Aquarium Controllers

Reef and saltwater aquarium hobbies related discussion
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Aquarium Controllers

Post by Jason_MrFrags » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:46 am

I started out in 2006 with a 40b setup I picked up. 250w MH and 2 VHO Hamilton Technology Fixture sitting on top of the tank. I look back now and realize what an overkill that was. 10g Sump, 10g refugium, HOB Remora Skimmer, Mag 5, and a couple of moded Max Jet pumps. Lights and pumps were controlled by a Coralife powerstrip with built in timers and for the most part that worked great. I ran a RODI line and built a ATO with float valve, solenoid and switches. I had caught the bug and within a couple months I had a 2nd tank.

Acrylic Creations 90g that was full of live rock and corals and came with a Digital Aquatics Reef Keeper lite.
Which again was basically good for turning lights, heater, pumps on/off. But also came with a feed mode. Happy with it I upgraded to the Digital Aquatics Reef keeper Elite. About 2009 DA were coming out with a Salinity probe/Module but had halted the release because they were having issues. So right about that time I had my first Aquarium Crash that was totally my fault due to equipment failure. I was running the RODI directly to the sump with float switches/sednoid and a Float Valve. I was also running a booster pump with a pressure switch. I know the date August 19, 2010 (because wife had told me that morning she was pregnant before I headed to work!) Well the pressure switch failed and the RODI pushed past the selnoid and float valve. Came home from work to find Salinity at 1.010, which I brought back up over the next day while cleaning up the flood. Needless to say all of the sps and corals died over the next couple day. So a couple days later I ordered the Neptune Apex Classic because they had a working Salinity probe, and sold off all of my Digital Aquatics.


1 x ReefKeeper Elite Head Unit (GC1)
4 x RKM-PC4 (total of 16 outlets)
2 x RKM-SL1 (Inputs: pH, ORP, Temperature, 2 x Switch Ports)
1 x Temperature probe
2 x Pinpoint PH Probes
1 x SID - System Interface Device

And my Journey with Neptune Apex began 8/28/2010
I had my 24 controllable outlets setup the next day, along with email notifications. Adding most of the modules and eventually making my own breakout box with water sensors and Loud Audible alarm. Ran the Apex Classic for 2 years before we moved and then I was on to my current display tank.
Eventually I upgraded the head unit to Orange label and ran the Gold until May 2017,
when I switched everything over to the Apex2016 version.
Modules I’m currently running
EB8 x1
PM2 x2
PM1 x2
DOS x3
Flow Sensors x5
PH probe x2
ORP probe
Temp Sensors x 4
8 Optical Sensors

You don’t have to get all of the Bells and whistles that I have.
Neptune released the ApexEL this year. It is missing 2 VDM ports, 2nd PH port/ORP probe, and salinity port/probe compared to the Apex2016. ApexEL is a great entry level controller and can be purchased at a good price that provides peace of mind that bad things are not happening in your tank while you are away. The extra Modules can always be added on later if you are interested in them.

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