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mpadgett88

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Looking to get a controller or something that can automate some tasks. Want something to monitor parameters. Working on a budget. I don’t mind a lot of DIY
 

Bj’s Reef

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It depends on which controller you like best. Everyone has there favorite. Ford vs Chevy etc. I have tried Vertex which was a nightmare and no longer available. Then I went with Apex and I will have to say it works for me. I tried GHL they have very nice equipment that is well built . The programming and app needs work however in my opinion they are worth a look. There tech support is top shelf. I’m currently thinking of try Hydros on my up coming build. So I say pick one and let it roll. All controllers have there +&- . However for the most part the ones that are currently listed on the market seem to be reliable in my opinion.
 
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mpadgett88

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I haven’t been able to find many probes for the hydros. I want PH and salinity mainly. Want it to run an ATO. As well. I suppose if I really wanted to automate everything I’d have to spend 2k and just get apex and trident. But I’m not rolling in the cash so. Budget/diy options
 

n2585722

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I haven’t been able to find many probes for the hydros. I want PH and salinity mainly. Want it to run an ATO. As well. I suppose if I really wanted to automate everything I’d have to spend 2k and just get apex and trident. But I’m not rolling in the cash so. Budget/diy options
The Hydros supports pH and ORP along with temp currently on the Control 4. The Control 2 has Temp. They can be combined into collectives and act as a single controller when you want to expand. They are working on a salinity solution. The continuity probes in use now are not reliable enough to use constantly. I had two salinity probes on my DA controller. Air bubbles and tank inhabitants kept causing false readings. I had to clean it every three weeks because of growth of a film on the probe that caused the reading to drop. So I could never use them for control of anything anyway.

I currently have 7 Hydros control units in a collective along with 4 wifi power strips and a wifi fish feeder. I have been slowly upgrading from an Archon to the Hydros. So far I have not found anything I was doing with the Archon that I cannot do with the Hydros. I control the main tank along with three storage tanks and the RODI system. I control heating, cooling, ATO, AWC and dosing with it. I also have auto refill control of my DI storage tank and mixing tank. The Hydros will also transfer water from the mixing tank to my fresh saltwater storage tank if it is ready to use.
 
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mpadgett88

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That’s crazy. I have two tanks I’m trying to control. Those control units are spendy ain’t they? To do
Everything I want of need quite a few of them. How’s the software?
 
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n2585722

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That’s crazy. I have two tanks I’m trying to control. Those control units are spendy ain’t they? To do
Everything I want of need quite a few of them. How’s the software?
I got them spread out since November so was not a huge amount initially. The Control 4 starter kit is $449. That comes with a Control 4, power supply, WiFi power strip, pH probe and a temp sensor. The Control 4 has to probe ports, 4 sense ports, 4 0-10v input ports, 4 0-10v output ports and 2 Drive ports. I use drive ports for my ATO, AWC and solenoids. That is one reason for more Control units for me. I have 1 Control 4, 2 Control 2 and a Control XS in the garage along with 2 Wifi strips. The rest of the control units are at the tank. There are a few third party items which can be connected to the 0-10v input ports. These inclued a breakout box where you can connect float switches, humidity sensors or temp sensors. There s also a 5 pushbutton box available that uses these ports. The Control 2 has 2 drive ports and 2 sense ports. The XS has 4 sense ports. They are around 160 if you get them alone. The starter kit with a wifi strip, temp sensor and temp probe is only 199. The tamp probe uses a sense port. Other items for sense port include water level sensors, flow sensors, leak detectors and TDS meters.
 

n2585722

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No coding required? I’m not the smartest guy. I can solder and build wiring harnesses and such for Harleys and race cars but no coding
The Hydros has no coding, but can still do the higher level things. Below is the setup for one of my temp probes. when you setup an input you select the type in this case it is a sense port type. Then you select the mode. In this case it is a temprature probe. Then you select the actual port where the device s connected. Since this is a temp probe it lets you set the safe range. There s an offset setting if you want to cal the temp to another temp source. You set the notification level. That s it for setting up a input. It will send a notification if the temp were to get out of the range set here. Basically you tell the controller what is connected to the different inputs. if you decide to switch which input has the temp sensor all you would have to do is change the sense port setting below.

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Setting up an output you choose the type of output there are several to choose from that are specific to an output type such as return pump, skimmer, heater etc. For my cooling fans I used the generic type. You can use up to nine inputs to control on the generic output. This one only uses one. It uses the temp sensor setup above. It has a low point setting in this case t is the temp it will turn off at. Then there is the highpoint. This is where it will turn on at. This is set with the active when statment which for a fan is Temp Hi. Since this is a temp control output it has no schedule. Then you select the output port the device you are controlling is connected. An output does not have to have a output port set if you are just using the logic from he output to control another output. Next you set what happens if the input becomes unavailable for any reason. I have it set to turn off. My Control 4 is normally what controls all the wifi devices. The output here is on a wifi strip at the tank. The temp port is on a Control XS at the tank. When you go to select a output port it only shows ones that have not veen already assigned. It s the same when selecting a input port only unused port of the type selected are shown to choose from. The next setting is active in modes. You can choose which modes that the output can ge active in. The Hydros comes with Normal, Feed and Water Change already setup as modes. You can add you own modes if needed. It is defaulted active in all modes. If you want to change it you can. The depends in setting allows you to set the output dependent on another output. Here it is set for the return pump.

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It set to be off in the return pump is off. Since my cooling fans and heater are in my sump I don't want them on if the return pump is off. There are some more advanced settings you can set such as maximum on time minimum on time, max and min off times. These come in handy with an ATO so you can limit the amount f top off that can be done in a given amount of time. If you set a max off or on time it will alert you if they are exceeded. You can also set it to turn the output off on max on time.

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Hope this gives you a peek at how things work on the Hydros. If you are interested in something specific and I have that I can post it.
 
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ReefBeta

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No coding required? I’m not the smartest guy. I can solder and build wiring harnesses and such for Harleys and race cars but no coding

IIUC, you don't need to write codes. But you do need to install the software onto a raspberry pi. You can ask on the reef-pi forum for more details. I never tried it because I can't solder lol.
 
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