2 Maxspect XF350 or 2 4K IceCap for 180 Gallon

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Paranoiattack91

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My 180 gallon tank is on order and I want to have everything ready to go when it gets here.

I have been out of the hobby for about 4 years but on my last 120 gallon I had the maxspect gyre and loved it. That being said, I see there are more gyre options these days.

Does anyone have any knowledge or input, I was looking at purchasing one of the two below bundles tonight but have no idea what route to go. I will be running an apex.

Maxspect XF350 Gyre Pump Bundle with Controller and 2 x Gyre XF350 Pumps​

or

Set of 2 Gyre 4K Flow Pumps with Dual WiFi Controller Kit - IceCap​

 
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[Cameron]

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One IceCap controller can run both IceCap pumps and the Apex can plug into the 10V port of the IceCap controller to control it directly. So you will want to buy one full unit, one pump only unit and one IceCap Apex control cable. Since Maxspect builds the IceCap pump, this is easily the "cheapest" dual gyre setup and is Apex ready.



I do not believe the Maxspect allows direct control at least easily which is strange since they build both pumps. FYI Maxspect also builds the Red Sea units which are also not able to be controlled by the Apex easily.
 
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shanescycling

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I bought the maxspect Black Friday and while it works well I have to say the programming/setup on the unit is not user friendly. To get to WiFi you have to add another unit for $50 to get to your phone.
I am not sure if this feature comes out of the box from the icecaps but something to keep in mind
 

[Cameron]

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The IceCap Gyre and Red Sea Gyre lines have Wifi out of the box. The Red Sea cannot be controlled by an Apex and cannot be combined onto one controller like the IceCap. However if someone wants redundancy in their setup, they will want each powerhead to have its own power brick and control unit otherwise one control unit or power brick failure brings the entire main tank flow to a halt.

These are all pumps built by Maxspect but IceCap and Red Sea put in their own controllers. Currently the IceCap is cheaper than either Red Sea or Maxspect by a good bit and is Apex ready out of the box. The IceCap downside IMO is a lack of manual control without using a phone app or going through the Apex but that won't matter to many.
 
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Paranoiattack91

Paranoiattack91

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One IceCap controller can run both IceCap pumps and the Apex can plug into the 10V port of the IceCap controller to control it directly. So you will want to buy one full unit, one pump only unit and one IceCap Apex control cable. Since Maxspect builds the IceCap pump, this is easily the "cheapest" dual gyre setup and is Apex ready.



I do not believe the Maxspect allows direct control at least easily which is strange since they build both pumps. FYI Maxspect also builds the Red Sea units which are also not able to be controlled by the Apex easily.

so is the link above the one I will need if I want to run it off of the apex?
 

Saltyanimals

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so is the link above the one I will need if I want to run it off of the apex?
Watch the glass thickness of the 180 against the boxes. I bought the icecap 4ks for my new 180 with 19mm (~3/4 glass) and the box says max 5/8s I think. Have not installed it but I would say it’s not a strong magnet hold just putting it dry on the glass. Not sure if anyone has these on thick glass and has feedback. But keep glass thickness in mind.

also. I didn’t realize the apex can control these icecaps. Which cable???
 

[Cameron]

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Watch the glass thickness of the 180 against the boxes. I bought the icecap 4ks for my new 180 with 19mm (~3/4 glass) and the box says max 5/8s I think. Have not installed it but I would say it’s not a strong magnet hold just putting it dry on the glass. Not sure if anyone has these on thick glass and has feedback. But keep glass thickness in mind.

also. I didn’t realize the apex can control these icecaps. Which cable???
Good catch on the glass thickness. The cable is $12 at BRS.

