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Neptune Systems AquaController Apex Probes
Neptune Systems AquaController Apex Probes

Please Note: Return of electrical equipment to LiveAquaria for exchange or refund is limited to 30 days from the date of purchase. Beyond 30 days, please contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement as covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

 
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Overview

*Quality probes for Neptune Systems AquaController Apex systems
*Accurate aquarium water parameter data support Apex system functions
*Replace worn probes or add another probe to monitor different aquariums

Monitor vital water parameters to maintain ideal aquarium water quality. Neptune Systems AquaController Apex Probes provide vital data to support Neptune Systems AquaController Apex system control functions. Use Neptune Systems AquaController Apex System Probes to replace worn probes or to expand functionality of your Apex Jr Kit, or Apex Kit. Use additional Probes to measure and monitor water parameters of multiple aquariums or different areas of your setup.

Neptune Systems Apex Extended Life Temperature Probe for APEX/JR/AC3 (mfg# PRBTMPJR) High quality Temperature Probe features ± 0.1°F accuracy with 6ft cable, encapsulated thermistor and 2.5mm Phono Jack Connector.

Neptune Systems Apex pH Probe features ±0.01 accuracy with 10ft coax cable, sealed Ag/AgCl reference and Standard BNC Connector. pH probes available in long lasting Lab Grade pH Probe (mfg# PRBPH) that boasts more accurate results plus less frequent calibration and replacement.

Neptune Systems Apex ORP Probe features ±1 mV accuracy with 10ft coax cable, platinum band electrode and Standard BNC Connector. ORP probe available in Standard ORP Probe (mfg# PRBORPS) or longer lasting Lab Grade ORP Probe (mfg# PRBORP) that boasts more accurate results plus less frequent calibration and replacement.

Probe Setup
The AquaController Apex system uses various probes to monitor your system. The measurements from these probes can be displayed on the Apex Display Module and Web Interface. The measurements from these probes can be used to control your system and alert you of problems through email alerts or audible alarms.

Temperature Probe Setup
A port to connect a temperature probe is included on the Apex Base Module and on several of the Apex system expansion modules. Setup and configuration of these temperature probes is the same for all probes on the system.

The Base AquaController Apex Module temperature probe will be identified as "Temp", the probe on the PX1000 Probe Expansion as "TempA", "TempB" and so on, and probes on Apex Probe Modules (PM1, PM2, etc) as "TmpX3", "TmpX4" and so on. The temperature probes are connected to the port labeled "Temp" on the base or expansion module. Simply push the probe cable plug into the port until the plug clicks into place. To remove the plug, push down on the tab and gently pull the plug out of the port.

WARNING: Do not remove the rubber cap from the tip of the temperature probe or damage to the probe will occur. All probes should be rinsed in clean tap water before placing in the aquarium. Place the temperature probe in an area with high flow that is continuously wet (not an overflow that may drain dry, for example). Maintain a drip loop in the wire back to the Apex module.

Temperature Probe Calibration
The AquaController Apex temperature probes have been calibrated at the factory and should not need to be calibrated. However, the AquaController Apex includes the ability to perform a calibration if desired.

To calibrate a Temperature probe: Apex Display: Setup - Temp Setup - Temp Calibrate - If you have more than one Temperature probe enabled on your system, use the up/down arrow keys to choose the probe you wish to calibrate, press Select, then use the up/down arrow keys to select the correct probe temperature, press Select when done.

Temperature Probe Maintenance
Temperature probes do not need maintenance other than cleaning on an infrequent basis. To clean the probe, gently brush the probe with a soft brush to remove any debris. Rinse the probe in tap water. Soaking the probe in acids (vinegar) solution is not typically needed but can be used to dissolve calcium buildup.

pH Probe Setup
A port to connect a pH probe is included on the Apex Base Module, Apex Lite Base Module and on Probe Module 1. The ORP port on the Apex Base Module can be configured as a second pH port if needed. Setup and configuration of these pH ports and calibration of the connected probes is the same for all probes on the system. The Base Module pH probe will be identified as "pH", if the ORP port is configured for pH; it will be identified as pH2, the pH probe(s) on the PX1000 Probe Expansion as "pHA", "pHB" and so on, and probes on Apex Probe Module 1 (PM1) as "pHx3", "pHx4" and so on. The pH probe is connected to the port labeled "pH" on the base module. If using the ORP port on the Apex Base Module for pH, or the port on Probe Module 1, the probe will be connected to the port labeled "pH/ORP". Push the BNC female connector on to the male connector and turn 1/4 turn clockwise to lock the connector place. To remove the probe, turn 1/4 turn counterclockwise and gently pull the connector straight off the base module.

