Apex... Really, This is what I get for my money?

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TangerineSpeedo

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This right here is an issue. “CoralVue’s days are numbered.” What is your deal? I have no words. All you do is trash Hydros and now CoralVue. You also never added anything to your signature to show your affiliation with BRS. Which needs to be known by everyone who reads your comments as they are truly biased as shown here as you have some personal issue with the good folks at CV.

Edit: wording matters “If BRS doesn’t get distribution for Reef Octopus…” how would you know that they are trying to do that if you aren’t connected to the company.

First, Aqua Forest, then Maxspect and now Reef Octopus based on what you imply.

A lot of good people work at CoralVue. If BRS continues to pull these companies away what does that do to those jobs in the long run. But now I see what your comments are and how you feel towards CV.
I know your post was directed @rtparty. But I just want to be clear, I would love if Hydros would succeed, I was looking at their system for a while and was very impressed by their UIUX and even the build quality. I still/probably will do something with them for one or more of my other tanks. But I do feel CoralVue does have a few issues, issues that can/will kill a company in todays market. The best thing that they can do for themselves is split Hydros from CoralVue. Find an Investor for Hydros, Move that company to a Tech area so it can properly grow into a successful company. And let CoralVue go back to being the distributor it once was.
I am not in favor of the BRS conglomerate, it can really potentially hurt this hobby. Capitol investors do not want to see competition among there own brands, it hurts their bottom line. Pretty soon the only light AI will sell is the prime because Ecotech Radion's cover AI's 32HD and 64HD. etc.etc.
 
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I know your post was directed @rtparty. But I just want to be clear, I would love if Hydros would succeed, I was looking at their system for a while and was very impressed by their UIUX and even the build quality. I still/probably will do something with them for one or more of my other tanks. But I do feel CoralVue does have a few issues, issues that can/will kill a company in todays market. The best thing that they can do for themselves is split Hydros from CoralVue. Find an Investor for Hydros, Move that company to a Tech area so it can properly grow into a successful company. And let CoralVue go back to being the distributor it once was.
I am not in favor of the BRS conglomerate, it can really potentially hurt this hobby. Capitol investors do not want to see competition among there own brands, it hurts their bottom line. Pretty soon the only light AI will sell is the prime because Ecotech Radion's cover AI's 32HD and 64HD. etc.etc.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I saw your posts the other day. I’ve had the opposite experience with their customer support and employees so I can’t agree with you but I do value your opinion. I had to say something directed at the other gentleman as it seems he has some sort of personal score to settle and he makes his comments without publicly stating his affiliation with BRS.
 
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areefer01

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Multiple comments here insinuating that no other controller can do “advanced” stuff that only Apex can. That is completely false. If you believe that Hydros can’t do advanced programming I encourage you to check out the Hydros Facebook page and see what some are doing with it.

Let me know how you get a gyre to do a .5 second pulse...

But to your point no it isn't unique to the Apex. Personal opinion here but the Reef Angel still has some of the best custom libraries of any controller on the market. True random clouds, storms, tidal functions and more.

Controllers are what we make of them. The other part is that the are not necessary for a successful display.
 
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gbroadbridge

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I hate Apex with a passion. Their software sucks and their hardware is prone to failure. Overpriced amateur crap
I believer it's quite reasonably priced for a hobby piece of kit.

If you're expecting laboratory performance you need to shell out big money - think around $2500 for a salinity tester on its own.
 

Lbrdsoxfan

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I'm happy with $20 Eheim feeders that have worked reliably for years. Basically the same thing anyway. I have no idea why somebody would need a controllable feeder. It's a set it and forget it thing... at least until the food runs out!
I went with the cheapo 25 dollar wifi feeder in the end. Does fine by me. It's totally gimmicky, but I don't mind feeding remotely a little extra here and there when I travel.
 
