What to use controller for


New member
Hey all, was in the hobby for 10 years and took the last 7 years off due to several moves I made to more than one part of the country. Rebuilding my tank right now and looking at how I want to set it up.

I have an extremely old ReefKeeper Lite Plus (I know they are discontinued) that has the head unit with temp, two RC4 power modules, an SL1 for pH and float switches and a NET module. Everything still works which was a pleasant surprise. My old powerheads were given away and I need a new heater.

Here is my question: What are you using your controllers for? Some of the new heaters and powerheads come with their own controllers. There are now separate ATO/AWS systems with their own controllers, etc. Just curious what you guys keep on the reef controller vs what you prefer to keep separate.


Active member
Depends on the person. I use my apex for my return pump, skimmer, heater, and ATO. I've got other things plugged into my energy bar, but don't really use the features. You're right, a lot of things have built in control and don't need another controller. My lights are controlled wirelessly. Some of the newer powerheads, same. It's really what your preference is.
I had on old Reefkeeper as well, it worked great for me for a long long time. Not sure why they went out of business, I thought it was a good product.


New member
I was using my reefkeeper lite to control thermostatless heaters and to switch equipment on or off: ATO, Reeflink, refugium light, skimmer. Toasted my thermal probe and stopped using it. I did not have anything with its own controller attached to it: return pump/powerheads, lights.


Super Best Friends!
Premium Member
I still use a reef keeper lite. I use it for my heater and lights. I've also used it to control a fan over my sump, but don't need that anymore. It helped with heat from the MH lighting I used to use.

I use a DJ rack-mounted power strip for everything else. It's easier to flip a switch to turn something on/off than it is to go into a menu to do the same thing.


New member
When I had my RKL I used it to time the BRS dosing pumps and fuge light, plus temp control with heaters and fans. I have a foggy memory of a feed timer for the powerheads and skimmer too.

More modern controllers like apex or profilux are a whole different beast with remote monitoring and the ability to measure parameters and dose accordingly. Someday, someday.


New member
When I took over my tank from the previous owner I inherited the Reef Keeper Lite that came with it. It's only use was to turn on/off heat and chiller. After using it for couple of weeks I decided to get rid of it and switch back to the Ink Bird controller from Amazon. The Ink Bird is a much simpler design, easier to program, and the LCD is easier to read.