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280g Reef - Controller

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My tank came with an Aqua Controller II, but it was ruined with saltwater. After sending it in to Neptune Systems in California for repairs, I began to learn what all it could do. For now, my main goal is control of tank parameters, and this can be done by plugging in each piece of equipment into X-10 control modules. The controller measures pH and tank temperature around the clock, keeps track of the time and date, and switches equipment off or on depending on how it has been programmed.

It is possible to link this unit to a computer to track data or download logs, but I never did so.


Turn item ON X-10 controlled Item Turn item OFF
11:00 am A1 - 2 x 160w VHO Actinics 10:00 pm
1:00 pm A2 - 250w 10,000K ReefLux Metal Halide 7:00 pm
2:15 pm A3 - 400w 20,000K Radium Metal Halide 8:15 pm
3:30 pm A4 - 250w 10,000K ReefLux Metal Halide 9:30 pm
2:00 pm A6 - 150w 12,000K DE Aqua Medic (Angled Tank) 8:00 pm
10:00 pm A9 - 3 x 21w Refugium Bulbs (reverse lighting) 8:00 am
< 79° F A7 - 2 x 250w Ebo Jager heater > 79.5° F


IF statements What occurs and why
IF Temp > 79.5° F
Turns the heater off once the tank is 79.5° F or higher
IF Temp < 79° F
Turns the heater on once the tank is less than 79° F
IF Temp > 82.5° F
Turn MH2 OFF
Turns off the 400w MH if the tank is higher than 82.5° F
First line of defense - hottest bulb
IF Temp > 82.7° F
Turn MH1 OFF

Turns off the right 250w MH if the tank is higher than 82.7° F
Second line of defense - attempt to reduce more heat

IF Temp > 82.7° F
Turn MH3 OFF
Turns off the left 250w MH if the tank is higher than 82.7° F
Third line of defense - futher attempt to reduce heat
IF Temp > 83° F
Turns off the VHOs if the tank is higher than 83° F
Final defense to stop adding heat to the tank - all lighting off
IF Time > 10:00 pm
Turns on refugium lighting for the night
IF Time > 8:00 am 
Turns off refugium lighting as the new day begins

These are but a few examples of what I've got programmed into my controller. Each light is controlled with IF/THEN commands. There are many features that I choose not to use because I prefer to not put all of my trust into one device, and have various pieces of equipment running independently instead. If one item fails, the rest of the equipment should keep the reef running until I can resolve the problem.

The newer models of this controller come with plug-in modules called DC-4 and DC-8. The DC-4 is designed for heavy loads, like turning on MH lighting. The DC-8 is for lighter duty, able to turn on and off fans, powerheads, heaters and refugium lighting. These modules connect to the Aqua Controller and no longer rely on x-10 technology.

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