Feature ReefKeeper I * AquaController Jr * Biotope * ReefKeeper II * Light House * Solar 1000 Aquacontroller III * Reef Keeper Elite * Aquadyne 4000 * Basicline Aquamedic Aquatronica * ProfiLux Plus II Pro * AquaController III Pro * Profiline BioMatix AquaSmart IKS Midi Riff Control Elos Biotopus II *  

AQUARIUM CONTROLLER CHART

BY ROBBYG ON REEFCENTRAL.COM

Last Updated: 14 Jan 2011  Rev 16 

           Special Thanks To  Paul H and Jdieck          www.aquariumcontrollers.com

 
Click to Compare View All
Price Range (See Prices Below)[1]
 
 
 
Display Type Monocrome LCD Monocrome LCD Monochrome LCD Monocrome LCD Monocrome OLED Monocrome LCD Monocrome LCD Monochrome LCD (RGB backlight) Monochrome LCD Monochrome LCD Monocrome LCD Monocrome LCD Monochrome LCD Monocrome LCD Monchrome LCD Monochrome LCD Monochrome LCD Monocrome LCD + LED None Monocrome LCD  
Display Size 2x16 LCD 2x16 LCD 4x20 LCD 2x16 LCD 2x20 OLED 1x16 LCD 2x16 LCD 128x64 Graphical 2x16 Graphical 8 x 21 LCD  (2.2" x 1.1" Graphical ) 8 x 21 LCD  (2.2" x 1.1" Graphical ) 2x16 LCD 4x20 LCD Graphical 5" x 2.75" Graphical 8x16 2x16 LCD None 4x20  
Display Shows Stored Data Graphs[2] No No No No No No No Yes No No Yes Yes No No No Yes No No No No  
Optional External LCD Displays[3] No No No No No No No  No No No No No Yes No  Yes No Yes Yes Optional No  
Programming Language[4] Menu Driven Menu Driven or Scripts Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven or Scripts Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven Menu Driven or Scripts Menu Driven Menu Driven ? Menu Driven Scripts Menu Driven  
Ability To Do Complex Multi Dependent Commands[5] No No No No No No No Yes No No No Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No  
Firmware Updatable[6] No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Via USB Yes No Yes \With Optional RS232 Port Yes \With Optional USB or RS232 Port Yes Yes No ? Yes Yes ? Yes  
Optional IO Ports[7] No 1 Yes 4 inputs  / 4 outputs No ? No 2 built in \ Optional Expansion Yes / 5 Per SL1 Yes 1 Digital Port ? Yes 8 Per Power Bar or Hub Yes 8 Per Power Bar or Hub 3 4 built in \ Optional Expansion ? Yes ? No 4 1  
PC Connection[8] None RS232 RS232 Included RS232 Ethernet No RS232 Optional\Ethernet built In Yes (USB) Direct, Modem Via TCP/IP No RS232 Optional RS232  or USB  (Optional Modules) (Optional) WLAN, LAN, RS485 RS232 Optional\Ethernet built In No Ethernet built In RS232 RS232 RS232 Optional RS232  
PC Programmable[9] No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Direct Programability[10] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes  
IR Remote Capable[11] No No No No No No No No No but has IR Printer Port No No No No No No No No No No Yes  
BlueTooth Remote Capable No No No No No No No No No No No  No  No No No No No No No Yes/Optional  
Temperature(Reading/Control/Probes) Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/2 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1** Yes/Yes/1 Per SL1 Module Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/2 Per PowerBar or Module *** Yes/Yes/2 Per PowerBar or Module *** Yes/Yes/4 Yes/Yes/1** Yes/Yes/? Yes/Yes/2 Yes/Yes/2 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1  
pH (Reading/Control/Probes) No/No/0 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/4 *** Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/2** Yes/Yes/1 Per SL1 Module Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/2 Yes/Yes/6 Per PowerBar or Hub*** Yes/Yes/6 Per PowerBar or Hub*** Yes/Yes/4 Yes/Yes/1** Yes/Yes/2 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/2 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/2  
