Best reef automation

Neptune

dbleoh7

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I'm wanting to jump into automation because I want to simplify the process and I find testing and dosing a negative aspect of reefing (I wish I liked it like some). I've been looking at the Mastertronic (+Dosetronic) and also the GHL Ion director + KH director (+Doser). There doesn't appear to be much info on these online since they just got released but does anyone know how these compare with respect to simplicity and reliability. Those are the things I value most since if I have to troubleshoot a unit it defeats the purpose of automation for me. Anyone have any input with the comparison or are there other automations I should consider? (I didn't consider Neptune since I want calc, alkalinity, phos, mag and nitrates).
 
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ChuckTownReefer

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I would go with GHL.
The Mastertronic uses other brands test kits to perform the tests. So your results depends on those brands being accurate and expensive. The GHL uses its own testing reagents and probe to perform the tests. I'm going full GHL on my new build. The quality you get with GHL is hands down the best I have seen.
 

blatherdrift

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I have good experiences with the triton. I haven’t set it to auto dose yet but I can tell it’s going to work well. Only been a few weeks running so maybe it’s early to tell.
 

srobertb

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I use a trident and Neptune Apex…mostly because there were no other options a few years ago.

I use a Hydros Wave Engine for my Grye XF350’s. I find the wave engine software to be buggy, unreliable, and it’s getting less confusing but the last major update bricked my device and I spent an hour resetting it and reconnecting it. I can’t recommend Coralvue at this time but obviously I only have experience with this one module. There is nothing worse than having palpitations everyone you load an aquarium app and aren’t sure it’s going to load correctly.

I use Mobius for my lights. I don’t play with my light settings daily so I have used the app a total of 3 times- once to program AB+, once to adjust PAR, once to acclimate. The app seems to have gotten more confusing since my G4’s. The fact that it still uses Bluetooth is pathetic. Having a dosing issue and being able to remotely see PH swings and things but have no control over your dosing pumps while on vacation is terrifying. The same with the return pump. I’m used to remote monitoring and tweaking and this doesn’t allow for that. My “Mobius” enabled return pump mixes saltwater now and was replaced by a Neptune COR (which is awesome).

I believe that as of today, the Neptune Apex system remains the most robust and refined. I keep hearing about GHL and I’m not knocking it. I’m a big fan of being a first adopter but at my age and with my life I can’t afford to be one right now. I would love more options and integration across systems but that’s obviously not happening. You have to decide between picking the horse that’s winning or picking the horse you think will win in the lingterm

When you have 5 or $10,000 wrapped up in something like this, it is difficult to switch and your decision is weighted heavily towards that brand. I’m obviously biased despite my efforts

My Neptune system has its foibles but it’s 99% uptime is important to me. Most of their equipment is a hit and very little has been garbage (the leak sensors sadly are garbage). They also have standard 24v outputs and 0-10v outputs and I’m not an engineer but can easily create little fun DIY projects.

Their DOS pumps are beasts. They look like a crappy kids toy but they just keep on ticking. I switched to Ecotech Versa’s briefly because of their footprint and noise level. Once again, I can’t have an AWC that’s not remote accessible if there’s a salinity swing or something. I waited for wifi access and it still hasn’t come. The pumps also have a design flaw in that the intake tube is INSANELY small so even with pre filters they would clog.

My Neptune Trident was just replaced after 2 years. I do not have time to test daily (let alone 4 times daily) and so it is invaluable to me. I can’t say it’s the most accurate thing on earth (can’t say it’s not) but in a world where stability is key, it keeps things stable. I use the auto dosing feature and aim for an ALK of 11. It fluctuates between 10.6-11.1. I replace the reagents at 30% as when they drop below 10-20% the readings start dropping. I have tried the little cones and they did nothing.

I need an automatic nitrate and phosphate test. I believe Neptune has one in testing phases. Obviously I’m not special or important and my question was met with a “we do not discuss future products with plebes such as yourself.” Even Samsung, google, and Apple will “leak” glimpses and info to make people hold out for a product. I’m seriously considering a reefbot or something similar to test nitrates and phosphates and I will be annoyed if I shell out $2500 to see a Neptune version released a few months later.
 
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dbleoh7

dbleoh7

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I would go with GHL.
The Mastertronic uses other brands test kits to perform the tests. So your results depends on those brands being accurate and expensive. The GHL uses its own testing reagents and probe to perform the tests. I'm going full GHL on my new build. The quality you get with GHL is hands down the best I have seen.
I do like the part about it using it's own reagents. I've read a few reviews about the GHL KH director that say how challenging and cumbersome the interface is to deal with a program. Maybe the Ion Director's interface is better?
 

srobertb

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I do like the part about it using it's own reagents. I've read a few reviews about the GHL KH director that say how challenging and cumbersome the interface is to deal with a program. Maybe the Ion Director's interface is better?
Does the Mastertonic function as a standalone unit? Do I need a gateway, bridge, or control unit?
 
