Apex, Standard or JR?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by T.louderback, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    I'm not sure which one to get! I've never used one before so i don't know really how many modules I will need. Maybe someone can help. My upcoming tank specs;
    30 gal IM Nuvo
    Kessil 360w
    Colbalt heater
    IM Ghost skimmer
    Sicce return
    (maybe) Mp10 Qd

    I want to dim the kessil on/off, auto top off with the apex, and control the temp on the heater. I will also want to control the mp10 if/when i get that in the future.
    It doesn't seem like i have too many demands but I want to be sure I get what i need. Thanks for any tips!
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well you're off to a good start in trying to understand what demands you'll be wanting for your controller. The Jr. is by far severely limited though to 4 additional modules beyond what you get with the package. You get 4 power slots with it too so that will limit what you can plug in. By what you're saying though. The Kessil controlling will require a module, the top off can be done either automatically for a set period (1 power slot) or with some sort of sensor (1 power slot + 1 module), the heater will take 1 power slot (either control with Apex and let heater controller be failsafe or vice versa), and the Vortech pumps will require a module.

    So it seems as if you'll have enough with the Jr, just not much wiggle room if you want to add additional stuff later, And it will cost a pretty penny (those additional modules really bump up the price of the Apex beyond the list price of the main unit package).
  3. Terence

    Terence Guest

    With the addition of the DOS and WAV and a little software work we upped the module limit on the JR to 7 modules with the latest firmware.
    Enderturtle likes this.
  4. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I think you can get away with the Jr. But after you add all that you need, might be better off with the standard.

    The return and the heater can be plugged into the Jr, leaving you with only 2 more outlets. I like having the lights and the pumps on the EB8 as well, that way I can set a hard failsafe off at the power source.

    The Kessil needs a VDM module for control. The standard already comes with 2 ports. Or you can get the Kessil Spectral controller and do it seperately.

    If you want to measure PH (not really necessary but some like to have it), you'll need a PM1 module. Standard comes with PH probe and port.

    Salinity (its really conductivity) needs the PM2 module but again, not really necessary.

    To control the Vortech, you'll need a WXM module. Gonna need that regardless if you go the Jr or standard. Or just use the controller it already has (which you have to use anyway even if you use the WXM. The WXM just allows you to control the pump controller through Apex).

    So you've already eaten up 2 of your 4 allowed modules (if not all). If you want to do an ATO, you'll need a breakout box. You'll need the PM1(ph) or PM2(conductivity) to be able to connect the I/O box (I don't even see it listed on the site anymore). The pump for the ATO will eat another one of your 2 remaining outlets.

    I think its doable but you will be limiting yourself on what you can do with it. If the standard is attainable, I would go that route.

    jonmos75 likes this.
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Oh really? Well that sure opens up a few more options and makes the Jr. a more feasible alternative.
  6. Terence

    Terence Guest

    Well even with that one has to pay attention to what they want to do or they could ultimately pay more for a JR set up than a full Apex System.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    jonmos75 likes this.
  7. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Honestly if you're really in this hobby and you want more control over your equipment, get the Full Apex.

    If you're hurtin for money, get the Apex JR.

    But the Full Apex is a good investment that will last you a long time. And has a good re-sale value if you do end up getting out of the hobby.

    Features I really like about my Apex
    1. VERY user friendly. You don't have to know coding to use it.
    2. Text messages if my tank temperature/pH are too high/too low.
    3. Control over my equipment via the internet.
    4. Feed mode for turning off all pumps/powerheads when feeding.
    5. Fail safe features (example if my pH is 8.6 or higher my dosing pump will remain OFF.
    6. If my tank temperature is above 80.5 degrees, the fan will turn on to cool my tank.
    These are just some of the things you can do with an apex. Go to the neptune systems apex forums to see all the different features/controls they're working on.

    They've programmed some pretty neat things.
  8. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    i don't own an apex, but one thing i wish i was told when i bought my reef angel, was to get the full version instead of the lower version.
  9. Yippee

    Yippee Supporting Member

    I went with the Jr. on about the same size tank, but I have a sump. I ended up adding an EB8 and a VDM module. You will find that 4 outlets will not be enough. Plan for the future and get the Standard. I have one outlet unused out of 12.
  10. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Four outlets is definitely not enough.

    I have 8 outlets on my EB8 and I'm thinking damn it wouldve been nice to add another EB8. Which I can totally do. Just gotta buy another EB8.
  11. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    I'm really into the hobby but I'm also a college student! haha I'm really considering the standard though because I would hate to spend even $300 and not have what I need. I'm an equipment junkie by the way lol. Even if i did go with the JR I would be the EB8 just to have everything connected regardless of controllability. The JR is more appealing though if it can have up to 7 modules.
  12. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    I've also heard that you HAVE to get the VDM with the jr to control a kessil whereas you don't need it on the standard. I'm assuming its because the apex base unit has a port for the kessil adapter ( ethernet?)
  13. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Correct. You have to have the VDM if you want to control the Kessil with the Jr. The standard already comes with the 0-10v ports. It has 2. Both units come with ethernet ports.
    Enderturtle likes this.
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well if money is an issue (the I'm a college student angle) then don't get an Apex at all, everything you want to do can be done for a much cheaper without an Apex, sure it won't have internet connectivity that can be checked from you phone at an instant but then again how important is that to you to check the status of your lights? If you got MP10s why would you want the Apex to control them? You're already paying EcoTech a pretty penny to control them with their drivers. Heaters come with built in controllers. ATOs are fairly easy to do as well, with many options.
  15. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    I mostly want it for ATO as well as redundancy if something were to go sideways.I'm leaning toward the standard because i get the ability to add more probes like ph and salinity. Like I mention I'm also a fan of equipment and tech so even though I don't NEED it ( you've made some compelling points) Its something I really want haha
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well if you're a techie person, then yeah definitely get the standard version. I got an AC3 right before the Apex came out (that Neptune was more than happy to sell me rather than to tell me to wait a few months for their new flag ship product), and I regretted it very shortly after, not because it wasn't a solid piece of equipment or anything, but because I really didn't have a need to do everything they said I could do with it, at the end of the day it became a very expensive light timer, and pH/Temp monitor.

    I managed to pick up a bunch of Reef Keeper Lite units for super cheap, and while even worse than the Jr. as far as what they're capable of, they're perfect for what I need.
  17. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    I think I'll just spend the money on the standard. No regrets that way. thanks for the help everyone
  18. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    wise choice...;)

    One of the best recommendation is to download the Neptune Comprehensive Reference Manual (CRM) and read it all...some of the stuff might be hard to understand right now but it will click and you can get some great programming ideas to make the Apex a powerful piece of equipment...
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  19. T.louderback

    T.louderback Guest

    Good lord 163 pages haha Very helpful info so far though, thanks for sharing
  20. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Lol. I made the mistake of printing it before chking to see how big it is.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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