Remove the cap from the pH probe and discard the solution in the cap. All new probes should be rinsed in clean tap water before placing in the aquarium. Place the pH probe in an area with high flow that is continuously wet (not an overflow that may drain dry, for example). Maintain a drip loop in the wire back to the Apex Base or Probe Module.

WARNING: Neptune Systems do not recommend fully submerging the pH probe as this will cause the probe to fail prematurely.

NOTE: Do not let the tip of the pH probe dry out as damage to the probe will result. If you are not using your pH probe for an extended period of time, make sure the tip is submerged in Probe Storage solution at all times. If storage solution is not available, tap water can be used (RODI water should not be used).

pH Probe Calibration
pH probes need to be calibrated to perform properly. The following procedure should be repeated periodically to keep your pH reading accurate as pH probes tend to drift out of calibration over time. As the pH probe ages, it will drift out of calibration very quickly or may not be capable of being calibrated at all. If this occurs, it will be necessary to replace the pH probe.

NOTE: If you wish to use the automatic temperature compensation feature, you should enable it before calibrating your pH probes. In this case, it is important for the calibration solution to be at the same temperature as the temperature probe at calibration time. The Apex system uses a 2-point calibration system, which results in very accurate readings between the 2 points and less accurate readings outside the points.

Choose the calibration solutions based on the range of pH the probe is expected to read. See the table below for recommended calibration solutions:

Recommended Calibration Solutions

  Expected
Range
Low
Solution
High
Solution
Freshwater Aquarium 6.0 - 7.5 4.0 7.0
Saltwater Aquarium 7.8 - 8.5 7.0 10.0
Calcium Reactor 6.5 - 7.0 4.0 7.0

NOTE: For best results, use pH calibration solutions in packets as the solution in bottles tend to shift pH after they have been opened.

To calibrate a pH probe:

  1. Acquire the proper pH-calibration solution packets and place in aquarium water (unopened) to acclimate them to the system temperature.

  2. From the Apex Display, open the pH calibration menu: Setup - pH Setup - pH Calibrate.

  3. If you have more than one pH probe enabled on your system, use the up/down arrow keys to choose the probe you wish to calibrate, press Select or OK.

  4. Use the up/down arrow keys to select the value of the Low Calibration Solution used, push Select.

  5. Dry the Low Calibration Solution packet off and carefully open the corner of the low solution, just enough to get the pH probe inserted in the packet.

  6. Remove the pH probe to be calibrated from the tank, rinse it in probe storage solution (or tap water), gently shake the excess solution off the probe, and place the probe in the Low Calibration Solution. Periodically swirl the probe in the solution to ensure an accurate reading. Ensure the probe is submerged in calibration solution at all times.

  7. Wait for the low reading to stop changing. This may take a few minutes up to 5 minutes depending on the type and condition of pH probe being calibrated. The value of the reading while calibrating may not match the value of the solution being used, this is normal. Once the reading has stabilized, press Select or OK.

  8. Use the up/down arrow keys to select the High Calibration Solution used, push Select.

  9. Dry the High Calibration Solution packet off and carefully open the corner of the low solution, just enough to get the pH probe inserted in the packet.

  10. Remove the pH probe from the Low Calibration Solution, rinse it in probe storage solution (or tap water), gently shake the excess solution off the probe, and place the probe in the High Calibration Solution. Periodically swirl the probe in the solution to ensure an accurate reading. Ensure the probe is submerged in calibration solution at all times.

  11. Wait for the high reading to stop changing. This may take a few minutes up to 5 minutes depending on the type and condition of pH probe being calibrated. The value of the reading while calibrating may not match the value of the solution being used, this is normal. Once the reading has stabilized, press Select or OK.

  12. The Apex system will use the calibration measurements to calibrate the pH probe.

  13. The calibration fluid can be used to calibrate more than one probe; however, the pH calibration should be discarded after use, as they will degrade over time after opening.

If the calibration measurements were not accurate or were out of range, the calibration may fail, which will be indicated on the Apex Display. In this case, the default calibration settings will be used. You can attempt the calibration procedure again; however, this usually indicates that the pH probe is too far out of range and should be replaced.

pH Probe Maintenance
pH probes should be periodically cleaned and recalibrated for best performance. It is not recommended to clean the probes unless calibration is to be performed. The period between cleanings is up to the user but typically, every 1-3 months is normal. To clean the probe, gently brush the sides and tip of the probe with a soft brush to remove any debris. Rinse the probe in tap water. Soaking the probe in acid (vinegar) or alkali (borax) solution to remove mineral deposits is not typically needed but can be used to try and bring back an old probe that cannot be calibrated. Typical lifespan for a pH probe in aquarium use is 12-24 months.

