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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need (want) a ph controller for my co2 (building up now). Im thinking of getting an Apex JR with a PM1 for controlling ph. I was initially planning on getting a milwuakee ph controller but with me traveling all over i think being able to get emails or texts if things go wrong would be awesome.

Now i dont see myself getting more tanks any time soon or atleast high tech tanks that require a ton of work. My plan is to get a house and move my piranha into a 120-160g planted tank. Im not sure getting the regular apex is going to benefit me for an extra 200. Right now all i want controlled would be heater and PH for co2. My future tank should be drilled with a sump. That leaves me 2 open spots for my apex. i could do lights and a power bar if i wanted but im not sure i would even bother doing that.

Thoughts?
 

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I used to have an APEX on my reef tanks before I left the hobby. I've also used Netpune Systems since its early days. Personally, I would go the full route. Having 8 outlets instead of 4 makes a difference, even if you don't need it now. My old DC4's on my AC Jr. were awful but all I could afford back in the day. Ended up upgrading numerous times over the years. Also, the ability to control items such as LED and wavemakers using the variable voltage ports is neat. I ran controllable tunze's off it, LED's with storm function, and now I hear word those cheap Jebao pumps can be controlled by it too.

Point is, invest now since you have thoughts of upgrading your setup later. You can definitely get by with the APEX Jr. but I know you'll get the itch later, I did.

Now I'm using a super old Reefkeeper 2 on my 3g shrimp tank LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used to have an APEX on my reef tanks before I left the hobby. I've also used Netpune Systems since its early days. Personally, I would go the full route. Having 8 outlets instead of 4 makes a difference, even if you don't need it now. My old DC4's on my AC Jr. were awful but all I could afford back in the day. Ended up upgrading numerous times over the years. Also, the ability to control items such as LED and wavemakers using the variable voltage ports is neat. I ran controllable tunze's off it, LED's with storm function, and now I hear word those cheap Jebao pumps can be controlled by it too.

Point is, invest now since you have thoughts of upgrading your setup later. You can definitely get by with the APEX Jr. but I know you'll get the itch later, I did.

Now I'm using a super old Reefkeeper 2 on my 3g shrimp tank LOL.

This is what I'm afraid of, Ill know what i can afford after my taxes are done :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't forget about used systems if you're okay with that route. Saved me a ton of money on my APEX and worked like a charm.
Ive read some bad reviews on on the apex power brick being not great. any thoughts?

Also I have a decent amount in amazon gift cards.
 

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Ive read some bad reviews on on the apex power brick being not great. any thoughts?

Also I have a decent amount in amazon gift cards.
Not that I came across. Although, issues with the power bars used to be a huge problem when controllers were getting started as people didn't understand how the power bars worked. Usually outlets 4 and 8 are on a normal relay and are made for low current items which need a physical pin in the relay to shut off the outlet. The remaining outlets use a somewhat of digital relay and can power off higher current items. I didn't know this back in the day and when I put small pumps on the non-relay outlet, it would not turn off! Then again I never read the manual and Neptune made this very clear when I went back to look at the manual after calling customer service.
 

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I need (want) a ph controller for my co2 (building up now). Im thinking of getting an Apex JR with a PM1 for controlling ph.... Im not sure getting the regular apex is going to benefit me for an extra 200.
Don't forget you also have to buy a probe in addition to the PM1. Beyond that, the main thing you get with a full Apex is four more controlled outlets, and four variable outlets for 0-10v control (the same thing you get with the VDM module if you start off with a Jr.)

How valuable that is kind of depends on where you go -- if you decide to go with controllable LEDs (and possibly a controllable DC return pump when you add a sump), then the variable control outlets are really handy; I use them to ramp the spectrum and intensity of my lighting over the course of the day on mine. More controllable outlets also makes it easy to just hit a "feed" button and shut down everything you want to shut down during a water change (for me that's return pump, topoff system and flow pumps, in addition to the CO2 system and heater).
 

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Here is a good comparision between the two:

Aquarium Controllers & Monitors: Neptune Systems AquaController Apex Comparison Chart

The biggest difference is you can only expand up to 5 modules with the Jr. but up to 240 with the regular. So really it just depends on how much you want to expand it in the future. Personally i'd rather go with the biger up front cost and have the option to do whatever I wanted in the future instead of hitting the limit and having to start over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I dont need the pm1 with the full apex thogh right? It has 2 ph probs already.

