Works very well By Alexander on 12/8/2014
Alexander would recommend this product to a friend
I am just back into the hobby after many years of hiatus. I have to say, after much research I am glad I went with DA RKE.
As with any hobby, when buying these types of systems you have to expect some 'figure it out yourself'. Expect as much with this item.
They do not come with documentation and must be found online. This is not a big deal for me as I would go online anyway to get the latest info on the system anyway.
Expect to update the modules when you get them. Just like with any technical system, update the firmware on all the modules before trying to setup anything. This is a slightly technical process so be prepared to learn how to do it. I am actually quite impressed that the ability to completely reprogram a bricked module is possible.
Some modules may come with the same ID number programmed. This will cause an error and may give you the indication the system is broken. This usually happens with the PC4. Just reset one of the modules that has the same ID as another and ensure that they all are different.
Some of the new modules don't all work in all ways of programming them. For example, I had to program my DA DP1 via the header as it is not recognized on the software or net programming at this time. Not a huge deal as, again, we are talking a hobby product and I can still program it.
All in all, this system works great with some minor learning. As always, we can expect the more expensive product to be more user friendly. But if you have some patience this product works great.
Expect to spend a few hours on a weekend getting everything setup. I have a SL1, 3 PC4's, a NET, and a DP1 with 2 float switches, temp probe, and PH probe working great.
Patience will save you money in this case.
Faulty SL1 module Bad customer service. By Wish I never bought it. on 11/2/2014
Wish I never bought it. wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
I bought the RKL plus over the apex to save some money.but that was a big mistake.first the RKL is not Mac friendly.Second my came with a faulty SL1 module. I call customer service but no answer and been I email them they finally replied I told them about the faulty module.they said they will send me another one but that was over a week ago I'm still waiting. So Please do yourself a favor and pay a Little more less aggravation
Some People... By Bryan on 10/20/2014
Bryan would recommend this product to a friend
I have had my elite for 3 years now. I have had one problem this whole time and that was a PC4 going out on me. But you know what? All the claims made by people seem to be because they are not smart enough to understand how to program it. I own a APEX on my wife's tank in our bedroom and by far it is more annoying to program. Trust me the APEX is awesome in that it comes with wireless etc but you also pay more. the programming on the reef keeper is easier. APEX has better customer service for sure as the Reef Keeper doesn't have any really it is a message board answered by volunteers. but you know what? I own cars that have a 36k warranty and never had to use it and a KIA has a 100k warranty that friends of mine defiantly use. It is preference, but if you are looking for best price, ease of use, and same functions get this. Apex has some auto fish feeders and extra crap you can add on but most of that crap sucks and you can add a fish feeder to any controller. Good Luck! and much love to BRS you are the BEST
Lot's of possibilities, difficult to work. By Mario on 10/14/2014
Mario would recommend this product to a friend
I finally got the modules attached to the cabinet and have been able to the temp probe and ph probe set up. I will eventually figure this out but I wish digital aquatics would have thought of the set up process. First of all I had to figure out that I had to go to the website to print instructions. No literature in the package, even the quick start guide is on line. Also, no Apple support for the software and lastly the usb modulate is too short.
Finally I am glad I got the product but it is not user friendly. Maybe when the wireless module comes out it will be easier. Still needs Apple support.
not to good! By matthew on 8/23/2014
matthew wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
I spent a month try to get mine to work , I spent for ever waiting for a call back from digital aquatics, bulk reef was very nice about everything I had to return the screen cause the buttons didn't work, once I got the new one one of my power strips wouldn't talk to the controller. I called digital aquatics waited a few almost a week for a call back, couldn't take it anymore just returned the whole thing. A very good concept just didn't work well for me. This was about a year ago when I bought for me new tank build. I ran in to digital aquatics at a reef a paloza and asked them about it and all they could say was the were in the middle of changing people around so I must have gotten over looked. Maybe things have changed now, but all I know from all this is bulk reef is a good company to buy from and I think next time I well put out more money for an apex.
A really good fancy multi-timer. By A on 7/15/2014
A wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
Lets face it, Digital Aquatics gave up a long time ago. You know that when you buy into it. The hardware is good with a lot of potential. The software is what really holds the controller back. It kind of feels like the programmer was over worked and gave up about 70% of the way through. It works and it is pretty reliable if you just need something to watch your pH. It just has some goofy bugs like if you set DOW for the light, there is no indicator and the letter is there whether it is set or not. Just a little annoying I guess, nothing seems to work exactly right anyway. Seems like a perfect platform for an open source controller though.
Like having another reefer help with your system. By Scott on 3/25/2014
Scott would recommend this product to a friend
The number one thing I would recommend to anyone with a reef tank is a controller. I love having this as part of my everyday. Very easy to program. I have everything in my system controlled through my reefkeeper.
Complete garbage save your money By Wes on 3/12/2014
Wes wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
I purchased this system back in 2011 and have been running it up until a recent move.
*DA has some of the worst customer service I have ever experienced or seen
*SL2 never worked and still doesnt work
*Software is riddled with bugs and poor/incomplete functionality.
