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Couesfanatic

I am running the ink bird currently. It has failed me in the past and I'm looking for something better. I'm not sure I want to run the $800 Apex. Is there anything better than the ink bird I can use? I mainly and looking for the temp probe and ability to control the heater and a fan. Other probes would be useful but not $500 useful. Any ideas?

 

What happened do this?:

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/apexel-aquarium-monitoring-system-brs-special-edition-neptune-systems.html

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FISHnChix

I am with you apex is crazy overpriced but nice. I found a used one for 220.. love it!! There is normally quite a few to be had on r2r if your interested in used ones 🤙

 

 

Happy reefing

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SliceGolfer

How did the Inkbird fail? What was the outcome?

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FISHnChix
39 minutes ago, SliceGolfer said:

How did the Inkbird fail? What was the outcome?

I know mine and 2 others on NR  have failed . The temp probe was reading too high so the heaters were turned off.. our tanks got down about 62ish degrees, .  No casualties but concerning for sure.. 

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Couesfanatic

Inkbirds lose their calibration. They either go way down or up and it is gradual when it happened to me. They claim it's a probe issue. Either way, the only way to know the ink bird is accurate is to test with another thermometer constantly. My freshwater shrimp tank was down to 70 or so in the heat of the summer here in AZ. The ink bird told me it was like 89 degrees in the tank.  Luckily the shrimp like it cold so it wasn't an issue. I don't want to deal with that again on the reef tank, freshwater is a lot more forgiving. 

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Couesfanatic

I'm thinking about getting the Apexel, the $500 version instead of the $800 version if I go that route. Seems like the salinity probe has issues anyway and the only other thing I would be missing is ORP. 

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devaji108

my 2 cents as I have been thinking this very subject for a cpls days.  I have a post on R2R nano section about controlling temp in nano tanks. as well wanted others thoughts of what worked and what did not. 

 

I think the lite apex would be all you need. if you want to spend the cash. fusion is nice the feel of the unit I dont care for liked the old better could alwas go used?  

 

other cheaper options  are:

 

~reef keeper I see some on ebay

 

~ranco controllers -if you want a good heavy duty just temp controller this is the way to go IMHO there made for industry so they tend to be built to last.

 

~reef pi if your techi you can build one I bought I full  pre-made set up never got it going tho as I have the wifi full apex ( let me know if you want it)

 

~ autoaqua temp shut off big swing just for emergancy  but it will keep it from killing the tank it small and I love the ato

 

~ apex JR limitedin  what it can do and you end up buying more modules but it could be a good option for nanos

 

~ reef angel had one of these years ago it worked nothing fancy but did the job.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tamberav
On 2/26/2020 at 8:18 PM, Couesfanatic said:

I am running the ink bird currently. It has failed me in the past and I'm looking for something better. I'm not sure I want to run the $800 Apex. Is there anything better than the ink bird I can use? I mainly and looking for the temp probe and ability to control the heater and a fan. Other probes would be useful but not $500 useful. Any ideas?

 

What happened do this?:

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/apexel-aquarium-monitoring-system-brs-special-edition-neptune-systems.html

It's not as cheap as you think as this doesn't include the EB32/EB8 which is necessary.

 

So don't feel to bad about missing it.

 

A used Apex Jr/Lite would do the job.

 

Some use ranco plugged into the Apex as apparently ranco is more trustworthy than Apex.

 

Oddly enough I have a inkbird someone here built years back and it still works great. It must be 5 or 6 years old now I think. I suppose that might make sense if you say it is a probe issue as the one they used looks different.

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Couesfanatic

Anyone running the GHL?

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SliceGolfer
On 2/26/2020 at 10:01 PM, FISHnChix said:

I know mine and 2 others on NR  have failed . The temp probe was reading too high so the heaters were turned off.. our tanks got down about 62ish degrees, .  No casualties but concerning for sure.. 

 

On 2/26/2020 at 10:44 PM, Couesfanatic said:

Inkbirds lose their calibration. They either go way down or up and it is gradual when it happened to me. They claim it's a probe issue. Either way, the only way to know the ink bird is accurate is to test with another thermometer constantly. My freshwater shrimp tank was down to 70 or so in the heat of the summer here in AZ. The ink bird told me it was like 89 degrees in the tank.  Luckily the shrimp like it cold so it wasn't an issue. I don't want to deal with that again on the reef tank, freshwater is a lot more forgiving. 

 

So I checked my last night. Sure enough, it was off by two degrees. I will now make it a regular practice to check this monthly.

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Jmevox

Get a used apex like others said.  I paid 190 for my apex classic with a new ph probe and eb8

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Couesfanatic

I had the classic apex in the past. I don't want to go back to that. I'm considering the Apex EL, the GHL Profilux Mini Wifi set and looking at what else is out there. Ive heard a lot of horror stories about Apex issues. 

34 minutes ago, SliceGolfer said:

 

 

So I checked my last night. Sure enough, it was off by two degrees. I will now make it a regular practice to check this monthly.

It will change all of a sudden and each day it seemed to go up by half a degree for weeks. 

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FISHnChix
4 hours ago, SliceGolfer said:

 

 

So I checked my last night. Sure enough, it was off by two degrees. I will now make it a regular practice to check this monthly.

You can "calibrate" but it's really just entering a temp offset.. worked for a little bit for me but started drifting again after like a month .. decided to junk it.  Last thing I want is something meant to safeguard my tank to cause issues lol

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SliceGolfer

Exactly what I did. May be time to look for an alternative.

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mcarroll

Inkbirds were always too new to have a track record any better than the heaters they are supposed to be backing up.

 

IMO the best policy is still to use right-sized heaters -- at least one for every tank on the system.   If you can use two, do it but keep the same total watts as called for in a single heater.  (ie if you need 300 watts, use two 150-watt heaters) 

 

And do not use cheap heaters that have no track record.  Even if they aren't perfect, stick with Marineland, Ehiem, etc.  Be in a position to exercise greater caution and with more observation if you're selecting another heater IMO.

 

Of course you must take care of whatever heaters you get.  They are fragile in just about every way. 

 

In keeping with that, I try not to fully submerge heaters if possible, but sometimes you have to.  I also don't put any heater into a position where it could be ON but not in the water for some reason. 

 

For example on my old multi-tank setup, each display had at least one small heater sitting on the rim with the controls out of the water.  The main tanks on that system NEVER experienced a water level drop, not even during maintenance though, so that was safe.  The two heaters required in the sump, however, were way too large to be placed vertically in the 7-8" of water down there, so they were submerged on the bottm...again where the water level would NEVER drop below them, not even during maintenance.

 

 

Back them all your heaters up with a simple tank thermometer (glass or LCD) that you look at regularly.  Use two regular thermometers if it helps you watch!

 

No heater setup is completely foolproof, but this has been no-fail so far, even when a heater actually failed.  (Which did finally happen after 30-40 years in the hobby....it's what finally prompted me to upgrade to my 125 Gallon and to consolidate those old tanks!)

 

I don't see how an external controller really helps in a big way....it doesn't stop any failures on the heater side (it can only potentially mask the condition), plus it introduces a new range of potential failures from the controller. 

 

A "stuck on" heater is really the only condition it can help with....but that's only one possible failure, and only a big problem if you're using over-sized heaters AND not watching the tank via another thermometer.....both of which are mistakes in their own right.  So the controller just seems extra to me.

 

I used to use a Reefkeeper like folks use the Inkbird, and it was handy, but I got more out of it than just temperature control.  I don't use it at all on the new system though (which is an all-in-one design).  Two small independent heaters.  Both Marineland.  🤷‍♂️

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