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dbleoh7

dbleoh7

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I use a trident and Neptune Apex…mostly because there were no other options a few years ago.

I use a Hydros Wave Engine for my Grye XF350’s. I find the wave engine software to be buggy, unreliable, and it’s getting less confusing but the last major update bricked my device and I spent an hour resetting it and reconnecting it. I can’t recommend Coralvue at this time but obviously I only have experience with this one module. There is nothing worse than having palpitations everyone you load an aquarium app and aren’t sure it’s going to load correctly.

I use Mobius for my lights. I don’t play with my light settings daily so I have used the app a total of 3 times- once to program AB+, once to adjust PAR, once to acclimate. The app seems to have gotten more confusing since my G4’s. The fact that it still uses Bluetooth is pathetic. Having a dosing issue and being able to remotely see PH swings and things but have no control over your dosing pumps while on vacation is terrifying. The same with the return pump. I’m used to remote monitoring and tweaking and this doesn’t allow for that. My “Mobius” enabled return pump mixes saltwater now and was replaced by a Neptune COR (which is awesome).

I believe that as of today, the Neptune Apex system remains the most robust and refined. I keep hearing about GHL and I’m not knocking it. I’m a big fan of being a first adopter but at my age and with my life I can’t afford to be one right now. I would love more options and integration across systems but that’s obviously not happening. You have to decide between picking the horse that’s winning or picking the horse you think will win in the lingterm

When you have 5 or $10,000 wrapped up in something like this, it is difficult to switch and your decision is weighted heavily towards that brand. I’m obviously biased despite my efforts

My Neptune system has its foibles but it’s 99% uptime is important to me. Most of their equipment is a hit and very little has been garbage (the leak sensors sadly are garbage). They also have standard 24v outputs and 0-10v outputs and I’m not an engineer but can easily create little fun DIY projects.

Their DOS pumps are beasts. They look like a crappy kids toy but they just keep on ticking. I switched to Ecotech Versa’s briefly because of their footprint and noise level. Once again, I can’t have an AWC that’s not remote accessible if there’s a salinity swing or something. I waited for wifi access and it still hasn’t come. The pumps also have a design flaw in that the intake tube is INSANELY small so even with pre filters they would clog.

My Neptune Trident was just replaced after 2 years. I do not have time to test daily (let alone 4 times daily) and so it is invaluable to me. I can’t say it’s the most accurate thing on earth (can’t say it’s not) but in a world where stability is key, it keeps things stable. I use the auto dosing feature and aim for an ALK of 11. It fluctuates between 10.6-11.1. I replace the reagents at 30% as when they drop below 10-20% the readings start dropping. I have tried the little cones and they did nothing.

I need an automatic nitrate and phosphate test. I believe Neptune has one in testing phases. Obviously I’m not special or important and my question was met with a “we do not discuss future products with plebes such as yourself.” Even Samsung, google, and Apple will “leak” glimpses and info to make people hold out for a product. I’m seriously considering a reefbot or something similar to test nitrates and phosphates and I will be annoyed if I shell out $2500 to see a Neptune version released a few months later.
If Neptune had an all in one that tested more parameters that included phos and nitrate I would be all over it, but until they do I'm not considering it. Kind of strange these smaller companies are all coming out with products that test everything but Neptune is lagging behind.
 
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dbleoh7

dbleoh7

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I have good experiences with the triton. I haven’t set it to auto dose yet but I can tell it’s going to work well. Only been a few weeks running so maybe it’s early to tell.
Triton has an auto tester? Is there a doser you can connect it to that auto-doses based on the test results?
I'll have to look into it.
 
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sark

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I guess our choices are:
Reefbot
Mastertronic
Trident
GHL ion
If someone came up with the pro and cons for all of these, that would be fantastic without bias
 

Tuffyyyyy

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I guess our choices are:
Reefbot
Mastertronic
Trident
GHL ion
If someone came up with the pro and cons for all of these, that would be fantastic without bias
I was deciding between some of these around this time last year. But really my only choices then were Reefbot & Trident. I was dead set on Reefbot because I'm all about giving money to the little guy. The biggest pro for me was that it tested everything whereas Trident only tested ALK, CAL & MAG. But the things that ultimately made me pick Trident were:

1) Reefbot required testing bottles to be at least 50% filled, so according to their info guide, some things you're only getting 10 tests before you need to refill;
2) It had to be connected to the internet, and since they're a company based out of Israel they do all of their patches/updating during key testing times. Additionally, since it has to be connected to the internet in order to run, if they go out of business then you've got a very expensive brick.
 
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