Hydros Owners: how happy are you long term?

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n2585722

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I got mine swapped out and so far so good… I’m happy with my hydros again.

although I did just post a scathing review on the ‘hydros dosing pump’ lol
What was wrong with dosing pump? I have had one since they came out and it has been working good since I got it. It is a Kamoer pump rebranded. There is no type of intelligence in the pump. If it is powered it runs. It dispenses about 43ml a minute. It may vary a little pump to pump but it is a fixed amount for the pump and cannot be changed. All you need to do is find out the actual flow rate of the pump you have and enter that as the flow rate in the Hydros controlling the pump. Then you can set a schedule and tell it how much you want to dose per day. Since it is a 43ml a minute dosing and you have to run it at least 2 seconds each time it may not be the correct pump for what you want to dose if you are dealing with a low dose each time it runs. I dose All For Reef in small amounts and cannot use it for that. I use a different pump I have set for 12ml a minute. It is also a pump that runs if powered and will run from the drive port just like the Hydros pumps.
 

n2585722

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I think they are Gosund brand
Are they Tuya protocol? That is protocol that the wifi strips use that pair with the Hydros.

FYI, any time I get a alert for a power strip not connected more than a couple of times I can power down my router and power it back up and they are fine for several weeks. My router normally runs with over 70% of its memory in use so I think my issue is all the times during the day I loose internet. I think that overloads my router at times when every device starts to fuss because it cannot connect to the internet.
 
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rtparty

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Are they Tuya protocol? That is protocol that the wifi strips use that pair with the Hydros.

FYI, any time I get a alert for a power strip not connected more than a couple of times I can power down my router and power it back up and they are fine for several weeks. My router normally runs with over 70% of its memory in use so I think my issue is all the times during the day I loose internet. I think that overloads my router at times when every device starts to fuss because it cannot connect to the internet.

I don't know what protocol or anything. I know they have been running my halides for over 18 months with zero issue. The Wifi Bars and XP8 from Hydros can't do that.

CV has replaced 3 dead Wifi bars at this point. They power cycle multiple times a day. They completely shut down on me. They tell me not responding multiple times a day so I turned that notification off. I don't put anything critical on them. I have over 40 wifi devices on my router at all times. Nothing else has issues. Only Hydros stuff. Could it be my system? Absolutely and I have tried to work with CV to see what is going on and what they recommend. But I am over it at this point. All Hydros is being sold off and going back to Apex. Haven't had a single issue to date with Apex. And the best part is I can HARDWIRE the brain to my router. I don't know why CV is so dead set on not offering this. It would cost them next to nothing to add an ethernet port and it would solve 99.9% of all connection issues.
 

n2585722

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I don't know what protocol or anything. I know they have been running my halides for over 18 months with zero issue. The Wifi Bars and XP8 from Hydros can't do that.

CV has replaced 3 dead Wifi bars at this point. They power cycle multiple times a day. They completely shut down on me. They tell me not responding multiple times a day so I turned that notification off. I don't put anything critical on them. I have over 40 wifi devices on my router at all times. Nothing else has issues. Only Hydros stuff. Could it be my system? Absolutely and I have tried to work with CV to see what is going on and what they recommend. But I am over it at this point. All Hydros is being sold off and going back to Apex. Haven't had a single issue to date with Apex. And the best part is I can HARDWIRE the brain to my router. I don't know why CV is so dead set on not offering this. It would cost them next to nothing to add an ethernet port and it would solve 99.9% of all connection issues.
One big issue with hardwiring ethernet with this type of controller is you would need a port on each controller. I have nine of them so that would be a big bundle of cat 5 cables. I have cat 5 ran to several rooms and only one of them is still used for ethernet. and that is between the router and a access point. Other than that I do not use ethernet for anything else. I do use one of the cables for data only command buss cable between the controllers at my tank and the ones in the garage. My previous controller was not wired to the ethernet either it was an Archon and used wifi also. I still use it to control moon lights most of the other things have been moved over to the Hydros now.
 

