Senior Member
So my decade+ old RKL finally decided that it was going to retire, putting me in the market for a new controller.

I've been out of the hobby for awhile, and I'm easing back in with a 10g tank. It's a pretty basic setup, with an old Vortech MP10, a small skimmer, carbon and phosban reactors, and LED lights. It's housing 2 skunk clowns, a bunch of decorative macro algae, and a cleanup crew right now.

As we all know, I won't have a small tank for too long before it magically becomes a larger tank, so I want a controller that will let me expand to more control and monitoring. I'm guessing I'll have a 40g within the year.

I've been looking at the Apex systems, but they're not cheap, and I'm trying to decide if I want to go with something less expensive for now, or if I should take the buy once, cry once mentality on this one, and if I do go with the Apex, which one should I get?

The Jr. seems stupid to me, since I want the outlets for my heater, and lights, so I'm looking at the standard or pro I guess, which puts me in the $600+ range. Is there anything else I should be looking at? Other brands I should check out?

Thanks all.


Advanced Reefer
Outlets are a must for me. I was looking at the Hydros, I'll have to check more into it.

I have my 350 and my Fluval 13.5 being controlled by a single hydros. you can connect any wifi outlet to it. I purchased two from Amazon along with the original “hydros” outlet that came with the set up, works like a charm. I can control all the outlets through the app.

I used to have an apex which was replace by the hydros, I personally prefer the Hydros since it’s van work with multiple brands. I would do my reader check and check out what’s best for your needs.




Advanced Reefer
Hudson Valley
No central controller for me, unless you count the old RK2, that is basically a timer bank for a few things in the tank. Most of the critical devices in my system are wifi controllable (dosing, AWC, heaters, lights) and everything else has some sort of backup or emergency cut off switch built in.

I think the Hydros makes the most sense since you can scale it up or down, according to your needs. Also seems to complement the already capable wifi devices and apps, rather than trying to be an all in one solution.

I feel the day of all in one controllers, managing every device, is coming to an end. They are also, a single point of failure, which is never a good thing.

Far as another low cost recommendation for heating / cooling are the inkbird wifi enabled controllers. They are on 4 of my tanks and have been rock solid. You never really want to plug a high current device into a central controller, unless you have a relay, since they are the most likely to blow the entire system.

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