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Thread: Buyers Remorse

  1. #1
    Regular Vistor
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    Angry Buyers Remorse

    I'm starting to seriously regret the purchase of an Apex, especially when coupled with the other accessories & modules I have to go with it. I'm over 4 digits into this thing and I can't make it do anything I wanted it to do. Why? Because the probes never report valid information.

    I have all 4 probes in the (overpriced) probe holder by neptune in the back of my return section away from any baffles or sources of potential microbubbles and yet somehow my salinty drops from 34ppt to 28ppt overnight, a quick shake every 6 hours and its back to 34. That does me absolutely no good when I want to use my salinity to control the (also a bit expensive) Auto Topoff Kit.

    I layed the 4 probes down in the bottom of the sump to see if that helped and my pH which normally sits right around 7.95-8.05 tanked to 7.04 and sat there for a day til I unplugged, rebooted, dryed and relocated the probes back to the rear of the sump. Does me zero good having innacurate pH to control Kalk or a calcium reactor.

    Then last night after replugging my temp probe goes insane and says its in 86 degree water and sat there. I'm concerned my tank will freeze so I calibrate the thing to the average of two thermometers - 77F. 20 minutes later I get a low temp alarm, it thinks its 72 degrees. Calibrate again, repeat the alarm, one more calibration and it seems to hold and look fairly good for 30 minutes. Go to bed, wake up to 82 degree water with an apex temp of 78 and both my 500 watt heaters had been on all night (180 gallon system w/ 75 gallon sump).

    What's the return period like from most local fish stores? Thinking I'm better off with eKoral or GHL at this point, regardless of how good apex fusion might be.

  2. #2
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    The probes are of much lower quality with eKoral and they are the same quality with GHL. Return period is 30 days for most stores.

    The behavior you are experiencing sounds like you have either loose connections or stray voltage in your tank. Check both of those out and if it still gives you problems, contact support. Probe port failures are extremely rare, but it is possible that is what you are experiencing.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Everything was re-routed and re-plugged to rule out connections and stray voltage. all the equipment in the sump is literally brand new. I just stopped home during lunch to find a tank at 82 with the apex reading 78 after yet another calibration this morning, oh and 2 dead fish from the heat. I did contact support, we'll see what they want to do about this. If the issue can be corrected that would be fantastic. I've been told to try a dozen different things to rule this that or the other out and in the mean time my numbers have been all over the place for a good month.

  4. #4
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Rearranging things doesn't solve stray voltage issues. Stray voltage can be checked by checking AC and DC voltage with a multimeter between the ground on an outlet and the tank. If you see more than 5V in either mode, turn devices off one by one and recheck to see if the voltage dropped. Whatever peice of equipment drops the voltage significantly when turned off is the culprit and needs to be replaced. Heaters are usually the culprit but sometimes can be other devices like a pump whose epoxy seal failed.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Brand new equipment, DC pump, finnex titanium heaters, and during feed mode when literally everything is off the numbers are still wrong. My hands are in the sump regularly and there's nothing funny happening in there electrically - also the numbers were still insane in the skimmer section and in the refugium where i tested probes just to be sure

  6. #6
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    Support is pretty much telling me to do all the things I told him I did in the ticket. Guess they don't spend much time reading those or they have canned answers.

  7. #7
    Frequent Contributor zombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satava View Post
    Support is pretty much telling me to do all the things I told him I did in the ticket. Guess they don't spend much time reading those or they have canned answers.
    They typically start with canned answers to eliminate the most common mistakes before digging in deeper.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Looks like support is actually on the ball for this one, I just have to wait til next week for a support phone call. Sounds like they need to telnet or ssh into the actual apex unit from a teamviewer type app on my home computer.

  9. #9
    VP Sales and Marketing Terence's Avatar
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    Stick with it Satava. We’ll get you taken care of.
    Terence Fugazzi :: VP Sales and Marketing :: Neptune Systems

  10. #10
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    You are definitely having some weird behavior, however don't jump to being upset and unhappy with the Apex as it really is an awesome product! (yes it is expensive, but once you get it working well, you will think it is worth every penny)

    The few interactions I have had with the support are the same as you, out of the box questions first and then gets more personal, and I am an IT guy, so had already done the things they asked (and advised them), but I just figured they wanted to double check and cover bases, either way my issues have been resolved to my satisfaction, so just give them a chance .

    Nice to see you comment on this one Terence!

  11. #11
    Frequent Visitor bigjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satava View Post
    Support is pretty much telling me to do all the things I told him I did in the ticket. Guess they don't spend much time reading those or they have canned answers.
    Not defending Neptune but my guess is their support people have to check off everything on their list before being able to replace a defective piece of equipment. Be patient, they are good at replacing faulty equipment even when it's out of warranty.

  12. #12
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    So I waited for a week so someone could use teamviewer to telnet into the Apex only to have the guy call me 30 minutes late and try to rush me off the phone with nothing more than a "send it in and we'll see, oh and you have to pay for the shipping"

    I'm really trying to give them the benefit of the doubt but all of my interactions have been negative, and 2 of my 4 probes are defective, or the outlets are defective. I don't even know if my actual unit is ok, they never did log into teamviewer.

  13. #13
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    If you don't have a multimeter, try moving your probes into a container with only saltwater from your display, no equipment.

    Does it read more accurately with this test?

    If it does, stray voltage may be at fault, even with new equipment.