Joe31415

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One big issue with hardwiring ethernet with this type of controller is you would need a port on each controller. I have nine of them so that would be a big bundle of cat 5 cables. I have cat 5 ran to several rooms and only one of them is still used for ethernet. and that is between the router and a access point. Other than that I do not use ethernet for anything else. I do use one of the cables for data only command buss cable between the controllers at my tank and the ones in the garage. My previous controller was not wired to the ethernet either it was an Archon and used wifi also. I still use it to control moon lights most of the other things have been moved over to the Hydros now.
TLDR: the below rant got away from me. In summary, we want ethernet and the option to make physical connections (ethernet or otherwise) to other devices. We're not worried about a bundle of cat 5 cables if it means not risking things going catastrophically wrong if something loses it's wifi connection.


It would still be nice to have the option (be it ethernet or command buss to every device (ie power strips).
I, for example, would prefer to use ethernet. In fact, I *always* use ethernet over wifi when given the option. The only time choose wifi is for my laptop because I don't want to deal with the wire since my laptop is constantly moving around.

To help deal with said 'big bundle of cat 5 cables', I use switches. For example, I have a single ethernet* cable running to my TV/entertainment center, then a switch with cables going to the TV, TiVo, Blu-Ray, receiver, game console etc.

Would it be possible to give the main units the ability to be hardwired and the other devices the ability to communicate directly with them via bluetooth? That may be an easier connection to maintain than a wifi connection which Hydros devices seem to struggle with.

I've been vary lucky WRT the wifi connection not being a huge problem for me. It absolutely was at the beginning. In fact, after probably 10+ hours of playing with this when I first got it, I was getting ready to return it on the assumption it was broken, but then it sprung to life and now I'm very careful not to make any big changes to the physical location of any of the devices or the device settings.

In any case, connecting with ethernet vs wifi makes troubleshooting comm problems not just easier, but much less necessary since the overwhelming majority of the time, if the cable is connected to the device and the router and the lights are blinking, that's about as far as you need to go (barring an accidentally changed network setting) down that rabbit hole. Troubleshooting wifi issues can be a whole big thing. If nothing else, even if you're going to use wifi, it's nice to be able to make a physical connection to narrow down a problem to a network issue (now it works) or a device issue (doesn't work even when plugged in).

But regardless of all that. These devices very clearly have wifi problems. Look at how many people start threads here (and elsewhere around the internet) or find this thread because of wifi issues. Often being told it's a problem with their router. The thing everyone with these problems has in common isn't their router.

I'm always worried that my power strip will lose it's wifi connection while a pump is running and either leave a drain pump running (which will kick on the ATO) or leave a fill pump running, which would start overflowing onto the floor within about 2 hours or so.
I know, I know, CV uses third party power strips with third party firmware on them, but that shouldn't be my problem. Somehow CV needs to get their own firmware onto the power strips so this kind of things can't happen. In my head, a bit of code needs to be added so that instead of the hydros sending a simple on or off signal to an outlet, it can send a time limit as well. For example, 'turn outlet 1 on, if you don't get another command within X minutes, turn outlet 1 off'. That's literally all it would take to make it failsafe in the event of loss of wifi communication.
 
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n2585722

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TLDR: the below rant got away from me. In summary, we want ethernet and the option to make physical connections (ethernet or otherwise) to other devices. We're not worried about a bundle of cat 5 cables if it means not risking things going catastrophically wrong if something loses it's wifi connection.


It would still be nice to have the option (be it ethernet or command buss to every device (ie power strips).
I, for example, would prefer to use ethernet. In fact, I *always* use ethernet over wifi when given the option. The only time choose wifi is for my laptop because I don't want to deal with the wire since my laptop is constantly moving around.

To help deal with said 'big bundle of cat 5 cables', I use switches. For example, I have a single ethernet* cable running to my TV/entertainment center, then a switch with cables going to the TV, TiVo, Blu-Ray, receiver, game console etc.

Would it be possible to give the main units the ability to be hardwired and the other devices the ability to communicate directly with them via bluetooth? That may be an easier connection to maintain than a wifi connection which Hydros devices seem to struggle with.

I've been vary lucky WRT the wifi connection not being a huge problem for me. It absolutely was at the beginning. In fact, after probably 10+ hours of playing with this when I first got it, I was getting ready to return it on the assumption it was broken, but then it sprung to life and now I'm very careful not to make any big changes to the physical location of any of the devices or the device settings.

