Discussion in 'Large Reef Tanks' started by Jacques Pels, Jul 24, 2017.

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  1. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

    Hi all ,

    it has been quite a while, but I deemed it best to not bore you with the usual hassles associated with building.

    We are just into the final finishing stages of our extension to the house. It includes my 3 mtr L x 1.1 mtr W x .9 mtr Deep ) marine tank that is being built now. The plan all along was to use the Apex controller.
    I am now under the gun to provide details to builder and electrician on what we need to not just power the tank, but be able to control function.

    Set up is not standard, hence my questions and appeal for advise and support.

    The main tank DT is in the ground floor extension, on a 95 cm high steel stand. All 4 side are viewable, so no wires/pipes visible. It has a centre overflow wier, Durso ( 3 pipe) plus an extra hole in the wier for power ( 24V) to a set of actuators located above tank, to control returning water flow direction and rate.
    We have 2 separate pumping systems - one main for tank to sump for protein skimmer, reactors etc, then returnd to the tank with the 2 pumps in the basement. The second system is closed loop - it will draw water from the tank, to the basement pump, and back up to the tank, entering the tank through the pipe punched through the center wier, and then up to above water surface, and split into a right and left arm, through a 3 way actuator ( 24V) where we will have 5 tap offs each side, with manual taps to control water volume.
    All pipes have been imbedded in the concrete slab prior to pouring, and lead to the basement. So no plumbing visible.

    Sump is NOT under the tank, but located in the basement below, approx 15 mtrs away. Thats just the first issue.
    Then to spice it up, the Hood sits on top of the tank, and for ease of access for maintenance, is set up with an Actuator mounted in the ceiling, to raise it 60 cm ( 24") up towards the ceiling.
    In the hood is an aluminum grid to mount the series of LED and T5 lights.

    Hope that makes sense.
    The issues now are how to set up and configure the Apex , and which model, plus extra modules do I need to be able to operate the system and allow communication between sump and tank and hood. ????

    The plan was to have the main control in the basement in the fish room. We have conduits from basement/sump up to under the tank. We have power for the hood lift actuator already in the ceiling cavity. Builder is supposed to install the plaster board ceiling next week, so I need to be clear as to what wiring I still need to install beforehand.
    The Hood will be lifted on 4 Stainless wire cable towards the ceiling, with 4 SS gromets where they puncture the ceiling. I have accepted that the electrician will have to add 2 electrical wires from the ceiling to inside the Hood, to power the lights. The issue here is how to 'control' the various lights with the Apex ?
    Are we correct to assume we can install a Power Bar in the Hood to connect the lights to, then only need to have a single RJ cable going up into the ceiling, and then down to the basement/sump ?
    Or is there a wireless option ?

    I have asked several people for advise, but sue to the unusual set up, and high expectations, nobody can tell me for sure.

    I would greatly appreciate advice on what Apex to get, which add on modules are needed and how to set the whole thing up, so I can guide my electrician and builder.

    Many thanks in advance for any inputs.

  2. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

    Hey Jacques, welcome back. Glad to hear it is all progressing.

    First question - why Apex? What do you plan to achieve with the Apex controller? Your lights shouldn't need any "controlling", depending on what models you get they usually either have a built in program you can adjust wirelessly or via cable once (set and forget) or just have a basic mechanical timer that switches various channels on and off at set times.

    So in answer to your question, I would say no apex is necessary. Yes, you will need some power supply to your hood to power the lights and obviously plenty of power at the sump and at the display (if you will need any power at the display since going closed loop, but could be handy to do now rather than add later)

  3. Ben Daley

    Ben Daley /dev/null

    I think an apex (or other monitor/controller) would still be useful for gear in the sump at least.

    AFAIK, there's no T5's that are controllable via Apex - best you could do is to plug them into the powerbar if you want the apex to control them. The problem with doing this is that I presume you will want the apex to control other gear in the sump/DT and will probably have the main unit in the basement, so would need to run power extensions all the way from the canopy to the basement. I doubt the other direction (with a power bar in the canopy) would work due to signal loss over distance (the apex link cables are very similar to USB). Seems like a lot of cable to run for something that is essentially set and forget - I agree with Sams comments above.

    As for what model / modules to buy...
    The newer model of apex has the older (classic) powerbar in Australia, which kind of sucks. You do get better probes though. Wireless is a moot point IMO.
    The Breakout box is very useful, but I recommend getting the Avast Marine version as the terminals are easier to work with.
    Some form of electrical backup if you want to run minimum life support in case of a power outage.

    Perhaps contact neptune systems directly?
    I'm sure that if you explain what you want to achieve they will be able to help.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Aspidites

    Aspidites Member

    I have a simple question. Does the hood go high enough for you to get into the tank? A tank depth of 900 and a width of 1m you may need super long arms, at 24inch x 24inch I strugle to reach the rear of my tank, or you may need you to get in there to place corals, clean etc.
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