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Old 09/10/2018, 06:18 AM   #226
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I wish I did, I seem to be in a holding pattern trying to QT fish, every fish shipment I get, they don't last more than a couple days in QT. I've been getting a bunch of dead on arrivals and some unhealthy looking fish. I'm not sure if they're leaving the healthy and sitting in a hot box inside a hot UPS truck for hours before it gets to my front door makes their demise inevitable. But my luck has been pretty bad lately.

There is absolutely nothing fun about this part, all I want to do is wake up tomorrow with a tank full of healthy fish.

After trying 4 times to get healthy fish from online vendors, I found out there is a LFS that will QT new fish for 4 weeks, and if a fish dies within that time they will replace it at no cost to me. That is a win in my book. I had them get 8 dispar anthias, 6 chomis, 2 diamond gobies, 1 sixline wrasse and 1 lunare wrasse for the first batch and if this is successful, I will just go through them to get my tank stocked.
Now that the temperatures are starting to come down you'll probably have better luck with online orders. If you're ordering from Live Aquaria, they provide 14 day guarantee on the Divers Den fish. To me, that is an excellent deal. And they ship free if over $100. Both of my angels came from DD and I've ordered a bunch of fish through them in the past. Always had success. Standard LA orders are not as good though in my experience.


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Old 09/10/2018, 07:18 AM   #227
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man, that sucks. Hopefully your newly discovered LFS deal will work out for you.

Why only 1 6 line? With that big of a tank, a half dozen would look good in there.


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Old 09/10/2018, 09:27 AM   #228
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Now that the temperatures are starting to come down you'll probably have better luck with online orders. If you're ordering from Live Aquaria, they provide 14 day guarantee on the Divers Den fish. To me, that is an excellent deal. And they ship free if over $100. Both of my angels came from DD and I've ordered a bunch of fish through them in the past. Always had success. Standard LA orders are not as good though in my experience.
Yes, divers den is by far the best online company when it comes to their guarantee, unfortunately we had to take advantage of it. I stopped ordering from them for 2 reasons, it didn't sit right for me to keep ordering the same fish and continue to claim losses, and second the redundancy became extremely frustrating to the point that I had to find an alternate route.

The bad thing is that there isn't a LFS around me that will sell me a fish and give a 14 day guarantee. Most were verbal agreements that they will work with me, others gave a 10% store credit if the fish died within the first day. To me Live Aquariai is a no brainer. If for some reason this other LFS doesn't produce results, I will definitely order from them again.

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man, that sucks. Hopefully your newly discovered LFS deal will work out for you.

Why only 1 6 line? With that big of a tank, a half dozen would look good in there.


This is only phase one, I'm trying to introduce fish into the tank from least territorial to most aggressive. And I know that wrasse aren't the friendliest to roll out the welcome wagon to new fish, these guys are small enough to eventually know their place in the pecking order when other larger fish are introduced.

I would like a healthy amount of wrasses in the tank but they will be introduced further down the road.


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Old 09/10/2018, 10:00 AM   #229
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Just be careful with the wrasses you do choose. There are some (e.g., ruby head) that will be quite aggressive to other wrasses. But if you do a lot of research and try to introduce them in groups you should be fine.


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Old 09/18/2018, 10:09 AM   #230
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Looking awesome.


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300 Gallon 72x36x27 AGE- 60" 8 Lamp ATI LED PM- AA PVC Hybrid Sump- Dual Synergy Shadow Boxes w Bean Animal- AquaMaxx CO5- AquaMaxx cTech T3 CaRx- RD3 230- Apex- Tunze 6155 & 6150

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Old 09/20/2018, 07:03 PM   #231
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One of my Gen1 radion power supplies that lit the QT decided to stop working the other day. I hopped online to see if I could replace it and was coming up with outrageous pricing for a used Radion power supply. Some were in the range of $150, most were over $100.

Knowing that the power supply was already toast, I decided to pull it apart and noticed that the innards looked a lot like the ones I was finding on line when I put in the part number . $32 is a lot better than $100, all I had to do was swap the wires around and maybe a little bit of soldering.

I got the new power supply in this afternoon and went right to work on swapping it out.




The New power supply is on top




Pulled the cover off and most of the components are roughly in the same place, I did notice that the fuse was soldered in place, so if ever the fuse blows it will take some work to replace it


An option that is on the outside of the radion power supply is actually on the circuit board of this one. I decided to simply switch it to 110 and not move the switch.