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keithw283

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I do want a Dos but heard its loud and would want the fish feeder but heard it has issues. I have a redsea doser and love it.
The dos is loud af if you are doing large water changes with it because the pump has to work very hard to finish the water change over the 24 hour default time period. By default it pumps water every 10 minutes over the course of a 24 hour period to complete your water change. However, if you are just dosing small amounts, it’s not very loud at all. Mine is in my bedroom and I have no problem with it when I sleep at night
 

MnFish1

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Oh, where do I start... I originally was going to go with Hydros, but with the winds of corporate change in the air, I decided to go with Apex. I initially bought the ATO/ATK, then got a good deal on the V2 complete system because I wanted to salinity probe.
Set everything up/ got every plugged in. My first concern was getting the ATK running so I could stop doing it manually. Well for what ever reason, it worked the first day, then stopped. The sensor would say open but the PMUP would not turn on. I could, through the interface turn on the PMUP and manually fill it. I was checking the connections/ pulled the all out and put them back in. Then it started working. OK... great, I think. how long is this going to last? That let me move on to the bigger things.
This is what I needed to do to make my system work.
Temp probe Recalibrate by .06 deg.
PH probe Not use 4.0 and 10.0 calibration packets provided. Those were off. I use Atlas Scientific calibration fluids and those seem pretty accurate for my needs. Once I calibrated with that good to go.
Salinity The provided packet read low but that really didn’t matter because the probe in my sump read 49 ppt. So I had to purchase a VCA module and a small pump. Also come to find out the TC is turned off in the factory settings. Look, if you sell a system WITH a temperature probe, do not send it out the door with the TC turned off. Now with the adjustments and additions, it is stabile and on the mark. Oh I had to use the Hanna 35ppt to calibrate it.
ORP Well working on that.

Look, even though the system has a decent UI/UX, it is not intuitive. It is not an Iphone. The programing is basic, It reminds me of putting in swear words on computers in Sears in the 80's and hit "LOOP" then "RUN" but there is not a guide that I have found yet that has a list of Rules and Commands. I am aware that Apex has a forum... but.

I know, once I get this down, it will be better than my grandma's banana bread. But for the price point. Why should your system not come with all the things to make it work properly out of the box? Why do I have to use other manufacturers products to get yours to work proper? Why do I have to spend $40 bucks for a probe holder that doesn’t come with your product? Did you want your expensive probes rolling around in the bottom of a sump?
The system should be more plug and play. This is not a new product, this should have been worked out by now. In fact the V3 nothing has really changed except they technically eliminated a FMM module and a salinity probe.
Is it worth the money? Maybe, the jury is still out. But the box should be clearly marked. Box contains "Frustration" and has Parts Missing!
The Apex (and any other controller) is a great asset - until it doesn't work. At which point, all of the work you saved with the controller (or much of it) can be out the window. I found the apex pretty much 'plug and play'. Not sure why you would have to use different calibration solutions or how you decided your temperature was 0.6 degrees off (assuming you compared the apex to a known temperature). One problem is to make sure that the 'gold standard' you're using is actually 'more accurate'.

I initially bought many of the gadgets to use with the apex - so I could control my lights, gyres, etc etc - all with the apex. What I found was that (again IMHO) the software that came with the lights was far more intuitive and easy to use than the APEX module - same with the gyres. The only thing I use my apex for is dosing (with DOS) - and a backup for the heater. The only probe I use is temp and pH. Salinity and ORP were so cumbersome - and variable - it was easier to remove the ORP - and when needed use a refractometer - rather than spending hours troubleshooting why one minute the salinity was 35 and 20 minutes later it was 55. Just my opinion.
 
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The Apex (and any other controller) is a great asset - until it doesn't work. At which point, all of the work you saved with the controller (or much of it) can be out the window. I found the apex pretty much 'plug and play'. Not sure why you would have to use different calibration solutions or how you decided your temperature was 0.6 degrees off (assuming you compared the apex to a known temperature). One problem is to make sure that the 'gold standard' you're using is actually 'more accurate'.

