- Apex Classic Controller with Lab-Grade pH Probe - Neptune Systems
Why does BRS recommend this?
The Apex controller is by far one of the most advanced 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
Quick Compare - Neptune Apex Controllers
|Controller||Price||Base Unit||Key Features||Probe(s)||Energy Bar|
Long-life Temperature Probe:
Not compatible with EnergyBar 832
Long-life Temperature Probe:
Lab Grade pH Probe:
8 Independently Controlled Outlets 6 rated at 5A@120V AC 2 rated at 10A@120V AC
Not compatible with EnergyBar 832
Long-life Temperature Probe:
Lab Grade Conductivity Probe:
Lab Grade pH Probe:
Note: Smart Phone and Tablet not included.
Best purchase for an aquarium period! By Shawn on 12/9/2017Shawn would recommend this product to a friendBought this during the Black Friday sale for almost $80 off (sale + reward points). I currenly use this on a 12 gallon nano, but plan to upgrade in the coming years. Even at the very minimum usage of temp monitoring and timer functions on outlets, this product is worth its weight in gold. Once you get into the advanced functionality of this controller, you will wonder what you did without it.
Peace of Mind By Donald on 11/9/2017Donald would recommend this product to a friendHaving installed this on my fish quarantine tank, it's given me peace of mind. Plus, it gives me something to do when I find myself in one of those situations where I'd rather not be, listening to stuff that has little or no relevance on my life. Instead of feeling my life force being drained away, I can login to the Apex site, check on my tank, add relevant information about my tests, as an example and stem the loss of my life force.
Setup was pretty quick but RTFM, Reading The Freaking Manual, took more time than the actual setup. That being said, however, the manual has an a amazing amount of useful information. The setup wizards got the basics up and running allowing me time to figure out how to program the specifics I am looking for.
This system fits into my world of computer geekdom and I appreciate all it offers.
Stands behind thier product By Nicholas on 10/23/2017Nicholas would recommend this product to a friendFor those wondering if this is a good purchase, it is! I've had the Neptune Apex now for several years and recently had an issue. Called Neptune in CA and support staff was busy and got a gentleman named Vincent. Without hesitation he jumped in and solved the issue in less than 10 minutes. Couldn't believe how knowledgeable he was in being able to resolve the issue.
Needed item for our expensive reef tanks By Slivacki on 10/18/2017Slivacki would recommend this product to a friendStarted with one of these a few years ago to control my tank. After getting it I fell in love with it and haven't looked back. Firmware updates are a bit of a pain and few bugs. But if you code things correctly it should always notify u of issue with it self. I have 3 eb8 pm1 wxm ald afs.
Awful Customer Service! By SLORedSea on 10/5/2017SLORedSea would recommend this product to a friendAWFUL customer service… I've had my Apex for almost a year and I absolutely love it although I recently moved and needed some assistance and their customer support is awful. They try to handle everything via e-mail which is no always the best way to help. It disconnects from Apex Fusion constantly and getting support is a HUUUGGGEEE hassle! I've been on the phone with them for over an hour two 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. Now I'm waiting for them to e-mail me again because the whole system keeps restarting about every hour and I can't connect to Apex Fusion. If a company is going to offer customer support then at least do it correctly and pick up the phone…
Spent the Extra $$ for the Classic -- Glad I Did By John on 9/10/2017John would recommend this product to a friendCaveat -- I'm really new to this. Bought the Classic for a 90 gallon tank; my first. I connected directly to my home network via cable so no wireless to deal with. Setup wasn't that bad, but getting to some of the advanced features can be a little daunting for the non-techies out there. Part of the problem is that there is documentation for each of the user interfaces, i.e. Fusion on the web, directly into the controller via the home network, and the Display unit. Once you get used to it though it's not too bad and the one time I called Apex I was blown away the the customer service via Team Viewer.
Main point I want to make is that I considered the less expensive 4 outlet Jr. but I would have had to expand by now so I'm very happy with the two probes and main controller. I have a skimmer, lights, return pump, ATO powerhead, and 2 heaters connected so far.
Part of the fun I get out of this hobby is monitoring parameters and the Apex feeds my habit like a drug pusher! I especially like the feature that allows me to add notes and measurements. Worth every penny in my opinion.
Worth Every penny By Patrick Em on 8/26/2017Patrick Em would recommend this product to a friendIve had mine for well over two years and it has saved me more times than i can count. Makes everything so much easier, basically takes care of my whole tank for me. Took care of my tank when i went out of town for two months and only lost one or two corals from them fighting with each other. Keeps temperature at 71.15 or above 71.1 and below 71.2 there is no was the heater by itself could do that.
I cant imagine how people were able to keep reef tanks without them. If youre considering buying one, do it. It may seem expensive, but itll soon pay itself off once it saves you from a disaster.
There IS a Learning Curve to Set Up Apex Classic By Mical on 6/22/2017Mical would recommend this product to a friendThe "getting started" page is helpful but sketchy. Instructions are vague and not detailed (as recommend outlets etc) Key to installing is to allot yourself a couple hours set up prior to connecting to your tank.
Apex customer support is exceptional IF you can get by receptionist (if you call them) they try to do all their customer support via email and you might have to wait a couple of days for an answer (even though their reply says 12-24 hrs)
Overall, after getting wifi set up - all is good and the options are endless at what this will do for you. I highly recommend the Apex Classic but only gave 4 stars because of support hassle.
Everyone reefing should have one By John on 5/18/2017John would recommend this product to a friendKeeps my temp at 78% and don't have to worry about over heating. Controls all equipment. Had a large octopus mess of wires before now it's all neatly plugged into apex was able to eliminate alot of cords. E-mails me if something was to go wrong. Nice peace of mind
Glitchy, and terrible support By lakegirl on 2/7/2017lakegirl wouldn't recommend this product to a friendI 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 1/3/2017Casey would recommend this product to a friendThis 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 12/30/2016Tony wouldn't recommend this product to a friendI'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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 :-)
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)?
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).
When connecting two tanks to one controller, how do you perform updates and calibrate PH probe on second tank?
I have the apex classic and my controller is missing its power cord. Can you point me in the right direction of its replacement. Thanks
Under normal operation power is supplied to the Apex through the Aquabus cable plugged into the power bar. If you wanted to provide an alternate power source to alert you of a power outage you could use the optional 12 volt power supply connected to a battery back up. That can be found here: https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/12v-power-supply-neptune-systems.html
Let us know if you have any other questions!
Is this the latest version of the apex? I was advised to get the newest version available. (Someone told me 2016??)
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
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.
Do you need to purchase the I/O break out box to run Float Switches?
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!
If I buy this system,what else would i need to purchase to to able to monitor salinity and orp?
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?
Apex Classic comes with one temp probe and one pH probe. If I want to monitoring two tanks, pH and temp, should I buy two PM1 modules and probes (temp and pH) or just one PM1 ? Can I hook up temp and pH probes simultaneously in one PM1 module ?
You should only need one additional PM1 module to monitor pH and Temp on a second system. You can use a pH probe, temp probe and a breakout box on the I/O port all at the same time on the PM1.
Neptune apex remodeling the equipment, if I buy the apex classic come in the new look and models?
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!
Does the kit include the ph solution to
Calibrate the probe
Will this come with the flood prod?
Looking to get a controller for: ph,orp,temp.,salinity and vortech mp10wqd. What would you recommend? Apex/RKL Thanks
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!
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
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!
Can this controller or the apex fully control the co2 scrubber I have to maintain perfect ph and my t5?
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.
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).
Wanted to know if the Apex controller will beable to control 2 part dosing pumps?
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.