In any case, connecting with ethernet vs wifi makes troubleshooting comm problems not just easier, but much less necessary since the overwhelming majority of the time, if the cable is connected to the device and the router and the lights are blinking, that's about as far as you need to go (barring an accidentally changed network setting) down that rabbit hole. Troubleshooting wifi issues can be a whole big thing. If nothing else, even if you're going to use wifi, it's nice to be able to make a physical connection to narrow down a problem to a network issue (now it works) or a device issue (doesn't work even when plugged in).

But regardless of all that. These devices very clearly have wifi problems. Look at how many people start threads here (and elsewhere around the internet) or find this thread because of wifi issues. Often being told it's a problem with their router. The thing everyone with these problems has in common isn't their router.

I'm always worried that my power strip will lose it's wifi connection while a pump is running and either leave a drain pump running (which will kick on the ATO) or leave a fill pump running, which would start overflowing onto the floor within about 2 hours or so.
I know, I know, CV uses third party power strips with third party firmware on them, but that shouldn't be my problem. Somehow CV needs to get their own firmware onto the power strips so this kind of things can't happen. In my head, a bit of code needs to be added so that instead of the hydros sending a simple on or off signal to an outlet, it can send a time limit as well. For example, 'turn outlet 1 on, if you don't get another command within X minutes, turn outlet 1 off'. That's literally all it would take to make it failsafe in the event of loss of wifi communication.
I don't use wifi strips for ATO, AWC or dosing. Those are all on drive ports so they are all directly connected to a controller. I also use an XP8 for heaters, return pump and skimmer. I do have MP10's for water flow and those even have battery backups on them. I have 4 of the wifi strips but now only one actually powers anything since getting XP8's. I do have outlets programmed on the others but there is nothing plugged into the outlets at this time. Since using the the XP8's I have not actually needed as many of them as I was using, I have had very few issues with the Hydros on wifi and when I do a reboot of my router fixes the issue. That may be because I have an older router without all the bells and whistles the new ones have.
 

rtparty

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One big issue with hardwiring ethernet with this type of controller is you would need a port on each controller. I have nine of them so that would be a big bundle of cat 5 cables. I have cat 5 ran to several rooms and only one of them is still used for ethernet. and that is between the router and a access point. Other than that I do not use ethernet for anything else. I do use one of the cables for data only command buss cable between the controllers at my tank and the ones in the garage. My previous controller was not wired to the ethernet either it was an Archon and used wifi also. I still use it to control moon lights most of the other things have been moved over to the Hydros now.

You wouldn't need to run Ethernet to every single control unit. At a minimum you could run it to the one control unit that is hooked to an XP8 so your mission critical stuff is all hardwired.

You could likely hook things together with the command bus as well.

It's a great failsafe to include and no one says you have to use it. You can keep running wifi all you want. But to not even include it in some way is just lazy
 

n2585722

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My collective does not need the internet or wifi to keep working other than the wifi feeder and the single wifi power strip that is in use. It is not going to cause an issue if a feeding is missed and the single wifi strip does not control anything that is mission critical. Since any controller in a collective has to be connected via a command buss cable that is how the controllers communicate with each other. You do need wifi and internet if you are going to change any settings. If you are home and have a phone with the app installed you can turn off wifi on the phone and access the collective with bluetooth. You just have to connect to the wifi master and it will allow you to turn outputs on and off but you cannot change any settings. All controllers still communicate with the cloud via wifi even in a collective. I have 9 controllers and if I loose internet which I do several times a day I get nine alerts on for each controller for them being off line and nine alerts that they are back online about 30 minutes later. So all controller would still need to be connected to the internet even if they are in a collective.
 
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Joe31415

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I don't use wifi strips for ATO, AWC or dosing. Those are all on drive ports so they are all directly connected to a controller. I also use an XP8 for heaters, return pump and skimmer. I do have MP10's for water flow and those even have battery backups on them. I have 4 of the wifi strips but now only one actually powers anything since getting XP8's. I do have outlets programmed on the others but there is nothing plugged into the outlets at this time. Since using the the XP8's I have not actually needed as many of them as I was using, I have had very few issues with the Hydros on wifi and when I do a reboot of my router fixes the issue. That may be because I have an older router without all the bells and whistles the new ones have.
Hopefully you can see that this solution isn't going to work for everyone. I bought two $40 wifi power strips to connect these pumps. I'm not willing to throw good money after bad and replace them with $300 power strips.
I've tried connecting pumps via the drive ports and apparently the little tiny Tunze ATO pump pulls too much power for that to work. Luckily I'm handy enough that I wired up a relay to the pump and use the drive port to control the relay.

