Alternative to Apex and Trident?

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bfazio1030

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Im looking to stop using hanna checkers and test kits. Is there a cheaper and reliable alternative to the APEX and TRIDENT for testing Cal Alk and Mag? Id like to get the test results straight to my phone similar to Apex stuff!
 
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robbyg

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Im looking to stop using hanna checkers and test kits. Is there a cheaper and reliable alternative to the APEX and TRIDENT for testing Cal Alk and Mag? Id like to get the test results straight to my phone similar to Apex stuff!
Nope nothing on the market yet that is cheaper or nearly as reliable.
 

VikS

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Im looking to stop using hanna checkers and test kits. Is there a cheaper and reliable alternative to the APEX and TRIDENT for testing Cal Alk and Mag? Id like to get the test results straight to my phone similar to Apex stuff!
Look at KH guardian. They have a User group on Facebook if you want to Check it out. You can buy directly from seller (through the Facebook page) for cheaper than the retailer.

Cons: It does not come with a mount and And only does alk testing. Pro: cheaper than others, lower running cost, can return waster water to tank, parts are upgradable, great customer support.
 

Milkman420

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Then if you want the other measurements you have to add an ion detector as well. And I’m not sure but may have to add another Doser as well. Also ion detector isn’t out yet that’s y i caved and just bought the apex and trident. I’m not going to auto dose as I have a ghl already and love it but got tired of waiting so I’ll consider the change after ion comes out. But like I said in no way cheaper
 

robbyg

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Kh director is in no way cheaper. You have to buy a 2.1 Doser as well as the guardian.
He was talking about the KH Guardian not KH Director.
In any case your argument is still true because the Guardian is about $1250 and for that price you can get an ApexEL and Trident which will also cover Calcium and Magnesium.
I am not sure about the Facebook price but even if it cuts off another $150 you would still be getting all three tests versus just one for almost the same price.
 
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Milkman420

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Look at Reefbot. It topples them all. upfront its a little more but long run you save $ and its built like a tank unlike the other guys plastic.
I was looking into one of these but decided against it due to the fact that if the test kit you use is bad your results will be bad. I’ve had test kits that were wrong and not expired plenty of times through the years. Certain test kits suck for certain parameters so I would have to buy 10 different test kits from 10 different companies. Then manually input which test kit I’m using every time which if I’m doing all that why shouldn’t I just test it myself since I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years. I like how it tests so many parameters but feel it’s not realLy automatic since I wouldn’t be able to set it and forget it for a month at a time. I may be wrong but that’s the way I looked at it. Might be right for others but not for me. I may be completely wrong on how it works but that’s how I interpreted it when i was reading up on it. The ghl line with the kh director, ion detector, Profilux 4, and I’m guessing 2 2.1 Dosers is the dream setup but I can’t see myself spending 2500-3000k for everything required. The trident for me now just makes it easier for me to dial in my 2.1 Doser so my tank is more stable so for me I feel the trident was the way to go. For others it may be the reefbot or reefbot pro(would definitely buy this if I had a fish store or sold frags for a living) while others will go the ghl route. All in all it’s a tool to make our lives easier and all 3 accomplish this albeit for a premium price. In 6 months I might sell my trident tho and switch to the ghl lineup if I hit the lottery since I’ve heard rumblings of po4 and no3 testing on the ion.
 

jamesdomini4

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Is there any good resource to learn more about apex and trident? I would like to know what all parameters they can test and how often? How does it control the dosing pumps? Should they be used together?
 

Milkman420

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I understand if the test kit is wrong it’s not the machines fault but if my trident is wrong and I get an abnormal reading I can then run my Hannah or Red Sea or Nyos test kit and see which one is correct. If your reefbot gives a whacky reading you would then have to hope you have a different brand test kit on hand just to see which is the correct reading
 
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Milkman420

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The trident can be set to do as many tests really as you want in a day but will burn through more Reagants that way. It tests for alk, cal, and mag on mine 4 times a day. That’s why I’ve been able to stabilize the tank more after only having it up for 4 days I get to see my consumption throughout the day so I know when to dose proper chemicals. Since then my tank has been the most stable allowing me to dial in my dosage perfectly. Like I said only been a week but it was the right choice for my tank. I don’t do autodosing but that’s an option with a dos. I have a ghl so I just use it to fine tune my numbers then adjust the ghl to dispense at times I know see these elements are being depleted
 

