Apex Classic Controller with Lab-Grade pH Probe - Neptune Systems

Apex Controller with Lab-Grade pH Probe - Neptune Systems
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Apex Classic Controller with Lab-Grade pH Probe - Neptune Systems

87% Recommend this to a friend (65 of 75)

SKU: 207491
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Quick Overview

Why does BRS recommend this?

The Apex controller is by far one of the most advance dedicated aquarium controllers on the market today.  There are other controllers that are easier to use, however the wide variety of controllability with the Apex controllers and their easy to use cloud interface makes it a perfect option for a fully automated reef tank.

Great Advanced Level Controller from Neptune Systems

  • Includes Classic Apex Base Unit Controller, Apex Display Module, Long-life Temperature Probe, Energy Bar 8 and Lab Grade pH Probe

  • Basic functions: Light Control, Temperature Control and pH Monitoring, pH Port, pH/ORP Port, I/O Switch Input, 4 V Ports

  • Cool Features: Internet Connectivity, phone and text alerts, over temperature protection, mobile phone and tablet access

  • Apex User Manual

  • Apex Comprehensive Manual

  • Fusion Ready


Ask a question

Product Questions

Will this system controll my kessil a360w and my tunze turbelle stream 6065 or will I have to purchase the VDM module to get better control? When i purchased the kessil i also purchased the neptune control cable for the kessil will it link directly to the neptune or do I need to connect it to the VDM module?
Question by: Joe on Feb 16, 2014 1:55:00 AM
Hi Joe,
The Apex system already has 2 VDM ports (each with 2 channels) so aside from purchasing the relevant cables you need, no need to purchase the VDM module. Just make sure the cables you have are to interface between the VDM ports and the device you want to control (ie Kessil to VDM cable, VDM to Tunze cable, etc) which won't be the same as a Kessil to Kessil cable for example.
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Feb 16, 2014 1:55:00 AM
Can I use Apex to implement an intelligent ATO, with some mechanical float switches and a pump?

Do I need to buy the breaker box for Apex? I wonder how Apex gets the input signal from the floating switches and detects it. Where to plug the outputs of the float switches?

Question by: Jerry on May 1, 2014 8:20:00 PM
Hey Jerry,
You can certainly configure the Apex to do that. You are correct, you need the I/O breakout box to connect the switches to. The breakout box plugs into either a standard apex or to a PM1 or PM2 module if you have an Apex jr or other system without an I/O port built in.
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on May 1, 2014 8:20:00 PM
The laptop/pc I have access to doesn't have a disc drive. Can the software for the Apex controller by Neptune be downloaded straight from a web site?
Question by: Wiley on Nov 3, 2013 4:22:00 PM
Hi Wiley,
It can be, though no software is actually needed. The Apex is programmed via a web browser so short of a really basic utility tool that finds your apex on the network (which most folks don't need as it is) you just need to fire up whatever web browser you use on your laptop to program it.
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Nov 3, 2013 4:22:00 PM
can you run two tanks off of one of these controllers?
I have a 185 gallon and a 140 gallon that are in different rooms maybe 12-15 feet apart from each other.

Question by: Roman on Feb 19, 2014 7:53:00 PM
Hey Roman,
You will likely want some extra probes and modules (so for example you can have two temp probes) but there is no reason at all you can't run more then one tank off of it. This thing can handle an hundreds of modules so you could probably run a whole fish store off of it if you felt so inclined :-)
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Feb 19, 2014 7:53:00 PM
I have a nano cube 28 intermediate. Was planning on upgrading to a bigger setup in the future so was looking at getting a controller. My question is would the apex be able to control the lights on my nano cube (dimming, gradually amping up and down the lights)?
Question by: Gregory on Feb 5, 2014 2:13:00 PM
Hi Gregory,
If your nano cube has an LED light that can interface with external controllers (like a Radion, AI, Kessil, etc) then it sure can. If its a fluorescent bulb like most though it simply can be on and off (the limitation being the hood not the controller).
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Feb 5, 2014 2:13:00 PM
Is this the latest version of the apex? I was advised to get the newest version available. (Someone told me 2016??)
Question by: John on Jan 24, 2017 9:17:00 AM
Awesome question! The most recent Apex release is linked below. :-)

Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Jan 28, 2017 7:27:00 AM
Does it run wireless to the computer or do I need to run an Ethernet cable threw the whole house? Or donu sell a wireless module so I wouldn't need an Ethernet cable? Thx
Question by: Chuck Zdany on Feb 25, 2014 10:02:00 PM
Hi Chuck,
The controller requires Ethernet for computer/internet access. It is possible to get a wireless bridge from an electronics store which would allow you to plug the Ethernet port into the bridge and connect the bridge to a wireless network though what make and model you want to use will depend on your wi-fi equipment.
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Feb 25, 2014 10:02:00 PM
Do you need to purchase the I/O break out box to run Float Switches?
Question by: Wesley Hotzler on Jul 29, 2016 3:52:00 PM
Hi there,
Yes, you will need to purchase the I/O Breakout Box if you wish to run any type of float switch.
Thanks for the question, and have a great day!
Answer by: Charlie (Admin) on Aug 1, 2016 8:12:00 AM
If I buy this system,what else would i need to purchase to to able to monitor salinity and orp?
Question by: Daniel Cura on Jan 7, 2017 5:59:00 AM
Great question! You will need an ORP Probe, which can be directly connected to the Apex Classic head unit. For salinity monitoring, you would need to add the PM2 Module and a Salinity Probe. I've included links to those products below! :-)

Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Jan 10, 2017 5:09:00 PM
I'm purchasing 2 x kessil 160 lights. How can I connect both of them to apex? Do I need VDM module? Do I need to connect the lights to each other or do I connect them separately?
Question by: ilya babadzhan on Nov 26, 2016 8:39:00 AM
Great question! The Apex Classic already has variable speed ports built in. All you need is the Kessil to Apex interface cables.

Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Nov 26, 2016 8:58:00 AM
Neptune apex remodeling the equipment, if I buy the apex classic come in the new look and models?
Question by: RandyFerguson on Aug 1, 2016 12:41:00 PM
Hi Randy,
The Classic Apex Systems will come exactly as they are pictured. They did not update anything on the classic systems. Thanks for the question and have a great day!
Answer by: Charlie (Admin) on Aug 1, 2016 3:50:00 PM
Does the kit include the ph solution to
Calibrate the probe
Question by: Matt on Nov 27, 2016 9:29:00 PM
Great question! This will not come with calibration solutions. Below is a link to the BRS favorite solutions! :-)

Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Nov 28, 2016 9:24:00 AM
Will this come with the flood prod?
Question by: Edmond on Nov 20, 2016 8:31:00 PM
Great question! This does not include the ALD module or Leak Detection probes. You will need to purchase those separately. :-)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Nov 21, 2016 6:20:00 PM
Looking to get a controller for: ph,orp,temp.,salinity and vortech mp10wqd. What would you recommend? Apex/RKL Thanks
Question by: Larry on Mar 25, 2016 7:38:00 PM
Great question!
The Apex will be your best bet with the Vortech and for full features with control through your phone and a lot of support online! You will need the necessary module for salinity control (PM2 and salinity probe) as well as the WXM module for the wireless connection to the Vortech. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
Answer by: Connor (Admin) on Mar 28, 2016 11:16:00 AM
so i bought this apex controller and im trying to hook it up to apex fusion but it says i need a token and to go to link to fusion but its not working can u please help
Question by: Austin on Feb 4, 2016 12:19:00 PM
Hey there!
Once connected to the internet via direct connection you can set up your Fusion account and request the token, To find the Token you will navigate through the aqua controller menus and ensure the system is restarted. Then when loading back up the main menu will dislpay an icon "ApexFusion:" Select this icon twice and the token should appear. I have included a link for set up below!
Answer by: Connor (Admin) on Feb 26, 2016 9:27:00 AM
Can this controller or the apex fully control the co2 scrubber I have to maintain perfect ph and my t5?
Question by: Nicholas on Dec 12, 2016 9:23:00 PM
Great question! The CO2 scrubber is attached to the skimmer air intake, so there is no mechanically controllable components involved other than the skimmer pump itself. Your Apex can control the ON/OFF functionality of the skimmer, but if you wanted to control the input of the air intake line, you would need to purchase a powered solenoid. Unfortunately we do not carry these products. :-(
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Dec 13, 2016 11:27:00 AM
I'm new to the reef controllers and wanted to know which is better the Apex controller or the Reefkeeper Elite? I would like to use it for the following: measure temp, PH, Lights, dosing, wave makers, ATO, etc. Do any of these reef controllers have any outlets that are always on for a skimmer, aquaripure, UV, etc.
Question by: Javier on Jun 10, 2014 2:54:00 PM
Hi Javier,
It isn't really a matter of better or worse, but that each has it's own features it excels at. If you are looking for something that is super easily configured via the screen without the use of a computer, the reef keeper is better in that sense. If you want more programming ability for custom options, the ability to control via your computer or phone, remote access, etc then the Neptune will be what you want. Any of the controllers can have an outlet programmed to be always on (though if its going to be always on, you might just want to use a regular wall outlet instead of using one of the programmable outlets on the controller).
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Jun 10, 2014 2:54:00 PM
Wanted to know if the Apex controller will beable to control 2 part dosing pumps?
Question by: Jon on Jan 28, 2014 8:32:00 AM
Hey Jon,
It will control many pumps such as our BRS dosing pumps. You simply plug them into an outlet on the Apex unit and program the Apex to turn the outlet on and off at the interval you desire.
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Jan 28, 2014 8:32:00 AM

Full Details

Quick Compare - Neptune Apex Controllers

ControllerPriceBase UnitKey FeaturesProbe(s)Energy Bar
Apex Jr

Apex Jr.

  • 4 Independently controlled outlets
  • Temperature Probe Port
  • 2 AquaBus Ports
  • Ethernet Port
  • Maximum Number of Modules: 7
  • Display Module
  • Easy to set up
  • Perfect low-cost heater/lighting controller
  • Expand up to 7 other Neptune Accessory Modules
  • Connects through LAN network

Long-life Temperature Probe:

  • Custom built by Neptune - specifically designed for long-term saltwater use


4-outlets built-in


Not compatible with EnergyBar 832

Apex with Lab Probe



  • 12V Power Port
  • 2 AquaBus Ports
  • Control Port
  • Ethernet Port
  • Temperature Probe Port
  • I/O Switch Input
  • pH Probe Port
  • pH/ORP Probe Port
  • 4 Variable 0-10V channels for LED Dimming or Tunze Pumps
  • Maximum Number of Modules: 240
  • Uses the AquaBus connection system from module to module
  • Includes pH Probe
  • Includes Display Module
  • Expandable for endless options
  • Connects through LAN network

Long-life Temperature Probe:

  • Custom built by Neptune - specifically designed for long-term saltwater use


Lab Grade pH Probe:

  • Longer lasting than Standard Probes
  • More accurate results
  • Stay calibrated longer
  • Replace less frequently

Energy Bar 8

8 Independently Controlled Outlets 6 rated at 5A@120V AC 2 rated at 10A@120V AC


Not compatible with EnergyBar 832

Apex Controller System



  • WiFi Enabled
  • 12V Power Port
  • 2 AquaBus Ports
  • Control Port
  • Ethernet Port
  • Temperature Probe Port
  • I/O Switch Input
  • pH Probe Port
  • pH/ORP Probe Port
  • Salinity Probe Port
  • 4 Variable 0-10V channels for LED Dimming or Tunze Pumps
  • Maximum Number of Modules: 240
  • Includes Salinity Probe
  • Includes pH Probe
  • Includes Temp Probe
  • Uses the AquaBus connection system from module to module
  • Save outlets with the Energy Bar 832
  • Connects through WiFi or LAN network
  • Redesigned Heat Unit
  • Compatible with all Neptune Acessories

Long-life Temperature Probe:

  • Custom built by Neptune - specifically designed for long-term saltwater use

Lab Grade Conductivity Probe:

  • Holds calibration longer
  • Standardized Body
  • Accurate and Dependable
  • Designed for Fresh and Saltwater

Lab Grade pH Probe:

  • Longer lasting than Standard Probes
  • More accurate results
  • Stay calibrated longer
  • Replace less frequently

Energy Bar 832

  • 8 Independently Controlled rated at 7A@120V AC
  • 3 1Link Ports
  • 3 Aquabus Ports
  • 2 24V accessory ports


Note: Smart Phone and Tablet not included.



