Do I Need Reef Pi?

mjreefs

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Hi everyone,

I've heard of Reef-Pi for years now and haven't really considered it because of the "hardware" side of it (electronics, circuitry, etc.). I could code and program stuff but basically would need a refresher, but this is manageable.

So I gained interest on Reef-Pi again and stumbled upon Robo-Tank, which to how I see it, takes a lot of the "hardware" side out of the way. Although, there still needs to be some tinkering, but it looks manageable.

Currently I have a 240-gallon FOWLR tank and am looking to control my lights, auto-feeder, monitor temp and pH. The lights I have are the Aquaknight Spectra (first version), and they are currently plugged into a Smart plug which allows me to turn it off and on, but not being able to set the ramping up and dimming of the lights. My auto-feeder () also has a dedicated app, but I'll check if Home Assistant will support it so that I can integrate it to one app. If not, then it is a candidate to be plugged in to the Robo-Tank.

I am not considering controlling my wavemaker, since the new Jebao series pumps have a new, decently-working mobile app for that. I already have one of the newer pumps, and am just waiting for the other pumps to fail to upgrade them. The other Jebaos are currently on Smart plugs as well so I can control what time they turn on and off, so they can be plugged into the Robo-Tank.

Some questions:

1. Is it worth the investment for a controller given the very limited set of functionalities that I like? I'm on the fence, really. It feels not worth it, but the put-everything-into-one-place is tempting.
2. If I do consider investing in a Robo-Tank, which one should I get? I don't plan to upgrade to a reef in the future, so other functions like auto-dosing, etc. are really off the list. Although, we do carbon dosing, I feel it's much safer to not automate it as things could get hairy if something happens.

I live in the Philippines so the shipping might be an issue as well (but I believe I can get around that).
 
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attiland

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You kind of answered your own question. If you don’t really need the functionality it offers you will end up a very expensive thermometer which may even can feed your fish.
my opinion is this start to play when you have few things controlled by it like sockets, ph probe, temperature and maybe ATO or Doser.
if you don’t need 3-4 functions I will be honest no controller will worth the money.
 

Weasel1960

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@robsworld78 is the guru behind Robo-Tank. I would think if only doing minimal a smart outlet or timer would work. I am planning on doing full control and for me Reef-Pi with R-T is a good option over the name brands where you are pretty much stuck with the brand once you go down that road.
 

robsworld78

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Well I'm a little bias, I think anyone who drinks coffee or eats toast in the morning needs reef-pi and Robo-Tank, word on the street is Apex will burn the toast. ;)

I do agree with @attiland based on what your needs you'll only get pH and temps. Good chance the feeder would work if it has a manual feed button but you would need to probe around to see how it works. For lights it doesn't look like that one can be controlled so you'll just have on/off timer ability.

If you enjoy playing with Home Assistant I believe it's compatible with reef-pi, I know someone who says "feed my fish" and reef-pi does it. Don't ask how though, at least not me.

I only have one controller, it's available in DIY format or assembled. I actually just sent one to Cavite in the Philippines, if you think you want to know the cost DM me your address and I can check it out.
 

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