Should I get a Controller?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Elsa Vasquez, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Greybeard

    Greybeard Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    I'm an industrial software engineer... I work with controllers of all sorts. Never wanted to combine work and hobby, so I resisted controllers for many years. While setting up my 140 last summer, I decided to pick up a cheap Reefkeeper Lite, just to run my heater and lights. It now runs pretty much everything, and I'll never have an aquarium without a controller again.

    Apex has the reputation, but my reefkeeper lite is dead simple, does what I need it to do, completely reliable, and affordable.
     
    DSmithZ28 and jsker like this.

  2. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    Messages:
    13,969
    Likes Received:
    17,234
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I think you misunderstood, watch the site for sales on new equipment sometimes 10 to 15 percent savings. With the classic, you would have everything you need to start.
     
  3. Balanje

    Balanje Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    32
    I'm also saving for an Apex system while getting other aspects of the tank up and running. In the meanwhile, I bought an Ink Bird temperature controller so I'm not dependent on the thermometers in the tank. It only comes with one heat outlet but you can put a splitter on it to run two. For only $40 it's a good safe guard to have while you save up for the big dog. My $0.02
     
    MaiReef likes this.
  4. Gil03

    Gil03 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    119
    Despite what it may seem the title "Jr" when talking about Apex's cheapest controller doesn't necessarily refer to the size of tank the controllers are made for, it's more about it's amount of controlability out of the box. You want the most control over the tank as possible hence giving you the opportunity to catch something before it wrecks your system. In a nano tank you could argue that it's even more important to have the most monitoring possible due to its less forgiving volume. Get the most you can for the money available to you and I wouldn't hesitate to hold off while you save for the $800 wireless unit if that's what it takes.

    Having said that...controllers are not immune to failure, and pose their own potential issues.
     
    MaiReef likes this.
  5. MaiReef

    MaiReef Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    700
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Save and get an APEX 16 or a GHL Prolifux 4. If it works as is...great, but you will not be wasting money on other modules you many not need and the new equipment and accessories will not always be backward compatible. There are much cheaper ways to control items with stand alone pieces like the Inkbird temperature controller and most descent lights now have their own controller if not an outlet timer will work until you get to the better controllers. You can get a completely reliable ATO from Autotopoff.com. Most if not all of the devices will work with the APEX 16 once you upgrade and you will save quite a bit of money.

    The biggest part is you will learn how each component works so that you can start a good husbandry routine.
     
    elisa h and Gil03 like this.
  6. Gil03

    Gil03 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    119
    Good point! I do believe Apex is already stating there will be functions that will no longer be compatible with older controllers like the jr and classic.
     
  7. DSmithZ28

    DSmithZ28 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    Deep South Mississippi
    I have the Reef Keeper and it works very well for a fraction of the price. No emails and don't bother with the Net Module. But everything else is super simple and reliable.
     
  8. Elsa Vasquez

    Elsa Vasquez Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    34
    Well I was given a Tunze osmolator 3155 ato for Christmas yay lol and I’m actually looking into a rather cheap Jebao DP4 to save for my apex. I can upgrade on that later after my apex :)
     
  9. MaiReef

    MaiReef Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    700
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Those will work without and with the APEX. You could just add a monitoring system with the APEX later.
     
  10. Elsa Vasquez

    Elsa Vasquez Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    34
    Thanks I’ll definitely look into getting one
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...