Inkbird ITC-306T vs BRS AQUARIUM HEATER CONTROLLER

EBNewbie

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Hey, I'm looking for a new controller and I'm not sure what the difference is between the $23 Inkbird ITC-306T shown here:
And the $49.99 BRS temperature controller shown here:
The specs seem identical

What upgrades of modifications has BRS done for their version?
 

Sailfin11

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When they came out with their controller, I also immediately noticed that it's pretty much identical. I believe that the tech inside is the same, but I think BRS has changeable probes, unlike the inkBIrd. In my opinion, the price difference is not really warranted. I am interested in their 3 year warrantied heaters though!
 

SeaJay

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Looks like a rebranded inkbird to me. Or sometimes major distributors have the clout to go directly to the source in China and have them make specific changes to an existing product then market it under their own name. I’d say that’s a good possibility here.
 
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EBNewbie

EBNewbie

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So I love BRS. Ryan got me into reefing with 52 weeks of reefing and I watch all their videos. Even the 5 min videos were amazing recaps. I trust their expertise and my 1 year old tank looks good and hasn't crashed. I'm even scared to tally up how much I spent on BRS :) I also buy on BRS because customer service is phenomenal.
I also think that if BRS have modified these controllers, their expertise needs to be paid appropriately. That's why I was wondering what was changed. Inkbird does seem to offer changeable probes on their other models so maybe this is a custom SKU?

I rewatched the BRS 2019 heater video in case I missed something
One interesting thing to note is that Randy mentions he wishes controllers would have WiFi. Ryan wishes for more protections so we don't have to add them in serial. Not sure if they knows but Inkbird makes their dream controller, the ITC-306A, for $49...
The ITC-306A has "triple protection":
  1. Two relays in series. The 2nd relay controls the temp, while the 1st relay is always on, unless there's an emergency.
  2. Two probes hooked to two different discrete internal controllers. If their temperature differs by 5F, an alarm is sent
  3. Heating time restrictions. You can specify the maximum time the heater can be continuously on (Like an ATO). You get an alarm if it trips
It also has WiFi and an App. All for $49.

I'm really hoping that we'll be surprised with a BRS-labeled ITC-306A for $49 during this Black Friday sale.
 

Cyricdark

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Here's what Adam posted in the facebook group...
"
Adam- Bulk Reef Supply
Adam- Bulk Reef Supply
We've partnered with inkbird to create a custom heater controller. While the controller itself looks similar to the older model, we've made some changes to the internal components to create what we think is the perfect stand alone heater controller. Here are a couple of the more notable changes.

-Two plugs, both for heating elements. The previous model that we stocked had one plug for heating and another for cooling. This new BRS heater controller is specifically designed for heaters.

-Smaller temp swings. The inkbird model had a 1 degree temp swing. One of the biggest pieces of feedback that we've gotten is that 1 degree is too large. We've narrowed this down to 0.3 degrees F.

-The BRS heater controller can be calibrated.

-BRS Customer Service. The BRS heater controller will be warrantied through BRS directly. If you have an issue, simply give us a call.
"
The Warranty alone is worth the difference, I know from experience that inkbird warranty is useless.
 
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EBNewbie

EBNewbie

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Thanks for the post Cyricdark.
-Two plugs, both for heating elements.
The ITC-306T has 2 heating plugs. They make a "reptile" and an aquarium version.
Smaller temp swings
I think you're right. The BRS specs say: "0.3°F up to 15°F". The Inkbird is "1~30℉". Interesting enough, the Inkbird's specs says it's 0.3C ~ 15C when set in C. I wonder if the Inkbird user manual or the BRS website have a mixup or they are truly different controllers.
can be calibrated.
The ITC-306T can be calibrated between -15C to +15C
BRS Customer Service.
Yes, BRS rocks when it comes to customer service. If the controller fails, you'll have one shipped the same day.

