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Thread: Setup alarm or notification

  1. #1
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    Setup alarm or notification

    I am trying to figure out a way to set up a notification to let me know when I forget to turn on my ato toggle switch. Basically, I am using a tunze ato which I turn off when I do water changes or other maintenance tasks. Sometimes I forget to turn it back on and realize much later that my water level has dropped. Is there any way to set up an email notification after one hour if and output does not turn on to remind me?

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    Just to clarify, you take the slider for the Tunze ATO outlet and move it from ‘AUTO’ to ‘OFF’ when you do your water changes?

    The first thing I would suggest would be to take advantage of the Feed modes and use them for maintenance. You can add a “If FEEDA 010 then OFF” statement to the ATO outlet. That would keep the outlet off for the duration of the feed A cycle plus and additional 10 minutes. That way you never have to remember to turn it back on.

    Beyond that, I can think of a couple of options. If you have a level sensor in your sump, you could set up an alarm to notify you if the water level is low for more than a set period of time. If you’re using the Tunze ATO then I’m guessing you are using the Tunze optical sensor built into the unit which doesn’t interface with Apex, so this would require a separate sensor.

    I don’t know of a way for a program to tell if an outlet is set to ‘OFF’ instead of ‘AUTO,’ but if you know how often your ATO kicks in, you could potentially setup an alarm that would monitor the current/power going to an EB832 outlet. You would need to compare the power draw when the pump is off vs on to determine how to set it. Assuming the Tunze draws 5 watts when the pump is off and 10 watts when the pump is on:

    TunzeCheck (VirtualOutlet)
    Set OFF
    If Output Tunze Watts < 8 Then ON
    Defer 60:00 Then ON

    then to your alarm program add:
    If Output TunzeCheck = On Then ON

    This would turn on the virtual outlet TunzeCheck if the Oulet is using less than 8 watts for over an hour. The only caveat with this is the power usage of the pump must be enough that the EB832 can reliably tell the difference when it’s on.

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    Thanks for all the great info ! I do have feed A (30min) setup for water change but sometimes I am able to get it done before the timer is up which then I cancel the Feed mode. Once the feed mode is canceled all the outlets are turned back on simultaneously so the alarm for the ATO goes off so I shut it off manually. LOL then I forget to turn it back on.
    I was considering getting another optical sensor to notify me if the water level is to low but I thought maybe there is a simpler solution. The other idea that you gave about the watts not sure I know how to do that. Can the old energy 8 bar be able to measure each individual outlet for watts?

  4. #4
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackooze View Post
    Can the old energy 8 bar be able to measure each individual outlet for watts?
    No, it's not available for Apex Classic and and the older EnergyBars (EB4, EB8, EB6). Only the newer EnergyBar 832 and newest 2 Apex models can do that.
    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.

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    As Russ said, only the EB832 can measure power on an outlet level.

    A couple of suggestions for your scenario -

    • Add a "Defer mmm:ss Then ON" statement to the Tunze outlet to allow the sump level to go down before the Tunze turns on. This is the easiest.
    • You could also move the high water float up a bit so it doesn't trigger when the return pump is off
    • Use another feed mode as a startup mode. I have FeedC setup as my water change feed mode and have the time set long enough so I don't need to worry about running out of time. I then have FeedD setup to slowly ramp up my return pump to minimize splashing in the display. (In my case, I have the pump ramp up over 10 minutes. I start pumping the new saltwater into the sump when I activate FeedD and by the time I've finished pumping 15 gallons in the pump is close to full speed)


    I would suggest getting a float switch rather than an optical sensor. It's a bit cheaper, as all you need is a breakout box rather than an FMM module, but beyond that, Neptunes Optical sensors haven't been the most reliable.

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    Wow I never considered making another feed mode to turn everything on ! That’s a great idea. Thanks for the advice !

