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Thread: Trident FAQ

  1. #1
    VP Sales and Marketing Terence's Avatar
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    Trident FAQ

    Last Friday at our 5th Annual MACNA MeetUp we announced a future product, the Trident.

    The Trident is based on a alkalinity testing technology we acquired from Jim Welsh a few months after MACNA 2016 and, with Jim's continued help, we have made incredible leaps forward from just testing Alkalinity. The Trident automates the testing of Alkalinity, Calcium, and Magnesium.

    There have been many questions and rumors since we announced last week. In this post, I will provide you with as much information as I can as it stands now, regarding the Trident. Please understand that a number of things either have not yet been decided, or we have yet to finish final testing and do not want to put something out there that we may later need to retract.

    So here is the FAQ for the Trident as it stands today:

    What does the Trident measure?
    The Trident was designed for reefkeepers. It tests for the three things that are the building blocks of coral skeletons in our reef tanks (and what our customers have been asking about for years): Alkalinity (dKH), Calcium, and Magnesium.

    What are the connections?
    The Trident connects to your Apex via a 1LINK connection, or via the AquaBus with an external power supply. It also has two tubes out the back, one to draw sample water from your tank, and the other to send waste to a container or a drain.

    Does it have a pH probe inside?
    No, the Trident has no pH probe inside that might require frequent calibration.

    How does it work?
    The Trident basically automates the proven method that you (and scientists) already know and use - Titration. Since the Trident uses micro-drops delivered via a stepper-motor driven peristaltic pump along with an electric eye, we have taken the human element out of the equation.

    So, how accurate is it?
    The Trident produces amazingly consistent results. Alkalinity is +/- 0.05 dKH and both Calcium and Magnesium are +/- 10ppm

    How long will the reagent last?
    The default testing schedule is 4x Alkalinity tests per day and 2x Magnesium and Calcium tests per day. At that rate the reagents will cost about $20/month. That's a per test cost less than any other test kit on the market today.

    Can I test more or less frequently than that?
    Yes, within limits. There are operational limits on both ends. Obviously the test takes time so only so many can be fit in a day. Also, once unsealed, the reagents will have a more shortened lifespan. That said we are fairly confident that you should be able to run less tests and get two months out of one set of reagents.

    How much will the reagents cost?
    Reagents will be ready-to-use (nothing to mix up), sold in two-month kits and cost ~$40.

    How much tank sample water is taken?
    Compared to products that only do alkalinity testing, the Trident uses very little tank water for its samples and produces very little waste. While most testing systems shown to date create 50-90ml of waste per test, the Trident produces under 15ml of waste for all three tests (Alk, Ca, Mg).

    Is the Trident a standalone system?
    No, the Trident requires the latest Apex to operate. However, the Trident does not require any external devices like dosing pumps and does not require any outside vessels for reagent or rinse water.

    Why won't the Trident work with the previous Apex models like the Apex Classic?
    With the advancement of technology, many times the resources available in prior systems is just not adequate for new devices. We see that with iPhones, gaming consoles, TVs, and many other devices in our lives. There are two key reasons why the Trident will not work with the Apex Classic. 1. Every Apex system must contain the working software for all the devices in the ecosystem. More complicated devices like the Energy Bar 832 and the Trident take up a great deal of code space. More than that is available on the previous Apex models. 2. The Energy Bar 832 and the Trident require more computational horsepower to operate than what is available in the now 10-year-old-designed Apex Classic hardware.

    But you said that you would not leave Apex Classic owners behind?
    And we haven't. Since the new Apex was released last year, we have developed a new module (FMM) and many more features in the Apex Fusion cloud service that everyone can take advantage of. At the time of launch last year I said that the only device at that time that would not work was the Energy Bar 832 and that nothing else was in the works at that time - but something could come along. And it did - subsequent to MACNA last year. And remember, we even made the COR compatible with the Apex Classic.

    Will the new Apex Base Unit be available separately?
    At this point our demand for complete Apex Systems is so great that we cannot shift the supply to selling the Apex Base Units on their own. This may happen down the road, but customers should realize that the value in getting a complete new Apex System will always be greater than buying the components individually. The new Apex System also comes with the advanced Energy Bar 832 and a set of our new double-junction probes that many customers might need to replace anyways. And remember, the new Apex is backward compatible with all of your existing Neptune Systems products.

    How big is the Trident?
    When we designed the Trident we wanted to make it as self-contained as possible. This meant that we wanted all the hardware and all of the reagents to be contained under a single, attractive enclosure. No tubes going this direction or that. No bottles to have to hide. We were able accomplish this in a space of just 4"W x 10"H x 12"D. The Trident should fit nicely under the stands of most aquariums. We intend on having an optional wall bracket available as well.

    How much will the Trident cost?
    No firm pricing will be released at this time, but we are committed to bring this to market between $500 and $600.

    When will it be available?
    We hope to have units in the hands of our Neptune Systems Insiders by the end of Q1/2018 and have it available to the general public in Q2/2018.
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    Terence Fugazzi :: VP Sales and Marketing :: Neptune Systems

  2. #2
    NSI Member DSD77's Avatar
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    I'm sure this will be a game changer as many of the other APEX products have been.

    Can't wait for this to come out. Hope I'm part of the testing since I'm a NSI member.


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    One NSI related question. I currently have an Apex lite. I'll probably be updating to the 2016 model this winter. If I get this done before the end of the year would it be in time to be considered for the Trident NSI?

    I do know not every NSI member is chosen for every product, I'd just don't won't to be excluded due to having a classic Apex.

  4. #4
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    Great information Terrance. Thank you for explaining many of the questions and concerns raised in the forums.

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    Great info. For those using DOS, will they be able to program it to dose based on trident results ? In other words, will trident plus DOS allow monitoring and control of the three elements being tested?

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    Quote Originally Posted by new reefer View Post
    Great info. For those using DOS, will they be able to program it to dose based on trident results ? In other words, will trident plus DOS allow monitoring and control of the three elements being tested?
    Personally, I would be cautious with using titration tests to set the amount you want to dose automatically. Don't get me wrong using trident to monitor your tank is amazing. Reagents can and do go bad. (Remember Hanna's recall last year)

    If you could limit the amount Trident could adjust the dose, it would be optimal. Say 15% + or - the volume you set is adaptive.

  7. #7
    VP Sales and Marketing Terence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholb View Post
    One NSI related question. I currently have an Apex lite. I'll probably be updating to the 2016 model this winter. If I get this done before the end of the year would it be in time to be considered for the Trident NSI?

    I do know not every NSI member is chosen for every product, I'd just don't won't to be excluded due to having a classic Apex.
    We will do another "call for new NSI members" in the not too distant future. Those that might want to be part of that group and be eligible for the Trident should begin the migration soon
    Terence Fugazzi :: VP Sales and Marketing :: Neptune Systems

  8. #8
    VP Sales and Marketing Terence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garron View Post
    Personally, I would be cautious with using titration tests to set the amount you want to dose automatically. Don't get me wrong using trident to monitor your tank is amazing. Reagents can and do go bad. (Remember Hanna's recall last year)

    If you could limit the amount Trident could adjust the dose, it would be optimal. Say 15% + or - the volume you set is adaptive.
    We still have not yet worked on this functionality. That said, of course there will be safety stop limits based on history so that one does not drive off the cliff.
    Terence Fugazzi :: VP Sales and Marketing :: Neptune Systems

  9. #9
    Frequent Visitor joenla's Avatar
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    Can't wait!!!

  10. #10
    Control Freak In Training
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    Great work Terrence and thank you for the complete write up. I have more confidence than ever that I made the right choice in buying the new apex instead of another brand! I can't wait to get my hands on one of these units!