Redox(Reading/Control/Probes) No/No/0 No/No/0 Yes/Yes/4 *** No/No/0 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/No/1 Yes/Yes/1** Yes/Yes/1 Per SL1 Module Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/6 Per PowerBar or Hub*** Yes/Yes/6 Per PowerBar or Hub*** Yes/Yes/3 Yes/Yes/1** Yes/Yes/1 ? Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1  
Salinity(Reading/Control/Probes) No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No Yes/Yes/63** Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/6 Per PowerBar or Hub*** Yes/Yes/6 Per PowerBar or Hub*** Yes/Yes/3 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 No/No/0 Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1  
DO (Reading/Control/Probes) No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No Yes/Yes/63** No/No/0 Yes/Yes/1 No No Coming Yes/Yes/1 Yes/Yes/1 No/No/0 No/No/0 Yes/No/1 No No  
Calcium(Reading/Control/Probes) No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No No No No No No No No/No/0 No No Coming No/No/0 No No  
Amonia(Reading/Control/Probes) No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No No No No No No No No/No/0 No No No/No/0 No/No/0 No No  
Nitrate(Reading/Control/Probes) No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 No No No No No No No No/No/0 No No No/No/0 No/No/0 No No  
Sensor Operational Hours Monitoring No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No ? No No No No  
Float Switches \Amount[12] No/No/0 Yes \1 Yes \4 No/No/0 No/No/0 No/No/0 Yes \2** Yes/Yes/ 2 Per SL1 Module Yes \1 Yes\Yes\1 Yes/2 Per PowerBar or Module Yes/2 Per PowerBar or 2 Per Level Module Yes \2 (Optical or Mech) TOTAL Yes\4** Yes\Yes\1 Yes\Yes\? Yes/ 8* None   Yes\1**  
Hysteresis Mode For Programs[13] No Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No  
Dosing Pump[14] No No No No No No **** No Coming No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Coming Yes Yes Yes No ****  
Lux Meter[15] No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes\Optional  
Alarms(Visual/Audible) No Yes/Yes Yes/Yes No No No Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes ? ? Yes No/Yes Yes/Yes  
Data Logging[16] No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes ? Yes Yes Yes  
Logs Bulb Hours No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No ? No No No No  
Max Hard Wired Plugs[17] 8 12 28 8 6  (4 Controllable) None 24 252 None ? 80 80 24 40 ? 24 ? 16 ? 12 +512Single OR 18   
X10 Devices[18] No Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No No  
Timers \Max Amt[19] Yes\8 Yes\40*** Yes 8 total  Yes\? Yes\3 Yes\4 Yes\100*** Yes/63 (Dedicated) Yes\16 Yes\8 Yes\16 per PowerBar \160 Max Yes\16 per PowerBar \160 Max 8 Yes\160*** ? ? ? Yes\32 ? Yes\43  
Random Timers No Yes Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No Yes No ? ? Yes ? Yes  
Ethernet Port[20] No No No No Yes No Yes Coming Yes\Optional No No Yes\Optional Yes\Optional Yes No Yes Yes No No No  
Web Server Control[21] No No No No Yes No Yes Coming No No No Yes with Ethernet No Yes No Yes ? No No No  
Programmable Tank Maintenance Reminders[22] No No No No No No No No No but 90 day Clean Probe Reminder No Yes Yes No No  No ? ? No No No  
Custom Design HTML Pages[23] No No No No Yes No Yes Coming No No No No No Yes No No ? No No No  
Telnet Server[24] No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No Yes No No ? No No No  
Emails Alarms[25] No No Yes No Yes No Yes Coming No No No/? Yes with Ethernet Yes Yes No ? ? No No Yes\Via SMS  