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  • Glitchy, and terrible support By lakegirl on 2/7/2017

    I began with Apex Jr and then upgraded to Apex Lite. I've had times with the display either goes black or becomes unresponsive. These *seemed* to coincide with recent power outages, however, every power outage does not result in a problem. The really bizarre thing is that I am locked out of my fusion account. I've done password reset multiple times and cannot get logged in to my account. Tried to get help and support's suggestion was to reinstall the whole thing (I have not done this). For now, I've got everything running manually without the controller. Yup, after all that time and money, I've got it all plugged into a power surge protector. total waste of money. Planning to completely replace with a totally different brand, based on disappointing performance and terrible service.
  • Why would you EVER run tank without one??? By Casey on 1/3/2017

    This controller is awesome. The more you invest in the ecosystem, the better it gets. While the programing is a bit difficult, the product itself is amazing. If you are serious about getting your tank running the right way, you need this thing.

    One thing that isn't widely advertised it's the APEX's ability to track your measured parameters. Being able to simply do your test, put in what type of test you used (for me it's the Red Sea test kits) and the output and it graphs it over time really helps getting dosing down to a science. And yes,

    After less than a year, I already own the IO control unit, the wmx module to control my AI SOL lights, the Par meter and have plans to get more.

    All in all, 9 out of 10 (if the programming was easier, I'd give it 10 out of 10). Absolute MUST if you are serious about getting your tank on track.
  • Functions great until it dies / Poor customer service By Tony on 12/30/2016

    I've had my Apex Classic for several years. It works great and I like the controls. However, I've had multiple hardware and software issues. One time I had a problem with the display module, I called tech support and they were kind enough to log into my system to troubleshoot. They did some re-programming and broke all my modules in the process. The guy was able to fix the EB8 bars but he could not fix the display module or the PM1 module that HE BROKE!!! I had to send it back to them at my cost, and they charged me to fix it.

    I had another similar experience, again was having a display module issue. It was working but was glitchy. Tech support was kind enough to log in my system to troubleshoot, and in the process he completely broke the display module. IT wouldn't even turn on anymore. His conclusion was that the display unit has hardware issues, and also my main unit (the apex unit itself). He recommended I send both them in or I can buy a new one... I ended up buying brand new apex unit.. Very costly.

    Overall, I like the Apex and it works great.. .but I expect this hardware to work 2-3 years before it needs replacement.
  • Absolute waste of money By Matt on 11/1/2016

    I've had my apex gold for just under a year and I've had consistent problems with the system for the past six months. The controller never stays connected to fusion (even though it is hard wired directly into my router via Ethernet).
    First off, the brain went out. I had to pay out of pocket to ship it back to California for repair. Once that came back, customer service decided that the EB8 was bad. So I had to pay ship that back to them as well. After that came back I attempted twice to hook the controller back up, and now I'm still having problems. I woke up this morning to a tank that wasn't running for hours due to it's inability to stay connected/he EB8 continually clicking on and off. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but for an 'insurance plan' for your aquarium, I would certainly recommend a different product. Had I'd known what I know now, I NEVER would have purchased this overpriced piece of junk.
  • Awful By Cassandra on 7/19/2016

    I've had my Apex for almost a year now and I absolutely hate it. It disconnects from Apex Fusion constantly and getting support is a huge hassle! I've been on the phone with them for over an hour three times. Each time is because it won't connect to Apex Fusion. It takes them forever to fix the problem and they have me manually restart it over and over until it works. They said it was because I had it connected to a wireless router and to use a powerline adapter. I got the adapter(another $70.00) and it seems to disconnect even more(I have great internet too as I work from home). Now I'm waiting for them to call me again because the whole system keeps restarting about every hour and I can't connect to Apex Fusion. This thing is total JUNK! DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!
  • Poor Quality and Service Issues By Thad on 7/8/2016

