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Experiences with Neptune Aquacontrollers

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  • Experiences with Neptune Aquacontrollers

    Hello everyone,

    I'm thinking of getting a Neptune Systems AquaController. I'm very interested in receiving feedback from other users of their products. What do you like or dislike about it? How's it working for you? Are you satisfied?

    Thanks in advance.
    Enrique

  • #2
    Well, IMO it's a mixed bag. The ACIIIpro is pricewise right up there with the european competition (IKS, Aquatronica, etc...). It lacks the obvious expandibility of the IKS and Aquatronica, but has a built in ethernet and webserver support. So it's much more readily "remote control" than the others. I had problems with the clock on mine. You have to fiddle with this leap second thing to get the clock right, which is bushleague IMO. My aquatronica came with a clock that keeps time, I dunno why you have to fiddle with the ACs. I dunno the IKS. The Direct Control units for the ACs supposedly have been "fixed", but I had terrible problems with my DC units. And x10--forget it. So unbelievably unreliable I don't recommend it for anyone who cares about their tank. You are taking an inherent gamble with x10 that is absolutely unnecessary.

    If you don't need all the functionality, the ACII IS a very good deal. But you are relatively restricted with numbers of probes etc...(I consider the ability to have at least 2 separate pH probes something nice to have in a serious sps system). The ACIII is POTENTIALLY expandable, but the expansion has not been brought to market yet. The IKS and Aquatronica are very obviously expandable, but a bit pricier and do not have the built in web server etc...
    10x3x2 FOWLR (for now)
    BK400ext
    RD12 return, 2 RD12 closed loop, wavebox with extension
    MRC kalkmixer
    IKS

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    • #3
      Aquatronica is currently working on integrating a webserver into the NEW SMS module. Hopefully this will solve demand for this feature.

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      • #4
        I have a AC II and 1 had gone bad after 1 1/2 years, what I mean is the backlight went out than it would not accept any program command input. Customer support IMO was below average ( didn't have the patience with my concerns nor did they show interest, out of town when you needed them)I've heard good things about Octopus, they are the ones, supposely, that first intro. what Neptune had introduced and have heard nothing but good responses, although a little bit more expensive than Neptune. Dunno about the others

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        • #5
          have both of them. I think the aquatronica is the way to go, with the things its getting ready to release its going to rock even more. Plus it looks sexy as hell. The aqua controller looks like a big terd IMO. Both are simple to use.

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          • #6
            I have an ACPRO. Overall, I've been happy with it. Moonpod is right about x10 reliability. They are not completely unreliable but there is a chance they can fail on or off.

            Moonpod, I had the same problem with the clock as you. No matter what I set the leap seconds at it would not keep accurate time. I talked to Curt and there is a setting in Aquanotes that resets the AC clock to the same time as your computer clock. You set when the reset happens. I have mine set to reset if the AC clock deviates more than 1 minute from the time on my computer clock. This has solved my clock accuracy problems.

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            • #7
              I use my ACII to just watch the fish tank but not control it.

              X10 is a crappy system - Not necessarily the AC's fault - However, I found the gadgets to my X10 reliable in my house. But I now use home automation software to oversee my tanks - Which gives me a lot more flexibility.

              I have never been able to get my AC to hook up the the computer for the webservice. And I have 3 dedicated internet servers in house.

              Dave B
              400g SPS Reef - 33g Surge - +30k gph Flow - Lots of DIY / 1100g Outdoor SPS System / 280g FO Watch my Reef Tank, LIVE!!!

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              • #8
                Does anyone know what the DC problems were with the AC that moonpod mentioned earlier? And are the newest DC's still having these problems?

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                • #9
                  They claim to have fixed 'em.

                  Basically, the DC10s would blow fuses constantly despite staying well under the rated amperage.
                  10x3x2 FOWLR (for now)
                  BK400ext
                  RD12 return, 2 RD12 closed loop, wavebox with extension
                  MRC kalkmixer
                  IKS

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                  • #10
                    Thanks moonpod.

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                    • #11
                      Well I can certainly confirm the unreliability of x-10 technology after what happened to me last night and this morning with my Aquacontroller Pro.

                      I am just copying and pasting this from a post I made on another board:

                      HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

                      So last night I go to feed the tank. I press the feed button but my return pump and closed loop pump don't turn off. So I try to manually turn them off with the aquacontroller and no response on the X-10's. All the other equipment such as heaters, chiller, and skimmer shut off fine. I didn't get "too" worried because this has happened once before with my return pump. Not sure what the problem was as I got ZERO help from Curt at Neptune. But a few hours later the return pump x-10 module started responding again and I never had a problem since. That was a few months ago.

                      It was late last night when this happened so I didn't worry too much about it. I figured the modules would be responding fine by this morning. So I wake up this morning to a bad dream. I dreamed that I woke up and my metal halides were still on. Then I got a little worried and jumped out of bed and went down to check on the tank thinking "it was only a dream". Well, sure enough I start heading down to the basement and the basement is all lit up with light from the tank. 2 of the halides were still on. One of them was supposed to shut off at midnight and the other at 2am but they were still on at 9am. I guess so much for acclimating my tank to the new lights.

                      So I go into manual mode on the aquacontroller and sure enough, none of the x-10's controlling the MH's respond. I checked all vital equipment and thank God my heater and chiller are still responding.

                      Not sure what the deal is. My tank runs on about 7 separate electrical circuits and these modules are on 4 of them. Some modules on one circuit respond, while others on the same circuit don't. I can change the address of a nonresponding module to a responding one and it still won't respond. I know the modules aren't bad because this is exactly what happened before and then it fixed itself after a few hours and I highly doubt that 7 modules (that is how many I counted this morning that weren't responding) went bad all at once.

                      One thing I noticed is that my control interface module light is constantly on. Before, I thought this light only came on when a signal was sent out. Can someone with an Aquacontroller confirm this for me?

                      I'm off to work for the day and you can bet I will be worrying about the tank all day until I get home. I have turned the metal halides off at their ballast switches so I don't have to worry about them coming on. I sure hope my corals aren't bleached. They looked ok this morning but it was a very quick glance before I went to go figure out what was going on.

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