What are your thoughts on the Apex EL. Christmas is coming and the wife ask me what I want. I’m at the age that I don’t need anything but peace and quiet. Then there is my reef tank. Is it worth the money to have new gadgets or should I leave things alone. Just like all well established tanks you like to play around with things. Should I go for it or just not waste the money. Is it worth it?
The peace of mind my Apex offers, I would have to say it is 100% worth buying. It’s a small investment when you consider what your fish and corals are worth.
The EL version is fine if that is all you need. Think it only loses the orp and conductivity probe which I never got working on mine. The eb83w outlet is nice as you can see actual voltage, amperage and wattage being used at each outlet. So if you have a heater that is 600watts and starts pulling 900w you know something is wrong.
The most common crash point I think is heaters. I used to go through them yearly cause the little thermometer inside would fail and they would cook the tank. Or inside of the house it would get to warm and the tank temps would spike. The apex would text and email me when anything went outside of my settings. It has saved my tanks numerous times. For extra peace of mind I run 2 temp sensors on my system in case if one goes out of whack I have another to correlate the numbers with so I can determine if I have a major issue or not going on. The dosing system through them is great as well just costly for only 2 heads.
Options and what you can do are almost endless.
I agree with Jeff. No buyers remorse for me. Also handy for setting up different feed and maintenance cycles. You can also program it so that your protein skimmer turns off and delays on restart in junction with your return pump turning off and on. This helps prevent your skimmer from over flowing due to water level changes in your sump. Also very happy with my DOS dosing pump.
I think this is the year I pick one up. I want a bit of an insurance plan that can track my ph and monitor things when I’m away.
Hoping for some Black Friday savings!
I have been thinking of getting one my self. I spend hundreds on sps and mushrooms yet I can’t bring myself to spend the money on an Apex. Also brs usually has them on sale for Black Friday. 10% off I think.
On top of what Davis said I have the skimmer turn off when my return pump is off during scheduled feedings but you can also add to turn your heaters off as well. Sometimes doing tank maintenance takes longer than we anticipated and the temps will drop and the heater will be on but depending where your heater and temp probe are located you could end up cooking things when you finally turn it back on cause that heater may have been on a while… ask me how I know haha. Didnt cook anything but my temp did spike before I figured out programming with the apex fusion.
Now on my system with the apex return pump I set that to 1% 5 minutes before the feeder turns on and it stays at 1% for another 5 minutes after than back to its regular schedule.
If you get into 2 part dosing with the dos I have already put the work into setting up a base program that is extremely solid and easy to tweak for your needs.
I’m waiting for black Friday as well. Upgrades for the car and trident for the tank is the plan.
Who says Christmas can’t be about buying yourself what you want
I think controllers are fantastic. I’d never run an Apex though. I hate their business practices, their systems are buggy and unstable and overly expensive.
I use a Reef Angel on my tank. It is the same system that’s been running for 10 years. Never a single hiccup with it ever. You can do everything an Apex can do for a fraction of the price.
I’ve heard great things about some other controllers too, but they’re quite pricey. I really miss the Reef Keepers. At $100 you could get everything that’s been described here for 4 outlets.
I would have to differ on the apex being unstable and buggy. Anytime I have found people having issues it was due to operator. Same with people that have common disconnect issues that tend to actually be settings in the router.
There are other controllers out there but I honestly don’t think any of them are quite as versatile as the apex with all the modules available and even the break out boxes to customize things even more. Cost wise I am not super happy about on some things they offer but for the most part the only thing that bothered me was the trident with its issues people have had and cost of the reagents with only 2 month supplies available. But after doing some research and the costs of the testing and lack of noise compared to the alkatronic ill be moving to trident.
Now in my experience I have only used the wifi full version I never used the older units such as Jr or gold and whatever is not wifi built in. I do believe they were more buggy for people. Quality of the parts have been great in my personal experiences.
You could check out the pi controllers as well if you want to dive into that but for me I will stay with what has worked for me and alerted me when things were off to the point I could remedy the issue before it became serious.
I can take vacations in peace. How many with high end corals can do that with out a controller?
I have to agree. My Apex and associated modules have worked flawlessly. If your patient deals can be had on EBay from people leaving the hobby.
Not looking to get into a back and forth about Apex’s issues. My point is this: controllers can be a great add on to a tank and there are multiple options available.
The one thing that holds me back from getting a controller is I’m not that tech savvy
I think its 100% worth it qnd I think it would be worth it to go the route of having a trident. Like @TheEngineer said there are many options ,specially for basics like heaters and all. You can get individual controls for almost anything as well. I do not have an apex myself, I would buy one in a heart beat if I wasn’t so deep into echotech . I’m waiting to see if anything new arises. As for heaters I also buy new ones each year and have multiple fail safes in place to prevent disaster. Which has happened once when I was unprotected. As for monitoring, I can quickly test ph , salinity and all that fairly fast. Its the alk, calc , no3 and p04 that I would pay to have monitored as the materials and time I think outweighs the price of say a trident. With many new controllers and more user friendly softwares being released I have decided myself to wait and see if something better comes along. My biggest worry that an apex does nothing for is power outage. I think handling that first is a priority. With global warming lately I have not noticed many bad winters or rough hurricanes. But back in the 90s the power would be out for weeks due to snow or ice storms. Sometimes hurricanes in late summer. This is east coast VA. But I think making sure your set there first may be important and then get an apex when you know it will be on through a power outage.
But I think its def worth it. Some form of control qt some point.
It’s finialy good to see the club speak it’s mind. This has been stagnet for awhile. I’m going to buy a apex EL before Christmas. My present to ME. Keep coming with your opinions on the issue. It is all good information what ever you have . I can’t wait til we all can get together live and be a club again. Until then let come up with some things to keep this club more informative on information that will help us all. We need some personal frag swaps. Thanks for all the input from all club members.
Power outages are another major that can take us down. But probably best in another topic since this is more about controllers.
I can say with the apex unit you will get emails and text alerts if you lose internet or power along with other alerts you can set. Another worthwhile mention possibly is they run cloud based but if you lose internet everything will still run as planned since saves to the hardware as well. Pretty sure most if not all of the controllers do this well.
If you plan on running a trident I have finally seen places selling the 6 month kits again. Which has been nearly non existent for some time now.
Apex are on sale 10% off now would be the time to get one
Mike, you will not be disappointed with the Apex unit.
Well, I did it. I got a apex jr from a club member and purchased a apex El with 4 probes from marine depot on Black Friday with the 10% discount. Now what I need is some one in the club to come to my house and help me set them up. I am computer illiterate.I will pay you or give you frags that I have. Or both. Let me know who is interested.