Seeking advice for a monitor/controller system

Neptune

Hollington37

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I have a 13 gallon mixed reef in my office at work. Everything is flourishing and I test the water every 2 days to stay on top of it. But I was wanting to add a monitor system so that I could monitor it on weekends, holidays and vacation days and cut out some of my routine testing. I’m new to the controller/monitor world and plan to install an apex on my home reef once I get it established. I don’t really need a controller on this tank though and most of the ones that pull up have them, but googles algorithm is horrible for finding specific things like this. So the requirements I have would be:

1. Wifi so that I could access it anywhere
2. Salinity readings
3. PH readings
4. Phosphate readings
5. Nitrate readings
6. Calcium readings
8. Temp readings

I’m not sure if there are probes or anything for phosphate nitrate and calcium but if there are that would be nice. And again I don’t necessarily want a controller as this is a nano tank and my lights are app controlled and my powerhead does a perfect job on its ones setting. And if any parameter problems started to arise I can run to my work at any hour with no issues to solve the problem so I see no need for dosers and things on a tank this small
 

gbroadbridge

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I have a 13 gallon mixed reef in my office at work. Everything is flourishing and I test the water every 2 days to stay on top of it. But I was wanting to add a monitor system so that I could monitor it on weekends, holidays and vacation days and cut out some of my routine testing. I’m new to the controller/monitor world and plan to install an apex on my home reef once I get it established. I don’t really need a controller on this tank though and most of the ones that pull up have them, but googles algorithm is horrible for finding specific things like this. So the requirements I have would be:

1. Wifi so that I could access it anywhere
2. Salinity readings
3. PH readings
4. Phosphate readings
5. Nitrate readings
6. Calcium readings
8. Temp readings

I’m not sure if there are probes or anything for phosphate nitrate and calcium but if there are that would be nice. And again I don’t necessarily want a controller as this is a nano tank and my lights are app controlled and my powerhead does a perfect job on its ones setting. And if any parameter problems started to arise I can run to my work at any hour with no issues to solve the problem so I see no need for dosers and things on a tank this small
If you have $3k+ to drop it can be done, but for my Nano I just used a Seneye and a reef-pi

Reasonably cheap and reliable Monitoring, but no auto testing
 
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Hollington37

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If you have $3k+ to drop it can be done, but for my Nano I just used a Seneye and a reef-pi

Reasonably cheap and reliable Monitoring, but no auto testing
I appreciate it, I’ve looked at the seneye a little so I’ll give it some more research and look into reef-pi as well!
 
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Hollington37

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I wish! As advanced as we are, we are light years away from getting this dream machine at a reasonable price. The $1000 I dropped for the hydros system gives temp and ph, thats it.
Thats what I’ve been seeing I was looking into an apex dream bundle to install on my Red Sea tank at home for the sake of just learning how to use this tech. And I figured since they have those little hand held testers where you put a drop of water on them there would be probes. But oh well maybe someone will stream line it!
 
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ZombieEngineer

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Everything you list could only be done with a massive system from GHL cause they are the only company with automated nitrate. I don't think automated phosphate even exists.

For a tank that small, an old apex Jr if you can find one used would be great. A hydros would be decent. You could get a 4 outlet version with temp for $200 .

I prefer apex myself, I could not personally justify one for a 13 gallon tank. I find my biocube with my old apex classic to be massively overkill and only did it cause I already had it when Neptune sent me a 2016 model.
 
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gbroadbridge

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Everything you list could only be done with a massive system from GHL cause they are the only company with automated nitrate. I don't think automated phosphate even exists.

Mastertronic, but that's a $2k big box, bigger than a 13gal tank.
 
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thatmanMIKEson

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I wish! As advanced as we are, we are light years away from getting this dream machine at a reasonable price. The $1000 I dropped for the hydros system gives temp and ph, thats it.
What system did you get? Everything they offer? It does more than that minus major parameter testing.. the x4 pro set up is under 700$ and that offers more than temp and ph for 1000$ you should be able to do quite a bit with it.
 
