Coralvue Hydros vs. Apex

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wtusa1783

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I’ve only been in the reefing hobby for about 3 months now and have already upgraded to a 120 gallon. I’m starting to look into buying a controller for my tank to make it more automated. I see many people using apex but in my local reefing Facebook group they hate apex. One good store by me has $12k worth of sps and he swears by the hydros. He says when they come out with more things that are similar to what the apex has it will be way better. He hates them because he says they have failed too much. Anyone who has hydros and apex do you feel it is more reliable or at least the same? I’m curious to see your opinions on apex and hydros.
 
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shred5

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I am going to say the big difference is the Hydros is just much easier to use but still offers flexibility and advanced control.

Right now there is more available for the Apex but that will change in the future as more stuff is released. Apex has been around for a while too.
I do own both. I am not going to bash the Apex though, allot of people have had no issues with them and love them.

I think Coralvue seems more open to working with other companies making stuff for the Hydros and for the DYI'er. It has cloud support which is much newer way to do things. It is a little more technically advanced because it is a newer platform. Basically the Hydros is a newer system and there are advantage and disadvantages to that.

I am a tester for the Hydros so I want to say that. I do like the Hydros and purchased more with my own money for other systems I have.

You have to decide and look at your needs.
 
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wtusa1783

wtusa1783

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I am going to say the big difference is the Hydros is just much easier to use but still offers flexibility and advanced control.

Right now there is more available for the Apex but that will change in the future as more stuff is released. Apex has been around for a while too.
I do own both. I am not going to bash the Apex though, allot of people have had no issues with them and love them.

I think Coralvue seems more open to working with other companies making stuff for the Hydros and for the DYI'er. It has cloud support which is much newer way to do things. It is a little more technically advanced because it is a newer platform. Basically the Hydros is a newer system and there are advantage and disadvantages to that.

I am a tester for the Hydros so I want to say that. I do like the Hydros and purchased more with my own money for other systems I have.

You have to decide and look at your needs.
I feel the hydros will be great from what I’ve heard about them. Do you know when things like a doser or water tester would come out? That’s why I want the controller for the most part. Also don’t you think the hydros additions will be way cheaper? Already the additions are cheaper. That’s also another main reason he loves them is he says they will be cheaper than apex when all the additions come out.
 

SuncrestReef

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I think HYDROS looks very promising. However, it will be difficult to gauge long-term reliability at this point since it’s only been available for a few months, and its customer base is likely a tiny fraction of the Apex which has been around for decades.
 
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shred5

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I feel the hydros will be great from what I’ve heard about them. Do you know when things like a doser or water tester would come out? That’s why I want the controller for the most part. Also don’t you think the hydros additions will be way cheaper? Already the additions are cheaper. That’s also another main reason he loves them is he says they will be cheaper than apex when all the additions come out.

I really can not say because even if we know we are not allowed and also things can get delayed.
CV could also be working with other companies that we do not know about and those other companies could be testing internally. I am just a tester and not a employee.
 
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The products are not the same so really isn't a fair comparison. To say one is easier than the other to use is also not really a fair comparison. It is going to come down to a personal preference as we all have our own bias at the end of the day. Reading your post alone it is clear the shops you frequent are biased. I'm biased. However I do try and remove my hat and provide reasonable answers or explanations.