 

[Cameron]

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so is the link above the one I will need if I want to run it off of the apex?
and this $12 cable


or this $12 cable if you don't care about forward/reverse and want to control a second DC pump

 

Rubberfrog

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Watch the glass thickness of the 180 against the boxes. I bought the icecap 4ks for my new 180 with 19mm (~3/4 glass) and the box says max 5/8s I think. Have not installed it but I would say it’s not a strong magnet hold just putting it dry on the glass. Not sure if anyone has these on thick glass and has feedback. But keep glass thickness in mind.

also. I didn’t realize the apex can control these icecaps. Which cable???
I ended up going with the redsea units due to glass thickness (3/4"). They hold very well at that thickness.
 
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Joeg

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I can't add anything on the glass thickness issue but I do have a pair of XF-330's and a single Icecap 2K that I run via a Hydros Wave Engine on my 60 cube. The Icecap 2K smokes the XF's in the amount of water it can move.

The difference in flow is to the point where I'm considering replacing the XF's with 2K's just so I have a better ability to tune the flow more to my liking. I'm also considering this change because it seems like I see a fair number of posts with people who are having trouble with their XF's.

Also, even though it's not on the list of your potential setup, I'll cast a positive vote for the Hydros Wave Engine. It's a nice piece of hardware and you might want to consider that instead of either of the Gyre dedicated controllers since it might only be a little bit more.
 

Kyl

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The newest icecaps are also very easy to clean, a bit easier disassembly than the XF3x0 series. I only went with a XF350 on one end of my tank due to increased glass thickness. The 350 will handle near 3/4" while the 4k I believe maxes out around 5/8".

I have both running on the wave engine, along with two older xf230's for my DT. Other than the sticker price, I enjoy having four gyres on one brick and only one module that also happens to obey my profilux via incoming 0-10v events.
 

R.Weller

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We're using dual IceCap 4k's on our 300gal with a surge device for perpendicular flow every 3 min. The pumps are outstanding & I would buy again. They are silent when first installed &/or cleaned. We did find they make a high-pitched wine when they need cleaning. For our system, this is every 8 - 10 weeks but we also have a very low nutrient load.
 
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Rubberfrog

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We're using dual IceCap 4k's on our 300gal with a surge device for perpendicular flow every 3 min. The pumps are outstanding & I would buy again. They are silent when first installed &/or cleaned. We did find they make a high-pitched wine when they need cleaning. For our system, this is every 8 - 10 weeks but we also have a very low nutrient load.
How thick is your glass?
 

Saltyanimals

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I have to old icecap 3K on 180gal. my glass is 5/8, but I wouldnt be afraid to put them on 3/4, unless maybe you plan on pushing the water toward the glass its attached too...

I believe the 3k and that generation is discontinued and the new generation is only 2k or 4k. Which lead to my own confusion since I read 3ks can do 3/4 in glass... yet 4k box says 5/8 only. Apparently the last generation had stronger magnets and able to go 3/4. Not sure why icecap decided to limit their higher end 4k to only 5/8. On face value their is very small difference when you do the math, but suppose to be enough to affect the hold when you think about the force of a moving gyre head against a magnet.

So far we haven't seen anyone with a 4k on 3/4 glass in the wild that can speak to hold strength with it cranked up.
 

Saltyanimals

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I believe the 3k and that generation is discontinued and the new generation is only 2k or 4k. Which lead to my own confusion since I read 3ks can do 3/4 in glass... yet 4k box says 5/8 only. Apparently the last generation had stronger magnets and able to go 3/4. Not sure why icecap decided to limit their higher end 4k to only 5/8. On face value their is very small difference when you do the math, but suppose to be enough to affect the hold when you think about the force of a moving gyre head against a magnet.

So far we haven't seen anyone with a 4k on 3/4 glass in the wild that can speak to hold strength with it cranked up.

Replying to myself =)


I put pair of new IceCap 4ks on a tank with 19mm (~3/4) glass. Ran them for a full day playing with various modes and seems to be okay. Max flow was prob 80% otherwise I would probably splash water out of the tank. Holds so far, but I assume a higher flow wouldn't necessarily risk the magnet since it would be pushing into the glass the force unless you're pointing the blades in an awkward angle.
 
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