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LordofCinder

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What system did you get? Everything they offer? It does more than that minus major parameter testing.. the x4 pro set up is under 700$ and that offers more than temp and ph for 1000$ you should be able to do quite a bit with it.
not really. I have the hydros 4 with 2 hydros wifi bars, hydros ATO, hydros gyre, water sensor, leak detector, and I can turn everything on and off remotely. temp and ph probes are the only 2 probes available right now, as far as I know. I've heard rumours of a salinity probe coming but no one knows when.

I like it, its fancy and convenient, but it really doesnt do all that much besides give temp and ph and lets you turn things on and off.
 
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thatmanMIKEson

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not really. I have the hydros 4 with 2 hydros wifi bars, hydros ATO, hydros gyre, water sensor, leak detector, and I can turn everything on and off remotely. temp and ph probes are the only 2 probes available right now, as far as I know. I've heard rumours of a salinity probe coming but no one knows when.

I like it, its fancy and convenient, but it really doesnt do all that much besides give temp and ph and lets you turn things on and off.
Thats an interesting contradiction :thinking-face:
 
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Chrisv.

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Here is my suggestion: Scrap most of the wishlist, and get used old school "classic" apex for $75 bucks or something. Can be connected to the internet. Can monitor pH. Can control temp,Can manage an ATO with various failsafes. Can monitor for leaks. Can send alarms if there is something way out of range.

Chances are good that you don't measure all of the things you mentioned currently on a daily basis. I would just continue to measure the params you mentioned once a week or whatever and be happy with a very cheap and simple solution that you can use to make sure your corals aren't cooking or there isn't a power outage or a huge leak.
 
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Petinati

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I have a 13 gallon mixed reef in my office at work. Everything is flourishing and I test the water every 2 days to stay on top of it. But I was wanting to add a monitor system so that I could monitor it on weekends, holidays and vacation days and cut out some of my routine testing. I’m new to the controller/monitor world and plan to install an apex on my home reef once I get it established. I don’t really need a controller on this tank though and most of the ones that pull up have them, but googles algorithm is horrible for finding specific things like this. So the requirements I have would be:

1. Wifi so that I could access it anywhere
2. Salinity readings
3. PH readings
4. Phosphate readings
5. Nitrate readings
6. Calcium readings
8. Temp readings

I’m not sure if there are probes or anything for phosphate nitrate and calcium but if there are that would be nice. And again I don’t necessarily want a controller as this is a nano tank and my lights are app controlled and my powerhead does a perfect job on its ones setting. And if any parameter problems started to arise I can run to my work at any hour with no issues to solve the problem so I see no need for dosers and things on a tank this small
I am doing this research deeply. The most complete so far was the Mastertronic.

see the measurements it offers.

Nitrate (NO3) Precision / Precision (+/-): 0.5 mg/l / 0.1 mg/l

• Phosphate (PO4) Accuracy / Precision (+/-): 0.01 mg/l / 0.005 mg/l

• Magnesium (Mg) Precision / Precision (+/-): 20 mg/l / 20 mg/l

• Calcium (Ca) Precision / Precision (+/-): 6 mg/l / 6 mg/l

• Alkalinity (dKH) Precision / Precision (+/-) 0.1 dKH / 0.05 dKH

• OLI – is our own derived parameter that measures organic matter in water. Can indicate when users should run or replace carbon

• Ammonia (NH3) Precision / Precision (+/-) 0.01 mg/l / 0.01 mg/l

• Iodine (I)* Precision / Precision (+/-) 0.01 mg/l / 0.01 mg/l

• Iron (Fe)* Precision / Precision (+/-) 0.005 mg/l / 0.005 mg/l

• Nitrate Compensation*

• Dimension: 31.5 (W) x 22.5 (W) x 35.0 (H) cm
 
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n2585722

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not really. I have the hydros 4 with 2 hydros wifi bars, hydros ATO, hydros gyre, water sensor, leak detector, and I can turn everything on and off remotely. temp and ph probes are the only 2 probes available right now, as far as I know. I've heard rumours of a salinity probe coming but no one knows when.