Pager Alerts No No No No SMS Via Internet No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No  
Power Failure Alarm No No No No Yes/Via Email No Yes \Audible&Email No ? ? Yes \ Visual Yes \ Visual No Yes \Audible&Email ? ? ? No ? Yes Via SMS  
Displays Power Failure Duration No No No No Yes/Via Email No Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes No ? ? No ? Yes  
Sends Power Outage Notifications No No No No No No No No No No No Yes with SMS Coming  No No ? Yes No ? Yes with Aqua Rescue addition  
SMS Alarm Option[26] No No No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes  
SMS Control Option[27] No No No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No Yes No No Yes  
Internal Battery Backup Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes  
Multi Aquarium Compatible[28] No No No No No No Yes Yes No No  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No ? No No No  
Password Protected Display[29] No Yes ? No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? No No Yes  
Regional Settings[30] No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes  
Seasonal Programs[31] No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes  
Moon Simulation No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes  Yes  
Dimmable Light Control 10V[32] No Coming Yes No No Yes Coming No No Yes No (Coming) Yes T5 Any 1-10V Device Coming Yes No Yes T5 Yes Coming Yes  
Random Weather Generation No No Yes No No Yes No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No  
Wave Generation Capable[33] Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes using Timer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Water Leak Detectors \ Max Amt[34] No No Yes No No No No ? No No No Yes \ 2 Per Module No No No No No No Yes/1 No  
Tidal Effects[35] No Yes Yes No No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No ? No Yes ? No  
Night Mode[36] Yes Programmable Yes Yes No Yes Programmable Yes No Yes Programmable Programmable Programmable Programmable Yes ? No Yes Programmable Programmable  
Alternate Power Capable No No  No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No No No  
AutoClock Setting[37] No No yes No No No No No No Yes No Coming Yes/Optional Module No Yes No No No Yes/Optional Module No  
Optional Expansion Ports[38] None None None None None None Yes Up to 24 Probes and 42 Digital Inputs 63*** (Expansion modules total) Yes 1 Digital Port 0 20 Digital Inputs and 72 Digital Inputs 20 Digital Inputs and 72 Digital Inputs 3 Module Ports Yes Up to 26 Probes and 42 Digital Inputs 32 No Only For Additional Powerbars Yes Up to 8 Digital Inputs, Float Switches etc.   5 512 Single Power Plugs Can be chained + 2 IO Port  
Available Power bar Sizes 8 Plug 115V 8 / 4/ 4 Plugs (all 115VAC) and 220V Expansion 4 Plug 115V @ 15 amp 8 Plug 115V 6 Plug 115V (Only 4 Controllable) N/A 8 / 4/ 4 Heavy Duty (all 115VAC) and 220V Expansion 4 Plug 115V With built in IntellaStrip Auto Overload Shutdown X10 Units Only 6 Plug 220V Only (Individual Plug Fuses) Circuit Breaker 220V Model with 110V Aquatronica models that should work on it. 8 Models for different Countries 115V & 220V Models (USA Ver is 8 Plug 115V) 4 and 6 plug 110V & 4 Plug 220V 8 / 4/ 4 Heavy Duty (all 115VAC) and 220V Expansion 6 Plug 220V Only (Individual Plug Fuses) Circuit Breaker 8 Plug 110V 20Amp & 4 Plug 110V 15Amp 8 / 8 All 220volt   4 Plug 220V and 110V 4 Plug 220V Only 6 Plug115V and 220V  
Power Bars Max Amt 1 3 7 1 1 None 6 63*** None 1 10 10 4 10 30 5 ? 4 ? 2 or 3 depending on type  
PowerBar Manual Override[39] No No No Yes Yes N/A No YES N/A No Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes  
