BRS and Neptune Merger

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Do you have an alternative controller that has the same functionality? ( I ask because I may be in the market one day soon)
Not the exact same functionality... but if you're looking into building your own controller for a fraction of the price with comparable functionality, @Ranjib is doing some awesome stuff with Reef-Pi. Huge community over there that has all sorts of great solutions for aquarium automation.
Like you I feel they need to concentrate on making the Apex more robust and reliable. All the accessories have pretty much proven to be low quality items sold at a premium. Sadly it is unlikely as Ryan was talking about a Neptune skimmer in the video. Clearly they have been in bed together a long time. Valid negative reviews of Neptune products have been removed for a long time.
This touches on my main concern with a merger like this... I've always relied on BRS for in-depth, honest takes on products I'm considering buying for my aquarium. I didn't realize things like removing reviews were already going on.

I've watched multiple other channels/sites throughout the years, but BRS had consistently been the best source for real investigation, not just "Hey, look at this new toy the company sent us for free to say nice things about!"

That sort of objectivity/investigation is completely out the window now that they'll be reviewing their own products... On that point, does anyone happen to have other good places for "investigative reefing" channels/sources?
 
Zoanthids

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Why would Ryan do this? There products are not good and there customer service is even worse. I will never buy another Neptune product as long as live.
Same here. Neptune products are designed for a clean room and absolutely unsuited to be used next to a reef tank and an IP rated enclosure is also not an easy solution to remedy that. The USB and RJ connectors corrode like crazy and the module enclosures are completely open to the elements.
Short term I'm planning to go with CoralVue's Hydros or GHL, long term I'm looking into Arduino or Raspberry Pi open source solutions that are independent and open for customization.
 

Fishyfish22

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Neptune and BRS going through the thread noting down which apex units are going to magically stop working

Futurama Writing GIF by HULU
 

ThRoewer

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Not the exact same functionality... but if you're looking into building your own controller for a fraction of the price with comparable functionality, @Ranjib is doing some awesome stuff with Reef-Pi. Huge community over there that has all sorts of great solutions for aquarium automation.
I love the concept and tried to get some info on the Reef Pi but all I could find are pretty cluttered websites and basically everything being 100% DIY. Unfortunately I have not the time to read through hundreds of pages of forum chatter and side tracks (typical for forum threads) and building and programming a controller from scratch.
I'm willing to do some work but having to find someone to get PCB custom made, buy the components, and assemble and debug it it myself is just a no-go timewise...
If there is a link to a clear set of instructions and modules that can be bought ready to go or even just as complete kits, that would be different...
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

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My initial thoughts on this one.
With the backing of BRS, Neptune now can produce more gears that they can't afford before.
Hopefully Mini DOS, of course Trident 2.0.
TDS meters,

I do wonder how BRS will market the other controllers.
That is of course the motivation on both sides. If you remember at the end of the year review Ryan and Randy discussed what changes they wanted to see. BRS has the capital, Ryan has great ideas for the hobby and can push forward with an already established, albeit smaller co., that has the customer base and production methods in place. It’ll just grow now and new products will be more timely
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

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I love the concept and tried to get some info on the Reef Pi but all I could find are pretty cluttered websites and basically everything being 100% DIY. Unfortunately I have not the time to read through hundreds of pages of forum chatter and side tracks (typical for forum threads) and building and programming a controller from scratch.
I'm willing to do some work but having to find someone to get PCB custom made, buy the components, and assemble and debug it it myself is just a no-go timewise...
If there is a link to a clear set of instructions and modules that can be bought ready to go or even just as complete kits, that would be different...
I'm not sure when the last time you checked it out is, but it's grown substantially more organized in the past few years.

Ranjib's official guide is hosted on Adafruit, where it steps you through the totally DIY route start to finish.

In the last couple of years, there have been multiple custom PCBs made by members of the community that they sell. I don't think I can directly link to any without breaking some rules, but Google should be pretty helpful. Mine is Leviathan & there are also other similar boards like the Goby board & Robo Tank available. All with their own pros & cons, but it's definitely evolved past the "solder & wire everything yourself" project it was for years.
 

ThRoewer

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I'm not sure when the last time you checked it out is, but it's grown substantially more organized in the past few years.

Ranjib's official guide is hosted on Adafruit, where it steps you through the totally DIY route start to finish.

