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View Full Version : How do you "control" your reef tank?


Milad
04-06-2010, 09:25 PM
I'm looking for some ideas on how to "control" my soon to be tank.

I want to automate as much as possible, e.g feeding, lighting, ATO, testing etc
Ideally I would also like to get email notification alerts (e.g ATO engaged @ 2:14pm for 20seconds)

What systems are out there that let me do this?
Anyone have these systems running with a link of pictures?

If the system keeps trending data that would be great too.

mseepman
04-06-2010, 10:14 PM
Many people use Aquarium controllers...but there is a real running debate on who makes the best system. Searching on here should get you quite a few results of the debates over controllers.

Here is a link to a site with controller reviews (details). I'm not sure how up-to-date the data is...but it should help you out with feature/functionality.

http://www.aquariumcontrollers.com/

I'm looking for some ideas on how to "control" my soon to be tank.

I want to automate as much as possible, e.g feeding, lighting, ATO, testing etc
Ideally I would also like to get email notification alerts (e.g ATO engaged @ 2:14pm for 20seconds)

What systems are out there that let me do this?
Anyone have these systems running with a link of pictures?

If the system keeps trending data that would be great too.

subman
04-06-2010, 10:36 PM
I'm using a profilux 2 plus and I love it

lockrookie
04-06-2010, 10:53 PM
prayers.. lots of prayers.. thats how i control my tank:)

Bryan
04-06-2010, 10:53 PM
You don't, your tank "controls" you :lol: :lol:

I'm looking for some ideas on how to "control" my soon to be tank.

Bloodasp
04-06-2010, 11:32 PM
I'm slowly setting some my automation. Mostly DIY, mostly because I have a lot of resistors, capacitors and other electronics components lying around, though I must admit I am too lazy to do any microcontroller programming so most of the ones I am doing are pretty basic.

lorenz0
04-06-2010, 11:47 PM
relying on something automated is how problems occur. observe everything and make it a routine to keep up on everything.

thats my opinion. the more technical something gets the more you will be hitting the bottle

freezetyle
04-07-2010, 12:06 AM
relying on something automated is how problems occur. observe everything and make it a routine to keep up on everything.

thats my opinion. the more technical something gets the more you will be hitting the bottle

I agree to a certain extent. As long as your still checking on things to make sure that they are working properly and that everything remains constant your good. It's makes dosing and top-ups a lot easier and consistent which is nice.

Bloodasp
04-07-2010, 12:10 AM
That's the thing many people think by automating everything that it just becomes set it and forget it sort of thing. The whole idea is your role as far as the work goes has become supervisory rather than being the worker. It relieves you of the tedious and time consuming work but you still have to be on top of it otherwise it will definitely malfunction at some point.

Nanoized
04-07-2010, 02:42 AM
relying on something automated is how problems occur. observe everything and make it a routine to keep up on everything.

thats my opinion. the more technical something gets the more you will be hitting the bottle

My controller is used as a safety backup as well ie the temp of my tank gets too high, lights shut down

kien
04-07-2010, 05:06 AM
I control my reef with a Profilux controller. I don't have any experience with any other controller so I can't really comment on the others, except maybe to say that they are all pretty much on par in terms of features. Can't really go wrong with any of the commercial ones on the market.

Here's what my profilux does for me:

* Controls all lights (daylights, sunrise, sunset, moon lights, lightening storms)
* Monitors and controls temperature. Temp too low, turn on thermometer, temp too high, turn off thermometer, turn on fan. No more stuck heaters!
* Monitors pH, Salinity, ORP.
* Performs Automatic Water Top off and Salinity control. If more water is needed and the salinity is a bit low, pump water in from saltwater mix, if salinity is okay, pump water in from fresh water storage.
* Daily email reports on all monitored parameters and settings (lights, etc).
* emailed alarms if a parameter is out of whack
* Tunze powerhead control (up to 4). No need to buy a separate tunze powerhead controller. Allows you to run the tunze powerheads any which way you like (constant, random, reef crest, etc).
* controls doser to maintain stable Alkalinity and Calcium.
* iPhone native app coming soon!

* I am right in the process of setting up an automatic water change utilizing a couple of float switches with the profilux :biggrin:

Again, I have no experience with the other controllers but I sure do love my Profilux :biggrin:

Tom R
04-07-2010, 05:14 AM
I control my reef with a ProfiLux controller. This is one serious piece of equipment.

Tom R

TJSlayer
04-07-2010, 05:26 AM
I just recently purchased the the Reefkeepr Lite from J&L with an extra power bar, this give 8 controllable outlets, plus can be expanded on. Good economical way to get started, and they offer a great upgarde path to their elit controller if you wish to get all the bells and whistles down the road (That has to be done through them though)

Haven't recieved it yet, but have been thinking about one for many months.

