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Sn8kbyt
12/29/2014, 10:30 AM
In the process of setting up a new reef tank with a Apex gold controller. I have read on here that people running DC skimmers and DC return pumps are running them off of their Apex and controlling the speed. How do you make that work when they have independent controllers?

Thanks,
Chris

slief
12/29/2014, 11:11 AM
One option and probably the best is the Red Dragon 3 Speedy pump from Royal Exclusiv. I just got one myself for my closed loop and will be installing next week. It will ramp up and down throughout the day to generate a slow pulse that is kind of synced to my Tunze power heads which are also under Apex control. The RD3 will be replacing my Dart Gold closed loop recirculation pump. These pumps have the option for 0-10v control module that plugs right into the Apex VarSpd ports with it's included cable. It's an add on module that you can see on the right side of the picture below. The pump is available both with and without the 0-10v control interface which plugs into the digital control box in the middle. This is the only "Apex Ready" certified variable speed 0-10v controlled internal/external pump for the Apex that I am aware of but it's not cheap either. This model is capable of 2000GPH at 80 watts power consumption. They are releasing a 230 watt version that will be rated to about 5000GPH. That should be available in a couple months and will be one heck of a pump.

Others may be modifying their Chinese DC pumps and I thought that Waveline was or has released something but I don't pay much attention to those cheap Chinese pumps as I prefer well made pumps that are built to last. I've got too much invested in my system to put questionable equipment on it. Most if not all of those Chinese DC pumps have proven to be disposable.

This is the 0-10v Apex ready RD3 pump. She's a real beauty! I have virtually the same pump on my Supermarin 250 skimmer and these things are dead silent!
http://i390.photobucket.com/albums/oo347/shleif/Tanks/image_zps55d58fa1.jpg

Sn8kbyt
12/29/2014, 11:56 AM
Slief thanks for the reply.

I have heard people doing it with the new Skimz skimmers and the Reef Octopus pumps. That is what I have and am interested in incorporating into the Apex if possible and semi easily as others have supposedly done.

slief
12/29/2014, 12:07 PM
Slief thanks for the reply.

I have heard people doing it with the new Skimz skimmers and the Reef Octopus pumps. That is what I have and am interested in incorporating into the Apex if possible and semi easily as others have supposedly done.

Those pumps fall into the Chinese category that I don't follow. That said, I don't know why you would want to control the skimmer pump in that manner via the Apex. As I said, I have the RD3 controllable pump on my skimmer and did give consideration to adding the 0-10v control module to that pump but decided against it. Reason being is that it is much easier to touch a button to make a skimmer adjustment while I am sitting in front of the skimmer than it is to fiddle with profiles in the Apex. I can push a button and walk away just like you can with the pumps you are talking about.

Since the only time we would really be adjusting our skimmers in that manner is for tuning, there isn't a practical reason to control that via the Apex as it adds another step to making a tuning adjustment. I suppose if you want to ramp the skimmer pump down for feeding or something, but it's not like that would do any good as food would still be trapped in the skimmer and sent out to the cup when the skimmer ramps back up. If you have the skimmer plugged into your EB8, you can shut it off as needed anyway if you want to feed with the skimmer off or shut the skimmer off in the event of high sump levels or if your return pump is off.


As such, I think 0-10v control over the skimmer pump is a waste of effort and adds unneeded complexity to skimmer adjustments. Having said that, I am reasonably certain that all of those pumps you mentioned are made the same company, operate just like the Jebao power heads and even use the same din connector between the pump and controller. I think you can just get the Jebao Apex cable adapter and connect that to most of these DC pumps just like you would the Jebao power heads for full Apex control.
https://www.reefbreeders.com/shop/jebao-apex-controller-adapter/

morty
12/29/2014, 12:13 PM
In the process of setting up a new reef tank with a Apex gold controller. I have read on here that people running DC skimmers and DC return pumps are running them off of their Apex and controlling the speed. How do you make that work when they have independent controllers?

Thanks,
Chris

I think this is the answer to your actual question: There are two RJ-45 ports on the Apex base module that look like network ports. Each port has two pairs of pins that can output a 0-10V control signal (so you can control up to four 0-10V devices). If you don't have the tool/know-how to make your own control cables that plug into these ports, Apex sells a pre-made cable for $15 that has two bare wire ends on it to connect to controllable devices.

If you download the Apex Comprehensive Reference Manual from the Neptune website, you can read more about how these ports work on pages 61-65 and 106-107.

Mustang67
12/29/2014, 12:51 PM
One option and probably the best is the Red Dragon 3 Speedy pump from Royal Exclusiv. I just got one myself for my closed loop and will be installing next week. It will ramp up and down throughout the day to generate a slow pulse that is kind of synced to my Tunze power heads which are also under Apex control. The RD3 will be replacing my Dart Gold closed loop recirculation pump. These pumps have the option for 0-10v control module that plugs right into the Apex VarSpd ports with it's included cable. It's an add on module that you can see on the right side of the picture below. The pump is available both with and without the 0-10v control interface which plugs into the digital control box in the middle. This is the only "Apex Ready" certified variable speed 0-10v controlled internal/external pump for the Apex that I am aware of but it's not cheap either. This model is capable of 2000GPH at 80 watts power consumption. They are releasing a 230 watt version that will be rated to about 5000GPH. That should be available in a couple months and will be one heck of a pump.

