APEX AquaController Aquarium Controller System
What Is the Apex Aqua Controller System?
The APEX AquaController is an aquarium controller that you can use to monitor various parameters in your aquarium and control aquarium devices from anywhere. For example, say your temperature happens to go over 84F one day, with the Apex you can have it send you an alert via email or text message and you can also have the Apex turn off the heater! Crisis averted.
Or lets say you have the Apex water detection module. The water detection module can be used to send alerts via text or email if they detect water on the floor. If this module goes off then you know you may have a potential catastrophe on your hands and you can have the Apex automatically shut off the main pump or the automatic top off or whatever is causing the leak thereby saving hundreds or thousands of dollars in water damage to your home.
The Apex Controller comes with access to a website that allows you to view your parameters in digital and graphic form on ApexFusion.com from anywhere you have internet access. All it requires is that you hook the controller up to your home router.
You can also view your parameters using the display module that can be placed near the controller. You can quickly tell at a glance what the temperature, pH, salinity, ORP and power consumption is of running devices. You can also customize the display module to display only what you want to see on each of its 4 screens.
Feeding mode can be triggered at the touch of a button. As an example, by pressing one of the four feeding modes (each programmable) you can have your in tank pumps turn off for 10 minutes while you feed your fish and inverts. After 10 minutes the pumps will automatically resume. Below is a side view of the automatic feeder above my reef tank that I stock with various sizes of NLS pellets.
There are just a few basic ideas behind how all of this works. How a device gets controlled is based on a value from one of the probes you can use (pH, temp, etc), a time of day (feed the fish) or an event (leak detected). It is all rather basic when you boil it all down but it becomes quite powerful once you get the hang off the simple programs you can write. The interface even allows you to control most of the probes with no coding required.
Modules for the Apex Controller
- Leak Detection
- Wireless Vortech Pump Control
- LED Light Control
- Automatic Feeder (very cool)
- Variable Speed Pump Control
- Dosing and Fluid Metering (DOS System)
- Energy Bars (you can get additional plug-in ports)
- Dissolved Oxygen (have not seen this for sale anywhere...)
- Lunar Simulation
Custom Programming Examples
The really powerful part about all this "control" is that you can program your devices to do exactly what you want them to do. Either for day to day operation or in the even of an alarm you can program the system to handle it. For example, to send an alarm you can use the following code:
If TempF > 85.0 Then ON
If Swx5_1 CLOSED Then ON
What the above code is doing is the following:
Line 1: Set Off - this turns off the alarm by default
Line 2: If TempF > 85.0 Then ON - this checks the temperature and if it is greater than 85F then it will send an alarm which in this case is an email and text message.
Line 3: If Swx5_1 CLOSED Then ON - Swx5_1 is the switch for my leak detection module and if it is in the CLOSED position that means that there is a leak so trigger the alarm process.
You can write the programs on the apexfusion website for the individual modules. After you write a program you press the upload button and in a couple of seconds it is uploaded to the controller. Pretty cool!
If an alarm goes off I can open up the apex fusion site on my phone's web broser and manually control what devices to turn on or off based on what the contents of the alarm message relay to me.
It is really quite slick.
This Sounds Complicated!
For someone that is technologically challenged this might seem a bit daunting. But, if you have a mind to learn something new and have fun while doing it then this really isn't all that hard to set up and operate. They have plenty of easy to read documentation on their website and a forum where you can go and get help from other apex customers. They are also supposed to have decent tech support via the phone if you need it.
I didn't really ever think I'd need or want to use one of these aquarium controllers but I must say that after seeing one in person along with all the functionality this unit provided changed my mind. Once you get everything set up and running it really is very simple to use. It is so nice to be able to pull up the app on my phone to see my current parameters. You can even hook up a camera to this system and it will show live video for you. I don't use the video portion of it... yet.
This gold model is quite pricey but you do get a lot of probes with it. There are less expensive setups you can go with but if you are running a reef tank I would recommend starting with the Gold model since the parameters it monitors will prove useful to you.
One thing that I need to mention is that the Amp reading on my Apex EB8 module did not work out of the box so I contacted them and asked them to send me a new one but they would not. They wanted me to send in my EB8 module and I just thought that was kind of backwards and not the best experience in my opinion. They should have shipped me a new EB8 along with a shipping label and in that box I could return the one not working back to them. I don't think the customer should have to pay for shipping a brand new defective product back to the manufacturer. I still like my apex in spite of this rather disappointing customer service experience.
Overall, the setup, calibration and running of this controller was sort of time consuming, at least at first. Reading through the documentation was probably the most time consuming part about it but definitely worth the effort. I really like seeing at a quick glance what the pH, salinity and temperature is in my reef tank. Controlling the heaters and temperature could not be easier and I have at most a half degree F temperature swing in my tank these days. Although technically not a necessity for running a reef tank, it was a good purchase and I would recommend it to fellow reefers. I give it 4.5 stars.
Author : Mike FishLore
Check out the videos from BRS below on the apex controller. These are pretty good.
Setting Up an Apex Controller
What's in the Apex Box?
Apex Base Unit and Connections
Tour of Apex Fusion
Reviewed by: Mike FishLore
Summary: Review of the Apex Aqua controller.
Description: A review of the Apex Aqua controller.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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