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

88% Recommend this to a friend (73 of 83)

SKU: 207491
In Stock: 77
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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


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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  • Peace of Mind By Donald on 11/9/2017

    Having 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 10/23/2017

    For 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 10/18/2017

    Started 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 10/5/2017

    AWFUL 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 9/10/2017

    Caveat -- 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 8/26/2017

    Ive 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 6/22/2017

    The "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 5/18/2017

    Keeps 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 2/7/2017

    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.


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
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 ?
Question by: Robert on Oct 27, 2017 11:12:00 AM
Hi Robert, great question!

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.
Answer by: Nick (Admin) on Nov 16, 2017 5:20:00 PM
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