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Old 09/20/2018, 07:04 PM   #232
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On the radion cover the option to choose 110 or 220 is here, I simply cut the wires and abandoned the switch in place.




Made note that the wire configurations were going to be in the same location as the old one.


Decided I wanted to have the green indicator light to work so I cut the wires and soldered them to the new circuit board







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Old 09/20/2018, 07:06 PM   #233
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These were the 2 that corresponded to the LED


A little heat with the solder iron and it pulled right out


Soldered the new wires in place




Placed all the terminals in their proper location and tightened down.


Tightened down the transistor clamps




One thing that I didn't document with pictures was adjusting for 36V. there's a small pot that can be adjusted to get the proper voltage, I grabbed my multimeter and while probing the V+ V- I adjusted the potentiometer.



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Old 09/20/2018, 07:06 PM   #234
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Button it all back up




Plug it in and it all works like a charm!!!




In other news, I have some fish that have been in QT for 4 weeks tomorrow and I will be putting them in the tank then. I can't wait to see movement in the tank!!!


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Old 09/21/2018, 10:11 AM   #235
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Nice work! How long did it take? Even considering your time, you probably still saved a nice chunk of change!


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Old 09/21/2018, 10:42 AM   #236
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It took maybe 20 minutes. It would've been quicker if I didn't stop to take pictures. Hopefully someone will benefit from it.


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Old 09/24/2018, 06:52 AM   #237
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It took maybe 20 minutes. It would've been quicker if I didn't stop to take pictures. Hopefully someone will benefit from it.
Ha! Shows what I know. I would have guessed several hours based on the pictures and your description. Probably would have taken ME that long anyway. :0)


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Old 09/28/2018, 02:52 PM   #238
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I am with McPuff, couple hours for me too. Nice job Jimmy!


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Old 10/12/2018, 09:25 AM   #239
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Just curious, I could have missed it, but what kind of laser did you use to cur all your acrylic pieces?


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Old 10/13/2018, 04:30 PM   #240
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Thanks guys, our family just got a puppy and all my time has been devoted to potty training. I haven't had much time for anything else!!!


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Old 10/13/2018, 04:42 PM   #241
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Now that the temperatures are starting to come down you'll probably have better luck with online orders. If you're ordering from Live Aquaria, they provide 14 day guarantee on the Divers Den fish. To me, that is an excellent deal. And they ship free if over $100. Both of my angels came from DD and I've ordered a bunch of fish through them in the past. Always had success. Standard LA orders are not as good though in my experience.
There is an LFS that offers free 4 week QT before handing over fish. The great thing was that if the fish died while in their hands, they will replace it at no charge to the buyer. I ordered 8 anthias, 6 chromis, 2 diamond gobies, 2 wrasses, and after 3 months they've only delivered on 7 of the 8 anthias. They're horrible at communicating to me that there is/was a problem.

So it's time to take matters back into my own hands and QT myself. Now that the weather has cooled off, I think I'm ready to try live aquaria again.

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Just curious, I could have missed it, but what kind of laser did you use to cur all your acrylic pieces?
It's a C02 laser


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Old 11/13/2018, 11:30 AM   #242
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The day I have been dreading has finally come, yesterday I decided to switch my Apex lite over to the new 2016 model. I purchased the new Apex months ago, and immediately had buyers remorse, because I didn't fully understand that the DC8's weren't compatible made for a "Doh" moment, currently I have 1 EB8 and 2 DC8's to do the job, I don't need all 24 outlets as much as I need the units spread throughout the equipment room.

I had 2 choices, sell the New unit at a loss, or spend more money to get the new Apex to do what I want it to do. I decided that I would save up and purchase a couple more EB832's to accommodate my needs throughout the room.

Friday, I ordered one of the two EB832's and to get the jump on it's arrival, I started switching some of the things over, keeping the Apex lite to control the outlets in the other locations. Migrating the outlets were easy, a simple cut and paste of the code from one fusion to the other and plugging the equipment into their new homes made it easy.

The problem came when I went to transfer the WXM's. I have 2 modules that share 17 ecotech devices, the instructions explained a seamless move of the modules simply by adding 1 module at a time to the new Apex. At first glance it looked like it went smooth but after testing each light and pump, I noticed there were a few problems.

First, was that a Gen4Pro shared an RF signal with a Gen1 Radion, I turned one on through fusion and both came on. That was easy to fix, I simply by removed the Gen1 and connecting it to ecosmart live to factory reset the light and then have the WXM "attach" the new Radion, reprogram the new outlet and I was back in business.

