Hydros Maven or Neptune?

zyrzyxen

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Fairly new reefer just barely getting into the techs side of things. Naturally controllers are next and the Hydros Maven has really caught my eye. Just now announced $1199 USD/$1650CAD. For those that have experience with either systems as a whole what are some of your pros and cons? I’m leaning toward peers jumping into the Hydros ecosystem myself. Helps that there’s a local shop that’s one of hteir “hubs” sort of speak.

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thedon986

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So I got into Neptune on the used market. I got an Apex El, DOS, DDR and Trident for $825. I do like the controlled dosing via Trident but really don’t need anything else. I also got the par monitoring kit and a few other modules dirt cheap but those aren’t really necessary either.

On my last setup I just used a WiFi power strip to manage my T5s, and turn off pumps for feeding time. I never measured ph and controlled my heaters with an inkbird. Really no difference in the end result except I’m not tinkering with my dosing pump after running my Hanna checkers. If you go all in to measure and control Alk, it’s worth it. Otherwise, I would say not needed.

A lot of reefers run very low tech automation with stellar results. How new are you? I’m ten years in and I just got an Apex last year.
 
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zyrzyxen

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So I got into Neptune on the used market. I got an Apex El, DOS, DDR and Trident for $825. I do like the controlled dosing via Trident but really don’t need anything else. I also got the par monitoring kit and a few other modules dirt cheap but those aren’t really necessary either.

On my last setup I just used a WiFi power strip to manage my T5s, and turn off pumps for feeding time. I never measured ph and controlled my heaters with an inkbird. Really no difference in the end result except I’m not tinkering with my dosing pump after running my Hanna checkers. If you go all in to measure and control Alk, it’s worth it. Otherwise, I would say not needed.

A lot of reefers run very low tech automation with stellar results. How new are you? I’m ten years in and I just got an Apex last year.
Just a couple months in haha! Neptune does have that appeal where I can find a lot of their stuff used for a great price and practically new as well.

I’m just getting into dosing and all of that at the moment. Haven’t experienced any crazy swings that would warrant automation of anything but some of the testings can get a bit tedious so having a one stop shop is very appealing to me.
 

SpyC

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Just a couple months in haha! Neptune does have that appeal where I can find a lot of their stuff used for a great price and practically new as well.

I’m just getting into dosing and all of that at the moment. Haven’t experienced any crazy swings that would warrant automation of anything but some of the testings can get a bit tedious so having a one stop shop is very appealing to me.
I don't think you need to spend the money on an automatic tester, but I do really enjoy the apex for the alerts and control ability. I have numerous failsafes on my tank that grant me a lot of peace of mind while I travel. Needed? Nope, but it is really helpful. You can have a nice low tech tank without an apex or hydros. I would like to pick up a used trident at some point because I enjoy stats and like the idea of being ae to be alerted if something trends the wrong way.

I think you need to take some time and decide what your goals are and if a controller is right for you. Then decide what aspects of a controller you want to utilize. I don't care about everything the maiven tests, so that rules it out for me. I'd rather spend the money on a different variation of the hydros and use the saved money to build it out. Same with the apex.
 

thedon986

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Just a couple months in haha! Neptune does have that appeal where I can find a lot of their stuff used for a great price and practically new as well.

I’m just getting into dosing and all of that at the moment. Haven’t experienced any crazy swings that would warrant automation of anything but some of the testings can get a bit tedious so having a one stop shop is very appealing to me.
Lol my first setup was a biocube and that was when DIY LED was becoming a thing. I had manually dimmable white and blue LEDs running on an analog timer. That was still one of my favorite tanks because it taught me a lot. I had no ATO and didn’t even know what one was because I had freshwater until then. I ran that for a few years until I moved, and my second setup I was more knowledgeable about the finer details.

I say take it slow and work on a list of things you actually need vs want and maybe six months or a year then start looking around, if that is still something you want.
 

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I use a Hydros setup to run my tank. This is the first controller I used and have been very happy with ease of use and performance. I am not jazzed about Maven due to the insanity level pricing.
 

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I run my 3 tanks on Hydros and have been very impressed with it so far. It's been remarkably stable and quite easy to use.

I did consider Neptune as well, but I preferred Hydros.

Hydros has a lot going for it. They have far better build quality, much easier to configure, the GX connectors are a very good design choice, they are willing to integrate with 3rd party vendors and all of their modules work as a "collective" or a cluster, adding redundancy.

The Neptune Apex has a huge install base so it's generally easier to find gear second-hand and has some power user options that Hydros doesn't have.

With mostly feature parity those who are already invested in the Neptune ecosystem are unlikely to move to Hydros. Neptune is highly focused on vertical integration, similar to Apple.

Since all hydros modules are controllers, it's hard for them to be price competitive in the long run. Up to you if a distributed system is worth it.

