When has your controller saved your reefs butt?

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by csb123, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    I’m a late adopter, and haven’t picked up a controller yet. I’m also looking into lower cost monitoring devices.
    My reef is as automated as I need. I was curious when your controller saved your reef and what were the circumstances?
     
  2. DarkSky

    DarkSky TCMAS Event Committee
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    Heater got stuck in the on position, I have my heaters set to 77F and my controller set to kill the heater outlets @ 79F and warn me that it happened.

    It paid for itself with that.
     
  3. capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Several times. And it is particularly important for me because my tanks are at work, not at home.

    One time it sent me an e-mail to tell me that the temperature was low. As it turned out, it was low because an old powerhead had tripped the GFCI that both the heater and one of the main return pumps was on. I actually had a redundant return pump still running, but the system was precarious, and, the low temperature was getting to be a significant problem.

    Another time, the Fusion "Heartbeat" feature e-mailed me and alerted me to a building-wide power outage, allowing me to do something about it. I would not have known about the power outage otherwise. This was kind of a big deal.

    For me, the Heartbeat feature is one of the most important things about running an APEX - it alerts you if the Fusion system loses contact with your APEX for 30 minutes. This could be because of either of network problem (not an emergency) or a power outage problem (a big deal). But getting the Heartbeat alert prompts me to investigate the situation.
     
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  4. zoolan70

    zoolan70 Senior Member
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    It has saved me from stuck on heaters (turned them off and alerted me in cases where it couldn't), low temp (alerted me), ATO stuck on (alert), water on floor (DIY floor loop alert), power out in house (alert), just to name the ones I can think of. The biggest thing for me is being able to look at an app anywhere, anytime, and not only see current state, but also look at the logs to make sure that things that should be turning on and off are doing do.

    There are a lot more logic-type alerts I could write if I wanted to, but I just never seem to have time. For example, alert me if my lights have been on longer than 8 hours (would indicate a failure in programming or maybe a stuck on outlet), alert me if the tank hasn't gone into feed more in 24 hours (housesitter not feeding tank), etc.
     
  5. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    I was giving a talk at a TCMAS speaker event during a snowstorm on system redundancy. While I was waiting my turn to speak, I got alarm that my power was out from the Apex. No worries as my UPS will keep the return going for 8+hours but I knew it before my wife called to let me know. Its even easier to setup up power outage with the relatively new heartbeat feature in Apex Fusion.

    At least a half dozen times I have left kalkwasser dosing pump turned on and got an alert pH was 8.6+

    Just to give an opposite of what others have said regarding heaters, it let me know the heaters were not able to keep up with at night to maintain temps and would fall below the threshold. That let me know one of two things. at least one of the heaters isn't working properly or I'm underpowered in wattages for the water volume. I keep a brand new unopened heater on hand at all times and closely inspect for any condesation buildup on the insides of the heaters.

    Another good example: when tank isn't doing well, I can track parameter for up at least 1 full week to see any trends. Even manual tests you can add your readings to graph and chart over time with Apex Fusion.

    The Best is peace of mind during vacation, not only can I access online ( I also use cameras ) but my tanksitter can also access it so doesn't have to come and check on the tank as much as would have to without any monitoring.

    So no matter how big or small tank, Apex controller ( at least Apex Jr. or higher version ) is a must on my systems. In grand scheme its a small investment compared to even a nano system.
     
    #5 David Grigor, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  6. OP
    csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    So the critical things to monitor are:

    1. Power outage
    2. pH
    3. Temperature
    4. Water leaks
    5. Sump water level
     
  7. RedLine

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    I made the plunge today. I was wanting a monitor and closely evaluating the Seneye, it appears to be an excellent value with good monitoring of the basics. Then I started reading more and decided to go with a controller, but double the cost. Ouch. Now the fun begins to see what my tank is really doing with some peace of mind.

    I hear that Apex is working on a titration system for next year to evaluate Alkalinity. That pushed me over the edge. Coupled with dosing one should be able to tightly control the tank. Finally!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    The alk monitor will only be available for new 2016 version of the apex. If you have or bought the classic apex it won't be compatible.

    The part I really don't like about it is it sounds like the regents are going to be sold as a package for Alk/Ca/Mg. Testing Mg daily is a complete waste and don't really want to pay for regents. I'm a kalkwasser user and CA generally follows Alk readings so I too don't need to test CA very often.

    Now if they will sell regents both individually or as a package so that I can only use the alk then I'm for sure interested.
     
  9. OP
    csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    GHL has a stand alone alk monitor and doser. It’s spendy and new. But, by a company with a good rep.
     
  10. tthorn125

    tthorn125 Keeper Of The Peace
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    I concur with what others have said.

    Temp high/low
    ATO
    Power outage for tank
    Tell me when its time to replace pH probe
     

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