Profilux... Need input

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by saintsreturn, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. saintsreturn

    saintsreturn Well-Known Member

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    Hey all,

    First off, i have done several searches and the majority of information is from years ago and i am sure things have changed.

    So, the point...

    I am not sold on Apex and I do not have a good reason on why. I have a reeflink, which is ok, but isnt supporting the things i want it to.

    I found some really cool information on the profilux system and have been debating taking the plunge into this controller. But i havent seen to many reviews on them or their over all acceptance in the US.

    Does anyone here still use them, love them, hate them, or have any general input? I do not want a this versus that thread, just honest feedback on your experience with the system.

    there is plenty on Apex, so I am not looking for reasons on why i should go with that.

    Thank you!
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people really love their controllers. I think that generally they tend to like the one they purchased.

    Considering that so many products today, especially lighting, already come with internet connectivity and built in controller functions, having a controller today tends to something you may not even need. This all depends upon what you want to control.

    Getting a full function controller can cost a bundle. That high end ProfiLux controller will set you back about $500 just for the controller. If you go all out, you can figure double that, and maybe more.

    Ask yourself if that $500 - $1000 could be better spent on your system. You might get a lot more "bang for the buck" spending that on lighting, or filtration upgrades.

    Carefully consider what you plan to control and how closely do you want to monitor it. For example, if all you want to control is your lighting, it will be a lot less expensive to get a few timers.

    Consider the total cost of ownership. Those pH, and ORP probes usually need annual replacement and they are not cheep. Also consider what is going to happen if the controller fails. It's electronic and around SW. If it fails, what is your backup plan? If it's controlling everything, you may have nothing working correctly.

    I'd say the big reason for getting a controller is that you can monitor pH and ORP and some other things, if desired. By checking these it is possible to see a problem develop before you see anything occur in the tank. However, it's not going to detect everything that can go wrong.

    For myself, years ago, I had a Neptune 2 controller. It worked ok, but didn't have the internet connectivity that you see today. I'd rate it as good by the standards of the time, but rather poor by today's standards. I don't use a controller today. This because my AI Hydra lighting has it's own controller functions, and can connect to the internet for set up and control. My heater and chiller are controlled by an Inkbird temp controller. That's got LED displays, but doesn't connect to the net. My pumps all all DC controllable pumps, and I can set speed, but it's a manual function and they don't connect to the net either.

    For my needs I don't see a controller doing that much for me. It would be a real nice thing to have, but that price of initial purchase is more than what I want to spend for the few advantages I'd get. I'd be more inclined to spend the money on a refugium or maybe a biopellet reactor.

    The bottom line. Add a controller only if the rest of your system is really up to par and you have something specific that your going to control or monitor.
     
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  3. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    I think this is true ^ :rolleyes:

    If interested... check out the Bluefish from RS sponsor @StevesLEDs $99 if it has what you need and would work for your application ? Seems like a real value.

    Great support from Jeff, if you need any questions related answered.

    http://www.stevesleds.com/Bluefish-Mini_p_302.html

    Here their other controllers... I have the typhon it was updated with newer models, but works great for me.

    http://www.stevesleds.com/LED-Controllers_c_97.html
     
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  4. saintsreturn

    saintsreturn Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both. Dave, i have read your "rules" several times and love your insight. I took this into consideration and am still on the fence when it comes to a controller, but if i do, i am leaning towards this system.

    I am very pleased with my current setup and have purchased everything i need with the exception of the final plumbing parts. I mostly want to monitor temperature, salinity and PH so i can determine how things are doing in the system to make smarter adjustments.

    In the end, i am still not convinced a control is in the need column for me, but i am researching now to decide on the path forward. Im really saving money for the next system and the house things more so than anything on this tank.

    Glenn, thank you, i will check it out.
     
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  5. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    I would also consider monitoring ORP. Combined with the others this can give you a lot more information about what is going on in the tank, especially when it comes to how well the biological processes are working. Yea, another cost for the ORP probe.
     
