The Red Sea tank in our office here has been cruising for some time now and I know it has been a while since we shared our work on the tank. As of today, the corals and fish are all looking wonderful and really maturing.  We are keeping up with our Red Sea Reef Foundation Elements to supplement the tank along with a daily dose of Rod's Food to keep the tank inhabitants happy and healthy. We also started using the new Coral Essentials Power Trace program which certainly helped improve coloration and growth, especially among some of the younger SPS corals.

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In this episode, I finally installed an aquarium controller on the tank and better yet, it is something that is somewhat new to us here at Marine Depot, the GHL Profilux 4 Aquarium Controller.

I chose the Profilux because it includes all of the connections and control options we will need for this tank, gives me the remote monitoring and control I desire and of course, the KH director for alkalinity monitoring and control can be integrated down the road. The Profilux 4 Ultimate Set includes the Profilux 4 controller with touch screen display. All the necessary probes and calibration solutions including temperature, pH, ORP, and Conductivity as well as the powerbar 5.1 to plug in the devices I need to control.

The Profilux is available in either black or white too so all of you who are picky about keeping things looking congruent, this is the perfect controller option for you.

Since we are using liquid supplements on this Red Sea Tank, I also chose the 4 channel GHL dosing pump. I really like these pumps because they are well-built and you can get them in either a child or standalone option which means even if you are not a GHL control user, you can take advantage of the high end dosing pump with WiFi and app control.

Research and Plan

The very first step in getting this GHL unit implemented was reviewing the Resource Guide and User Manual, both of which are available for download on our website.  The Resource guide is updated with all of the new information you will need to connect and control via the GHL connect app which is something you will not find in standard user manual.

When building a tank, it is important to think about your source of power and creating an area where you can safely mount sensitive electronic equipment, such as a controller, safely away from moisture and salt creep. 

The Marine Depot controller boards offers a perfect solution and of course we took full advantage.  The Red Sea Reefer tanks have this nice area on the right hand side of the sump that is a great place for a chiller but since we do not need a chiller, this is the area we are using for our controller boards.  

Mount It

I took some measurements and sorted out how I wanted to mount the Marine Depot controller board under the tank. I chose to utilize two controller boards for the project. One of the boards will hold the controllers and dosing pump while the other will hold my surge protectors along with the GHL power bar on the back of the tank.

I mapped out and mounted all of the surge protectors for power first. Next, I test fitted the controllers and dosing pump and then proceeded to secure the boards in position under the tank. 

I found that some self drilling screws worked best to make a secure attachment with this Red Sea stand. The material they use for this cabinet stand is quite dense and super tough to drive a regular screw into so the self drilling tip made it much easier to drive the screws. Otherwise, you will likely have to tap the holes with a separate drill bit first.

Connect It

After getting the boards mounted, I proceeded to connect the GHL PAB accessories which are the power bar, dosing pump and display. I also connected the monitoring probes which included pH, ORP, conductivity and temperature.

One helpful tip when setting up your controller board is to only secure the front panel with one or two screws while installing it. This way you can quickly remove the front panel to make changes to the wires instead of removing all ten screws. Next, I placed the dosing pump and secured the dosing lines to the sump using a dosing tube holder.

I downloaded the GHL Connect App in order to connect to the controller and get started with programming. One really nice feature of the Profilux 4 units is that you have options for connectivity. You can use the app, access from a web browser via myGHL or simply hook the unit directly to your PC with a USB cable. This means no matter what your situation is, you should always be able to connect to the controller, even if your home internet is down.

Connecting to the controller directly via the app was painless and quick. Upon applying initial power, the GHL will give off its own WiFi signal so it is just a matter of searching for the signal and connecting to it. From here, you can either integrate with your home network for access remotely or simply “work offline” which means you just program the controller directly from your smartphone using the internal GHL WiFi signal.

Program It

Programming was simple but it did require a slight learning curve in order to learn the interface and various terms. The entire GHL ecosystem was designed for users with no previous coding experience so you are really using a series of drop-downs and menus that should come natural to most of us.

We are controlling our return pumps, powerheads and protein skimmer in order to take advantage of a feed hold in which all of these pumps will turn off with a single button press via the GHL. I also attached both heaters as an extra level of protection against overheating or failure.

The lighting is being controlled by the myAI app and does not need to be controlled by the GHL so those are still plugged directly into a classic surge protector.  

We are using three channels on the dosing pump, one each for the Red Sea Foundation Elements.

The final step I took was clean up all of the cords and wires using a zip ties and Velcro. I like to save this for the very last step because I want to be absolutely certain I am happy with the equipment before wrapping up the cords and tucking them away, out of site.

In the future, I definitely want to take advantage of the KH Director as well as use the GHL to monitor and control a calcium reactor alongside a Pax Bellum algae reactor.

Until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping.