue with UV light.
THe nursery & grow bins are in seperate climate controlled area, for which I use the Arduino. Going from Arduino Uno to Mega, to have more sensors and outlets to manage 4 zones independantly from eachother. Nursery, Grow, PrePupatea and probably another for pupation and the mating rooms.


Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
ProEnto welcome to our forum :) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

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Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:22 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Aussiemoo wrote:

200W LED floodlight, cool white light with a CRI>80
...

This thing is bright. really bright. It maxes out the default settings on my illuminance sensor at 27,000 lux. The entire interior is covered with highly reflective emergency blanket material. I get a headache if I look in there for too long, and therefore I have since installed a shutter on the window.
....


Aussiemoo - I'm inspired by your new box, and thinking of doing something similar with an LED floodlamp. How do the flies seem to be responding to it? I gather it's too early for breeding success rates, but are they acting "normal-ish"? ... is it possible to have TOO MUCH light, I wonder?

Is that 200W "equivalent"? or more like 500W equivalent? How cool is "cool white", in this case? (not familiar with the CRI rating)


Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:29 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Hi all,
Sorry for the delay in posting.

In terms of the ease and cost of the arduino - honestly it's dirt cheap and dead easy to use. If you guys are in the US it's even easier and cheaper. The programs are all available open source on the web and as long as you use DC components you wont have trouble. I used a MOFSET to turn the 5 volts .5mA of an AC->USB converter into some useful low voltage DC power and ran the humidifer with it. I'm sure you could get a little USB desk fan for ventilation or some USB something with a motor if you wanted other things to move and do stuff. Most sensors are made for arduino and are dirt cheap. the lux sensor cost $1.70...

The larger and vastly more important question is about success. The answer is that I have received no eggs yet. The heat and humidity seems perfect in there, but I haven't seen any mating nor received any eggs in my flutes. My current guess is that this has to do with population density, as flies in captivity seem to need high populations in order to mate at all. I can't do anything about density at the moment since I am still living off my reserves from last summer, but I can change the light in there, and will re-introduce my UVB lamp this weekend if I have time.

ProEnto have you ever used a TSL2561 lumosity sensor? Apparently I can tweak it to get different readings for UV and non UV light?

Only thing of note in the box right now is that a monstrous freak emerged - or at least that's what I thought until I realized that it was a garden soldier fly

Image


Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:28 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Aussiemoo,

I haven't had the chance to experiment with the TSL2561 sensor ...
It could be interesting to see which lighting emits infrared - as this is damaging the flies, but the full spectrum sensor is more interesting to find the right lighting that triggers the mating.


Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:08 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Image

Image

I actually found two egg clusters when cleaning out my breeder. One under the cardboard of the humidifer, which is no where near the food source, and one in the tissue above my rotting mandarin.

They look fairly fresh and non-dessicated, so must have been laid in the last three days. There's a tiny chance they were laid right under my nose in a 30 minute window when I exposed all flies to sunlight before freeing them, but my understanding is that females cannot lay immediately after mating and need a little while for the eggs to become fertilized. If anyone can refute this please do. Otherwise I am going to class this breeder box a somewhat success!

As you all know I've been at this for at least five months now, with the latest iteration of the breeder box having been finished at the beginning of September. Recent changes which may have precipitated this glorious event are:

    1. Addition of rotten mandarin as an attractant
    2. addition of UVB 25 watt exo-terra lizard lamp
    3. Light rationing after 5 day holiday (holiday everything was off, then I've been rationing them to 3 hours a day since)
    4. Shift in the weather causing higher temps at night
    5. Greater density of flies

Thanks to everyone who has helped me achieve this milestone, and while I know that this batch may be sterile, it at least means that I have randomly hit upon something that can get them to mate. Now to narrow down that list of changes to find out what I need to do to get this happening again.


Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:40 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Update:
It's been approximately four days since I found the egg clusters, and while I have done my best not to open up and look directly at the egg clusters, I have not seen any evidence of crawling larvae. That doesn't mean that they have not hatched, but the odds were always against a fertile batch to begin with. Some of the eggs were placed in an outdoor bin, and my wife saw some of the newly released BSF mating, and one was inside that bin, so hopefully I will find some developments coming from that bait bin.

I have been trying out 'light rationing' and keeping the flies in the dark aside from a 3 hour window every day. In that window I have to say that they are extremely active and seem to bump into one another an awful lot. I have still not seen mating, but I am also trying to leave them alone lest my presence as a massive creature causes an observer bias. The weather here has increased substantially, and we are now getting at least one 30 degree day a week.

When they fly around, they vastly prefer the exo-terra light to the LED, but this could also be because the exo-terra light is hotter and also represents a source of fresh air (mesh instead of glass).

Humidity in the bin is extremely high despite the fact that I do not have an active humidifier at the moment and have stopped spraying.

I have taken readings again, but cannot be 'effed' to program the light sensor until they are mating with at least some regularity.


Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:12 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
These are the eggs:
Image
They are supposed to have 'eye spots' and if they don't I think that they're sterile.


Hopefully this is a larvae...Any opinions?


Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:47 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
They develop these 'eyes' after about 2 days. The eggs without eyes are dud.
I found that if they haven't hatched after 6 days, you can write them off as dud.


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Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:59 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Latest thinking is that the larvae inside the jar were just fruit flies. This seems to be borne out by the lack of development. The eggs must have been completely sterile though upon microscope inspection I did see pale, translucent mites crawling on the eggs, perhaps they sucked them all dry. Outside in the nice weather isn't any better at the moment. It seems it will be a slow start to the season for me, but I'm feeding a lot of fruit flies, hover flies, and houseflies so far... :(


Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:25 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
Hi, which exo terra light did you get?


Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:15 am
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Post Re: Indoor Breeding with Arduino
katali welcome to our forum :) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

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Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:44 pm
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