Here's the manual for the ITC-306T. I'm still thinking it's the exact same controller.

I think I'll go with the Wireless Inkbird on sale for $36. It hits every "want to see for 2020" features by Ryan and Randy AND it's cheaper than the one with the BRS logo.
 

shoelaceike

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Here's what Adam posted in the facebook group...
"
Adam- Bulk Reef Supply
Adam- Bulk Reef Supply
We've partnered with inkbird to create a custom heater controller. While the controller itself looks similar to the older model, we've made some changes to the internal components to create what we think is the perfect stand alone heater controller. Here are a couple of the more notable changes.

-Two plugs, both for heating elements. The previous model that we stocked had one plug for heating and another for cooling. This new BRS heater controller is specifically designed for heaters.

-Smaller temp swings. The inkbird model had a 1 degree temp swing. One of the biggest pieces of feedback that we've gotten is that 1 degree is too large. We've narrowed this down to 0.3 degrees F.

-The BRS heater controller can be calibrated.

-BRS Customer Service. The BRS heater controller will be warrantied through BRS directly. If you have an issue, simply give us a call.
"
The Warranty alone is worth the difference, I know from experience that inkbird warranty is useless.

I actually had a bad probe and they just sent me a whole new unit.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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Same
Hey, I'm looking for a new controller and I'm not sure what the difference is between the $23 Inkbird ITC-306T shown here:
And the $49.99 BRS temperature controller shown here:
The specs seem identical

What upgrades of modifications has BRS done for their version?
Same, it's called repackaging.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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Here's what Adam posted in the facebook group...
"
Adam- Bulk Reef Supply
Adam- Bulk Reef Supply
We've partnered with inkbird to create a custom heater controller. While the controller itself looks similar to the older model, we've made some changes to the internal components to create what we think is the perfect stand alone heater controller. Here are a couple of the more notable changes.

-Two plugs, both for heating elements. The previous model that we stocked had one plug for heating and another for cooling. This new BRS heater controller is specifically designed for heaters.

-Smaller temp swings. The inkbird model had a 1 degree temp swing. One of the biggest pieces of feedback that we've gotten is that 1 degree is too large. We've narrowed this down to 0.3 degrees F.

-The BRS heater controller can be calibrated.

-BRS Customer Service. The BRS heater controller will be warrantied through BRS directly. If you have an issue, simply give us a call.
"
The Warranty alone is worth the difference, I know from experience that inkbird warranty is useless.
I spoke to soon, I was slow to listen, quick to answer, BRS much better product
 

Phildago

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I love my inkbird, but the 72 hour (maximum) constant heat alarm is annoying and I don't like the temperature swings when I rely on the inkbird for keeping a constant temperature. It just samples too lowly, the. 5 degree change is too much and due to its sampling rate the tank cools about a half degree more than it should before the heaters are powered on and then they heat it up to about 1 degree greater than it should've shut off at.

I use mine as a safety, and it allows me to monitor the temperature whenever, wherever I am. I let my heater keep my temperature stable with its own internal thermostat, and if the heater thermostat ever fails the inkbird will shut off the heater before damage can be done... My only issue with this is that the stupid alarm still goes off every 3 days.
 

gilman

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Thanks for the post Cyricdark.

The ITC-306T has 2 heating plugs. They make a "reptile" and an aquarium version.

I think you're right. The BRS specs say: "0.3°F up to 15°F". The Inkbird is "1~30℉". Interesting enough, the Inkbird's specs says it's 0.3C ~ 15C when set in C. I wonder if the Inkbird user manual or the BRS website have a mixup or they are truly different controllers.

The ITC-306T can be calibrated between -15C to +15C

Yes, BRS rocks when it comes to customer service. If the controller fails, you'll have one shipped the same day.

Here's the manual for the ITC-306T. I'm still thinking it's the exact same controller.