I like it, its fancy and convenient, but it really doesnt do all that much besides give temp and ph and lets you turn things on and off.
Why do you have to be the one turning things on and off. My Hydros does ATO and AWC. It also refills the DI storage tank from my RODI when it gets low automatically. It also transfers the water from the mix tank to the fresh salt water tank when the fresh salt water tank goes low if the water in the mix tank is ready to use. The mix tank is automatically refilled from the RODI after the transfer is complete. All I have to do is add the salt mix and press a button when mix tank is ready to use. It also controls my lighting, heaters, cooling fans, skimmer and return pump. So it does a lot more than just allowing me to turn things on and off.
 
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thatmanMIKEson

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Why do you have to be the one turning things on and off. My Hydros does ATO and AWC. It also refills the DI storage tank from my RODI when it gets low automatically. It also transfers the water from the mix tank to the fresh salt water tank when the fresh salt water tank goes low if the water in the mix tank is ready to use. The mix tank is automatically refilled from the RODI after the transfer is complete. All I have to do is add the salt mix and press a button when mix tank is ready to use. It also controls my lighting, heaters, cooling fans, skimmer and return pump. So it does a lot more than just allowing me to turn things on and off.
I have the hydros it can do allot but being new to controllers and possibly that kind of technology, it's hard to know what all can be done with it, it's nice when others share what they are doing with it, to help with ideas on what they can do with it too, help to explain what seems simple, because some people come from a time of hob filters and adding top off water :)
 
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n2585722

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FYI, I do have a build thread where I go through what I have done and have screenshots of the settings. The Hydros info starts on page 7 here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/canopy-and-stand-build-for-42-gallon-hex-tank.317822/page-7 . I started with a X4 in my garage and kept adding to it. I now have 9 controllers in a collective. Four are at the tank and the other 5 are in the garage with the storage tanks and RODI unit. Here are some photos of the controller board in the garage and two of the controllers at the tank. The XP8 and WEv2 at the tank are hard to get photos of since they are tucked into a cabinet at the back of the tank. The last photo is an updated photo of the pump area of the controller board in the garage. The pumps in the bottom shelf unit are the pump in use. The bottom left pump is the AWC pump. The bottom right pump is the ATO pump. The one just above the ATO pump is dosing All For Reef. The upper pump shelf has spare pumps for now but is for another tank I have not setup yet. The solenoids are for the RODI which is mounted on the wall to the right of the controller board.

A5211C90-A994-42D3-B274-68262FFF2AB7.jpeg


611CA447-EABF-4632-9BAD-5388007AA447.jpeg


9054847B-4E41-4ADD-A6F9-6F3766AC26E7.jpeg


C983157F-CF6B-4E25-BC01-520D9163F10A.jpeg
 
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thatmanMIKEson

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FYI, I do have a build thread where I go through what I have done and have screenshots of the settings. The Hydros info starts on page 7 here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/canopy-and-stand-build-for-42-gallon-hex-tank.317822/page-7 . I started with a X4 in my garage and kept adding to it. I now have 9 controllers in a collective. Four are at the tank and the other 5 are in the garage with the storage tanks and RODI unit. Here are some photos of the controller board in the garage and two of the controllers at the tank. The XP8 and WEv2 at the tank are hard to get photos of since they are tucked into a cabinet at the back of the tank. The last photo is an updated photo of the pump area of the controller board in the garage. The pumps in the bottom shelf unit are the pump in use. The bottom left pump is the AWC pump. The bottom right pump is the ATO pump. The one just above the ATO pump is dosing All For Reef. The upper pump shelf has spare pumps for now but is for another tank I have not setup yet. The solenoids are for the RODI which is mounted on the wall to the right of the controller board.

A5211C90-A994-42D3-B274-68262FFF2AB7.jpeg


611CA447-EABF-4632-9BAD-5388007AA447.jpeg


9054847B-4E41-4ADD-A6F9-6F3766AC26E7.jpeg


C983157F-CF6B-4E25-BC01-520D9163F10A.jpeg
I've actually seen yours before I knew it when I seen the pictures, nice job and write up in you build! Thanks
 
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