Bad day: Apex and dosing pumps

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by DurTBear, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. DurTBear

    DurTBear Guest

    Stayed home sick from work so I am already not feeling well. But I wake up from a nap at 3pm only to realize my BRS dosing pump connected to my APEX has been adding Ca since last night and all of today. Basically half a jug or so of Recipe 1 of Ca. So I just did a 20% water change to try and get the Ca closer to what my target level is (440ppm). For those that are familiar with APEX code, this was my program:

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Time 00:00 to 00:18 Then ON
    If Time 01:00 to 01:18 Then ON
    If Time 02:00 to 02:18 Then ON
    If Time 03:00 to 03:18 Then ON

    Basically, the pump should dose for 18 minutes every hour in the wee early morning hours of the day. This was very concerning to me because now I'm not sure I trust the APEX. I tried rebooting the APEX and that didn't help since it showed that the outlet was still on. So I went back, deleted the program and re-entered the same thing. That seemed to work but I'm worried this will happen again. Anyone have any experience with this problem? Man this is the last thing I need today...
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member


    I wouldn't worry too much about your calcium, great thing about 2 part is if it gets too high it very easily could precipitate out.

    As your controller problem, I'm not familiar with the APEX language but it looks good. Is this a peristaltic pump controlled via a DC plug? (wall wart) occasionally those things might make a particular relay stuck so I've been told. I know the old DC8 had 2 outlets that were mechanical relays, not the electronic ones (Triacs). My first thought is toss your dosing pump on those plugs first if they exist, whether it is a DC or AC pump.
  3. DurTBear

    DurTBear Guest

    Yeah, that is true. I'm most worried about the anemone since it's more shriveled up than normal. But hopefully it'll be ok.

    I connected the dosing pumps into the two outlets that have mechanical relays. I was told these are the outlets I should use for dosing pumps since they are better at turning the outlets on and off to devices that don't draw that much electricity vs. the normal outlets.
  4. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    never had any problems with my programs miss behaving.
  5. DurTBear

    DurTBear Guest

    Thanks John...just updated to the latest firmware and let's see if that fixes the problems that I'm having. Gonna keep a close eye on it...
  6. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Thank God you were sick today and home to notice the problem!
  7. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member


    I did my ethernet connection last night and set-up new passwords for access etc. How cool is it to check out your temp, Ph and energy use graph on your laptop? The graphed results of PH and temp are very interesting and help determine the best times for dosing.

    Where did you find instructions for updating firmware? I need to do this. Also, I set up my e mail alerts to e mail me (1) if the power fails in the house (2) if the temp drops below 75 or above 85 deg F (3) if the PH drops below 7.8 or goes above 8.5. Pretty simple to program the commands into the unit. Nice to be able to set it up on your lap top or the Apex display.

    Did you choose to add the ORP probe? I wonder how many BAR members fine an ORP reading useful.
    (chime in here, members, if you don't mind sharing)

    Wouldn't it be great if there was a reliable and accurate CA probe that could hook up? (I'm dreaming)

    Let us know if you solved your pump issue with firmware update. I still think you will want to go into the Edit block locations for your dosing pumps and change the program "type" to Light instead of Pump.
  8. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    John everything you need to know about APEX is on Neptunes RC Sponsor forum. If it's not, that is the place to ask ;) Curt checks it often and many of his customers answer as well.
  9. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    Curt has also been very very responsive with me in email conversations about advanced capability questions on the apex.

    John, what are you using for the email? I haven't been able to get it to work yet with GMX.
  10. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Hi Tony,

    I access the Apex via my laptop that connects to my network for ease of configuration and set-up entries. It may be done at the display also. In Network set-up, I've enabled the e mail. My mail server is so I entered that under SMTP. I entered my e mail in the "To" section and left all else alone. I did check the box for "e mail test" and hit "update network settings" button. You should get an instant e mail to confirm settings. Remember to choose "restart" at bottom of that setting root menu to apply any Network changes permanently. Changes to password or any other Network settings do not become "official" until you start the system.

    Have you set up your IP address to be static to allow easy remote access? I've left mine on dynamic IP address (DHCP) and have yet to jump that hurtle. dynamic IP is more flexible but can be troublesome for setting up some networks and remote access. So far, I've had good luck in the crash course of programing and function of the unit. I love the way it just plain works!

    I'd love to see your tank and set up sometime and would be glad to look at your e mail set-up. I've got a hunch you'll have it up and running yourself in no time. Just send a PM if you'd like to hook up. :santa:
  11. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I use the ORP probe on my AC3. It is useful, or at the least I find it interesting. :p It varies throughout the day, counter cycle to the temp and PH. Feeding and cleaning the tank (due to stirring up detritus) makes it drop. I run ozone, so I originally bought the probe to help monitor that.

    I don't think it's necessary, but it's nice to have.
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Just make sure you have an Apex question!! Questions about old AC products don't get as much attention unfortunately :)
  13. DurTBear

    DurTBear Guest be sick and catch the problem...or being completely healthy only to have my tank crash...tough one...haha!
  14. DurTBear

    DurTBear Guest

    You can download the latest firmware on their webpage:
    It's under downloads and under the Apex section. Once you extract those files, there's a readme file that gives you instructions. Just make sure your firewall is off or simply reboot your PC in safe mode w/networking when you perform the update. I did not do this initially and ran into an array of problems in which the base module, energy bar and display stopped functioning. But Curt walked me through how to fix this and it worked beautifully. Looks like everything is ok and I'm able to display everything that I want to display on the home display.
  15. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Hey Durwin,
    I touched base with Curt this AM to verify the current version of the software. When I went to their site (after posting my question) I found the firmware file and confirmed it was the same as my unit was furnished with.

    I've got my e mail alerts working fine but still am working on remote web access. I may need to change from dynamic IP address to a static one to allow my D-Link router to route to port 80 (the HTML port) and connect with the Apex. I've tried to use a Dyn Hosting account that updates and keeps track of dynamic IP changes to your system but am getting stopped at the router/firewall. I haven't spent too much time on it but plan to try some ideas this afternoon.

    Web access allows you to remotely view temp, ph and ORB graphs of history and turn on and turn off outlets manually or change the dynamics of your system such as dosing pump running time. Seems like a valuable tool to me! It also tells you when to call in the big guns (whichever expert you have "on call" for emergencies) if something significantly "bad" happens to your tank when you go a thermostat sticking "on" with your heater.......
  16. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    I have mine working on a dynamic IP
    I just went to the and settup and account.
    set my router to give my apex a fixed IP and set it on the apex.
    set up port fowarding on my router to point to that IP address.
    Set the router up for DYNDNS and I am good to go.
  17. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I do what Tony does through as well.
  18. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Makes perfect sense. Gonna do it. H)

    Well, I'm half way there. I've created the account on and just need to configure things. Gotta run, got a network to config...... :O

    And Screebo makes it over the goal line......... :party:
    Remote access is happenin'
    Anyone want to mess with my tank? :glasses:
  19. aalhait

    aalhait Guest

    I think your Ca is way too high as is!

    18min every hour! It's like 27ml every hour! That's 648 ml every day!!! What type of system are you running?

    I have a 150 Mixed Reef and I put in about 70ml / day. All in the morning... Maybe I should add a little more. But 648 seems a bit high no?
  20. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    18 minutes only 4 times :)

    Fallback OFF
    Set OFF
    If Time 00:00 to 00:18 Then ON
    If Time 01:00 to 01:18 Then ON
    If Time 02:00 to 02:18 Then ON
    If Time 03:00 to 03:18 Then ON

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