Neptune Users: IS IT WORTH IT?

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MichaelReefer

MichaelReefer

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sounds like you're in the right path. so you're getting the Apex + Trident for the Alk/Ca/Mg testing, right? The setup is not hard in my opinion, since it's all app based with walkthrough tutorial in the app. Just follow the instruction and you will be fine. Also Apex's customer service is legit if you run into road blocks.

I heard the "coding" aspect of it is kinda complicated, but I wouldn't be diving into that per-say.
 
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jassermd

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I agree with all the prior posts... My Apex and Neptune Trident are priceless! The alarms, redundancy, and automation make it a no brainer. The regular testing with Trident is easy to set up. Nothing is foolproof and knowing not to react to one value that's off is important.
I would give up a lot in my tank before I'd give up my Apex and Trident!
 

jassermd

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I heard the "coding" aspect of it is kinda complicated, but I wouldn't be diving into that per-say.
It's not as complicated that you may think... it's very logical and fairly easy to understand. And there are a lot of resources here on R2R that will guide you.
 

zoa what

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Is it worth it? Yes...many times over

Are you willing to spend the money? The trend lately is this thinking one can have a showroom tank on a beggars budget.

Here's one heading to the fish store asking for free advice....
homeless GIF


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schuby

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Is it worth it? Yes...many times over

Are you willing to spend the money? The trend lately is this thinking one can have a showroom tank on a beggars budget.

Here's one heading to the fish store asking for free advice....
homeless GIF


.
When we refuse to learn from history (other's experiences), then we are destined to repeat it. I always try to learn from others while at the same time not instantly believing everything people say.
 

Gogol_frag

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Yeah, about three years doing saltwater and never really took the leap into any kind of controller. Again my main focus is to get hourly updates on Alk, Cal and Mag and go from there. I recently started to focus more on SPS.
I apologize for that presumption that you have the Apex and are looking for Trident as an add-on. So, here's a wordy but factual introduction, from a current user, if you are looking for one.

To monitor your Calc, Mg and Alk you will need the two systems from Neptune (that's the company's name) -
  1. the Apex
  2. the Trident
The Apex (think of it like the brains) is the core system. Setting up the Apex is a hell-in-a-handbasket!! Trident not so much.

Apex comprises of a multipin equipment-controller for heaters, powerheads, skimmer, lights etc. (called the Apex Controller), and a networked-monitor so that you can monitor pH, Temp, Salinity and ORP (a measure of oxidation power of your tank's water) using your smart phone web-browser etc. (called the Apex Fusion). These two in combination form the core-system and does about 60% of all required automation in a Reef Tank. Without the Apex, none of the other add-ons (including Trident) will work - remember "Brains". Once the Brains (Apex) is installed, you can add many, many limbs (add-ons) to the brain.

Trident is one of the limbs (add on) of the Apex system, which monitors Calc, Mg and Alkalinity. Neptune devices do not measures Nitrates and Phosphates unfortunately, and they do not work with third-party probes. So, for Nitrates and Phosphates you have to rely on test kits, Hanna etc.

There is a step-down version of Apex called Apex EL, which may also work for this purpose - but don't quote me on that. On the rest of my post, you can quote me :p

Neptune's hardware is decent, but its software is glitchy (works about 99% of the time - but irritates the hell outa you on that 1% case). In Neptune's defense, their support is really, really solid. Thank God for small-blessings.

There are alternative setups to Neptune's Apex/Trident like GHL ... but I am clueless about the ins-and-outs of those. Search within today's R2R posts regarding a reefer getting rid of his Neptune Systems in favor of GHL (you may actually get a good deal from him) - and he will likely let you know why the grapes soured for him. Here's the link to his thread - Link

Feel free to message this forum at any time you have a Neptune setup issue. There are a plenty of good samaritans here who will provide good guidance. If we have had the Apex/Neptune we likely would have encountered the issue that you are experiencing.

Good luck, sir!
 
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SuncrestReef

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Biologic

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Setting up the Apex is easy. Tasks automate the set up. Then you can go in and customize later. 100% worth having a controller/monitor. I've done this hobby both ways low tech and high tech. I am so much more successful hi-tech.

The "Pro's" -- Do not listen to the "pro's" who say you don't need it. Essentially half of the pro's are in the reef business and they are always managing their tank. Not realistic for most people. The other half of the "pro's" are so skilled that they don't need it.

