OK, but not for me By Susan on 11/29/12
Susan would recommend this product to a friend
I ordered this controller and everything worked perfectly. It took me several nights to get the basics. Everything worked like it should, but it wasn't the right controller for me. I wasn't crazy about the interface so I switched to an Apex. I have nothing against this controller or its functionality, it just wasn't a good match for me.
A must have, even with the minor troubles By Subodh on 11/13/12
Subodh would recommend this product to a friend
Disclaimer: I bought this directly from DA, before I knew about BRS. And I got introduced to BRS because there were no instructions to setup this thing and BRS TV was a life saver.
The only reason I did not get the Reefkeeper Elite was because it seemed so expensive. In hind-sight though, this thing saved me a couple grand already. Here's how this thing is invaluable:
1) I have dual main pumps, a skimmer, 2 Vortech circulation pumps, a chiller pump, a carbon reactor pump and a GFO reactor pump, -- 7 things that need to be switched off or on or a mix of some off and some on when a) I am feeding the fish or b) I'm feeding the corals or c) I'm doing a water change. With Reefkeeper, I just hit the standby 1 or 2 or 3 (configured for fish feeding, coral feeding and water change respectively) and I do not have to worry about forgetting to turn something on. I broke a thermometer one time (before RKE) while doing a water change because I forgot to turn the damn thing off before doing a water change (Tangled wires anyone?)
2) If you're manually managing individual switches you already know how expensive a mistake of forgetting to turn something back-on is. With RKE, delayed and automatic turn-ons make it easy to manage everything and has already saved me a whole tank crash multiple times.
3) The ability to set timers, standby as well as default settings for each one of the control outlets is a life saver, even when something major goes wrong. The ability to set one device's behavior based on an input received from another device (for example, based on the pH reading or the temperature reading) is even more invaluable.
4) There's one really good reason why Reefkeeper Elite is a must have: Port sensors and control. If you do not know what I'm talking about, skip it but if you need a digital control over water level, micro pumps and dosing, RKE is a must have.
Now over to a few things where RKE failed to live up
1) This thing seems to be made by people who're good at microprocessors but really lacking in software development. my Reef 2.0 is functional but takes too long to do anything, gets stuck half the time, the USB dongle is flimsy at best (needs a couple plug/unplug cycles) or the individual modules need a software update before they work. For example, every time the module resets I have to keep pressing the buttons until I see pH at top and temp at the bottom of the display. Shouldn't I be able to set my preference through software? Or, for example if I have something for which there is no preset, its quite hard to configure it between the three selectors of On/Off/Auto. For example, if I want the Chiller to be running all the time irrespective of the temp I must choose it as on/off rather than the preset which turns it on or off based on temperature.
2) This thing is meant for aquarium use but is really sensitive to salt water. My SL1 lab connectors are corroded and I have to live with it (I'm not aware of any time I spilled water on this thing but I must have dropped a drop sometime). There are times when this thing shows Bus Error and keeps resetting itself - if you have the lights connected to this thing they also turn on and off repeatedly shocking the fish (if there is a bus error). However, this is still my fault for mounting the unit to close to the aquarium on the side when it should have been inside the cabinet or something.
3) You'd need to buy more hardware. Even with the price tag of RKE, you'd realize you need one more power strip, probably a standby SL1 or SL2, some more connectors (they look like 2 line telephone wire plugs) and certainly couple more recalibration solutions.
4) Calibration isn't easy. I wish there was a BRSTV video for that. The data never stabilizes (even for the temperature) and the pH goes off track after a couple months. Anytime you backup and restore, calibration data is off by a few decimals. I don't mind paying for the calibration solution for the pH once in a few months but its still an irritation with an otherwise very good module.
Overall, I would highly recommend reefkeeper Elite I just wish some of the annoyances were corrected.
Enjoy your Tank By Anthony on 10/5/12
Anthony would recommend this product to a friend
life with a controller lets you enjoy your tank, Awesome product!
GOOD CONTROLLER By charles on 9/25/12
charles would recommend this product to a friend
THIS CONTROLLER HAS SO MANY FEATURES THAT IT WILL MAKE USING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME A LITTLE DIFFICULT. THERE IS VIRTUALLY NO INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO OPERATE IT. ONCE YOU GET IT FIGURED OUT, IT WORKS GREAT.
Make life so much easier By Waterart on 8/29/12
Waterart would recommend this product to a friend
Having a reefkeeper elite had made my reef automation incredibly easy. In addition, it allows for easy top off via a solenoid by using a switch valve. It is also nice to be able to turn off outlet in the event the temp raises too high. With the reefkeeper elite, you can completely automate your reef.
Great system-challenging set up By Daniel on 8/11/12
Daniel would recommend this product to a friend
Over all this is a great system. It reduces "chore time" with your tank and allows you to have more fun time. The system is very versatile as you can build on over time.
That being said it is a pain to set up. My biggest compliant is that you have to do a firmware upgrade immediately. This upgrade is challenging. DA provides very good responses via the DA forum however it is nearly impossible to get a hold of a person via their customer service line.
Once it is set up it is a awesome system.
Great tool By Manny on 6/6/12
Manny would recommend this product to a friend
This is my first controller and I'm glad I bought it. However, since I didn't know what I was doing this was a tough thing to set up. Thanks to BRS TV for getting me started. The video was a lifesaver. The timers work great. I'm still trying to figure out the ATO function.
Get one, you won't regret it.
Nice, but hard to set up By mdvgator on 6/4/12
mdvgator would recommend this product to a friend
I love the unit, but not knowing anything about controllers, I was lucky that BRS TV had an episode about this.
This unit has so many modules that you could upgrade and upgrade and not fill out the capacity if you tried. For something as complicated as a controller can be, the instruction manual was not adequate. I would set it up using the computer rather than the small display as it is much easier.
I would recommend it, just be ready to spend a few hours in setup if you're a controller novice like I was.
Saved my life. Well, my fish By Ben on 5/27/12
Ben would recommend this product to a friend
Long story short, the pH and temp controllers saved my tank. This has saved me countless hours of maintenance, routine things. If you don't have one yet, get it, cause you'll wish you had it when you first set up your tank.
Great tool, Poor instructions By Gerald on 5/23/12
Gerald would recommend this product to a friend
This was initially a bit tricky to setup as it had no directions/manual included. Online worked but there were several versions of the manual around making it tricky. Their forums are great and their people are quick to respond. I have it up and working and I really like it. It would be nice if I could create custom names for the channels like I hear can be done with the Apex.
A must need By Adam on 4/24/12
Adam would recommend this product to a friend
Easy to use if you have a computer. But it is a must have keeps your tank in check from turning on heaters to fans!!
Best Investment Ever!! By Ben on 4/8/12
Ben would recommend this product to a friend
This has made keeping up with my fish tank a breeze! I keep tabs on all my equipment, make sure my equipment is off when I'm doing maintenance, and that all my parameters are ideal. It's super easy to set up, super easy to work with. I wouldn't recommend anything less than the Elite for the price bump.