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  6. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Great thread. I'm in the "research" stage for a new tank and was glad to see this thread. I'll give my 2-cents but please keep in mind 2 very KEY facts:

    1) I'm very partial to GHL ProfiLux systems. I've owned and sold them for a long time (don't do either at the moment). I've had a Neptune and didn't really love it but it was a very old (before controllers went WiFi etc) unit and very basic but the ProfiLux blew it out of the water.

    2) I don't currently have an operational tank/system or controller and I've been out of the Salt Water business a few years. I'm going to have to dive back in (see what I did there LOL) and re-educate myself on current products and features.

    From my point of view, a controller is as much FOR ME as it is for the tank. Just about anything a controller can do can be done some other way and probably cheaper (especially if you only need a couple of features). But I do admit the idea of having a tank w/o a controller simply doesn't really appeal to me at all. I like, no LOVE the vast amount of customization and finite control of many tank aspects/parameters that a high end controller will bring to the table.

    Also I like and need the remote monitoring/adjust function a web enabled controller brings. While away from my home I can pay someone to come in and feed and look in on my tank but teaching them how to check the finer parameters is a bit more than I can expect. Using a controller with the needed probes etc allows me to get a "Deeper" look into the system while I'm away.

    One feature I absolutely LOVE and must have (and it's just a personal preference and nothing more) is the ability to have Lightning/Storm in my tank. Any tank I have must have this feature for me to be fully happy with the system. It seems silly to many but it's something that's important to me.

    Now with all of the above said, back when I was heavily involved in the industry ProfiLux was the only controller that was able to meet all of my needs. It was a bit "clunky" in many ways and the newer systems from other vendors were much easier to program/maintain and set up. I'm hoping either the ProfiLux is more user friendly these days or the other systems available allow the features I just gotta have.

    I'm off to continue on my quest for Reef Tanks and Controller knowledge.

    Excellent thread :)
     
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  7. saintsreturn

    saintsreturn Well-Known Member

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    Well said and best of luck in returning to the hobby! I have never really had a desire for a controller and I enjoy most of the little tasks involved in the manual process. What is missing for me now is just the peace of mind with alerts and what not. Everything i have purchased to "make it better" is still sitting unused or still sealed in the box. The simplicity of my tank keeps me inspired to learn more and do better each time. But now i am interested, however i am not motivated, to get a controller for real time alerts and simple monitoring to ensure I dont miss anything.

    Now i find myself making improvements outside of my tank; such as ambient lighting, room temperature, O2 levels, storage solutions and the "completed" water mixing station.

    What i find most interesting about the controller world, is the hype on the apex and the silence on other options. This is why i started this thread. There has to be people who have the profilux and can provide valuable input on why they have it and their feelings on its performance.
     
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  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    The Profilux is build like a TANK. It's modular so it can be upgraded as new technology is released (My current Profilux has been upgraded I think 3x internally). If you need/want a new module you open the case, remove the filler part, and slide the new module in. Takes only a couple of moments to add a major upgrade to the system.

    I think one problem is (was) that we had a kink in the chain in terms of customer support here in North America. Honestly that's one of the reason I got out of the business (I was a GHL Dealer) in the first place. GHL North America was headed up by someone who didn't have the right personality/attitude to handle such a product line/offering and there was a language/regional barrier that sometimes made things seem/feel worse than they were intended. Fortunately that problem has been resolved and the current Customer Service in our region is now local and handled much better from what I hear. This alone makes me feel a lot better about possibly using my Profilux on a new tank.

    While I was initially thinking of selling my current Profilux and going with a different system after some research I think I may end up pulling mine out of storage and using it after all.

    Here's a quote from a friend of mine who has one of the nicest reef systems in the USA:

    "Welcome.
    Last controller you will EVER buy.
    Will warn you in advance...it’s addictive!
    "

    Many Profilux owners are die-hard brand loyal once you get used to how the system works. I think a lot of the member base here on RS is geared towards simple and functional systems as opposed to the very technical (aka nerdy) systems out there. The Profilux is really ideal for the person who wants total control and like to "tinker" in the process.
     
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  9. saintsreturn

    saintsreturn Well-Known Member

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    great response! Thank you
     
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