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    One quick question, how do you become a Nsi member
    thanks

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    Is there a possibility of selling just the base unit overseas in countries where we can't have the energy bar 832 where we still get the old energy bar with the new apex unit?

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    Hello Terence. Wonderful news, thanks for the clarification and above all .... congratulations on the continuous push forward on Neptune Gear!

    Two questions:

    1 - For us that are NSI member with Classic how do we update the NSI information once we move to the 2016 model?
    2 - Are you planning of having releases of Trident for Europe? I missed already three NSI tests (FMM, ATK and COR) I surely don't want to miss this one!

    All the best,
    Rui

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    Thanks for the expanded details! I am looking forward to this unit and will be looking to upgrade my Apex unit in hopes of being eligible for the NSI testing when this comes around. Thanks again for putting out some great products.

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    Regular Vistor ReeferGil's Avatar
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    What size will the tubing be? Im starting a new build and can preplan for the waste line. Yes, i have OCD.

  16. #16
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    This is going to be a game changer! I'm so excited.

  17. #17
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReeferGil View Post
    What size will the tubing be? Im starting a new build and can preplan for the waste line. Yes, i have OCD.
    The Trident shown at MACNA has sample and waste tubing of about 1/8” OD.
    I'm not a Neptune support rep. Please do not send me PMs with technical questions or requesting assistance - use the forums for Apex help. PM me ONLY if the matter is of a private or personal nature. Thanks.

  18. #18
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    Quick Suggestion: Would be great if there was a trade-in program for the new Apex unit itself. I like the Trident but having to upgrade my base unit and then get the trident becomes way too expensive. Some sort of purchase of just the base unit, no power, no probes, would make it much more affordable. Just an idea.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terence View Post
    We will do another "call for new NSI members" in the not too distant future. Those that might want to be part of that group and be eligible for the Trident should begin the migration soon
    Question on this. I really really want to test this for you :-), I currently have the Apex Classic - At this point the only reason for me to upgrade will be for the for the Trident. When the next NSI signup starts to even be considered do I have to have new apex? or if I sign up and get selected, can I buy new Apex then? I want to hold out on buying one as long as possible, but like I said I will for the trident.

  20. #20
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    I'm excited for this I'm not a tester but as a color blind individual this would be great addition instead of the sailfiert test I've been using. They work but the color change is still a little challengeing

  21. #21
    Frequent Visitor rkpetersen's Avatar
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    Have to say I'm kind of looking forward to this. Very glad that the total sample volume is small so you can use a container for the waste rather than requiring a drain.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Terence View Post
    We will do another "call for new NSI members" in the not too distant future. Those that might want to be part of that group and be eligible for the Trident should begin the migration soon
    I would be interested in this.

  22. #22
    Frequent Visitor Reeffish's Avatar
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    Do you need the DOS to run the Trident or will another doser work? Or do you even need a doser at all?


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    Frequent Visitor rkpetersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeffish View Post
    Do you need the DOS to run the Trident or will another doser work? Or do you even need a doser at all?
    "the Trident does not require any external devices like dosing pumps and does not require any outside vessels for reagent or rinse water."

  24. #24
    Frequent Visitor Reeffish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkpetersen View Post
    "the Trident does not require any external devices like dosing pumps and does not require any outside vessels for reagent or rinse water."
    Ok, it was my understanding, from other posts, that the DOS was required to maintain/automate Ca, Alk, and Mg dosages.


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  25. #25
    VP Sales and Marketing Terence's Avatar
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    I think you might be confusing two different things.

    The Trident measures your alk, ca, and mg and does not need any external pumps or containers or RODI to do so. What you do with that information is up to you.

    OR

    If you do happen to have the DOS, it will be linked via software to the results from the Trident. The Apex will then safely adjust your levels of alk, ca, and mg based upon those results as well as your normal uptake.

    The distinction was made because more than one of the systems that test DKh only require you to have separate dosing pumps just to get them to operate and take measurements at all.


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    Terence Fugazzi :: VP Sales and Marketing :: Neptune Systems

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