Power Bar Maximum Rating 1800W (15 Amps) 15 Amps 15 Amps 1800W (15 Amps) 15A N/A 15 Amps 1800W (15 Amps) N/A ? 3000W @ 220V 1500W @115V / 3000W @ 220V 1650 Watt @ 115V 15 Amps ? 10A & 15A 1320 Watt @ 220V ? 3600 Watt @ 220V 15A  
Power Usage Monitoring No No No No No No No Yes No Optional No No No No Optional No No No No No  
Tunze Control[40] No Yes / Optional No No No No No No No No No No Yes / Optional Yes / Optional No No Yes No Yes No  
Variable Speed Pump Capable[41] No Yes (optional) No No No No Yes (Optional) No No No No (Coming) Yes Yes (Optional) No No Yes No No No  
Metal Halide \ Plug Delay Start Option[42] Yes Yes (Programmable) No Yes No No Yes (Programmable) Yes No ? Yes Yes No Yes (Via Script) ? ? ? No ? No  
Feed Mode[43] Yes Yes Yes User Set Period Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No ? No No No Yes  
Service Mode[44] No Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? No No No Yes  
Soft Start Yes Yes with DC8 No Yes No No Yes with DC8 Yes No ? No No No Yes with DC8 ? ? No No No ?  
Controller Size (h x w x d)   2.75" x 4.60" x 1.00" 10"x8"x3"   7.9" x 6.3" x 2.5" 8.08" x 6.25" x 2.5" 3.70" x 5.75" x 1.10" 3.46" x 4.44" x 0.85" 7.87" x 5.5" x 1.87"   ? 2.55" x 4.92" x 1.02" 58mm x 240mm x 198mm 4.0" x 7.50" x 1.10"     ? 3.9" x 6.7" x 1.2"   5.25" x 8.25"  
Starter Kit Price (Approx) $219 (CPU, 1 x 8 plug Powerbar, Temp Probe) $266 (CPU, 1x 8 Plug Powerbar, pH Probe, Temp Probe) $325 (CPU 1 x 4 Plug Powerbar, 1 x Temp Probe, All Cables) $317 (CPU, 1x 8 plug Powerbar, Temp Prob, pH Probe) $339 (CPU, 1 x 6 Plug Powerbar, Temp Probe, pH Probe, Cables) $320  (Contoller Only) $430 (CPU, 4 Plug Std Powerbar, pH probe, Temp Probe) $490   (Controller, (2 x 4 plug Powerbars 8 outlets), Temp Probe, pH Probe, SL1, USB Interface) $530 (CPU, pH Probe, ORP Probe, Temp Probe, Cal Solutions) $634 (CPU, 1 x 6 Plug Powerbar, 1x Temp Sensor) ? $700 (CPU, 1x 8 plug Powerbar, 1 pH probe, 1 Temp probe, 1 Level Sensor, PC Interface) $649 ( CPU, 2x 4 plug Powerbars, pH & Temp Probe, Level Probe, Tunze Cable) $718 (CPU, 1x 8 Plug Std Powerbar, pH probe, Temp Probe) $851 (CPU, 1 x 6 Plug Powerbar, Temp Sensor) $1140 With 1 year Remote E-service Monitoring package $1384 (CPU, Terminal Display, 8 Plug Powerbar, pH Probe,Redox, probe, Temp Probe) $1320 (CPU, 1 x 4 Plug Powerbar, pH Probe, Temp Probe, Level Probe) ? $1890 (CPU, 1 PowerBar 6 plug, 1 Temp probe, 1 Level Sensor, Software, Cal solution)  
Link To Manual (English) www.digitalaquatics.com/downloads/20050320_RK_Manual.pdf http://74.52.105.194/~clp/images/downloads/AquaControllerJr_3_2%2BSerial_web.pdf Biotope Manual www.digitalaquatics.com/downloads/20060226_RK_2_Manual.pdf www.mcuresearch.com/manual.pdf www.bluelineaquatics.com/manuals/solar1000.pdf http://74.52.105.194/~clp/images/downloads/AquaController3_3.20_web.pdf www.digitalaquatics.com/downloads/RKE%20User%20Guide%20-%20Rev%20B.pdf www.aquadyne.com/octopus%204000%20manuals/installingthecomponets.pdf None http://www.aquamedic http://www.aquatronica.com/pdf_download/eng/ISACQ001UK-3.pdf www.ghl-kl.de/Produkte/Aquaristik/Download/Manual_ProfiLuxII_V203.pdf http://74.52.105.194/~clp/images/downloads/AquaController3Pro.3_2_web.pdf None http://www.biomatixsystems.com/support/manual.pdf www.aquariumcontrollers.com/manuals/LimilusManual.pdf www.iks-aqua.com/download/1020_GB.pdf None None  
Warranty Period 2 Years 1 Year 1 Year 2 Years 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 2 Years ? 2 Years 2 Years 1 Year 2 Years 1 Year 90 Day 5 Years ? ?  
                                           
