Apex vs Apex EL Is it worth an extra $300?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Rscott, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Rscott

    Rscott Member

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    trying to find some ways to limit my investment on my first tank

    I know an apex will make my life much easier.
    So im trying to justify the cost

    Then I stumbled upon the Apex EL thing?

    I loos two probes I guess? and 0-10v control?

    Is this a big deal? I thought everyone says not to trust the probes anyway?

    Thanks for the ideas
     
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  2. Montiman

    Montiman Active Member

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    I have an apex classic and chose it over the Gold when I purchased before the new apex and the apex EL. I think it depends on what equipment you use and your philosophy behind a controller. For me I mainly want an Apex for redundancy and notifications.

    I see no purpose in the salinity probe. My salinity doesn’t shift and it shouldn’t unless you are dosing a ton of two part. It may shift if your ATO fails but I would rather have a cheap high level sensor or water on the floor sensor than a salinity probe.

    Unless you use ozone I see no reason to measure ORP it is uncontrollable and Isn’t as indicative of overall water quality as many make it out to be

    If you plan on using lights or pumps that use the VDM ports great but I don’t think most people do.

    Others can chime in but ultimately if your equipment doesn’t need ORP or VDM ports then I see no reason other than the coolness factor of the complete Apex
     
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  3. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Salinity and ORP I could do without (and did on my system). I will say that the variable ports for controlling lights and pumps that cannot be controlled wirelessly is extremely important to my system, but may not be for others; however if you need this and buy the EL, you can always add on the VDM module for $100
     
  4. Js.Aqua.Project

    Js.Aqua.Project Reef Addict R2R Supporter Ocala Reef Club Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    I have the 2016 Apex, if the EL had come out at the same time that is what I would have purchased.

    I don't use ozone so the ORP probe pretty much means nothing. I run AI Hydras and my Gyres are on the Advanced Controller so I don't need 0-10V. And I use an ATO and use a refractometer so I could do without the Salinity probe.

    If you are like me and don't care about those then get the EL.
     
  5. Rscott

    Rscott Member

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    well, i plan to run AI hydras so i ownt need the 0-10 for my lights

    I agree on the probes with you guys

    Power heads i still cant decide. I cant bring myself to spend $600 on power heads. And i think the neptune wav power heads will be to much flow for a mixed reef red sea reefer 250

    Only other thing no one mentioned is a dc skimmer?

    I think i will just get a normal AC skimmer unless someone convinces me of how awesome the DC one is.

    So if i do get the EL, other then controlling my pump on and off , control powerheads if i get the right ones what else will it do for me?
    Its not tracking water paramters in the EL so what else does it do then?
     
  6. BZOFIQ

    BZOFIQ Well-Known Member

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    Forgo the extra probes; get VDM down the line and only as needed.
     
  7. Rscott

    Rscott Member

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    So there is a way to and the 0-10 volt into the EL later on?
     
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  8. Js.Aqua.Project

    Js.Aqua.Project Reef Addict R2R Supporter Ocala Reef Club Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Yes, that is what the VDM does.
     
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  9. Rscott

    Rscott Member

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    awesome thanks! So the EL would work just fine!
     
  10. Bugsy_Barboza

    Bugsy_Barboza Active Member

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    I’ve been confused on this, I want a apex mainly to notify when if what’s going on with my tank.... tank has been running without one had a another tank that did just fine without it. Do want it to let me know if a pump cuts off or something of that nature but really just confused on it all. I’ll be following this to see what others say.
     
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  11. PugsAndFish

    PugsAndFish Active Member

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    Same following. Considering Apex El if it goes on sale on BF. I mainly want it to make sure tank is ok when I travel and when I'm busy at work and can't focus on the tank.

    The missing probes supposedly aren't a big deal and I don't understand what the 0-10V still does lol. Kind of confusing :/
     
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  12. Rscott

    Rscott Member

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    basically the 0-10 is an analog signal that can be outputted from the apex to other devices that may be controlled by a 0-10 volt signal. For example, say you have a pump and it supports 0-10v communication. Well instead of just using your pump controller to change the pump speed the apex can now do it for you. and since you are controlling the apex from phone or tablet, aka you have control of your pump remotely.

    Some devices are wireless though. like the Ecotech power heads and various lights and so on.
    Those can communicate with the apex directly and wirelessly.

    For me, im planning on an Apex COR pump, so my apex should be able to control it directly.
    My lights will be AI hydra so those are wireless and im planning on a AC skimmer.
    Only thing I cant decide on is power heads. I will probably get the Neptune ones because they are cost effective but they are a little big for my perspective tank aka reefer 250
     
  13. wesman42

    wesman42 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Is anything from Apex <$100?
     
  14. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    The VDM module is

    By a cent..
     
  15. Montiman

    Montiman Active Member

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    To answer some of the questions people have about he apex the main reasons I use apex are notifications and redundancy.

    The most important in my opinion is temperature notifications so you will know if a heater or chiller fails or perhaps your home ac fails. In this event the apex can turn off a heater that is overheating and a chiller that is over cooling until you can get home and do something about it.

    The second most important is pH notification and control. I have had ATOs fail and over dose kalk, dodgers fail and over dose 2 part and calcium reactors fail and turn the tank into a milkshake. If any of these fail the apex will notify you and turn off the defective equipment based on the pH change.

    The new apex also has power monitoring which could let you know if a skimmer or return pump failed unexpectedly.

    There are only 3 additional things the complete apex has that the EL does not. 1. A salinity probe 2. A ORP probe 3. The Variable Dimming Ports.

    The salinity probe will monitor salinity and notify you as well as turn on or off equipment based on the salinity. The thing is salinity should not be changing much. The probe is also notoriously finicky and can often give in accurate readings because of this most people don’t place much value in salinity monitoring

    ORP is mainly used to control an ozone generator. Because so few people use ozone there is not a great demand for ORP monitoring.

    The variable dimming ports allow you to control some return pumps powerheads and lights from your apex. Most modern power heads pumps and lights have built in controllers making the dining ports cool but not necessary.
     
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  16. Rscott

    Rscott Member

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    Thank you so much for your post!
     
  17. tr3

    tr3 Member

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    breakout box is 40...
     
  18. BZOFIQ

    BZOFIQ Well-Known Member

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  19. timrocks311

    timrocks311 Active Member

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    Just curious, what lights and pumps do you have that use the 0-10v ports?
     
  20. timrocks311

    timrocks311 Active Member

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    just saying...this thread is really nice to explain the differences. I am confident now the EL would work just fine for me. Thank you all!
     
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