View Full Version : Choosing Model and Functionality

Dr Colliebreath
05/29/2011, 10:10 PM
Is there a chart comparing the features of each of the controllers? Such as, the Jr offers the following features, the Lite offers all of the same features plus the following features, and the Apex offers all of the features of the features of the other two plus x and y?

It is hard to compare the controllers and I have held off buying for that reason. I don't want to buy a lot of features I won't use and I don't want to underbuy, so I wait.

Assuming you are using Vortechs that have their own controller and lights that don't dim, and no calcium reactor or ATO, how much functionality does the controller add? It will turn lights off and on, plus stop pumps for feeding and turn them back on automatically, plus monitor ph. What other common functions are they used for?


05/29/2011, 11:35 PM
Here is a quick 'n dirty chart:


Besides the things you mention, one of the most important capabilities IMO is the ability to monitor temperature and control other devices based on temperature. For example,if the temp gets too high, the controller can be programmed to turn off lighting, turn on a chiller of fans, etc.

Another critical capability is that all Apex models can send emails (or text messages) if certain alarm criteria are met... such as temperature or pH out of normal range.

With the WXM (Apex module for Vortech pumps), you can do much more than the Vortech controller, such as change modes on a schedule, and participate in feed cycles.

Dr Colliebreath
05/30/2011, 12:37 PM
Thank you, Russ, this helps with understanding the differences.

I agree on the temperature monitoring aspect, although a lot of people say to use a dedicated temperature controller like the Ranco instead. I am using power compact bulbs and will go to LEDs when I upgrade, so hopefully I won't ever need a chiller or fans.

Other than the ability to dim the lights, the Apex doesn't offer a lot over the Lite as I won't need to monitor ORP. Too bad that second port didn't let you monitor salinity, as that would be useful.