Manufacturers WebSite www.digitalaquatics.com www.neptunesys.com http://www.rc-squared.com www.digitalaquatics.com www.mcuresearch.com www.bluelineaquatics.com www.neptunesys.com www.digitalaquatics.com www.aquadyne.com www.aquacontrol.biz   www.aquatronica.com http://www.ghl-kl.de/ www.neptunesys.com www.aquacontrol.biz www.biomatixsystems.com/ www.limulus.it www.iks-aqua.com www.riffcontrol.de www.elosusa.com  
                                           
Notes
* = Feed Back Given By Manufactorer
** = Further Expansion Available with Additional Expansion Module
*** = A Shared Resource, Actual Number May Vary Please Ask Vendor For Details
**** = Has Some Features to control Generic Devices
? = Data Unknown
This Spread sheet and it contents may not be reproduced or distributed without permission from the Author.  
Some Controllers have other Features that Require PC Software to utilize them.  These Features have not been Included.
         
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[1]
Yellow = Cheapest
Red = Very Expensive
[2]
Displays graphs of stored measurments from hours or weeks of data.

[3]
A Second LCD Display that can be added so the Parameters can be monitored from another location.
[4]
Menu is simple form type input, fill in the numbers and go.  Scripts involve more complicated If x= value Then "Do this"
[5]
Complex instructions that use more than one sensor or event to trigger a program.
Eg.
 If (And / Or) Then .. Else
Also know as XY program.

[6]
New features or Fixes can be added with periodic updates.
[7]
Connectors for hooking up Probes, Level Sensors etc. and other devices like Dosing pumps, Tunze controll etc.
[8]
Can be hooked up to a Windows based PC.  Very few controllers can use Apple OS.
[9]
Ability to setup the controller from a PC screen and not just the controllers front panel.
[10]
Ability to setup the controller with out the need for a PC connection, by just using the front panel.
[11]
Use an Infared Remote control to help setup the controller
[12]
Float switches / Water Level Sensors.  Very handy devices, you can't have enough of these :)
[13]
Ability to make the controller do things not by absolute commands but based on changing parameters.
[14]
A Peristaltic Pump that is used for dispensing exact amounts of Vitamins, Minerals or food over a programmed interval.
[15]
Measures light Intensity from the Bulbs and displays it.

[16]
Keeps a record of probe readings so they can be saved or graphed.  Very useful option to keep track of water parameter changes.
[17]
Max Amount of Real power Plugs you can hookup.
( Not X10 Plugs)
[18]
Not really recommended for critical devices. X10 is not very reliable.
[19]
Timers such as lights On at 8am and Off at 8pm.
[20]
Ability to connect to a home Network or the Internet
[21]
Has it's own built in Webserver that can be accessed Via the Internet.
[22]
Prg Controller to alert you when the water needs changing or the probes need cleaning.  Very usefull for getting routine service  work done
[23]
For those with the skills you can make a webpage from the controllers data. Including Graphs that can be viewed remotely.
[24]
Low level remote Language programming of the controller. Almost like DOS prompt commands .
[25]
Sends an email alert if something is reading out of normal parameters
[26]
This is True SMS messages sent Via Cell Phone and not SMS via email which is very unreliable.
[27]
Ability to control your aquarium remotely Via cell phone SMS text messages
[28]
Ability to use one controller on several Aquariums
[29]
Simple Password so children or visitors don't change your settings
[30]
Ability to quickly set system to simulate oceans in another part of the world.
Note: Not all that useful, you can do the same things by adjusting Timers and prgs.
[31]
Settings will get altered slightly based on the season.  Eg. Longer light periods during summer.
Note: Also can be done with timer adjustments.
[32]
New T5 Dimmable ballasts use a 1V - 10V system for dimming the tubes. Compatible controllers can simulate sunset and sunrise
[33]
Create Waves by Cycling Power heads Off and On in sequence.
[34]
Detects leaks or spilled water and can alert you or also take action such as shutdown a pump.
[35]
Turns on Multiple powerheads to simulate tide changes
[36]
Change certain functions based on the Time of day. Eg. Turn off certain powerheads at night.
[37]
Uses Atomic Clocks on the Internet to periodicaly set the controllers internal clock
[38]
A External unit that can give you more IO ports for additional probes or sensors.
[39]
Ability to Turn On or Off the powerbar plugs without the controller even being hooked up.
[40]
Ability To control Tunze Variable speed Pumps
[41]
Ability to control Variable speed Pumps.
[42]
Certain plugs on the powerbar can be set to have a delayed power up.  This gives MH bulbs the needed time before being powered up after power outage or shutdown.
[43]
Pressing one button will shutdown your main pump and other flow devices for a set period while you feed the inhabitants
[44]
Allows a one button press to shutoff certain devices for a programmable period of time.