Very good controller By james on 5/9/2016
james would recommend this product to a friend
If you made a purchase of an item this expensive and technical without doing some research first, shame on you. You can't blame Neptune if you are not able to do your part and get the thing working properly. Is the interface as slick as an iphone 6, no, but it works and it works well. Not WiFI enabled, nope, does not advertise to be either. My display is dead my tank is history, nope don't need the display at all to program and use the Apex, the display is just that a little display. "This thing is truly a waste of time and only for people with no lives and/or who love to waste away hours while tinkering with things on Fusion or there stupid forum", I work 10-12 hour days and many weekends, yes I had to have the patience to spend a day setting up everything the way I liked it, but I read alot prior to buying and knew the basics already so was prepared for how I wanted to set up my equipment. If anything the Apex gives me peace of mind during all my time away from home that my tank is running well. If anyone thinks you can buy a single piece of equipment that can automate and monitor dozens of functions that is going to be plug and play push two buttons easy, then the Apex is not for you, there isn't controller made today that is for you. If you do a little research ahead of time, have a little tech savvy or the patience to seek out information, the Apex might be right for you. It is a sophisticated piece of equipment that has upsides and downsides but you are the one responsible for knowing what you are getting into before you buy. For me and many other reef keepers out there the Apex is an invaluable tool to help us automate, control, and monitor the many functions of keeping our tanks going every day.
The worst By Drew on 5/7/2016
Drew wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
This product seriously sucks. After spending about $1100 on an Apex gold and other add-on modules and stuff, there is an ungodly amount of material to have to read through in order to get it setup and it is not at all easy. Even after doing so I am running into problems with the performance and functionality of the unit. There customer service is an absolute joke, you are expected to solve issues by reading through a user forum or emailing neptune systems. The controller sat around my house for the last 3 months not in use because of the issues and that I don't have time to spend hours reading up and researching on how to get it to just work properly. You literally have to take a day off work just to be at your aquarium and have someone on the phone with you to help you as you're there. I actually had the other day off and called them at 9 in the morning to get help but was sent to a voicemail machine where I left a message. No one returned my call until later that day at round 4:30 when I was busy with something else. This thing is truly a waste of time and only for people with no lives and/or who love to waste away hours while tinkering with things on Fusion or there stupid forum. I've spent a lot of money on this and have only gotten a gigantic headache. I have mine on Craigslist right now and cannot wait to rid myself of this burden and put even a portion of the money spent on this piece of crap back into my pocket.
Unbelievably Indispensable Reef Aquarium Component By RJS6711 on 5/4/2016
RJS6711 would recommend this product to a friend
I travel frequently for a living, and cannot be home to test pH and salinity as regularly as I'd like to. Since I have a lot of blood, sweat and tears invested in my reef tank, along with thousands of dollars, I would lose sleep without this amazing piece of equipment. I debated long and hard over the purchase initially, because of the price. It isn't cheap! But, being able to pull my iPhone out of my pocket and see the primary parameters, or turn a component on or off, when I want, from anywhere, as long as I have an internet connection, provides incredible peace of mind. Having said that, use of this controller system requires some investment in time, and in trying different approaches to some seemingly easy tasks, that can quickly go awry, if not appropriately planned for.
As an example, I have been wrestling a bit with the water level in the sump of my Red Sea Reefer 350. On one occasion, for some reason (perhaps a salt-creep-clog, or I may have inadvertently bumped the adjustment valve on the ATO?) my ATO unit failed to add RO/DI water to make up for evaporation. As a result, my Apex probes were exposed to the air, instead of the sump water, causing false readings, subsequently causing my heater to unnecessarily come on. When I realized that the salinity and pH probe readings looked suspicious, I correctly suspected the issue, rushed home and upon pushing the probes down into the water, the actual water temperature was high (though not quite in the danger zone), causing the chiller to kick in and rectify the problem. So, it is very important to setup the probes and apex controller parameters appropriately. And, it is important to regularly monitor and get familiar with typical parameter readings.
Thus far, I have only scratched the surface of the capabilities of this amazing product. I would say that the setup instructions could be more detailed and helpful. In fact, there are not instructions in the box. Neptune Systems includes a card with a web link instead. I would have preferred detailed, printed instructions, so my family members would have a ready guide during my absence. But Ryan's videos on the BRS site / YouTube are excellent sources of inspiration in setting yours up.