The Maven is going to be expensive, but even at $1200 it's competitive with the Mastertronic, and the Trident (x2) if you factor in the cost of the Apex, as it cannot work without also purchasing an Apex. It's a convenience item, so it's not a high value proposition, regardless.
 

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Fairly new reefer just barely getting into the techs side of things. Naturally controllers are next and the Hydros Maven has really caught my eye. Just now announced $1199 USD/$1650CAD. For those that have experience with either systems as a whole what are some of your pros and cons? I’m leaning toward peers jumping into the Hydros ecosystem myself. Helps that there’s a local shop that’s one of hteir “hubs” sort of speak.

IMG_0029.jpeg IMG_0030.jpeg
Two tanks running exclusively on apex with other running focustronic and hydros. For testing parameters trident > alkatronic > x10

Connections hydros>alkatronic> apex
Best overall Apex > alkatronic .>>>>>>> hydros.

Hydros is halfbacked
 

n2585722

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I run my 3 tanks on Hydros and have been very impressed with it so far. It's been remarkably stable and quite easy to use.

I did consider Neptune as well, but I preferred Hydros.

Hydros has a lot going for it. They have far better build quality, much easier to configure, the GX connectors are a very good design choice, they are willing to integrate with 3rd party vendors and all of their modules work as a "collective" or a cluster, adding redundancy.

The Neptune Apex has a huge install base so it's generally easier to find gear second-hand and has some power user options that Hydros doesn't have.

With mostly feature parity those who are already invested in the Neptune ecosystem are unlikely to move to Hydros. Neptune is highly focused on vertical integration, similar to Apple.

Since all hydros modules are controllers, it's hard for them to be price competitive in the long run. Up to you if a distributed system is worth it.

The Maven is going to be expensive, but even at $1200 it's competitive with the Mastertronic, and the Trident (x2) if you factor in the cost of the Apex, as it cannot work without also purchasing an Apex. It's a convenience item, so it's not a high value proposition, regardless.
Also to get all 5 tests that the Maven can do would take buying both Tridents. Those alone are going to be a little higher than the Maven. So if you are not already invested in the original Trident then the Maven may be the choice if you can wait for the release.
 

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There is always something of the ‘emperors new clothes’ about new products. Folks fawn until a few months after release then the warts start to show. Not saying necessarily this will be true here, but there’s no way to know yet.

I’ve been running iterations of the Apex since 2013 and it’s mostly been fine. I’ve had my issues/complaints, certainly. It is established and has significant help resources (both from Neptune support and from power users). You’d have to decide how important this is.
 

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I have an apex with trident and DOS, I also have a hydros wave engine. I prefer programming on the apex, I have had issues trying to get a wifi bar connected to my Hydros WE. I have several friends with Trident issues. I think hydros build quality seems better and if starting new I might would consider going all hydros.
 

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I have an apex with trident and DOS, I also have a hydros wave engine. I prefer programming on the apex, I have had issues trying to get a wifi bar connected to my Hydros WE. I have several friends with Trident issues. I think hydros build quality seems better and if starting new I might would consider going all hydros.
It will depend on which wave engine you have. If it is a WEv2 it will connect but you have to create a collective before it will connect since the WEv2 is considered a pump controller and the wifi strips are not pumps but since it can be a wifi master if in a collective. Creating a collective with only it as a member will unlock the wifi strip control. Not sure if you were aware of that. The original wave engine and the WE LE cannot be a wifi master so they cannot control a wifi strip at all.
 
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So I got into Neptune on the used market. I got an Apex El, DOS, DDR and Trident for $825. I do like the controlled dosing via Trident but really don’t need anything else. I also got the par monitoring kit and a few other modules dirt cheap but those aren’t really necessary either.

On my last setup I just used a WiFi power strip to manage my T5s, and turn off pumps for feeding time. I never measured ph and controlled my heaters with an inkbird. Really no difference in the end result except I’m not tinkering with my dosing pump after running my Hanna checkers. If you go all in to measure and control Alk, it’s worth it. Otherwise, I would say not needed.

A lot of reefers run very low tech automation with stellar results. How new are you? I’m ten years in and I just got an Apex last year.
This is almost identical of the route i made. Wifi strip to used apex.

My original plan was to go hydros but you can get used Apex el for on the cheap. Mines been running for over a year zero issues other than wifi. I also have a backup EL and eb832.

The maven looks awesome but a bit late to the game if you ask me. At over a $k they are looking for the big money reefer which i am not.

If i was just going to do it all over I would stick with used EL but if i had never ending cash would go Hydros x3 pro with xp8 and another xp8 then add a x10. Once the maven comes out grab one of those to. Now your $2k+ in controllers. Lol
 

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I have committed to Hydros. I have a control X10, iV, and Wave Engine, and 2 Wifi strips. Skimmer sensor, pH probe, conductivity probe. I like that it's scalable, easy to use, and accurate. I love that it works with more third party devices than either the GHL or Apex. I also love that I can drop power bricks and controllers for my pumps, saving on space and keeping things inside one app...
 