  1. Hobbyist needs to make a list of their requirements, desires, goals, objectives for the tank. Factor in past, present, and future (lessons learned, mistakes, current situation and needs, and future upgrades or desires). If you don't have this you are stuck in the fork in the road and will buy multiple products wasting time and money.
  2. Ignore the noise. Focus on #1 above and do some light reading on the controller manufactures be it GHL, Neptune, Open Source (pI's, Reef Angel), or CoralVue's. You will see product offering, how it may work in your environment, cost of entry, cost of ownership, etc. For example let us say you want to do automated testing. That right there limits manufactures you can choose based on availability today, tomorrow, and what may integrate or be controlled via what product.
  3. Controlling != monitoring and not all controllers on the market offer this. You mentioned controller but honestly you need to be aware of what if and monitoring to be more proactive. Something simple as a Seney for example can send you email notifications if your unit is out of the water. That could mean a leak. It could mean low water level, ATO failure, etc. However, this is all it does - alert you. Neptune and GHL obviously can do more with similar setups.
  4. Be aware everyone is trying to build their empire and take on GHL and Neptune. There is a reason why GHL and Neptune are still in business and others who tried failed. The issue today, in my opinion, is that no one wants to work with other companies similar to the PC market back in the 80's. Everyone creates their own graphics library, cards, chips, and peripherals and no standards. PC end user loses out because nothing talks to one another or it changes (HDR+, Dolby Vision come to mind and TV sets today). Just look at the local apps, dongles, accessories everyone is creating. So to say Coral Vue or Ecotech or Kessil or Insert Company Here is working with one is hit or miss at best even if it is the vendor saying it. Everyone is holding their cards to their chest hoping to get the dead mans hand. No thanks, I'll pass.
I'll end with this. The current trend as I see it is that the manufactures of lightning, pumps, and other key pieces of equipment are doing the hobbyist a disservice by going this route. Not working with key controller players and going alone with their own is hurting the hobby. I know they don't like it. I know they try and spin it with a positive vibe of hobbyist for the hobbyist. But....why can't they just look at the key players and say you know what, you already have an established base. It would save us time and money by integrating rather than building our own from scratch.

TL; DR - make your requirement list and needs then read and see what checks off the most in your budget range. All the best.
 

ReefBeta

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To a new reefer, I would recommend Hydros at this point.

I have both running on my two tanks. I sincerely hate Apex. Mildly annoyed by its ancient programming paradigm, seriously hate the value of the company to build a highly guarded close garden. Hydros is the better Apex alternative. I haven't try other platforms like GHL or Koral, so can't say about them.

Hydros is still new an have some rough edges to work out, missing capability to catch up. It's more like the first iPhone at launch. It does some stuff very nice, but missing some other things the competitor has. Apex is like the blackberry at time, outdated platform, but still have biggest user base. I won't suggesting existing Apex users to jump ship just yet, even myself is keeping the Apex I already own. But for new reefer it's easier to just get Hydros.

In terms of automated testing and dosing, Hydros won't come out of yet another auto tester on their own, because it work seemlessly with Alkatronic and Dosertronic. But better yet they work just fine without any controller whatsoever. If that's what you really need, just start getting an alkatronic by itself.

In terms of price, Hydros is a lot cheaper per controlled outlet, Apex has no competition here if you want to drive a tons of equipment (actually, if you need more than 8 outlets). Apex is comparable in price if you can make use of ALL of its ports, but not too many outlets. How many ports/sensors/outlets you need will determine which is cheaper.
 

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I have been looking into controller for awhile. Coralvue looks promising. But it's still in an early stage and doesn't offer as much as the rest do. Apex is the top of the market from my knowledge in being used. I like the trident. But making me test 3 times a day is a downfall. Way too much testing imo. Then the most expensive GHL. Honestly this is where I'm leaning. The kh director and soon ion director seem pretty solid. I hear the build is better than apex. But it's twice the price for testing and controller. So try to decide on budget and what you want.
 

ReefBeta

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I have been looking into controller for awhile. Coralvue looks promising. But it's still in an early stage and doesn't offer as much as the rest do. Apex is the top of the market from my knowledge in being used. I like the trident. But making me test 3 times a day is a downfall. Way too much testing imo. Then the most expensive GHL. Honestly this is where I'm leaning. The kh director and soon ion director seem pretty solid. I hear the build is better than apex. But it's twice the price for testing and controller. So try to decide on budget and what you want.

Just so you know, you can configure Trident to test whatever number of times per day at whenever you want. The capability is all there, it's just that Neptune System don't want you to find out of it, and deny its existence. Take your own theory why Neptune don't want us to know about that.
 
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Just so you know, you can configure Trident to test whatever number of times per day at whenever you want. The capability is all there, it's just that Neptune System don't want you to find out of it, and deny its existence. Take your own theory why Neptune don't want us to know about that.