One other slight challenge to point out, and several other reviewers have covered this already, but I need to repeat as a major caveat is that this unit has no built in wifi adapter. It is designed to require an ethernet connection, which in many homes (mine included) is not a reality. I purchased a wireless gaming adapter from Fry's electronics for $39.99. The model is Netgear WNCE3001. It is a wifi adapter that connects to a ethernet-only device, like the Apex controller, allowing you to connect the unit to the internet without having an ethernet connection nearby. The only PITA is the fact the before you can use the wireless adapter, you have to connect to ethernet to do the initial setup of the apex device. In my case, I had to take all of the Apex equipment (except the probes) upstairs in my office to "hard wire" it for initial setup, then disconnect it all, and set it up again downstairs in my aquarium cabinet in the family room. All in all, it was a small price to pay for the security this device provides. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is a very impressive thing to show my non-fish-nerd friends, but really just may serve to drive home the point of what a fish nerd I really am.
Love it By Kirk on 4/1/2016
Kirk would recommend this product to a friend
Works great. Hooked it up calibrated and away it went I love being able to check on stats at work. My only issue I have is I don't really know how accurate my temp is. I have a couple different small digital thermometers that ready different temps. So I don't really have a good way to set the apex.
Great tool, will need to dedicate some time to set up By craig on 3/23/2016
craig would recommend this product to a friend
Great functionality and piece of mind, could see it paying for itself if it avoids one system crash or identifies a leak (need leak module). Set up was easy but takes some time. I see a number of folks have had frustrations around the networking aspect. I use a powerline (http://www.cnet.com/topics/networking/best-networking-devices/power-line-adapters/) which transmits your internet signal through your electrical lines... it's worked well, something to consider if you can't directly wire it to your router.
Worth it, But Not Easy By KEDCSREEF on 2/20/2016
KEDCSREEF would recommend this product to a friend
I'm still having issues with the conductivity probe, and I haven't called them about that yet. The system itself is beautiful and works well, but setup is not for the faint of heart. BRS walkthroughs of the Apex are a HUGE PLUS. Watch them all before attempting to set up anything. They do an excellent job of walking you through the process and avoiding pitfalls. Nice Job Guys. If you do that, and you're careful, I think you will be very pleased overall. I can now watch all of this from my iPhone, and get notifications of any issues before it becomes dangerous to the tank inhabitants. Peace of mind! Just do it.
Needed help, now great! By KC on 1/9/2016
KC would recommend this product to a friend
I actually purchased this model some time ago, but wasn't using it as much more than a specialized power bar... I wasn't using it to its potential due to the lack of wireless like someone else mentioned. I emailed Neptune Systems and was promptly helped by Luis and Paul via phone. As I run a MAC wireless system it was as easy as using a Mac Express on my Extreme system and rebooting the controller. Their customer service is fantastic... Yes it isn't wireless, but the fix is easy. I'm extending my system with WAV and WXM. Soon everything will be accessible from my laptop--YEAH!!!
you better have a lot of time to set this up By flash on 12/20/2015
flash wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
the directions are terrible (there are none you have to youtube everything )i have had it for 3 weeks now and I'm still not sure of everything yet. it may be a good product after all the aggravation it put me through. And bye the way you have to email for costumer service first. Talking on the phone is there last resort. So no directions and poor customer service
New User of the Neptune System By Zack on 12/17/2015
Zack would recommend this product to a friend
After receiving this product in the mail I found out it did not come with a manual but did come with a reason as to why the manual was not included, simply saving reefs one manual at a time. You will find all the helpful informational manuals online and through Neptune feeds. Overall this product will make any task easier and provide a more efficient way to keep your reef or fresh water tank in great shape for the longevity of all fish and invertebrates
Nightmare By TAL on 12/10/2015
TAL wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
The system was packaged nice and the equipment appears to be durable. However, after spending 3 hours getting everything set up and drilled into my stand, my display screen randomly stops working. Spend the next 6 hours calling customer support. No one ever answers. They have about 3 different voice prompts instructing you to reach out via email instead. In between calls I do this. Receive an auto generated response but no one ever reaches out to me. On the 7th hour (of me calling them) someone finally answers. He takes over my computer screen and tries to fix it on his end for about 4 minutes. He can't fix it. His solution: "take an hour of your time and go to your local post office, pay to ship the item to California, where our technicians will look at it and assess. If it is still under warranty we will fix at no charge to you and reship." My response: "You mean on the unit thats been out of the box for less than a day? I'm supposed to go to the post office and mail it back to you? You can't just send me another $20 head unit considering I spend nearly $2,000 on equipment from you? This isn't worth my time" Response: "Yes sir, that's what I'm saying."
What I'm saying to you: Don't be fooled into buying this thing. The head unit is literally a piece of junk. You can tell when you pick it up - weighs less than my TV remote. Defunk literally out of the box. The Apex Fusion software is clunky and not intuitive at all. Have not tried the mobile software but the web version is about 5 years away from being competent (similar to ecotech's if you know what I mean).
I bought this thing to give me peace of mind as I left the country for the holidays. Now I'll just be leaving the life in my 180g up to chance. They couldn't just send me a new display and have me send them this one when I got back. Thanks Apex.