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Aquarium automation and monitoring is very popular in reef aquariums, but less common in freshwater. While I run very low-drama organic soil tanks, I got an Apex system because technology is my jam. There are not a lot of resources for using the Apex in freshwater, so I wanted to make a thread. There are two main versions, the Apex and Apex EL. The system is modular, so you can add features later. Is it worth it to get the full Apex vs the cheaper EL model? They both come with an eight-outlet power strip (in North America), and you can add more. The control units are slightly different in port choices. The Apex EL has Ethernet, Aux Power, IO, Temp, pH, 2 x Aquabus. The full Apex also has four channels of 0-10V DC dimming/power control, salinity, and ORP, but with a catch. You cannot calibrate ORP for freshwater unless you add the PM2 module! All the 0-10V DC control stuff was more powerful than I would need for my tanks, and I don't need salinity, so I picked the Apex EL. While I had grand plans about controlling lights, wave-makers, etc., I found value in the following ways. 1. Insurance: The power strip is connected to my UPS, with the Aux Power connected to non-UPS power. It can notify me when the power goes out, and I can choose what to power during the downtime of UPS battery power. I also purchased a leak detection kit, so water on the floor will trigger an alert and relevant programming. 2. Feed Mode and Filter Control: Via the web interface or app, I have four feed modes to turn off power to various outlets for different time periods on every tank plugged into the power strip. This could be actual feeding, or it could be more time to clean sponges or filters. I also use some programming to provide alternating water flow in one tank by running one internal filter on one schedule, and another filter on a different schedule. 3. Probe Monitoring and Control: Currently, I just monitor pH and temperature in one tank, and I have simple code to limit heaters to a specific range. I like seeing how pH and temperature change with my lighting schedule in my organic soil tanks. In the future, I might use pH to control a solenoid for a CO2 regulator. There are tons of other things you can do with monitoring, water control, and dosing, but I'm not working at that scale. Is anyone else here using the Apex, or other systems for monitoring and aquarium control? Please share! Cheers, Jason
Now my Walstad-EcoComplete-Normal aquarium project is up and going I can unbox and setup the Felix. I hope to use the Felix on these 3 aquariums. It looks like it has 3 main components. A big smart plug, a camera, and a Seneye Freshwater monitor. Now I am going to watch the George Farmer video @Jessica. referenced and see how to hook all of this up.