I am sure this will be the first of many posts about the Apex Controller by Neptune Systems. This is the one piece of equipment that has truly given me piece of mind when it comes to my tank. So what is it?
It is basically a little computer for your reef tank. Why would you need that, you might be asking. Well here are just a few things that the Apex can do for you:
- No more timers!!!!! Those unreliable timers that you get in Home Depot that work for a week and then decide to to what ever they want were never designed to control things that need to be very accurate. By using the Apex and an Energy Bar you can get rid of all of the timers on your tank and use very simple programing to get full control of every outlet. Turn your lights on and off at sunrise and sunset, turn on the light on your refugium when the light on your main tank is off. Run feeding cycles that will shut down your pumps when you feed. The possibilities are endless.
- Alerts. Simply put this is a really big deal for people who work alot or travel. With everything that comes with your Apex, it can send you alerts via sounds, email, or text message whenever your tank looses power, your pH gets to high or too low, or your tanks temperature gets out of wack. Add a few optional accessories and it will even alert you if there is water on the floor near your tank! The best part is these alerts are all 100% user programable so you can have them do what you want whenever you want. This truly allows me to relax knowing that it is watching my tank when I am not home.
- Complete customization. You can truly have the Apex control anything that plugs into an outlet. WIth some of the add-ons you can control even more. For example: add the WXM Module to get complete wireless control of your Ecotech Marine Vortech Pumps or add the Breakout Box to control things that complete a circuit like a switch or a doorbell. All of these things then become completely programable via the Apex's relatively simple programming language. Don't get me wrong the Apex is very easy to program for basic stuff, but there is a small learning curve if you want to get fancy. For example, I have alittle doorbell on the side of my tank. When I press it, it tells the Vortech pumps that it is feeding time and shuts them off for about five minutes, then after that the pumps run at 20% power for a few more minutes so nothing gets startled, then it runs the Nutrient Export Mode for 10 Min. After that everything goes back to normal. All with the press of a button, this way my wife or family can feed when I am not home. That program did take some time to write and a call to tech support, but once you understand the programming it is all very logical and makes sense.
- Smartphone and Tablet Control - Control and program your Apex from any iOS or Android Device when at home or away! So my wife sent me a text the other day that the tank is making noise. I told her to send me a picture of the sump. I was able to see that the float valve for my ATO fell off and the sump was running low on water. I then logged into the iPhone app and manually turned on the ATO for a few min until my wife said the noise stopped. Now that is what this blog is all about!