    Hope you get it figured out. The Apex if phenomenal once you get it set as you like it.

  14. #14
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    Just a quick update- I got a call the next day from a different Neptune employee who seemed to actually know what the problem might be and genuinely wanted to help get it fixed. He set me up with an RMA for the 2 probes I suspect of being faulty (one of which he's pretty sure is bad), and has a new temp probe coming to me to replace the one that lost its calibration just by being unplugged for 5 minutes.

    He also managed to help me with a programming issue regarding starlight on the LSM (I wanted to make sure there's always some form of ambient light so the fish don't get spooked even if there's no moon).

    Finally a positive experience.

    Also- @jmheron - The Apex is definitely cool for all the things it can accomplish with some advanced programming and I don't think I'd be enjoying having a tank as much as I do without some form of automation. I'm glad I started by having one instead of forgetting to top off water, or turn off lights or turn pumps back on after feeding. There's a number of stupid mistakes it's helped me prevent already.

  15. #15
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    Got my new probes and everything seemed like it was going great for a few days, now the unit is rebooting randomly and ignoring Fallback:OFF and defer settings, allowing the skimmer to overflow when it should stay off for 5 minutes. Looks like I'll be contacting support ​again.

  16. #16
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    It's done it 5 times this morning over a course of 4 hours or so. Just watched it happen again, about to pull all of my equipment off which is an extra pain since I use the 0-10v for my lights and my gyres. Thank god I opted for the 2 in one gyre kit that comes with a controller "just in case the apex fails". I also don't have a decent way of running heat now (i have the finnex titaniums without integrated thermostats). I don't trust this piece of garbage with the lives of 10 dollar fish, let alone my main tank. Did they outsource the hardware to china or did I just get a lemon?

    Before it's asked, I read old posts, disabled logging on everything and set my IP to static on the apex. Neither "fix" helped.

  17. #17
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satava View Post
    ... the unit is rebooting randomly and ignoring Fallback:OFF and defer settings, allowing the skimmer to overflow when it should stay off for 5 minutes.
    Fallback will not kick in after an Apex restart or power loss; Fallback kicks in if that module loses communications with the Apex base unit. There is a delay, by design, before that happens. In the case of the EB832, which I assume you have, that delay is 100 seconds - Fallback will not go into effect until the EB832 has not been able to communicate with the Apex for 100 seconds. Because the Apex restarts much faster than 100 seconds, Fallback does not kick in.

    Defer statements alone do not come into play after a restart. Let's look at a typical return pump output program and skimmer output program which has the operation of the skimmer tied to that of the return pump, and a Defer on skimmer startup to allow the water level in the sump to normalize after the return pump turns on after it has been off:

    [ReturnPump]
    Fallback ON
    Set ON
    If FeedA 000 Then OFF

    [Skimmer]
    Fallback ON
    Set ON
    If Output ReturnPump = OFF Then OFF
    Defer 2:00 Then ON

    To the Apex, a restart is the same as a power loss. Neither program has any way of handling a power loss. With the above programming, the return pump and skimmer will both be turned on immediately after a power loss/restart. To add handling of a power loss or Apex restart, you should use the If Power Apex statement. You could add it to the Return Pump output or to the Skimmer output; I prefer to use it in the ReturnPump output, like this:

    [ReturnPump]
    Fallback ON
    Set ON
    If FeedA 000 Then OFF
    If Power Apex Off 001 Then OFF

    [Skimmer]
    Fallback ON
    Set ON
    If Output ReturnPump = OFF Then OFF
    Defer 2:00 Then ON

    Now, after a power loss (or Apex restart), the return pump's state will be OFF for 1 minute after the Apex come back online; because the skimmer operation is tied to that of the return pump, the skimmer will also be OFF. The skimmer will stay off for a total of 3 minutes after power loss - 1 due to the return pump being kept off for 1 minute after the Apex is back online, plus 2 minutes due to the Defer statement.
    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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    So after some troubleshooting with a friend we discovered my ATO PMUP had failed. It was plugged into LinkA on the energy bar and whenever it was told to turn on it made the whole system power down, probably as a failsafe for a shorted pump. Neptune support was great and has a new pump heading my way as of today. Just a fair warning I guess- if you use the pmup plug it into a link module, not the energy bar. if it fails it takes down the whole apex with it.

  19. #19
    Frequent Visitor bigjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satava View Post
    So after some troubleshooting with a friend we discovered my ATO PMUP had failed. It was plugged into LinkA on the energy bar and whenever it was told to turn on it made the whole system power down, probably as a failsafe for a shorted pump. Neptune support was great and has a new pump heading my way as of today. Just a fair warning I guess- if you use the pmup plug it into a link module, not the energy bar. if it fails it takes down the whole apex with it.
    The same is true with the Wavs. One of my two Wavs died and it caused the other Wav and the PMUP on the 1Link to shutdown.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim View Post
    The same is true with the Wavs. One of my two Wavs died and it caused the other Wav and the PMUP on the 1Link to shutdown.
    Good thing it was just a module that shut down and not the whole system! I think general good practice would be to use 1link or FMM modules to plug things in that have a chance to fail in a way that they short out or draw too much power (pumps & powerheads).

    I'm pretty confident that the COR15 and the DOS pumps would have enough engineering in them to avoid catastrophic failure but the smaller devices are probably more easily destroyed (snails, sand, kalk, etc) and have less room for over-engineering.

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