If you are a "pro" I am not hating on the skill, but unarguably more people will be more likely to be successful long term with an any controller/monitor, than not..
 
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Setting up the Apex is easy. Tasks automate the set up. Then you can go in and customize later. 100% worth having a controller/monitor. I've done this hobby both ways low tech and high tech. I am so much more successful hi-tech.

The "Pro's" -- Do not listen to the "pro's" who say you don't need it. Essentially half of the pro's are in the reef business and they are always managing their tank. Not realistic for most people. The other half of the "pro's" are so skilled that they don't need it.

If you are a "pro" I am not hating on the skill, but unarguably more people will be more likely to be successful long term with an any controller/monitor, than not..
100% agree with you on the points that modern monitoring/controlling systems are a total blessing for reefers - i would say even the pro's benefit from it. They are like the smart-phones for the reefing hobby. There's no going back now.

However, I only 60% agree with the fact that setting up an Apex is easy. It is an extremely clugy-setup, when you are used to living in the current day and age with smart phones and smart cars. I used to code for a living on Wall Street, professionally (i am a M&A Advisor now).

So, the programming part is very basic and not an issue at all. But it's the bug-detections - like drop in Network connection which makes you feel that the software is from 1960s!! It is frankly unacceptable in 2021, and I told them as such. Neptune needs to seriously up their game. For $1600s bucks all-in, I am looking for something to work like a MacBook Pro. Neptune is nowhere in that same Galaxy, but costs just as much. So the dissapointment is very real and warranted. I understand that what they are providing is a huge leap from what we had before (or lack thereof), but people will likely vote with their feet at the first sign of something better, if Neptune remains at its current state.
 
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MichaelReefer

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Setting up the Apex is easy. Tasks automate the set up. Then you can go in and customize later. 100% worth having a controller/monitor. I've done this hobby both ways low tech and high tech. I am so much more successful hi-tech.

The "Pro's" -- Do not listen to the "pro's" who say you don't need it. Essentially half of the pro's are in the reef business and they are always managing their tank. Not realistic for most people. The other half of the "pro's" are so skilled that they don't need it.

If you are a "pro" I am not hating on the skill, but unarguably more people will be more likely to be successful long term with an any controller/monitor, than not..

Definitely, I work 11-12 hour days, 5 days a week. So the last thing I want to do when I get home is do a bunch of testing and so forth. I wanna clean the glass and sit down and enjoy my tank.
 
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JCM

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Is it worth it? Yes...many times over

Are you willing to spend the money? The trend lately is this thinking one can have a showroom tank on a beggars budget.

Here's one heading to the fish store asking for free advice....
homeless GIF


.

I dont agree with the sentiment of this post.

Is the Apex worth it? No idea. But plenty of people have beautiful tanks that aren't automated and didn't cost a fortune. Despite the trend of spending a ton of money on equipment and corals, money doesn't equal success in this hobby.
 
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Biologic

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100% agree with you on the points that modern monitoring/controlling systems are a total blessing for reefers - i would say even the pro's benefit from it. They are like the smart-phones for the reefing hobby. There's no going back now.

However, I only 60% agree with the fact that setting up an Apex is easy. It is an extremely clugy-setup, when you are used to living in the current day and age with smart phones and smart cars. I used to code for a living on Wall Street, professionally (i am a M&A Advisor now).

So, the programming part is very basic and not an issue at all. But it's the bug-detections - like drop in Network connection which makes you feel that the software is from 1960s!! It is frankly unacceptable in 2021, and I told them as such. Neptune needs to seriously up their game. For $1600s bucks all-in, I am looking for something to work like a MacBook Pro. Neptune is nowhere in that same Galaxy, but costs just as much. So the dissapointment is very real and warranted. I understand that what they are providing is a huge leap from what we had before (or lack thereof), but people will likely vote with their feet at the first sign of something better, if Neptune remains at its current state.

To me, the bug detector, (ie compiler) that checks the code, and the resulting errors if you write it incorrectly, means that you need skill to use it. When you are at that level, you are going well beyond the typical tasks set up. At that point, you are customizing functions. So it’s on you to get it right. Neptune cannot assume every single possibility or scenario or tank setup. I highly doubt there’s something better. This is the real deal. This is as close as what you can get to a municipal level water treatment. Maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but seriously, you can do anything with Neptune. Not so with the other systems. I love that you can do anything you can practically imagine.
 