*No new software development since 2012.
*I know my way around code and software and between all the bugs and archaic design architecture it took me 2 full weekends to set up my system after hours of pouring through the forums which had no useful help from DA but a plethora of work arounds from equally dissatisfied customers.
I dont know how this company is still in business honestly. I think people like me purchase their product then feel they are "stuck" with it after investing several hundred dollars. Tonight after resetting up my tank and realizing that i needed to replace some probes and probably deal with their customer service again for the SL2 which still doesnt work I decided im not giving them a cent more of my money. I purchased a complete new system from Neptune Apex and look forward to never looking back at this disgrace of a company again. Semper FI
love it By dolphin66 on 3/8/2014
dolphin66 would recommend this product to a friend
We ordered the RKL Plus and the auto top off. We love it, We have our lights, heater, auto top off all hooked up and ready to go. Makes things so much easier. Everything works as described, well made, its nice having the My Reef program to help set up the SID (display unit). Had it up and running in no time. We also have the temp probe and ph probe. PH probe was easy to calibrate although there is no instructions on how to calibrate it, there is a nice video on you tube that explains it perfectly. Should've purchased this a long time ago.
great product By Harry on 1/12/2014
Harry would recommend this product to a friend
The reefkeeper works great, would recommend this to anyone.
Love this controller By Craig on 11/10/2013
Craig would recommend this product to a friend
I have been using the Reef Keeper Elite since it first came out. The only problem I had when I first got it was one of the PC4's didn't work. Digital Aquatics replaced it and its been working perfectly ever since. Very easy to set up and I use it to control everything from my lights and pumps to doing automatic water changes every two weeks. I would highly recommend this controller. I've been very happy with it.
Bad functionality By Adam on 8/20/2013
Adam wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
Although it is WAY better than no controller there were a lot of glitches. Cables a unrealisticly short, a PC4 died, there is not delay function (useful for skimmer), no graphing function.
I live with it but wish I got the apex.
Save your money for Neptune By Bakes on 6/7/2013
Bakes wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
I've had this product for over a year now. Poor customer service, hard for beginners to set up. Software is glitchy. One pc4 crapped out at 6 months. Poor set up instructions. I will be switching to Neptune very soon.
makes life easyer By james on 6/4/2013
james would recommend this product to a friend
very good piece of hardware for your aquarium. you can control just about any aspect of your system and monitor vital water chemistry.
Great product By Kenneth on 5/6/2013
Kenneth would recommend this product to a friend
I bought this unit about 7 months ago and it works great. It almost makes the aquarium a set it and forget it. It monitors everything I need it to and it keeps me informed of my water peramiters.
Good but very confusing By Bob on 2/26/2013
Bob would recommend this product to a friend
Its very helpful and i like it, but haven't figured out the wavemaker setup. Ive had it for several weeks at isnt that easy to work with. Also dont call digital aquatics for help I couldnt even get a hold of their sales rep just call BRS they were very helpful and I got it up and working after i called them.
Elite, head unit By Jim on 12/24/2012
Jim would recommend this product to a friend
I would agree with most of the reviews on here. The product is great but comes with no instructions. Thanks BRS for the videos. I have purchased the elite/ net package. The only thing differant I would like to see is a more aquarium safe RKE, Head unit. I did have a small spill (My Fault) and had the head unit laying on the sump self (Was still trying to figure out where I wanted to mount it) Head unit got wet a little salt water and fried!!! Would like Digital Aquatics to make a better sealed unit to maybe withstand a small spill. Like another review on here, you really need one more power strip and a few other cables. Due to warranty will not cover water damage, I have decided to just purchase the elite plus package. By the time I buy another RKE Head and another power strip, for just a little more, I will have a spare SID card, Power Strip, and cables. OVER ALL, LOVE THE PRODUCT!!!!
Item is only 7months old and they WONT stand behind their 2 year warranty By ScrewedByThisCompany on 12/18/2012
ScrewedByThisCompany wouldn't recommend this product to a friend
Overall the product is SoSo. They are not in the same ball park with companies and products like Vortech and Digital Aquatics. I say this because their salinity meter is poor and their product support is well below par.
I dropped $500 on the Elite module about 6-7 months ago. It stopped working and tried to call in for which their phones were not working and would just hang up when you call or give busy signal. Thankfully their was email. I had to pay $20 to ship the short circut device back to them only to waste a week for them to tell me they were not standing behind their 2 year warranty and would have to pay $215 for a new one. To make matters worse they stated I needed to pay for return shipping for my 6 month old product.
I have never been so disatisfied and upset with a company. I have been in the hobby for 10 years. I had no other choice but to buy another one since I alreayd invested close to $700 after all the modules I have added on. I would never reccommend this company to a family or friend.
OK, but not for me By Susan on 11/29/2012
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 11/13/2012
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 10/5/2012
Anthony would recommend this product to a friend
life with a controller lets you enjoy your tank, Awesome product!
GOOD CONTROLLER By charles on 9/25/2012
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 8/29/2012
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 8/11/2012
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.