"I have had very few issues with the Hydros on wifi and when I do a reboot of my router fixes the issue."
But unless everything else connected to your router via wifi also had connectivity issues prior to rebooting, it's almost certainly a hydros issue, not a router issue. Especially since the problem is so incredibly common and I'm quite sure we don't all have the same router. If you poll everyone that's had these issues and asked them to list all the wifi equipment in their house, I'd put money on the Hydros being the only thing every one of them had in common. Though it would be interesting to find out that we all had, say, a Nest t-stat or a Leviton smart outlet and it was interfering with the hydros.

I think CV also needs to keep in mind that a lot of people that buy the Hydros system are buying it because they want to try out a controller but don't want to break the bank in the process. If the entry level kit doesn't work, IMO, a lot of people are going to give up on the idea of a controller or they'll move over to Neptune/Apex. They're not going to throw another thousand dollars at it and hope that it works.

I've spent far too much money on this system already. Too many things don't work properly (or are so ungodly convoluted) for me to invest anything else into it. I've already told myself if anything breaks, it's getting tossed. Honestly, the only reason it's still connected is because it's working, but I don't dare change any major settings. It's very rare for me to even open the app these days.

Having said that, I'll reiterate something I've said in the past. Ignoring wifi related issues, all the hardware to do what people want is there. But I really, truly think the app and firmware need to be entirely scrapped and rewritten. All these confusing workarounds to make basic functions operate as needed are a PITA and most people are never going to know they exist.
the single wifi strip does not control anything that is mission critical
Maybe those wifi strips should come with a warning not to use them with anything that could cause problems...like pumps that could drain or overfill the tank if they get stuck on.
 

n2585722

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Hopefully you can see that this solution isn't going to work for everyone. I bought two $40 wifi power strips to connect these pumps. I'm not willing to throw good money after bad and replace them with $300 power strips.
I've tried connecting pumps via the drive ports and apparently the little tiny Tunze ATO pump pulls too much power for that to work. Luckily I'm handy enough that I wired up a relay to the pump and use the drive port to control the relay.

"I have had very few issues with the Hydros on wifi and when I do a reboot of my router fixes the issue."
But unless everything else connected to your router via wifi also had connectivity issues prior to rebooting, it's almost certainly a hydros issue, not a router issue. Especially since the problem is so incredibly common and I'm quite sure we don't all have the same router. If you poll everyone that's had these issues and asked them to list all the wifi equipment in their house, I'd put money on the Hydros being the only thing every one of them had in common. Though it would be interesting to find out that we all had, say, a Nest t-stat or a Leviton smart outlet and it was interfering with the hydros.

I think CV also needs to keep in mind that a lot of people that buy the Hydros system are buying it because they want to try out a controller but don't want to break the bank in the process. If the entry level kit doesn't work, IMO, a lot of people are going to give up on the idea of a controller or they'll move over to Neptune/Apex. They're not going to throw another thousand dollars at it and hope that it works.

I've spent far too much money on this system already. Too many things don't work properly (or are so ungodly convoluted) for me to invest anything else into it. I've already told myself if anything breaks, it's getting tossed. Honestly, the only reason it's still connected is because it's working, but I don't dare change any major settings. It's very rare for me to even open the app these days.

Having said that, I'll reiterate something I've said in the past. Ignoring wifi related issues, all the hardware to do what people want is there. But I really, truly think the app and firmware need to be entirely scrapped and rewritten. All these confusing workarounds to make basic functions operate as needed are a PITA and most people are never going to know they exist.

