I just got a hold of the new Digital Aquatics Lifeguard Aquarium Monitoring System. I wanted to give folks a quick rundown in order to show how easy this unit is to use for those of us who are not so Johnny 5, if you will.

The unit comes complete with everything you need to install and set up. The quick start user guide will get you running in a matter of 5 minutes as long as you have an open Ethernet port on your home router. If you want to connect wirelessly, be sure to pick up a wireless gaming bridge before setting up the unit.

First you want to route and connect your wires, connect the probesand mount the display. It comes with some handy Velcro mounting tape which was pretty sturdy, so I just mounted it inside the tank stand door.

Immediately upon applying power, the unit connects to your router and blue indicator light will blink showing successful connection. Once connected, you can utilize the button on top of the Lifeguard display to scroll through the display options and view the Lifeguard IP address.

Take this IP address to your home computer and type into your browser. You will get access to the Lifeguard dashboard and simply follow the on screen instructions to configure your unit and create your account password.

Proceed to calibrate your pH and temperature probes which, again, will have on-screen instructions. After calibration, the unit is operational and will continue to automatically log and graph your pH and temperature. Be sure to leave the pH probe in calibration solution for 5 minutes before starting the calibration procedure as this will ensure accurate calibration.

In the event you would like to attach a float switch or water sensor to alarm you of floods, simply connect the switch/sensor to the Lifeguard display using the switch adaptor and configure in the Sensor settings menu.

At this point, the Lifeguard can only be accessed from your home network. To access from a smartphone or remote internet connection you will need to configure your router to allow access. Follow the port forwarding instructions for your router which can be found online or in the Lifeguard USER manual available via the HELP link on your Lifeguard Dashboard. You can find the necessary Lifeguard IP and Port in the Network settings menu.

You can also set-up the email notifications from the Lifeguard Dashboard via the Notification settings menu. Simply follow the instructions in the USER guide for this step.

All in all I have found the unit to be pretty useful. Even while at work or on vacation, I can be confident the tank is doing well. It also has helped me fine-tune my calcium and alkalinity dosing as I can see the pH trends via the pH graph accessible on the dashboard.