In the last couple of years, there have been multiple custom PCBs made by members of the community that they sell. I don't think I can directly link to any without breaking some rules, but Google should be pretty helpful. Mine is Leviathan & there are also other similar boards like the Goby board & Robo Tank available. All with their own pros & cons, but it's definitely evolved past the "solder & wire everything yourself" project it was for years.
Would you mind posting the links in a PM?
I would really need to find something that can be customized to my rather complex needs:
automation of several fish breeding system with automated feeding (30+ feeders with individual schedules), skimmer control, light control (daytime and seasonal), tank temperature (seasonal changes), ambient temperature (to start the chilling fans before the tank hits the limit), pH, ORP, Salinity,... and ideally also testing NO3, PO4, KH, Ca, Mg (yes, those are likely important for fish breeding as well),...
And most importantly extensive data logging for analysis.
I have not yet found a controller that meets all my needs.
 

vangvace

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Would you mind posting the links in a PM?
I would really need to find something that can be customized to my rather complex needs:
automation of several fish breeding system with automated feeding (30+ feeders with individual schedules), skimmer control, light control (daytime and seasonal), tank temperature (seasonal changes), ambient temperature (to start the chilling fans before the tank hits the limit), pH, ORP, Salinity,... and ideally also testing NO3, PO4, KH, Ca, Mg (yes, those are likely important for fish breeding as well),...
And most importantly extensive data logging for analysis.
I have not yet found a controller that meets all my needs.
I would have said the Profilux, but it cannot work with that many autofeeders.
 

ArtisticReef

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In my business experience which involved a lot of buyout/ mergers I have found that:
1. These don't happen because they fell in love with each other. Either Neptune ownership wanted a cash out or (more likely) they were in trouble financially so were an attractive merger target.
2. They often do not work out for everyone in that there was a reason Neptune wanted (needed) to do this and larger often comes with an attitude.
3. Companies like Bertram are not patient in wanting an ROI.
4. With MAP pricing so prevalent with most major brands, will BRS keep it for Neptune products and does it make sense to acquire them unless they don't?
5. Often customers will shift business to vendors like SW.com or Premium.
6. As others have mentioned, one of BRS's unquantifiable assets was it's supposed unbiased product videos. Obviously any opinions expressed involving Neptune products or those that compete with them will be suspect.
7. Whatever they tell you the customer centric reasons are for this are just not true. There is only one reason.......more profit and ROI for Bertram. It's just like when a company comes out with a new employee benefits plan. They tell you that it is better for the employees when in actuality it is always about cutting expenses and moving more money to the bottom line.
I’m in M&A also focused on retail & consumer products at a Fortune 500 company and these “mergers” generally work great. The investors only make money when the company is successful with a solid focus on the customer. If that wasn’t the case why would they invest? I’m very confident Ryan will keep the focus on reefers and reefing success. I’m also really excited to see Ryan create new Neptune products and increase their build quality. I especially hope they stop their funky designs and make solid quality stackable products that will fit in the small spaces we have. My personal and professional experience is that this will be great for reefers! When they raise the bar competitors will have to raise their bar as well making the hobby better all the way around.
 

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Same here. Neptune products are designed for a clean room and absolutely unsuited to be used next to a reef tank and an IP rated enclosure is also not an easy solution to remedy that. The USB and RJ connectors corrode like crazy and the module enclosures are completely open to the elements.

They should switch to M12 connectors at a minimum.
 

SheldonW

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Well I guess I am just not that big of a skeptic. I think this will be a Great Leap Forward for users. My ears perked up when they discussed the Apex Elmo. That is exactly what I want. I live in Canada so I don’t buy from BRS but I sure do watch all their videos which are honest and informative. I don’t see that changing.
 

ca1ore

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Predictable hand wringing when these things are announced. Play the part of Chicken Little if you want, but seems more prudent to see how it plays out. Does seem curious for a retailer and manufacturer to merge though. BRS selling GHL or ETM means potentially more R&D $$ for Apex. Wonder if Neptune was struggling financially? The absolute best way to obsolete equipment is the manufacturer going out of business (pure speculation of course). I've a whole bunch of $$$ stereo gear from long gone companies. Some repairable; some not.
 

ThRoewer

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Predictable hand wringing when these things are announced. Play the part of Chicken Little if you want, but seems more prudent to see how it plays out. Does seem curious for a retailer and manufacturer to merge though. BRS selling GHL or ETM means potentially more R&D $$ for Apex. Wonder if Neptune was struggling financially? The absolute best way to obsolete equipment is the manufacturer going out of business (pure speculation of course). I've a whole bunch of $$$ stereo gear from long gone companies. Some repairable; some not.
Another reason to go open source...
Neptune is (was?) kind of the leader in hobbyist level aqua controllers but they destroyed a lot of good will in the industry by encroaching on the turf of pump, light and other equipment manufacturers. Instead of limiting themselves on making controllers and driving standardization of equipment interfaces they cause a complete fracturing of the market with every equipment manufacturer now doing their own proprietary device controller and making sure that their devices can't be integrated into the Apex system. Neptune really shot themselves in the foot here and I could see that it started hurting their revenues. I mean, why by an Apex if you already have individual controllers for light, pumps,... As a temperature controller the Apex is too expensive and their own Apex integrated equipment is overpriced and of poor quality (both my WAV pumps broke precisely after one year in service).
 
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