I think I'll go with the Wireless Inkbird on sale for $36. It hits every "want to see for 2020" features by Ryan and Randy AND it's cheaper than the one with the BRS logo.
Thanks for posting that link !
 

Gene Ashton

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I've been happy with my ink bird and Jager 250W on my RSR 450 for about a year. I got the heat/cool plug unit (Ink Bird)and have never had to have a cooler or fans I think because it the tank has no lid and I run A/C at about 75 in the summer. This weekend I was given a lot of coral and some fish to re-home. Now I am back in love with my tank again and thinking about upgrading to the BRS AIO heater kit with one 200 watt titanium heater, adding another 200 watt heater and also adding the dual magnet mount. I hope to be able to keep less than 1.0 degree temp swing. I am running the original Ink Bird heater with a 250 watt Jager and have large swings of over 1.5-2.0 degrees in 24 hours I think mainly because I have the temp probe in the sump. (duh) I'm going to put the temp probe in the weir and see if this alone doesn't cut the temp swings. In the mean time the 200 watt titanium heater and 200 watt BRS controller kit is not available so they must be selling like hot cakes.
 

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I just got the BRS 200w titanium heater a week and a half ago comes with inkbird temp controller and it’s “ok” not sure if I’m doing something wrong but having .4 To 1 degree temp swings. I do really like the heater but should of ordered and going to today the dual inkbird controller (heat and cool control) as just $35 on amazon. I don’t have any sps corals so the temp swings up to 1 degree haven’t seemed to matter (knock on wood) or shown any signs of coral stress but obviously want to keep temp stable to within .2 to .3 degrees max.
 

Mical

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If you're going to buy one for heaters only, buy the Inkbird ITC-306A. It comes with with dual heater outlets and dual plastic coated sensors. BRS has them for $59 - I think I saw Amazon at $49
 

Nhjmc

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If you're going to buy one for heaters only, buy the Inkbird ITC-306A. It comes with with dual heater outlets and dual plastic coated sensors. BRS has them for $59 - I think I saw Amazon at $49
Thanks. I got the Inkbird ITC-306T which does have dual heater outlets plus came with titanium 200W BRS heater for $72.99 (since been removed/discontinued off BRS site). I had been looking at them on Amazon as the $68.99 Hygger temp controller I bought off Amazon just this past March malfunctioned almost causing a total crash of my system thank god my husband was home to catch it....almost fainted when he called me frantic and told me tank temp was at 86 degrees. That hunk of crap Hygger unit never even auto shut off (doesn't till temp reaches 97 degrees..??..by 97 degrees everything dead but OK wish I'd seen that before I purchased). I read alot of good reviews on inkbird and needed a new good/reliable heater so went with that one but I'm gonna order the dual (heating and cooling) controller for like $35.99 I think it was and swap out controllers so I can hook up my cooling fan as well as heater.
 

Gibsad

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I have this controller from BRS and I love it. It also has an app from which you can control it. You can set the smart actions like if the temp is over 78 turn off the heaters, etc and it has many other things. 10/10 for this product, I don't have an Apex, but this does the job I needed for my tank.
 

bluerider098

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I love my inkbird, but the 72 hour (maximum) constant heat alarm is annoying and I don't like the temperature swings when I rely on the inkbird for keeping a constant temperature. It just samples too lowly, the. 5 degree change is too much and due to its sampling rate the tank cools about a half degree more than it should before the heaters are powered on and then they heat it up to about 1 degree greater than it should've shut off at.

I use mine as a safety, and it allows me to monitor the temperature whenever, wherever I am. I let my heater keep my temperature stable with its own internal thermostat, and if the heater thermostat ever fails the inkbird will shut off the heater before damage can be done... My only issue with this is that the stupid alarm still goes off every 3 days.
I had the same issue with the CT alarm and I got with customer service. After some back and forth they actually sent me an updated model that you can disable the CT alarm direct from China. Not sure how you can order it yet, but I will share once I get the info.
 

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