I initially bought many of the gadgets to use with the apex - so I could control my lights, gyres, etc etc - all with the apex. What I found was that (again IMHO) the software that came with the lights was far more intuitive and easy to use than the APEX module - same with the gyres. The only thing I use my apex for is dosing (with DOS) - and a backup for the heater. The only probe I use is temp and pH. Salinity and ORP were so cumbersome - and variable - it was easier to remove the ORP - and when needed use a refractometer - rather than spending hours troubleshooting why one minute the salinity was 35 and 20 minutes later it was 55. Just my opinion.
I am refining the system a bit at a time, and things are improving. The salinity probe was easily solved by the VCA module, it is pretty steady. Once in a while I do get an air bubble but that I can tell right away and a slight tap to the probe it pops back to normal.
As far as the calibrations, as you mentioned, "What is the Gold standard?" It is not so much as that as, because I have six other tanks I need my Apex to match the other tools that I use. Whether my other tools are accurate or not, these are the tools I use and this is what I make my decisions and adjustments from. Having a system that monitors parameters has less value if you have to make mental adjustments separately for that system compared to your others.
Through others and forum posts, I have found solutions and guidelines that definitely helped me out. It is just really shocking to me that many things are 3rd party and not sourced by Neptune. I believe also one of my frustrations as some others have pointed out, is trying to get the system up and running in a short period of time amidst weekend cleanings and water changes, etc. I guess I thought it would be literally plug and play for that price point. Which yes, compared to lab grade systems is cheap, But this was a big dent in my wallet, so maybe my expectations were higher than others.
I do want to thank everyone’s imput, some of it really pointed me in the right direction to find a resource.
The whole reason why I went with a controller was because during the heat wave I lost most of one of my temperate tanks when the fuse blew in the middle of the night. My temp went from 64- 84 deg in a matter of hours. I felt if I had an alarm, that could’ve been avoided. I is/was my responsibility to have good husbandry for these animals and I wanted to take steps toward not making the same mistake again.
 
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Just wait til you hit the year mark and you have to start replacing things out of warranty. I have so many APEX issues so many components and they are very poorly made. I also have a GHL on another system and its a bit of a pain to set up, but once its set man is it nice.
It is a shame because years ago Apex redefined the hobby, the classic was flawless. Everyone seemed to think that would be the case again, unfortunately their new products are truly garbage. Cult like following may always keep them relevant, same with the folks who drop 10k to spend a year in the hobby. Glad to see that r2r is allowing this discussion, however.
But that marketing department though.. they sure do know how to spend on marketing ;)

Most recent failure is tonight, ATK (not surprising as this is one of the least reliable ATO's ever made.)
Unfortunately I leave for England on Thursday. Tough situation I suppose.
 
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TangerineSpeedo

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Just wait til you hit the year mark and you have to start replacing things out of warranty. I have so many APEX issues so many components and they are very poorly made. I also have a GHL on another system and its a bit of a pain to set up, but once its set man is it nice.
It is a shame because years ago Apex redefined the hobby, the classic was flawless. Everyone seemed to think that would be the case again, unfortunately their new products are truly garbage. Cult like following may always keep them relevant, same with the folks who drop 10k to spend a year in the hobby. Glad to see that r2r is allowing this discussion, however.
But that marketing department though.. they sure do know how to spend on marketing ;)

Most recent failure is tonight, ATK (not surprising as this is one of the least reliable ATO's ever made.)
Unfortunately I leave for England on Thursday. Tough situation I suppose.
Yeah, still sorting things out, getting closer though. Ppl. complain about the salinity probe but with the VCA stabilizer, it is my most accurate probe. The PH is driving me nuts, the probe says 7.8, but I know for a fact that it is over 8.3 based on know secondary calibrated testing. Recalibrated the probe twice, maybe the third time will be the charm. If I didn't know any better and trusted Apex alone, I would be dumping all sorts of stuff in to try and raise my PH.
On the bright side though, I did just score a killer deal on a GHL 2.1 doser on Offerup Maybe that will be my next system.
 

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Yeah, still sorting things out, getting closer though. Ppl. complain about the salinity probe but with the VCA stabilizer, it is my most accurate probe. The PH is driving me nuts, the probe says 7.8, but I know for a fact that it is over 8.3 based on know secondary calibrated testing. Recalibrated the probe twice, maybe the third time will be the charm. If I didn't know any better and trusted Apex alone, I would be dumping all sorts of stuff in to try and raise my PH.
On the bright side though, I did just score a killer deal on a GHL 2.1 doser on Offerup Maybe that will be my next system.
My Salinity probe has never worked. I gave up on it a while ago and just know that its incorrect, but at least it can show me if theres any major swing. PH has been fine, never had problems with any PH probes with any devices really.
My issue lies more in failing parts. What kind of tank automation uses parts that need to be replaced yearly?

You're gonna love the GHL. I have a 2.1 doser, and a KHD. They are amazing, but give yourself some patience during set up. It was a very difficult unit to set up. Once you get it set though you can truly forget it. No maintenance beyond changing probes when they fail. I have a GHL mini on another system and its also great. Does what it needs to and doesn't fail, much like the Reef Keeper of old times ;)
 
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Definitely not worth the money brand new. I spent money on the 2016 Apex wifi and found out a used apex classic does the same for $500 cheaper. So I recouped my losses, get the same result and feel I got my moneys worth.
 
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