Also as far as what plugs i assume for low power my co2 will need to be on that. It only pulls like 1w.

I dont use powerheads anything just 2 canister filters. I might get a second heater when i make my sump.

Maybe full apex will be better, i just hate to spend another $200 and never use its capabilities.
 

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I agree that the full apex is the way to go

I have been tempted to purchase a second power bar on top of the 8-socket that it comes with. The Jr definitely wouldn't cut it for me
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree that the full apex is the way to go

I have been tempted to purchase a second power bar on top of the 8-socket that it comes with. The Jr definitely wouldn't cut it for me
Im trying to figure out how to control co2 by ph and have it turn off at night.

my thought process is this

Fallback OFF
If Time 07:00 to 19:00 Then ON
If PH > 7.2 Then ON
If PH < 7.0 Then OFF

but wont it turn on because of the time then instantly turn back off if ph is under 7.2? you cant do nested if statements so how do i do this effectively?
 

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Here's mine --

Fallback OFF
If pH > 6.20 Then ON
If pH < 6.10 Then OFF
If pH > 9.20 Then OFF
If Time 21:00 to 13:00 Then OFF
If FeedA 000 Then OFF

Everything is evaluated sequentially, so all of the "off" stuff at the end overrides the only thing that turns it on (pH over 6.2).

(The "> 9.2" is kind of a safety in case the probe fails with a high value (one of the not unheard of failure modes)).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Here's mine --

Fallback OFF
If pH > 6.20 Then ON
If pH < 6.10 Then OFF
If pH > 9.20 Then OFF
If Time 21:00 to 13:00 Then OFF
If FeedA 000 Then OFF

Everything is evaluated sequentially, so all of the "off" stuff at the end overrides the only thing that turns it on (pH over 6.2).

(The "> 9.2" is kind of a safety in case the probe fails with a high value (one of the not unheard of failure modes)).
thank you for the help! so yours doesnt click back on and off at all at night when ph is 6.2?


Edit:

i think if you were to rearange it as

Fallback OFF
If Time 21:00 to 13:00 Then OFF
If pH > 6.20 Then ON
If pH < 6.10 Then OFF
If pH > 9.20 Then OFF
If FeedA 000 Then OFF

then it wouldn't ever turn on then off at night.
 

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go with the standard apex. no need for the gold with lab grade sensors. i bought the jr and by the time i added the pm1 and ph sensor and then another eb4 power outlet i was over the cost of the standard apex. obviously i pieced my jr together over time. spend the money now and save in the long run.
 

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thank you for the help! so yours doesnt click back on and off at all at night when ph is 6.2?
Correct. Here's a 24hr slice of my pH graph from Fusion -



It comes on an hour before my lights and drops like a rock, then goes up and down a little between 6.1 and 6.2 (the reason for the latitude there is to keep the solenoid from clattering on and off all the time) until an hour before lights out, when it starts rising back up to its normal resting point (about 7.1).

i think if you were to rearange it as

Fallback OFF
If Time 21:00 to 13:00 Then OFF
If pH > 6.20 Then ON
If pH < 6.10 Then OFF
If pH > 9.20 Then OFF
If FeedA 000 Then OFF

then it wouldn't ever turn on then off at night.
Correct. It would keep coming on at 6.2.

The reason for the FeedA statement is that I have an "hour long feed event" I trigger for water changes that shuts down the CO2, pumps, top off system, etc. I then cancel the event once the water change is complete.
 

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I use a steady stream of CO2 with a pH 'failsafe' so that it doesn't drop too low (if somehow the tank dumps or needle valve fails or something)

Fallback OFF
If Time 14:00 to 23:30 Then ON
If pH < 6.15 Then OFF
If Time 23:30 to 14:00 Then OFF
 

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one of the newer firmware updates lets the jr us up to 7 additional modules if it makes a difference But the full version is defiantly the way to go

i also use my apex as a backup in case of regulator failure. i didn't like the amount the SV cycled each day when running it solely with the ph probe.
 

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one of the newer firmware updates lets the jr us up to 7 additional modules if it makes a difference But the full version is defiantly the way to go

i also use my apex as a backup in case of regulator failure. i didn't like the amount the SV cycled each day when running it solely with the ph probe.
Agreed, lots of on/off, but I'm told it's not a huge deal.

I ran it as a pH controller before, but I feel like the times where it's off and there isn't a constant stream of CO2 isn't good, so I went back to running CO2 steady and have a bottom out pH level that it will turn off at just in case.
 
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