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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on purchasing the Felix Smart "Lite - Smart Controller + Monitor" tomorrow afternoon. I'd love to know if anyone here gotten one and what has their experience been.
 

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I'm planning on purchasing the Felix Smart "Lite - Smart Controller + Monitor" tomorrow afternoon. I'd love to know if anyone here gotten one and what has their experience been.
I am thinking about a controller for a new saltwater tank (very very early stages) but I'm not sure what the felix brings to the table. It monitors temperature, ph, ammonia, and par. I mean... a par meter is nice if you don't have one but the felix costs a lot for being a par meter. Having a ph controller lets you set up your co2 differently if that is your preference but its hardly needed once you dial in a system. As for ammonia... if it ever reads anything other then zero, chances are very good its either a disaster you are too late to do anything about, or its a malfunction. Does it do anything else? I know George Farmer was pushing this thing for a while and as originally billed it was supposed to have some kind of behavior software to watch fish for changes that signify disease. Did that ever come to fruition?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The combination of pH, PAR, temp and water level, combined with IFTTT (I have an account for this) setup is intriguing. I'm getting a really good discount direct from Felix so the cost of the unit with monitor SHOULD be less than adding individual monitors to my small tank. I was hoping to find others who already have a unit to see how they are using them in planted tanks. Other than than I'm told I should be able to monitor and control some things from the app anywhere I have internet access... I'll be on vacation for 2 weeks this spring and anything I can do to make things simpler for my dog/fish/house sitter the better.

I don't see anywhere online they can monitor fish for behavior changes yet and I'm not springing for the 360 degree camera. Maybe if I ever get the big tank of my dreams I will.
 

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I had been looking at this for a bit too, but I just can't justify the cost. I think what really appealed to me was the app itself, just being able to real time monitor the ph and have it turn off or warn you if there is not enough.

Otherwise, as mentioned above, I feel like they added the ammonia sensor because they could, which I guess there's no harm in. But by the time you've hit the level where you're buying this, you shouldn't be having ammonia issues. PAR meter is nice though...

I'm curious how this goes for you, I've been looking at Felix, Apex and Seneye to monitor CO2 levels. It's the ability to see the ph on an app on my phone when I'm away from it, get a warning when things are off, and turn the co2 off with a smart plug if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I just can't justify the cost.
With my discount it's a much more palatable deal.

I think what really appealed to me was the app itself, just being able to real time monitor the ph and have it turn off or warn you if there is not enough.
Yes, that is what got me looking in the first place.

I've been looking at Felix, Apex and Seneye...
I'm pretty sure Felix uses the Seneye monitor. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

It's the ability to see the ph on an app on my phone when I'm away from it, get a warning when things are off, and turn the co2 off with a smart plug if needed.
I was hoping to get the pH monitor setup to control the CO2. Though I did see one guy on YouTube that said he couldn't get it dialed in and ended up setting it to the light schedule the same way I already have it setup on a smart plug. I'm hoping get better than what I already have with a $20 smart plug.
 

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The combination of pH, PAR, temp and water level, combined with IFTTT
Just curious how you plan on using IFTTT. I assume you're talking about something separate than what Felix uses internally? Stringing the various apps together that are used by a high tech tank? My apologies, this is all new and interesting to me:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just curious how you plan on using IFTTT.
Felix is supposed to use IFTTT. What, or how, I could use that was one of the things I was hoping to discuss with someone already doing it. I imagine I could get a pH reading 12 hours after CO2 turned off. Then setup the pH to monitor a 1 point pH drop to turn the CO2 on/off.

IF the pH is x THEN turn CO2 on.
IF the pH is y THEN turn CO2 off.

???

EDIT: I found this video for IFTTT for the temp controller.

 

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They don't divulge anything about their Ammonia (NH3) Sensor? Thermo-Fisher makes one, but it's not cheap.

They also give warnings about pH... that the signal is inaccurate with a GH under 6.

The device looks nice, but they are really light on specifics on their website.

I just developed my own using a RaspberryPi4B, Atlas-Scientific Sensors, NCD io relay boards, and NodeRED software, But of course it's more costly than this one and I haven't invested allot in making the software fully featured in terms of connectivity (still working on logging data via MQTT, etc..).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They don't divulge anything about their Ammonia (NH3) Sensor? Thermo-Fisher makes one, but it's not cheap.

They also give warnings about pH... that the signal is inaccurate with a GH under 6.

The device looks nice, but they are really light on specifics on their website.
Yup. Kinda why I wanted to talk about it with someone using one.

I just developed my own using a RaspberryPi4B, Atlas-Scientific Sensors, NCD io relay boards, and NodeRED software, But of course it's more costly than this one and I haven't invested allot in making the software fully featured in terms of connectivity (still working on logging data via MQTT, etc..).
I'm a techie, and I could probably figure something like this out, but I don't want to. LOL! It's cool though and I'm totally geeked by you doing it. I just don't have the time, space or patience for a project like that these days.
 

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I'm a techie, and I could probably figure something like this out, but I don't want to. LOL! It's cool though and I'm totally geeked by you doing it. I just don't have the time, space or patience for a project like that these days.
Yeah, it was allot of work. And you can go cheaper and faster just buying one.