Maybe those wifi strips should come with a warning not to use them with anything that could cause problems...like pumps that could drain or overfill the tank if they get stuck on.
There is no one answer for everybody. I have 6 drive ports in use three for pumps and three for solenoids on my RODI. I got the controllers before the XP8 was out. I have an X4 and 2 X2's for the drive ports. I have had them hooked up to my pump for over a year long before Hydros had their dosing pump. I douse one of them now for ATO and I just unplugged the Intllab pump I was using and plugged the Hydros right in its place with the same cord. I did make the cords myself though. I always have recommended against using wifi power strips for this type of pumps. I have used them for heaters and return pump and skimmer before I got the XP8. I had no issues doing that since the heaters have their own thermostat if they are stuck on by the controller for some reason. The tank can do without the skimmer, return and heaters for several hours. That was proven when we were having rolling blackouts a little over a year ago and the power was off for over 4 hours at times. I do have MP10's that have battery backups just in case something like that happens.

I am not sure what work arounds you would be talking about. I have mine doing everything that my old Archon was doing and it is just as reliable if not more so. Instead of if and then statements the Hydros uses AND or OR type multiple inputs on the generic output types and the Combiner output type. Each can have up to 9 inputs and the combiner you can invert the input. It might be that I understand gate logic since I built my first computer in the late 70's from scratch. It was full of TTL gates. I seems simple to me in fact the Digital Aquatics you could do the same thing using their multiple input alarms and use them to control outputs with. Since I came from Digital Aquatics the Hydros is a simple system for me to master.

As far as the wifi issue I have tried powering down the controllers first and also the power strips but it seems that I end up powering down the router in the end to fix the issue with the wifi bars if and when it happens. I have not had an issue with the controllers connecting. I have my WEv2 as a wifi master right now. One time when this happened I switched the wifi master to the X4 and it worked. I switched it back to the WEv2 in no communication with the wifi device. I powered down the WEv2 and still it would not communicate. I powered down the router and then the communication was working again. So now that is the first thing I try and so far it has been working. Unfortunately every router model is different so you never know what they will have an issue with.
 
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Hey @n2585722 I got a question...

If I wanted to run/control a powerhead off the controller (X2), do I just hook one of these up to the drive port and the other to the applicable powerhead? Or do these only work on the wave engine?

 
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n2585722

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Hey @n2585722 I got a question...

If I wanted to run/control a powerhead off the controller (X2), do I just hook one of these up to the drive port and the other to the applicable powerhead? Or do these only work on the wave engine?

Those are for use on the direct drive ports on a Wave Engine or Wave Engine LE. A drive port is just a 12v port to power small pumps such as dosing pumps, ATO pump, solenoids or low power lighting.
 
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Those are for use on the direct drive ports on a Wave Engine or Wave Engine LE. A drive port is just a 12v port to power small pumps such as dosing pumps, ATO pump, solenoids or low power lighting.
so to integrate powerhead into the hydros, id need the full wave engine then, correct? :confused-face:
 

n2585722

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so to integrate powerhead into the hydros, id need the full wave engine then, correct? :confused-face:
If it is a supported pump on the Wave Engine. The Wave Engine LE also has two direct drive ports along with 4 0-10v inputs. The standard Wave Engine or the WEv2 has 4 direct drive ports along with 4 0-10v inputs and 4 0-10v outputs. I have a Wave Engine v2 I use to control my MP10's with. I had to install the RF module from my ReefLink in the WEv2 since the EcoTech RF modules are hard to get lately. The direct drive ports have 3 pins to hook to the pump motor which has three windings. These pumps are 24v pumps. The drive port only has 2 pins and is 12v. There are some 48v motors out there and the Wave Engine will not drive those. Below is a photo of my Wave Engine with the cover off of one of the direct drive ports showing the three pins. They are also color coded yellow.

C14B5A3B-E20C-4CEE-954B-8EAF4CE47B3B.jpeg
 
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I am not sure what work arounds you would be talking about.
I while back I asked how I could 'pause' my AWC. With other app-controlled pumps, there's a pause and/or stop button that keeps the pump turned off regardless of what the schedule is telling it to do.
The solution, IIRC, was to set up a fake device and tell the AWC not to run when that device is on. Then, in order to pause the AWC, I could turn that fake device on.
That's a workaround. A proper solution would be to just have a pause button.

So, that brings us to this week. A few days ago I added some meds to the tank that required water changes to be stopped for a few weeks. Remembering I had issues trying to stop the AWC last time without a bunch of extra work, I just went to the home page and changed the drain pump and fill pump from "Auto" to "Off". Seemed straightforward enough. Today, I happened to glance at the sump and noticed it was really, really low.
Turns out that by turning off the AWC drain and fill pumps it apparently disables the entire AWC system, which means, due to odd way this is all programmed, the ATO shut down with it. Why? That makes exactly zero sense.

