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Zarathustra2

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Got my tank today and am considering a controller a necisarry item to purchase. There are so many choices and so little information out there though that I am just as confused as can be. So I ask, what is the best controller and why? Will I be happy with a RK lite for 100$ or do I need to shell out the big bucks for an AC3 or a RKE?

Immediately I want to just be able to time my lights and turn on a couple different sets of fans at different temperatures and I know the RK Lite can meet those needs. I'm wondering if I will just grow out of it too quickly though and I might was well spend the money now instead of rebuying later.

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I own an RK2. It is a good control but I wish I could acess it throught the net. I have it running 2-MH, T-% actinincs, moon lights, fuge light, calcium reactor set up (always on), temp control (fans), & temp control (heater). The computer program that you can download tracks temp and pH. Will only send email if temp and pH are above or below the values you set.

If all you are planning to control the above then the RK lite should suffice. But as we all know we tend to grow equipment with the hobby.

After saying all that. I am saving my money for the Neptune Apex. It will do everything I want it to and it is wireless.

Just my opinion,

Dave-

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Ac iii is worth it. The iPhone/touch app is great and the controller is expandable to do just about everything.

You can find good deals on ACIII's on reef central right now as people are unloading them left and right.

I looked at the RKE, but I didn't like the interface, so I saved up for the ACIII so that I could control it through the web.

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Hmmm, I guess what I am getting at. What will I want to do later that justifies an extra 3-400$ over an RK lite? The RK Lite does the PH probe for when I add a Kalk reactor. I did like the programmable moon lights but I can't justify 300 for that. So what is the feature that I just can;t live without?

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The controlling through the web justified the price on the ac 3 for me. It can also host an ORP probe and control a calcium reactor if you plan to add one.

Overall, the ease of setting it up and controlling it through the web was worth it.

Did I say that twice? :)

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Im saveing for the ACIII its not a big purchase but not one that i feel i want to just shell out the cash for right now. So i put myself on this little thing where i put money into a jar and if it stays their till i get ready then ill buy one. if not then i guess i didnt need one.. i work from home right now so its not a nessity for me yet.. but after doing major reasearch best bang for the buck i have found to be the AC III just the being able to write your own scripts to mod it is +..

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Yes. The RK lite is expandandable. I really don't see a bonus between the RK Lite and the RKe except a couple of modules they only let you have on the RKE.

I think Reef pug and MHarc have me sold on a AC3 tho. Between the programmability and a web interface that sounds like a "killer" feature.

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were do/will people mount their controller display? inside the stand or outside? what i found desirable of the Apex (& RKE) over the AC3 is that the Apex base unit, which the various probes and modules connects to, can be kept in the stand while the the display module can be mounted outside via usb cable (data + power). with the AC3, the main unit is both display and connection hub, so if it were to be mounted outside there would be a bundle of wires to manage (and may limit location).

any thoughts on this?

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My AC III sits on a stand next to my tank. My one complaint about it is that it doesn't come with mounting holes on the back of the unit where you can put screws/nails into the mounting surface, then slide the controller base unit onto the screws. Instead, I had to use double sided velcro which wore out one night, causing the head unit to come crashing to the floor. It still works fine, but it can't be good for it to hit the ground.

Having 1 cable going to the power brick would be nice as well, although all the cords for the probes are very long so I wouldn't see them inhibiting your mounting point. I have my cords bundled together with velcro to give it a nice clean look.

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I will mount mine inside the stand as all i have to do is look at my iphone or my PC and walla can see anything i like about the setup.. and i will look at it from the couch instead of walking over to the tank :) what got me was Reef_pug with the "lights on lights off, lights on lights off all from the iphone"

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I have my RK2 mounted inside the stand withe pH probe in the overflow of my sump. I have a laptop connceted to it so I can RDP into from any computer in the house and see what is going on.

Dave-

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