Second, an MP40 and MP10 shared 1 single outlet, when I turned on the mp40, both the 40 and 10 came on. I thought that I could simply reset both pumps to factory settings and remove the outlets from the Apex but when I went to couple them back to the WXM (one at a time), they still shared the same outlet. I did this several times with the same result. Their designated frequency has to be similar or something, what really concerned me was that it worked previously on the Apex lite with no problems.

And lastly, (so far) one of my WXM's is no longer communicating with the Apex, after correcting the problem with the radions and then attempting to do the same with the pumps, the Apex shows that one of the WXM's (the old black one) needs to have a software update. I pushed an update and the Apex said it was complete however the Module still shows up as (OLD). I did it again and that must've conflicted with something because now the status light just keeps blinking (It should be on solid) I can' t do anything with the Apex because it simply goes through the motions without actually doing anything to the WXM. I'm afraid that the WXM is beyond saving because there isn't a reset anywhere on the box. I even tried to connect it back to the old Apex and push an update that way, but nothing happens. I'm going to start a thread on the Neptune forum in hopes that someone has an easy fix for both problems. But I don't expect much because they seem to leave WXM questions open, as if they aren't allowed to comment or want to help out with Ecotech equipment.

So, what's the morale of this story? Don' fix what's not broke. I had to have the latest and greatest when what I had was working just fine. On top of the $800 for the Apex and the $500 for the two extra EB832's plus, I have to purchase a new WXM ($125), I will have spent $1425 do do exactly what I was already doing except I now have a Salinity probe that isn't accurate due to air bubbles, of course there are a lot of little things in the new Apex that aren't in the old, but really they boil down to novelties (extra bells and whistles that you don't need).

The only positive way to spin this is if I plan for expansion in the future this might be a good investment... Time will tell...


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Old 11/14/2018, 07:10 AM   #243
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I would call Apex/Neptune support on the phone. It is MUCH faster and they have been terrific every time I've called them. Try that before you buy another module.


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The day I have been dreading has finally come, yesterday I decided to switch my Apex lite over to the new 2016 model. I purchased the new Apex months ago, and immediately had buyers remorse, because I didn't fully understand that the DC8's weren't compatible made for a "Doh" moment, currently I have 1 EB8 and 2 DC8's to do the job, I don't need all 24 outlets as much as I need the units spread throughout the equipment room.

I had 2 choices, sell the New unit at a loss, or spend more money to get the new Apex to do what I want it to do. I decided that I would save up and purchase a couple more EB832's to accommodate my needs throughout the room.

Friday, I ordered one of the two EB832's and to get the jump on it's arrival, I started switching some of the things over, keeping the Apex lite to control the outlets in the other locations. Migrating the outlets were easy, a simple cut and paste of the code from one fusion to the other and plugging the equipment into their new homes made it easy.

The problem came when I went to transfer the WXM's. I have 2 modules that share 17 ecotech devices, the instructions explained a seamless move of the modules simply by adding 1 module at a time to the new Apex. At first glance it looked like it went smooth but after testing each light and pump, I noticed there were a few problems.

First, was that a Gen4Pro shared an RF signal with a Gen1 Radion, I turned one on through fusion and both came on. That was easy to fix, I simply by removed the Gen1 and connecting it to ecosmart live to factory reset the light and then have the WXM "attach" the new Radion, reprogram the new outlet and I was back in business.

Second, an MP40 and MP10 shared 1 single outlet, when I turned on the mp40, both the 40 and 10 came on. I thought that I could simply reset both pumps to factory settings and remove the outlets from the Apex but when I went to couple them back to the WXM (one at a time), they still shared the same outlet. I did this several times with the same result. Their designated frequency has to be similar or something, what really concerned me was that it worked previously on the Apex lite with no problems.

And lastly, (so far) one of my WXM's is no longer communicating with the Apex, after correcting the problem with the radions and then attempting to do the same with the pumps, the Apex shows that one of the WXM's (the old black one) needs to have a software update. I pushed an update and the Apex said it was complete however the Module still shows up as (OLD). I did it again and that must've conflicted with something because now the status light just keeps blinking (It should be on solid) I can' t do anything with the Apex because it simply goes through the motions without actually doing anything to the WXM. I'm afraid that the WXM is beyond saving because there isn't a reset anywhere on the box. I even tried to connect it back to the old Apex and push an update that way, but nothing happens. I'm going to start a thread on the Neptune forum in hopes that someone has an easy fix for both problems. But I don't expect much because they seem to leave WXM questions open, as if they aren't allowed to comment or want to help out with Ecotech equipment.