Milkman420

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Look at Reefbot. It topples them all. upfront its a little more but long run you save $ and its built like a tank unlike the other guys plastic.
And not sure how you save money in the long run really if you test all the parameters multiple times a day you’ll still have to buy tons of test kits/Reagent refills as well as a lot more time to switch them out. And like I said I would have to buy two different types of test kits for each parameter so if you get a whacky result you can check a different test kit then the one you used in the reefbot
 

robbyg

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The trident can be set to do as many tests really as you want in a day but will burn through more Reagants that way. It tests for alk, cal, and mag on mine 4 times a day. That’s why I’ve been able to stabilize the tank more after only having it up for 4 days I get to see my consumption throughout the day so I know when to dose proper chemicals. Since then my tank has been the most stable allowing me to dial in my dosage perfectly. Like I said only been a week but it was the right choice for my tank. I don’t do autodosing but that’s an option with a dos. I have a ghl so I just use it to fine tune my numbers then adjust the ghl to dispense at times I know see these elements are being depleted
I like my Trident and it has also helped me out a lot and that is why I recommended it to the OP.
With that said your at the one week mark so I can guarantee you that your enthusiasm will wane a bit as time goes on. The biggest issue with the Trident is that it's construction is so flimsy that your on pins and needles every time you have to change the reagents or even move the thing. I have learned not to touch it or move it an inch once it's working.

The main issues listed in order of worry.
1) The L shaped plastic hose connectors on the top of the reagent bottle look like they could snap if even the slightest force is put on them and unfortunately for a 5 cent item Neptune does not include any spares in the box nor do I see where they sell them. So changing reagents is something I do very delicately.

2) The hoses on this thing are so thin that it is very very easy to get them crimped or clogged. I have had this happen twice on the input line and the end result is that I get lower readings like Ca drops from 420 to 380. The second time this happened to me was right after a reagent change and I thought that the previous reagents must have been bad or the unit had gone out of calibration. So stupidly I upped my dosing slightly figuring in a week I could get it back to normal. By the second day I noticed the response to dosing was not as expected so I did what I should have done before and broke out the Hanna test Kit. My calcium was now at 430 on the Hanna. I removed the input line cleaned it out and put it back and re-calibrated using the solution from my spare pack and everything was back to normal. Also it's annoying to find out that Neptune seems to be permanently out of calibration fluid for the Trident. So I am going to have to get creative when I use the next set. I have also had the reagent lines get crimped and seen the reverse problem.

3) The Front Red Plastic cover is always popping out and the Reagent tray is so flimsy that it's a nightmare. It just boggles my mind that the reagent tray is not fitted into sliding groves so it cannot fall out.

Overall the unit works great but it's the most fragile piece of Aquarium equipment I have ever owned. They really needed to spend a few extra dollars and make it more robust. I honestly think that the plastic could not get any thinner on this thing, it's like someone kept making a prototype with thinner and thinner plastic until the last one just broke under it's own weight so they just moved back one gauge in thickness and said success!

As for the Reefbot, I have just heard way to many complaints about it and I am really turned off by the fact that it only works if their cloud system is up and running and the tests take way to long.
 

saf1

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Is there any good resource to learn more about apex and trident? I would like to know what all parameters they can test and how often? How does it control the dosing pumps? Should they be used together?
This should help. ALK, Ca, Mag. Assisted dosing for stability with safety net built in should a reading go out of whack it will fall back to your DOS settings.

 

saf1

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To the OP. No, there isn't anything similar or cheaper than the trident today.

Already mentioned: Reefbot
Soon to be released at some point: GHL Ion Director

There are pro's and con's on all of these systems so the hobbyist has to decide what works best for them. Trident is out today though which is why most say no, there isn't anything other than the reef bot. Reef bot is stand alone more or less and you buy "hobbyist" recommended consistent third party test kits for the bot to automate the testing instead of you manually running them.

I'm not going to tell you which is better but if you are looking at testing something today similar to the trident's alk, ca, and mg then the reef bot is it more or less.
 

Milkman420

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There’s more options coming soon but none cheaper. The kh guardian, Alkatronic and mastertronic( soon to be released) as well as the xepta auto balance also in the works. All should have been out by now but have been slowed due to pandemic I would imagine. I don’t believe any of them would be cheaper then the trident tho but I believe you will have more testing capabilities with the others. For me it works cuz I want to keep an eye on my kids tank and make sure he doesn’t mess up my baby lol. When I upgrade in a couple years I’ll probably go ghl route but that’s down the line and will require me to buy the parts in pieces instead of all at once
 
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