Actually you couldn't be further from the truth. If they didn't want this to happen they would patch it. So please stop the conspiracy theories and misinformation.

The correct answer is that it isn't supported. It is on their FAQ page.

It doesn't mean it won't be. Just means that there isn't an option today. As to why anyone's guess but I'd wager has to do with reagents, open bottle, air, life expectancy, shelf life, among other things. Difficult to say. If you have a issue with the frequency of tests or reagents then the Trident isn't for you. Plain and simple.

However, if you are doing Trident assisted dosing I would recommend following the guidelines.
 

ReefBeta

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Actually you couldn't be further from the truth. If they didn't want this to happen they would patch it. So please stop the conspiracy theories and misinformation.

The correct answer is that it isn't supported. It is on their FAQ page.

It doesn't mean it won't be. Just means that there isn't an option today. As to why anyone's guess but I'd wager has to do with reagents, open bottle, air, life expectancy, shelf life, among other things. Difficult to say. If you have a issue with the frequency of tests or reagents then the Trident isn't for you. Plain and simple.

However, if you are doing Trident assisted dosing I would recommend following the guidelines.

I didn't conspiracy anything, just presented what it's out there. Take it as what you believe it is.

The simple fact is, many asked Neptune system for the ability to better configure Trident test time, including when the tests starts. I myself reach out for that as well. The answer we got is "technology is not there". Then here is the way to configure it, providing exactly what was asked for.

You're welcome to have your theory of why. I have my own. It will never be proven. It's conspiracy theories both way, so I quit suggesting anything out of it. Take it as what you believe it is.
 

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@zsxking: I’m not sure if you are referring exactly to this (maybe I misunderstand) but there is a reasonable answer for why Trident does not allow you to do less tests than the minimal indication. Indeed for the other options, I think it should be matter of time.


Moving away from Trident, Apex works fine for me... but maybe an important thing to consider which I believe it was not mentioned yet:
Your location! :)

For instance, it is way easier to have GHL here in Europe than Apex in terms of support (technical, repairment...)

Good luck with your decision... at the end of the day... it is a nice doubt to have :)
 

ReefBeta

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@zsxking: I’m not sure if you are referring exactly to this (maybe I misunderstand) but there is a reasonable answer for why Trident does not allow you to do less tests than the minimal indication. Indeed for the other options, I think it should be matter of time.

Sorry not making myself clear. I am mostly OK with how many times it test, but mostly want to change the time of the tests. So instead of 12am, 6am, 12pm, 6pm, I want it to be 3am, 9am, 3pm, 9pm to match my light schedule. Now I have a way to do just that.
 
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Sorry not making myself clear. I am mostly OK with how many times it test, but mostly want to change the time of the tests. So instead of 12am, 6am, 12pm, 6pm, I want it to be 3am, 9am, 3pm, 9pm to match my light schedule. Now I have a way to do just that.
I was not aware of that... I thought you could select at least the first test of the day.
Therefore, for that, no good reason yet found :)
 

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But thinking better: if they define a fix number of tests per day always equally spread .. you indeed never going be able to set the time of each test...
 

ReefBeta

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But thinking better: if they define a fix number of tests per day always equally spread .. you indeed never going be able to set the time of each test...

How so? In the dialog that choosing the schedule there can easily be a field to put in offset minutes for the start.

In fact, the default code for trident control is OSC. For example, when testing 4 times a day, the Tri output (control the combine test, which do twice a day) is set to
Code:
OSC 000:00/001:00/719:00 Then ON
It can easily be changed to
Code:
OSC 360:00/001:00/359:00 Then ON
to have it go off at 3am instead.

Another fun perspective on this is that, because OSC is limited to 3 digit minutes, it's indeed technically infeasible to have a test to go once a day using OSC, because it would require the off minute to be 1439:00.
 

ca1ore

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One good store by me has $12k worth of sps and he swears by the hydros.

That’s nice ..... but hasn’t it only been out for a couple of months. Always take those kinds of comments with a grain of salt. Also for a new reefer, I’d suggest learning the ins and outs of your tank before slapping on a bandaid ...... er, controller.
 
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