    Bought the gold package. The energy bar had parts rattling inside. I contacted Apex but had to purchase another energy bar to get one for a replacement. Apex was supposed to credit me when they received the rattleing unit. No they ship me the other and charge me. Then I have to email to straighten the mess out. Then the cable on the display was not held in by the strain relief and internal cable wires are exposed. I send back to Apex on my dime for what I believe should be warranty repair, but wait now the want to charge me for what should be a warranty repair. I have had the system sitting in a box for 1 month and have been unable to use this controller. This may seem like a superior controller to the reef keeper controller (which I also own) but I can at least operate the Reefkeeper out of the box. Do yourself a favor and go with the Reefkeeper controller!
  • will let you down!! By shea on 6/4/2016

    had this controller for a year now and has let me down twice! the first time the display went blank and had to be sent back. now just the other day the whole controller locked up screen is blank I cant sign on to it and was just lucky the main pump stayed on. fair warning both times the issues started with power outages this thing does not do well at all with interruptions! I will be going to another system I would never recommend this
  • Apex is great, could be better By Windwaterwaves on 4/4/2016

    I love my Apex, I have had an aquacontroller running on another tank for 10 years untouched and it just keeps going, and it has the old web stuff.

    I like the new fusion interface and the alarming. I wish their add on components were a bit cheaper, and there were more variable speed ports by default. I used mine up on two leds (with full spectrum/blue) and need another one to control my new dc return pump.

    The other thing is dosing, man they have a cool doser but good god $350 for two dosers. The problem is you have to be careful with the switched ports on your energy bars if you use low power dosing pumps like the BRS pumps. If you don't use the relay ports they may not turn off and will.. fill your tank with dosing.. not ideal!!!

    Finally.. I tried to recalibrate ORP .. big fail, watch the brs video on that and don't bother, now I just wish I could default the ORP back but.. not in the software.

    So.. can you guys thin the margin on the cool add ons like the doser!
  • Worth. Every. Penny. By Jason on 3/23/2016

    This controller is absolutely worth every penny that I have spent on it. Updating the firmware went fairly smoothly. I have the unit plugged into a wireless access point (TP-Link N600 model) that I set up as a Wireless Distribution Bridge (WDS) and have had zero connection issues with the model. Im docking the score by 1 star because I would like to eliminate the head unit display and be able to configure all settings via Apex Fusion. Some setting appear to only be accessible via the display though. Please note that I have a tremendous amount to explore so I may have overlooked some setting in Fusion.
    I recommend being technically versed with computing to buy this though. While this can be plug & play to an extent, the real beauty lies within the configurable / programmable options.
  • Display screen and updates stink, everything else is great. By Adam on 3/3/2016

    The Apex controller is an amazing product. Once everything is programmed into it your life becomes easier. Im the type to test for everything 3 times a day so just looking at screen and my measurements are there is great. I could only give 4 stars because I am an apple kinda guy and in order to update the firmware you must be hardwired to your router. My macbook air has to ethernet port and customer services response was to borrow a computer. That and my display screen always malfunctions wether its an all blue screen or a flashing screen. Overall I think the positives outweigh the negatives and the Apex is an important part of my valuable reef tank.
  • Great product By Stingman on 3/2/2016

    By far the best imvestment ive made in this hobby nothing beats worldwide fingertip control of you aquarium and almost complete automation of everything.
  • pricey but worth it in the end. By m on 2/21/2016

    i have wanted one of these for years.
    finally managed to buy one and i will never go back.
    i purchased a second EB8 to put over the tank for light control.
    in total, installing everything eliminated 7 individual light timers and an 8 outlet individually switched power center.
    the week worth of graphs on the computer led me to discover my heater was starting to fail too.
    that discovery itself almost paid for the apex system since i have over $1000 in live stock.