Should I get a Controller?

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

  1. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    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.
     
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  2. jsker

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

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    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 Build Thread Contributor

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    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
     
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  4. Gil03

    Gil03 Active Member

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    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.
     
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  5. MaiReef

    MaiReef Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    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.
     
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  6. Gil03

    Gil03 Active Member

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    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

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    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

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    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 Build Thread Contributor

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    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

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    Thanks I’ll definitely look into getting one
     
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