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About Me

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  1. 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
  2. I have been intrigued by the George Farmer backed Felix Aquarium Monitor/Controller system, and saw some discussion about testing the device by Daniel some time ago, but it didn't seem to have much content and didn't really answer whether the cost as worth it. Can anyone please let me know if anyone is using this system and if it works? Being an Engineer, I am interested in anything that could monitor, alert, and take action to correct a possible issue in my aquarium. Is the Felix system just hype or is it a cool thing to have. Thanks, Larry
  3. Ive bought myself a 3-something gallon hexagon tank for my desk. I've got myself a nano usb airpump and neverclog airstone, and some other things from somewhere online to help complete the tank. Id like to ask whether an airstone's vertical placement in the tank makes much of a difference for dissolved oxygen. I understand that some lesser amount of oxygen will not dissolve as air bubbles will travel less distance if the airstone is near the surface. My feeling is that "I want all the oxygens I can get omnomnom" but my curiosity has me considering how much I can get away with. If the difference is minor, I might be able to get away with a 'low flow' tank. This most likely would be terrible as the water volume grows, but for a 3 gallon even 2 inches under the surface is a large percent. -- Besides curiosity, i have an accidentally rimless tank that i would love to grow duckweed as my tank lid. The guppies would love that too. The airstone being near the surface doesn't transfer as much force to disturb the water outwards. If the water surface moves too much duckweed gets unhappy. The tank is lightly planted with some guppy grass and some clay pellet substrate. Also has a wondershell in there. Thanks for reading. 🙂
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