Others may be modifying their Chinese DC pumps and I thought that Waveline was or has released something but I don't pay much attention to those cheap Chinese pumps as I prefer well made pumps that are built to last. I've got too much invested in my system to put questionable equipment on it. Most if not all of those Chinese DC pumps have proven to be disposable.

This is the 0-10v Apex ready RD3 pump. She's a real beauty! I have virtually the same pump on my Supermarin 250 skimmer and these things are dead silent!
http://i390.photobucket.com/albums/oo347/shleif/Tanks/image_zps55d58fa1.jpg

Do you think the Red Dragon Speedy would be enough as a main pump for a 300 Gallon reef/ fish tank? I have a 75 Gallon sump. Reason why I am asking is that I just purchased the Apex Gold controller.

Sn8kbyt
12/29/2014, 01:06 PM
I think you both have touched on what I wanted to know, but not sure if I have all the details to make it work.

Slief, your link looks like the connector on my pumps to the controller so would fit the bill. $40.00 is an expensive conversion though for each pump.

Morty, I also have a VDM module so I have 4 ports available and understand how they work as my LED's will connect to them. I just need to know how to connect a marketed DC pump with controller to it. Will the Apex $15 cable do that and how?

Overall I don't really need the skimmer controlled by Apex, but would be nice to be able to create flow programs and timers for the return pump. After spending almost $1500 for the Apex and all the goodies why not be able to control everything if possible?

morty
12/29/2014, 01:54 PM
The Apex cable simply adapts from the RJ-45 port to bare wire ends that can attach to terminal inputs of a controllable pump.

Here is a thread I found from some time back by someone with a similar question to yours:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2208520

slief
12/29/2014, 02:09 PM
Do you think the Red Dragon Speedy would be enough as a main pump for a 300 Gallon reef/ fish tank? I have a 75 Gallon sump. Reason why I am asking is that I just purchased the Apex Gold controller.

The RD3 is rated at 2000GPH with 0 head. It will really boil down to head pressure and friction loss. With a 300 gallon display, 1200GPH flow. That kind of flow should be easily attainable with this pump under most circumstances provided you don't have to pump up too far. The key will be providing the pump with a 1.5" inlet and a good 1" return. At a 6' head, the pump is rated for about 1500GPH.

Here is the data sheet with the flow chart. You will need to convert liters to gallons to figure it out.
http://royalexclusiv.net/images/content/rd_3/eng/rd3_speedy_80_eng.pdf

Here is a screen shot of the flow chart for the Red Dragon 3 Speedy 80 watt flow pump.
http://i390.photobucket.com/albums/oo347/shleif/Tanks/imagejpg1_zpsa8545336.jpg

You can use this form to calculate head loss. It really doesn't matter what pump you choose since the pump info is up to date anyway. All you care about is head loss due to height, fittings and friction.
http://www.reefcentral.com/calc/hlc2.php?submitted=1&VerticalLength=5&HorizontalLength=2&PipeDiameter=1.5&PumpID=119&Elbows90=4&Elbows45=0&GateValves=0&BallValves=1&Couplings=2&CheckValves=0&Exits=1&Entrances=1

Once you have that number, then refer to the chart iabove to determin your flow in liters per hour. Then convert that number to GPH. Keep in mind that the head heights in that chart are in meters so you will need to convert that to feet too.

Here is a simple liter to gallon converter. Just plug in the liters per hour into the liquid liter field based on your calculated head pressure and hit convert.
http://www.metric-conversions.org/volume/liters-to-gallons.htm

slief
12/29/2014, 02:31 PM
I think you both have touched on what I wanted to know, but not sure if I have all the details to make it work.

Slief, your link looks like the connector on my pumps to the controller so would fit the bill. $40.00 is an expensive conversion though for each pump.

Morty, I also have a VDM module so I have 4 ports available and understand how they work as my LED's will connect to them. I just need to know how to connect a marketed DC pump with controller to it. Will the Apex $15 cable do that and how?



The raw cable in and of itself will not work for the standard DC pumps even if you had the correct connector. The issue is that they DC pumps use 0-5v where as the Apex VDM ports output 0-10v. To reduce the Apex VDM output, you need a properly sized resistor inline to reduce the voltage. The adapter I posted above has that built in. I suppose you could use the Apex cable connected directly to the pump but you could not exceed 50% power on the Apex side otherwise you will exceed the 5v input rating on the pump and risk damaging it. As such, I think the best choice would be that converter box.

Here is a good DIY thread for a properly made DIY Apex to Jebao cable.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2381275&highlight=resistor

Mustang67
12/29/2014, 02:38 PM
Thank you Slief for taking the time to put this together. I am going to say that there will be about 5ft of head, my sump is a 75Gallon that will be positioned under my tank. I am not solid on my sump configuration yet so I am not sure on all the fittings and angles that I will have. I will look over the links above.

Ty