However, even selecting high quality sensors and components is no guarantee of anything. I employ galvanic isolation and have a quite expensive dissolved oxygen probe and I feel like it's a bit of a random number generator. ORP and Conductivity are more reliable. pH and Temp are very accurate. Again, I'm using high end probes.... So maybe the Felix stuff is everybit as accurate and reliable as my home grown.... I just don't like not knowing what they are using..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I blew a seem in my oldest aquarium this morning. It's been resealed once before. I think I'm done with it and will replace it with a new cheep PetSmart 40g breeder. Ahhh... the life of an aquarist!
 

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I have a Seneye Reef SUD Version 3 that I use on a freshwater planted, KH =1, PH =7.4 degassed, PH =6.0 ready to Rock n Roll. I also use a American Marine Inc. Pinpoint PH Controller. The Seneye Reef PH slide does not work properly with my set up. It is confirmed by Seneye that their PH slide does not work with low KH and or PH lower than 6.5. The reason I state this is because it appears that the "Felix Smart Controller" uses a licensed version of the Seneye, it looks identical except for the color of the plastic on the top. Search Seneye reviews and you will find that the only redeming quality is the PAR meter. This is the reason I purchased it and for that it works great. Side note the SUD version 4 of the Seneye had issues with the firmware so reported the PAR incorrectly. The newest out now is SUD version 6. I have a version 3 which is uneffected same with the version 2.
In conclusion you will want to check with "Felix" and confirm my suspicions about using a rebranded Seneye. If all you need out of the SUD is a PAR meter make sure its not a version 4.
 

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I'm skeptical of the "Smart Monitor" sensor. Traditional pH probes in constant use typically should be replaced every two years (I replace mine yearly so I don't have to worry about end of life shifts); not sure what the technology in the sensor is, but the whole unit would need replacing. And this caveat on their FAQ "If your kH is under 6 degrees, most readings from any test may be inaccurate" is kind of a dealbreaker.

They do offer a normal pH probe ($200?! That's an $85 item, sorry).

Leaving a PAR meter in the tank all the time is an odd idea, no?

There seem many features missing in relation to an Apex -- pump/light dimming, the range of accessory modules (autofeeder, dosing pump, leak detector), I/O port for aftermarket/DIY switches, data logging, outlet expansion that doesn't require an IFTTT account.

Neptune also has a 15 year track record that speaks for it, although with their recent restructurings (they're the latest acquisition by BRS, who is apparently under the control of a private capital firm), who knows where that's going.

Getting even more tangential to the original question, the Hydros might be worth looking at, too -- a very modular approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a Seneye Reef SUD Version 3 that I use on a freshwater planted, KH =1, PH =7.4 degassed, PH =6.0 ready to Rock n Roll. I also use a American Marine Inc. Pinpoint PH Controller. The Seneye Reef PH slide does not work properly with my set up. It is confirmed by Seneye that their PH slide does not work with low KH and or PH lower than 6.5. The reason I state this is because it appears that the "Felix Smart Controller" uses a licensed version of the Seneye, it looks identical except for the color of the plastic on the top. Search Seneye reviews and you will find that the only redeming quality is the PAR meter. This is the reason I purchased it and for that it works great. Side note the SUD version 4 of the Seneye had issues with the firmware so reported the PAR incorrectly. The newest out now is SUD version 6. I have a version 3 which is uneffected same with the version 2.
In conclusion you will want to check with "Felix" and confirm my suspicions about using a rebranded Seneye. If all you need out of the SUD is a PAR meter make sure its not a version 4.
Nice post, thank you. I have seen reports of low pH and low KH are an issue. My pH is right in that area so I'm not sure the smart controller's Seneye monitor will work. And it indeed it is Seneye. If it doesn't Felix has a stand alone pH probe that I'll look into further. I think it may be helpful for other if I post updates on how everything ends up working for me.

"If your kH is under 6 degrees, most readings from any test may be inaccurate" is kind of a dealbreaker.
yeah... I'm at the 6.7 mark where I think it may work, but then again maybe it won't and I've wasted my money there.

Leaving a PAR meter in the tank all the time is an odd idea, no?
If that ends up being the only thing the monitor works for then I'll probably end up making any lighting changes and pull it from the tank. For sure no reason to have it just for that.

There seem many features missing in relation to an Apex -- pump/light dimming, the range of accessory modules (autofeeder, dosing pump, leak detector), I/O port for aftermarket/DIY switches, data logging, outlet expansion that doesn't require an IFTTT account.
I have an IFTTT account, but I don't think I'll need it for this. But maybe... Pump dosing would be a huge deal and very cool. I definitely want to figure out how to incorporate an auto doser and auto feeder for when I'm on vacation this summer. Though it doesn't look like it would be a simple solution does it?

Getting even more tangential to the original question, the Hydros might be worth looking at, too -- a very modular approach.
I have little to no room where the tank is. It's a waterbox all-in-on 20g cube on an open stand. I'm trying to avoid modular unless I can put stuff in the basement underneath where the tank sits.

I'll document my work as I go along and see what works and what doesn't and whatever work arounds I may have to figure out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, a dosing pump can be plugged into any controllable outlet. The Apex has a proprietary unit (that I've not used, BTW) that can be programmed by ml through the app, so control is more sophisticated.
Right. That same granular control is something I don't think can be done yet through the Felix Smart app. I suppose one could set an auto doser for time and amount AND THEN (provided the monitor prob works) turn on power to the doser when conditions warrant ferts. Something I plan to look into...
 
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