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Topic: // reeftank controller guidance plz (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Feb 04, 2013, 06:20 pm Last Edit: Feb 04, 2013, 06:25 pm by abrookfield Reason: 1
OBVIOUSLY, as you've summized, a ReefKeeper or Apex would get your automation up and running faster, there's nothing wrong with that, it's what I did initially
The Apex actually has a better programming interface than the ReefKeeper in my mind but I still bought the ReefKeeper!

For basic control while you're building your own controller, you'll be able to save a whole lot of money by going with the RK-Lite packages (do you really need internet availability.. can be somewhat painful to implement)

An additional thing I did (My whole system was battery backed) - I put a 120V relay onto a separate plug outlet and fed the "Normally Open" contacts into a switch input... when house power was lost, an alarm condition was triggered, I turned off everything that was non-essential (lights / skimmer / return / excessive fans / dosing pumps) keeping flow running in the tank until power got restored.

If you post on any of the reef forums asking what is best, you're likely to get slammed with this is right, this is wrong - everyone has their own way of implementing their setup so take my input with a big grain of salt  :D

Additional:  If you do go ReefKeeper route, make sure you put the power bars and controller interfaces somewhere that doesn't get too much salt laden humidity.. those 6 way network type connectors they use are cheap and are susceptible to corrosion.  It's easy enough to swap them out if they do corrode, forewarned is forearmed!   I have no idea how susceptible the Apex etc is to corrosion as I don't own one


yes i do kinda need(want) the net interface, we are planning a outta state trip in june, = the need for the automation...
i too was thinking about the possibilities of power outages.. im gonna put a battery operated air pump normally closed on a relay to pump a jet of air into my siphon drain in the event of a PO. and if i have the Reef Keeper that can send alerts like that, i can call my neighbor to come and restart my system... the 120v relay is a must...i am also getting the...
...the 50 gpd 4-stage RO/DI...and the float valve..
it's a big project, i know...but a reef tank is worse than crack or meth...not that i'd know, just sayin..


Feb 04, 2013, 07:18 pm Last Edit: Feb 04, 2013, 07:39 pm by abrookfield Reason: 1
Get yourself registered on ReefCentral.com lots of good resources on there for configuring / information on saltwater automation.
Remember that once you've disabled the siphon by blowing air, your return pump better not be pumping any more water from sump into main tank until the siphon is re-primed or a couple of things might happen...
1.  Sump is going to run dry on you and you'll need a new sump pump
2.  You might overflow your display tank

Talking about RODI etc - If there's a local reef-club, get yourself logged in, see if anyone is getting out of the hobby. First rule of reefing - BUY USED if you can

We can trade tank design scenario's etc on ReefCentral (I'm "BigFloppy" over there).

Lets keep this thread on track with your arduino buildout.  The people in this forum can and will help guide you through the programming mire.


yes, i would need another pump to draw suction on the siphon once power was restored, but that again is where the more advanced arduino programming comes in... and about the reef central, it says registration has been disabled by administrator....

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