I will not put everything on the controller, just lights, heater (as a backup) and probably some pumps. Skimmer, fuge light, reactor pumps and refugium pump will be on a regular power bar. But in time may decide to bump those up as well.

Not the fanciest controller around but a economical alternative to give you a start...

TJ

DiverDude
04-07-2010, 06:36 AM
In a nutshell, here's what you do...

You need a goat, some incense a bag of black sand (live or dead, doesn't matter).

1) Draw a pentagram with the black sand
2) Redraw over that with goats blood
3) Pray to the dark lord you corals don't all die when you dare go away for the weekend.

Simple, no ?

Hmmm.....maybe it was a chicken instead of a goat. Best google it before you start.:mrgreen:

Milad
04-07-2010, 06:50 AM
kien, you have the proflux II or III? where did you order it from?
i have my eyes on the proflux and the RKL

kien
04-07-2010, 07:18 AM
I started with the Profilux Plus II EX, and then ordered the upgrade to the III :biggrin: (profilux always has great upgrade paths). One of my local stores (Red Coral) is a vendor so I just get them to order everything.

KevinK
04-07-2010, 02:41 PM
I just recently purchased the the Reefkeepr Lite from J&L with an extra power bar, this give 8 controllable outlets, plus can be expanded on. Good economical way to get started, and they offer a great upgarde path to their elit controller if you wish to get all the bells and whistles down the road (That has to be done through them though)

Haven't recieved it yet, but have been thinking about one for many months.

I will not put everything on the controller, just lights, heater (as a backup) and probably some pumps. Skimmer, fuge light, reactor pumps and refugium pump will be on a regular power bar. But in time may decide to bump those up as well.

Not the fanciest controller around but a economical alternative to give you a start...

TJ

I have the same.

one thing to remember is that one bar can handel I think 15 A,

this in terms means that in case you want to control lots from one bar (lights + heater and pumps) you need a aditional bar to spread the load.

the other thing I found out is that on the 4 outlet bar, the left and right outer outlet can handel lots, the 2 middel can only handel 300W each. + in case you plug in a small pump / dosing unit into the middel 2 outlets, it could get stuck in the on position after it should get off.

the 2 middle outlets cant handel small loads ( 4 to 20W) so in case you plug in a dosing pump, also pit in a normal light bulp of 40W ore so, to increse the Wattage you draw when it is on, otherwise it wil stay on, and your dosing is badly mest up.!!

if you keep the above things in mind, nnoting wrong, and great for when you want to grow in the future, but dont want to spend it all at once

Piscez
04-07-2010, 03:55 PM
I'm a noob, and a cheap one at that! :redface: So I use 3 Digital timer bars for my lights ( actinics, daytime, night LEDS), a tunze osmolator for my top off and everything else I do manually ie water changes, testing etc.... works for me and helps me to learn more about this fantastic hobby.

rayjay
04-07-2010, 04:24 PM
Well so far in my 17 years of reefing, I've progressed some time ago to using timers for the lighting to come on and go off. I'm not anticipating going any further as I prefer more tanks to more money going to accessories.

whatcaneyedo
04-07-2010, 06:36 PM
For ATO I use a Tunze Osmolator, for feeding a Ehiem automatic feeder and for supplementing a Precision Marine calcium reactor plus a DIY kalkwasser reactor. Everything else is handled by a Neptune ACIII. You can find more information on them here http://www.neptunesys.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11&Itemid=40 Rather than list out the details I'll just say that I'm taking advantage of nearly everything that it can do from general lighting control to water-on-the-floor sensors and text message alarms.

Milad
04-07-2010, 06:46 PM
For ATO I use a Tunze Osmolator, for feeding a Ehiem automatic feeder and for supplementing a Precision Marine calcium reactor plus a DIY kalkwasser reactor. Everything else is handled by a Neptune ACIII. You can find more information on them here http://www.neptunesys.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11&Itemid=40 Rather than list out the details I'll just say that I'm taking advantage of nearly everything that it can do from general lighting control to water-on-the-floor sensors and text message alarms.

Why did you choose the ACIII over the Apex?

whatcaneyedo
04-07-2010, 08:59 PM
I bought the ACIII before the Apex came out.

PoonTang
04-07-2010, 11:14 PM
I have the Apex and it is awesome. Does everything i want it to do and it totally programmable. It is massively expandable and can be controlled remotely via computer/ blackberry/ iPhone. Their customer support is awesome. I emailed them yesterday with a problem and they responded within 10 minutes plus their is excellent support on RC.