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    Would I be able to setup a virtual outlet with a switch on/off that turns off all my equipment that I need and when I am done switch it to on and have everything turn on except my skimmer and ato on a 5 min delay?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackooze View Post
    Would I be able to setup a virtual outlet with a switch on/off that turns off all my equipment that I need and when I am done switch it to on and have everything turn on except my skimmer and ato on a 5 min delay?
    There is no need to turn off or delay ATO when you shut off your return (exception being tunze for the sole purpose of making it shut up)

    Your skimmer should be using this format (make sure power monitor is disabled).

    Fallback OFF
    Set ON
    If Output ReturnName = OFF Then OFF
    If HighSumpOptical CLOSED Then OFF
    If Power Apex Off 001 Then OFF
    Defer 005:00 Then ON

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    I am a bit confused. Right now I only have feed mode A setup which turns off all my equipment with no time limit. When I am done I just press cancel which automatically turns everything on. How can I delay my skimmer and ato from turning on right away ? Should I include what you wrote under the line If FeedA 000 Then OFF ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackooze View Post
    I am a bit confused. Right now I only have feed mode A setup which turns off all my equipment with no time limit. When I am done I just press cancel which automatically turns everything on. How can I delay my skimmer and ato from turning on right away ? Should I include what you wrote under the line If FeedA 000 Then OFF ?
    The defer applies the delay and the form I wrote is irrelevant to what you turn off the return for. The point if a good skimmer code is to turn it off if the water level gets high and delay turning on, which is what the above does.

    A similar concept can be done with the ATO if necessary but you provided no details about your ATO to know for sure.

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  11. #11
    Master Control Freak RussM's Avatar
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    Feed cycles always have a “time limit”. They are timers

    There are two times used for a feed cycle - actually, these are durations. The base duration is called the Feed Interval; it is configured on the Misc page. Then there is the added time/duration specified in the If Feed statement. This adds extra minutes to the time that output will be ON or OFF after the base Feed Interval has elapsed.

    Let’s say the FeedC Interval is configured as 10 minutes. Here are two If FeedC statements:

    If FeedC 000 Then OFF

    If FeedC 003 Then OFF

    The first has no additional minutes specified so it will turn off for 10 minutes. The output will return to its normal programming when the FeedC cycle ends.

    The second has 3 extra minutes added, so it will stay off for three minutes after the FeedC cycle ends.

    Using different values in the If FeedX statement in different outputs allows you to create sequence of when various outputs will return to their normal programming after a feed cycle expires.

    It’s generally not a good idea to cancel a feed cycle. That abruptly terminates it and any extra time you have specified will not happen. Letting the feed cycle run its programmed course of action is best.
    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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RussM View Post
    It’s generally not a good idea to cancel a feed cycle. That abruptly terminates it and any extra time you have specified will not happen. Letting the feed cycle run its programmed course of action is best.
    Just to be clear, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with cancelling a feed mode, you just don’t get any delays that may have been programmed with the ‘FeedX mmm’ statements.

    On the subject, what happens if you have both a defer statement and a delay on the FeedX statement for an outlet, are they additive?

    i.e. If you skimmer program is:
    Fallback OFF
    Set ON
    If FEEDA 005 Then OFF
    Defer 004 Then ON

    Will the delay after the FeedA cycle be 5 minutes or 9 minutes?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleepydoc View Post
    Just to be clear, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with cancelling a feed mode, you just don’t get any delays that may have been programmed with the ‘FeedX mmm’ statements.

    On the subject, what happens if you have both a defer statement and a delay on the FeedX statement for an outlet, are they additive?

    i.e. If you skimmer program is:
    Fallback OFF
    Set ON
    If FEEDA 005 Then OFF
    Defer 004 Then ON

    Will the delay after the FeedA cycle be 5 minutes or 9 minutes?
    They are additive and if you cancel a feed mode any defers will still be observed. I have no issues at all canceling any feed mode on my tank because anything that requires a delay is always done with a defer.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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