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Two tanks running exclusively on apex with other running focustronic and hydros. For testing parameters trident > alkatronic > x10

Connections hydros>alkatronic> apex
Best overall Apex > alkatronic .>>>>>>> hydros.

Hydros is halfbacked
Not sure what you mean by Hydros is halfbacked but I control all my automation with my Hydros. I control my RODI and that mean auto refill of my Di reservoir, Auto refill of my fresh saltwater reservoir with the water in my mix tank if it is ready for use. Then it refills the mix tank with DI from the RODI when transfer to fresh saltwater tank is complete. I also dynamically dose All For Reef and a KH buffer depending on my alkalinity values by the automated testing with the Hydros. I also do ATO and AWC with the Hydros. On top of all that it controls my LED lighting both on and off and intensity. It also does the same with the lighting in the refugium. It also controls my heaters, return pump both on and off and flow rate. It controls my flow pumps depending on time of day it runs different patterns. I even have it doing a few non aquarium task such as refilling the RO bladder tank that feed my ice maker on the fridge. I also have it recharging batteries on one of my cameras that is outside. It also checks for leaks under my central AC uint. I have it turning on some ornamental lighting during the evening for my wife in the living room. I did use the lighting there for an aquarium purpose also. If everything is normal all lights will be either off or on depending on the time. If there is a yellow alert on the Hydros the jellyfish globe lights are the only ones that are on. If it is an orange alert then the jelly fish globes and the regular globes are on and the rest are off. If it is a read alert the the jelly fish and regular globes are lit and the light houses on the right side are also lit but the light houses on the left are not. So I can tell something is wrong sitting and watching TV. The iPad and my phone would alert me anyway though but that is a complex setup with all that going on.
 

Jmp998

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I can’t comment on the unreleased Maven obviously, and I have not tried Trident.

However I am currently running both Apex and Hydros controllers. Apex is on my 10 year old tank I am about to tear down, Hydros on the new tank I just set up a few months ago. I wanted to try a different controller so it seemed like a good time. Also wanted to try some of the nifty Hydros hardware like leak detector ropes etc.

Either will be fine for any reasonable controller need in my opinion. I am sure there are rare edge use cases where one is better than the other. Both have certain nuances to their programming that you have to sort out, but overall I felt like the learning curve on Hydros was easier especially if you would rather work with sliders and drop down menus rather than typing in commands. I like the aesthetic of the Hydros hardware better, as well as the physical connectors (water resistance and color coding) and some of the little direct drive pumps. I missed the little LCD display panel with buttons on my Apex which Hydros does not have, just for easy physical mode buttons (feed button etc) without having to grab my phone and open an app. I bought a third party button box for my Hydros though which replicates the same function for me but even easier as it is just a separate button for each mode.

If I was starting again from scratch I would choose Hydros, but realistically either system can do anything I will ever want, which is mostly control, monitoring, and notification when something is out of whack.
 

areefer01

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I personally would slow down, turn off social media, and read a couple of good old books on reef keeping. Controllers, these are a luxury item. Not a necessity nor a guarantee of success.

Only suggesting this as you note you are a fairly new reefer and jumping into the hype of any product is a recipe in failure. The hobby has a pretty high turn over rate for this reason. Rule number one is that nothing happens fast in this hobby. Only failure. Look at mother nature as she is wicked. Reefs take years to form but loss, well, happens in a blink of an eye.

Anyway both products are great. Hobbyist will have their personal bias and opinion. I'm no different as you can see. My point is actually rather simple. Focus on setting up your display today for long term. 5, 10, 15, and 20 years and more. True. These animals when taken care of will live longer than us fish excluded although they live a long time as well. Anyway money up front on life support so you buy it once. Quality. Life support. Then procedures. Maintenance, quarantine or isolation, feeding, pruning, cleaning, and what not. They don't maintain themselves. Redundancy or help. How to take care of while you are away. Emergency kit. Straps, batteries, lights, spares, etc. Those things.

Then once all done make a list of what you would like in a controller. Check it twice. Then go shopping. It may just save you some money. Who knows. Apologize up front for stating captain obvious or sounding like a lecture but just trying to save you a couple bucks.

All the best and welcome to the hobby.
 

leepink23

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It will depend on which wave engine you have. If it is a WEv2 it will connect but you have to create a collective before it will connect since the WEv2 is considered a pump controller and the wifi strips are not pumps but since it can be a wifi master if in a collective. Creating a collective with only it as a member will unlock the wifi strip control. Not sure if you were aware of that. The original wave engine and the WE LE cannot be a wifi master so they cannot control a wifi strip at all.
Thanks, yes I have a WE v2, I created a collective and go through the steps to add WIFI but it aborts and fails.
 

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