In an attempt to rectify the situation, I turned the two AWC pumps back to "auto", on the assumption that ATO would kick on and refill the tank. Nope. The fill pump turned on and started added salt water to the tank which was already at a higher than usual salinity.

Oh, and I'm still having the problem where the ATO is randomly filling well beyond the sensor (like a good inch above the top of it. It's not all the time, just once or twice a week I'll notice it.
 

n2585722

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I while back I asked how I could 'pause' my AWC. With other app-controlled pumps, there's a pause and/or stop button that keeps the pump turned off regardless of what the schedule is telling it to do.
The solution, IIRC, was to set up a fake device and tell the AWC not to run when that device is on. Then, in order to pause the AWC, I could turn that fake device on.
That's a workaround. A proper solution would be to just have a pause button.

So, that brings us to this week. A few days ago I added some meds to the tank that required water changes to be stopped for a few weeks. Remembering I had issues trying to stop the AWC last time without a bunch of extra work, I just went to the home page and changed the drain pump and fill pump from "Auto" to "Off". Seemed straightforward enough. Today, I happened to glance at the sump and noticed it was really, really low.
Turns out that by turning off the AWC drain and fill pumps it apparently disables the entire AWC system, which means, due to odd way this is all programmed, the ATO shut down with it. Why? That makes exactly zero sense.

In an attempt to rectify the situation, I turned the two AWC pumps back to "auto", on the assumption that ATO would kick on and refill the tank. Nope. The fill pump turned on and started added salt water to the tank which was already at a higher than usual salinity.

Oh, and I'm still having the problem where the ATO is randomly filling well beyond the sensor (like a good inch above the top of it. It's not all the time, just once or twice a week I'll notice it.
I do not use the built in AWC. I have a dosing pump with two pump heads I use for AWC so it drains and fills at the same time. All I have to do is manually turn off that output to pause it. I have not had that issue with the ATO but I use a float switch to trigger the ATO. It is the same one I used with my Archon. Since I do not have the correct pumps to use with the AWC and have it work I have no experience with using it. My ATO and AWC was already up and running well before they added the built in AWC outputs and schedules into the firmware. Here is a link to a auto water change that someone posted before the built in was available that used separate pumps. It may work better for you but it is kind of advanced https://forum.coralvuehydros.com/threads/auto-water-change-advanced-users-only.428/ .
 
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polyppal

polyppal

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If it is a supported pump on the Wave Engine. The Wave Engine LE also has two direct drive ports along with 4 0-10v inputs. The standard Wave Engine or the WEv2 has 4 direct drive ports along with 4 0-10v inputs and 4 0-10v outputs. I have a Wave Engine v2 I use to control my MP10's with. I had to install the RF module from my ReefLink in the WEv2 since the EcoTech RF modules are hard to get lately. The direct drive ports have 3 pins to hook to the pump motor which has three windings. These pumps are 24v pumps. The drive port only has 2 pins and is 12v. There are some 48v motors out there and the Wave Engine will not drive those. Below is a photo of my Wave Engine with the cover off of one of the direct drive ports showing the three pins. They are also color coded yellow.

C14B5A3B-E20C-4CEE-954B-8EAF4CE47B3B.jpeg

yeah I was thinking about getting one of the maxxspect gyres (just the pump without controller) and using a wave engine le as the controller. Seems like a good way to save some money by not paying for the basic included controller that comes in the maxxspect kit
 

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yeah I was thinking about getting one of the maxxspect gyres (just the pump without controller) and using a wave engine le as the controller. Seems like a good way to save some money by not paying for the basic included controller that comes in the maxxspect kit
The Wave Engine LE can be in a collective with your other Hydros controllers also. The main differences between the LE and the WEv2 is it only has two direct drive ports and only 0-10v inputs. The WEv2 has 4 direct drive ports and 0-10v output ports. It can also control EcoTech MP series pumps if you install the EcoTech RF module. It can also become a wifi master and control the wifi power strips. Unless you need the extra ports I am not sure it would be worth the extra cost. I use the 0-10v outputs to control lighting, but it is in a collective with other Hydros controllers.
 
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