So, what's the morale of this story? Don' fix what's not broke. I had to have the latest and greatest when what I had was working just fine. On top of the $800 for the Apex and the $500 for the two extra EB832's plus, I have to purchase a new WXM ($125), I will have spent $1425 do do exactly what I was already doing except I now have a Salinity probe that isn't accurate due to air bubbles, of course there are a lot of little things in the new Apex that aren't in the old, but really they boil down to novelties (extra bells and whistles that you don't need).

The only positive way to spin this is if I plan for expansion in the future this might be a good investment... Time will tell...



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Old 11/14/2018, 08:30 AM   #244
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I would call Apex/Neptune support on the phone. It is MUCH faster and they have been terrific every time I've called them. Try that before you buy another module.
That's a good idea, the only reason why i'm reluctant is because I've contacted them in the past and hung up more frustrated than I was to begin with.

Canned responses probably work for 90% of the people that call in. but when I call, I've exhausted every avenue to the point that I usually know more about the issue than the person hired to help me.

I guess I owe them the opportunity to at least try to help.

I'll give them a call shortly


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Old 11/14/2018, 01:21 PM   #245
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Welcome to the world of computer controlled.

And you always questioned me about why I kept it simple and no computer control.


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Old 11/14/2018, 01:48 PM   #246
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I can't imagine having multiple timers for various pieces of equipment. We're at that point that we have relied on this this equipment for so long that we can't see ourselves without it.

I always dread the set up because issues like this arise. This measuring contest between Neptune Systems and Ecotech is only hurting the end user. This hobby is such a small community and a niche market that big companies have to get along with each other in order to keep its costumer base happy. The blending of different products on a single platform pose certain hurdles but these guys have to play nice and collaborate with each other.


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Old 11/15/2018, 01:05 PM   #247
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I would call Apex/Neptune support on the phone. It is MUCH faster and they have been terrific every time I've called them. Try that before you buy another module.
I called them and they had a simple trick to fix the problem. The second you attach the wxm to the aqua bus cable it establishes a brief connection before it disconnects. They instructed to leave the wxm disconnected and then push the update through fusion and immediately plug in the wxm. It was able to stay on long enough to overwrite the corrupted data. thus going back to a solid green light and showing connected in the module section.

after that was fixed, I was hoping that I could simply add the missing lights and pumps to the wxm, but there was one G4Pro that wouldn't attach. I had to wipe both wxm's clean and reset all the lights and pumps to start from scratch. Which took all of 2 hours, I've done it so many times you would think I would commit the entire procedure to memory, but if you ask me a week from now to do it, I would probably have to refer back to my notes.

It's times like these that make you step back and think, is all this technology worth it? When you start to automate things to simplify daily tasks you're really opening yourself up to bigger complicated issues. Does Crusty Old Shellback have a point? Do we stick with what worked for so long in the past, keeping it simple stupid? Or does the added headache outweigh the automation and constant monitoring and correcting of issues.

I for one say that automation is a great thing, and can't see myself going back to the way things were 10-12 years ago. The idea that we can monitor and control our tanks from anywhere in the world is something that we couldn't even fathom back then. I remember seeing for the first time someone pulling out their phone and turning lights on, "Wait! Did you just turn your lights on with your phone?", I was so excited that I had a new ACIII on my tank within a month of seeing that. From that point on, I couldn't, I wouldn't go back to the mechanical plug in timers to turn on/off equipment, and relying on internal thermostats in heaters to control tank temperature. That will never happen!

However, now that we have come to rely on this equipment, the companies that supply them have to have the responsibility to the end user. It shouldn't require a degree or vast knowledge in programming to set these up. If there is a known issue they have to work diligently to correct it. And lastly they have to streamline setup procedures to the point that a person can start from step one and connect their new apex to the router and be able to plug and play with very little effort. From my experience, the information was out there, but it was all over the place, I have multiple tabs open on how to reset the pumps to how to connect the modules. And most of the information that is out there doesn't pertain to the new Apex 2016 model which makes it difficult to separate the procedures that are necessary from the ones that aren't. I guess the focus group that demo'd the equipment when it was in beta were familiar and could navigate around such obstacles, overlooking obvious flaws in the procedures. They need to pull from beginners to experts to work out all the kinks and problems before it's released. People that are selected in the beta testing need to be told to try and break the equipment not just boast to their buddies that they got it before anyone else. Here we are more than 2 years since the release and it doesn't seem like it's a big enough issue to correct. that is where Neptune dropped the ball.

