Tank Controller help

mcidcbcmd

New member
I'm looking to have the best quality water at all times and from what I researched tank controllers are the way to go. I understand all the other equipment that will be needed, but I've been also told that a controller will be the key to moderating quality water. I really like the Apex's but not sure which one. Can someone let me know what the big differences are?

Here is my setup:

RED SEA REEFER 250
KESSIL LIGHTS
CALCIUM REACTOR
BUBBLE MAGUS CURVE 5 SKIMMER
ECOTECH MP40
I AM LOOKING TO GET 5-7 FISH AND DO BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE CORALS

THANKS
 

n2585722

New member
I don't have any experience with the Apex controllers but I think it would depend on what you are looking to do. I control temp, ATO and auto water change with mine. I also monitor for leaks, water level in sump and skimmer collection container. If there is an issue with these the controll will take appropriate action and in some cases send a email. I also use salinity reading to stop ATO and auto water change if it gets out of bounds. I too use Vortech pumps and only have the power to the Vortech on the controller. Since they have battery backup They will not turn off but will slow down when power is removed. This is my failsafe incase of a controller issue. These pumps will continue to at a power saving speed until I can intervene. If you are new to controllers start with one thing and work your way up to tye more complex programming. Controlling the heater would be a good start. Make sure and use the thermostat on the heater as a backup by setting it a couple degrees above the controller temp. Use 2 heaters instead of one large one. Hope this helps.
 

RedStangGA

New member
Not sure a controller helps that much in regards to getting the best quality water. It's more based on your husbandry habits. Nutrient import and export is key and a controller can manage some of those components but isn't necessary to achieve good water quality.

Controllers provide peace of mind and possibly ease of maintenance. I love being able to see my tank's status from anywhere with wifi or cell service. I can see temp, PH, and the power status of all of my devices. This is key for when we travel. I used an Apex DOS for AWC's(auto water changes) before we moved and will set it up again when the new tank is up. Depending on the type of Kessil lights the Apex can control the intensity and color. I use mine to control an A360W and it works great. With only one MP40, the WXM module really isn't all that necessary. Using an Apex definitely helps maintain a more stable temp and provides some level of protection from over, or under, heating.

IMO, an ATO and AWC's can make maintenance significantly easier meaning you'll be more likely to actually accomplish those tasks.
 

ktownhero

New member
I just got a new Apex during their black Friday sale and it's pretty cool. It's not so much that it makes or breaks water quality, but it's very nice being able to monitor the status of the tank at any given time. You can very finely control temp too. I'm sure it'll only get better as time goes on.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

FirstContact

Active member
I think controllers offer very important safeguards when it comes to running heaters, Kalk reactors, calcium reactors, dosers, ozone reactors, and ATO and AWC. Plus by the time you purchase half a dozen timers, you may as well start looking at controllers instead.

The best thing you can do is research the manufacturers websites: ReefAngel, Digital Aquatics, Neptune Systems, and Vertex. Vertex Cerebra is still in beta testing so I would wait on that one. Plus, if you want information on it, it's not available at Vertex's home website.
 
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mcidcbcmd

New member
Thanks for all the help... which apex unit are you guys using?i like the jr''s price but don't want to skimp.. should I go with the classic? I'm not understanding the big differences?
 

FirstContact

Active member
Basically, the JR is going to limit how many power bars and modules you can hook up to it. Your choice should be between the Classic and the new Apex. If you have the funds, you should go with the new one only because it's their latest version.
 

jda

Dogmatic Dinosaur
The controller is for you, not your tank. You need to regulate temperature some how with an electronic device, but there are devices FAR more reliable than an aquarium controller and cheap hobby-based probe. Other than this, they are expensive timers that people like to jack around with that can alert/text you if something jacks up, but the alert is anecdotal anyway since you should have a failsafe and just could have seen it when you got home. Some people do stuff with PH from a controller, but most of the time they would better off if they did not know their tank's PH since you don't have to worry about it much anyway. However, they can be really cool if you like to tinker.

Water quality will depend on you and you alone.

Some of the best tanks around use a $100 Ranco to control temp and cheap light timers.

Getting heaters with internal thermostats for dual redundancy to any controller is as important as anything. Titanium/On-Off heaters just depend on a cheap hobby grade probe and can bake tanks.
 

kurt_n

New member
Water quality will depend on you and you alone.

Some of the best tanks around use a $100 Ranco to control temp and cheap light timers.

This.

If you want the best water quality at all times, don't buy a controller but instead learn how to run your tank without one. A controller makes life easier and lets you rest easier when you're away from your tank, but you need to learn how to keep a tank happy before you get one.

As an Apex owner, I always recommend folks run a tank for a couple years without a controller. It's not rocket science, and if you can't keep one without a controller, having a controller isn't going to help.

Learn to walk before signing up for the marathon.
 
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