Biologic

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100% agree with you on the points that modern monitoring/controlling systems are a total blessing for reefers - i would say even the pro's benefit from it. They are like the smart-phones for the reefing hobby. There's no going back now.

However, I only 60% agree with the fact that setting up an Apex is easy. It is an extremely clugy-setup, when you are used to living in the current day and age with smart phones and smart cars. I used to code for a living on Wall Street, professionally (i am a M&A Advisor now).

So, the programming part is very basic and not an issue at all. But it's the bug-detections - like drop in Network connection which makes you feel that the software is from 1960s!! It is frankly unacceptable in 2021, and I told them as such. Neptune needs to seriously up their game. For $1600s bucks all-in, I am looking for something to work like a MacBook Pro. Neptune is nowhere in that same Galaxy, but costs just as much. So the dissapointment is very real and warranted. I understand that what they are providing is a huge leap from what we had before (or lack thereof), but people will likely vote with their feet at the first sign of something better, if Neptune remains at its current state.

also, I should add, I will never have to unplug anything ever again when I am doing maintenance? Uh yeah, I just hit my Virtual Outlet called Maintenance and my system shifts into a mode where I can easily work on the tank. No system that I am aware of can you think of things like this and I can write one line of code, copy paste it into a few hardware outlets and I have a simple way to keep myself and the tank safe. That’s actually one of my favorite things. I am just scratching the surface. I’ve performed water changes completely remote while a hurricane just past and when power was restored. It’s peace of mind. I know I love monitoring but I love controlling it more.

The Apex isn’t for everyone. So is this hobby. Likely tho, if you do well with chemistry and the science behind this hobby, running a few tasks to set up your Apex for you, isn’t a big deal.
 

jmichaelh7

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Ever since i purchased the neptune apex, in conjuction with DOS +DDR and Trident system... how can you mess up with stability ? My magnesium, DKH, and Ca have been consistent with a breeze.

I'd recommend it. You won't regret the apex system alone.. so much monitoring at the tip of your fingers.
 

Gogol_frag

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also, I should add, I will never have to unplug anything ever again when I am doing maintenance? Uh yeah, I just hit my Virtual Outlet called Maintenance and my system shifts into a mode where I can easily work on the tank. No system that I am aware of can you think of things like this and I can write one line of code, copy paste it into a few hardware outlets and I have a simple way to keep myself and the tank safe. That’s actually one of my favorite things. I am just scratching the surface. I’ve performed water changes completely remote while a hurricane just past and when power was restored. It’s peace of mind. I know I love monitoring but I love controlling it more.

The Apex isn’t for everyone. So is this hobby. Likely tho, if you do well with chemistry and the science behind this hobby, running a few tasks to set up your Apex for you, isn’t a big deal.
Again, agreed with all of that but none of those features are limited to the Apex.

There are cars that can park themselves and to some extent drive themselves. Our vacuuming is automated now. So, it is hardly magic when we can remotely control our Aquaria. It was a long time coming. Thank God for these controllers, but none of that makes Apex a superlative product. There are others, and the competition is great for us the consumers.

Apex is good for 99% of the times. But for that 1% that it is not good, it is quite unecceptable for something that is supposed to be reliable. Frankly, I have no intention of giving them a free-pass when their glitch kept me offline for a week, and they kept blaming my network ... to which the Fusion and 20 other devices were connected. It left a bad taste for me when i had to do their bug fixing for them. That's not what I paid for, nor do i expect such cluelessness.

Products have problems, won't be the first time - and unfortunately the Fusion is buggy. Not to mention that the UI feels like it was built by engineers who have little sense of presentation. For what its worth - GHL's UI feels worse.

I am not unreasonably hating on Neptune. Their product was found to be wanting by many. Hopefully, we get a better quality product either by them or someone else soon.
 
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mdb_talon

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Is it worth it? Yes...many times over

Are you willing to spend the money? The trend lately is this thinking one can have a showroom tank on a beggars budget.

Here's one heading to the fish store asking for free advice....
homeless GIF


.

And countless many do. Believe it or not people had nice tanks before spending several thousand dollars on lights and automation became more common.
 
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