I will leave you with this. One of the LFS in my area holds a weekly class educating hobbyist on everything reef related. The people that attend range from simple hobbyist to full on reef junkies. Having conversations with many of the people that attend these classes, the one theme that stood out to me is that most of these people don't have a reef controller because of how complicated they are. For me I thought it was a mainstream requirement to have your tank monitored and controlled by an Apex, but the thought of having one scares them. And from a person that doesn't consider themselves an expert, I can relate to their concern.


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Old 11/16/2018, 10:35 AM   #248
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You've pointed out exactly why I started with a Reefkeeper Lite. I was very uncomfortable with the Apex and wanted simple. The RKL is kind of a gateway controller. Super easy to use, yet leaves you wanting more. Since I have nothing that is super complicated, my programming is also not too bad. I learned a bit to program pumps using a VDM but ramping lights was simple. Also don't use virtual outlets (much) and only have a single pH probe to control the calcium reactor regulator. It's really nice to have the remote access and to be able to set up notifications of power outages, etc. Really nice. So now that I've had the apex for a few years (I bought the junior btw, but should have just bought the regular since I have 2 vdm modules) I look back and think that I would not want to go without one. I'd still use a RKL for a QT or something like that but don't have one at the moment.


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Old 11/25/2018, 04:56 PM   #249
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This build is amazing, I really enjoy all the diy, I am starting a remodel/tank build soon but on a much smaller scale.


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Old 01/23/2019, 07:37 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by FlatBrokeMedic View Post
This build is amazing, I really enjoy all the diy, I am starting a remodel/tank build soon but on a much smaller scale.
When I came onto the scene around 2002, the consensus was that in order to have success, you had to have a large tank. With all the advances made in the hobby, we can now successfully maintain a healthy, stable environment in a 10 gallon tank. Perhaps in the future we will have happy tangs living in a 5 gallon nano... eh, probably not..

I feel that an update is over due. Having been stalled out due to bad experience with QT and possibly the heat playing a big role in that. The plan to have my local LFS purchase and QT my fish for me has fallen flat on its face. I purchased fish and they seem to be on back order or when they get them in they sell them to someone else before the full QT process. It's been over 4 months, I guess I need to get my money back.

Good news is that I'm going ahead with doing it myself, I purchased a few fish from live aquaria (copperband, diamond goby and a mandarin) and they've been in the QT for almost 2 weeks now. The copperband showed signs of ich so I had to dose some copper into the tank, the waiting game is on. All of the fish are eating frozen food which is a relief.

I've been slowly accumulating the necessary components to get my automatic waterchange system up and running. I decided to use the Apex to control it.

The idea that I have is to somewhat mimic the genesis awc system. 2 identical reservoirs with 3 float switches in each. One to indicate that the reservoir is empty and two more wired together (for redundancy) to indicate that it's full (Don't want to have them overflowing). A scheduled event programmed into the Apex will call for 2 pmup to start filling the reservoirs with NSW and old salt water. Once they're both full then 2 solenoids are energized to allow water to be gravity fed to the tank and the other down the drain respectively. And if for some reason something doesn't work properly ie the float switches report that the reservoirs aren't being filled or emptied then it will shut down operation and send me a text message.


In order to use the Apex I need a break out box (BoB) for the multiple float switches and because I already have a BoB for normal tank operations I needed a PM2 module in order to expand the extra IO's. The PM2 also allows me to add a second salinity and temperature probe to the new salt water container. at the moment I have the stainless steel solenoids, float switches, PM2 and break out box. I will have the pmup's on Friday.

Since the waterchange is going to be automated I'm also going to need to know when the salt water mixing barrel is getting low. I will need a float switch on the bottom of the barrel and while I'm at it, I want to add a float switch on the top side as well. I'm always afraid that when I pump RODI water in the salt water barrel that I will get distracted with something else and then have it overflow.

While waiting on the pmup's (btw because they're "pump" spelled backwards if you make it plural, do you spell it "spmup"?) I decided to design and cut out all the float switch holders out of acrylic.

This is the one for the salt water barrel:



I cut it so that I can fine tune the lower float switch by sliding the bottom up and down and secured with these nylon thumbscrews.







I hate having to drill holes in these barrels so I thought that I could hang the holder off of the plumbing.



These 2 halves come together around the pipe and then held together with o-rings.







And installed:



It fits snugly, the only thing that I should have done was add a spot to hold the temperature and salinity probe. So it will have to come back out and another piece of acrylic added.


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Current Tank Info: 300 in progress
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