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Old 11-15-2011, 11:27 AM   #1
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Digital monitor for everything

Hey all, ok odd question here. As a geek I'm always looking for technical solutions to help with stuff that I hate doing on a regular basis...i.e. water testing.

I've noticed a lot of digital controllers/monitors on various sites, but haven't gotten a real good feel for what they do, so here's my question: is there a device on the market that you can plunk on the outside of the tank with maybe probes going in that will keep a constant monitoring of ph, alkalinity, calcium, temperature, nitrites, and nitrates? It's probably asking for a lot but I'm a dork like that. I tend to be a little bit lazy about PWCs (instead of weekly, its usually weekly and a half), and something like this would be mighty helpful in making sure I'm not doing harm to my tank's inhabitants.

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Old 11-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
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You can get pH, ORP, Temp, O2 and I believe conductivity (salinity) from those like Apex & Profilux. They also control things like power heads, dosing pumps, return pumps & lights.

I know the Apex works as a redundancy unit as well, shutting off for example:
Return pump if water on floor
Dosing pump if pH climbs to high
Heater(s) if temp climbs too high

They can also automate things like PWC if you so choose.

As far as Nitrates, Calcium etc, I believe those require titration measurements to determine the concentration, making it unfeasible. Even digital readers require you to titrate, but are able to read to a much higher sensitivity than we can see by comparing to a Colour card.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply - so basically the unit itself, if I'm looking correctly, comes with the temp monitor and then I take it that there's additional attachments for the other things that it can monitor?

Thanks again!
72 Bow
firefish, ocellaris clown fish
caulastrea, green star polyps, palythoa, zoas
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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I know the Apex (which I'm considering for myself) comes with temp & pH proves and an 8 outlet power bar. ORP probe is extra as is the O2 probe. The O2 probe is very expensive. There's also a wireless addon to control wireless Ecotech power heads & lights.

From there it's a matter of programing. Each outlet on the power bar is independent & controllable for timing & failsafes.

Oh yeah, there's an iPhone app that will alert you to any problems etc and adjust it too!
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:20 AM   #5
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I have been doing lots of research on apex controller and the options are endless. This is my next big purchase.

What does orp probe measure? I have never tested for orp.

I have seen a pinpoint nitrate monitor but can't find a probe for the Neptune apex system.

This system is sold for about 500 and comes with the apex display although I have read I dont need the display when I have iPhone. Since iPhone can control it along with the computer software.

I am considering buying components separately. Would I save money? I'm also not sure what cables i would need to connect these components.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Search Mark Callahan apex controller on YouTube

You can't replicate what the controller monitors with individual components. The true value is that it monitors and can alert you. You buy a PH monitor and it's not sending you an email when it spikes.
125 gal mixed REEF
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:36 AM   #7
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I was just reading about orp last night. From what i gathered it's the tendency of your water to pass electrons, and it's seems to be inversly proportional to your ph. It's some pretty complicated stuff.

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