ORP Probe Setup
The Apex Base Module has a port that can be used to measure ORP, the Apex Lite Base Module does not include an ORP port. The port on Probe Module 1 can be configured to read ORP or pH. The ORP port on the Apex Base Module can be reconfigured as a second pH port if needed. Setup and configuration of the ORP ports and calibration of the connected probes is the same for all probes on the system. The Base Module ORP probe will be identified as "ORP", the ORP probe on the PX1000 Probe Expansion as "ORPA", "ORPB" and so on, and probes on Apex Probe Module 1 (PM1) as "ORPx3", "ORPx4" and so on.

The ORP probe is connected to the port labeled "pH/ORP" on the Apex Base Module and Probe Module 1. Push the BNC female connector on to the male connector and turn ¼ turn clockwise to lock the connector place. To remove the probe, turn 1/4 turn counterclockwise and gently pull the connector straight off the base module. All new probes should be rinsed in clean tap water before placing in the aquarium. Place the ORP probe in an area with high flow that is continuously wet (not an overflow that may drain dry, for example). Maintain a drip loop in the wire back to the Apex Base or Probe Module.

NOTE: New ORP probes typically read low and require a break-in period. It may take as long as a week to break-in the ORP probe. During this break-in period, control functions based upon ORP are not recommended.

WARNING: Neptune Systems do not recommend fully submerging the ORP probe as this will cause the probe to fail prematurely.

ORP Probe Calibration
ORP probes do not need to be calibrated to operate properly - they should operate normally for the life of the probe without calibration. However, the AquaController Apex includes the ability to perform a 2-point calibration if desired. Special calibration solution must be made from standard pH 4.0 and 7.0 calibration solution by dissolving Quinhydrone powder in the solutions. Simply dissolve Quinhydrone powder into the 4. 0 and 7.0 solutions until the powder no longer dissolve. Adding too much powder does not harm anything, it just wastes the powder.

To calibrate an ORP probe:

  1. Create the ORP 4.0 and 7.0 solutions as described above.

  2. From the Apex Display, open the ORP calibration menu: Setup - ORP Setup - ORP Calibrate.

  3. If you have more than one ORP probe enabled on your system, use the up/down arrow keys to choose the probe you wish to calibrate, press Select or OK.

  4. Remove the ORP probe to be calibrated from the tank, rinse it in tap water, gently shake the excess water off the probe, and place the probe in the 7.0/Quinhydrone Calibration Solution. Periodically swirl the probe in the solution to ensure an accurate reading. Ensure the probe is submerged in calibration solution at all times.

  5. Wait for the 7.0/Quinhydrone reading to stop changing. This may take a few minutes up to 5 minutes depending on the type and condition of ORP probe being calibrated. The value of the reading while calibrating may not match the value of the solution being used, this is normal. Once the reading has stabilized, press Select or OK.

  6. Remove the pH probe from the 7.0/Quinhydrone Calibration Solution, rinse it in tap water, gently shake the excess water off the probe, and place the probe in the 4.0/Quinhydrone Calibration Solution. Periodically swirl the probe in the solution to ensure an accurate reading. Ensure the probe is submerged in calibration solution at all times.

  7. Wait for the high reading to stop changing. This may take a few minutes up to 5 minutes depending on the type and condition of ORP probe being calibrated. The value of the reading while calibrating may not match the value of the solution being used, this is normal. Once the reading has stabilized, press Select or OK.

  8. The Apex system will use the calibration measurements to calibrate the ORP probe.

  9. The calibration fluid can be used to calibrate more than one probe; however, the ORP calibration should be discarded after use, as they will degrade over time after opening. If the calibration measurements were not accurate or were out of range, the calibration may fail which will be indicated on the Apex Display. In this case, the default calibration settings will be used. You can attempt the calibration procedure again; however, this usually indicates that the ORP probe is too far out of range and should be replaced.

ORP Probe Maintenance
ORP probes should be periodically cleaned for best performance. The period between cleanings is up to the user but typically, every 1-3 months is normal. To clean the probe, gently brush the sides and tip of the probe with a soft brush to remove any debris. Rinse the probe in tap water. Soaking the probe in acid (vinegar) or alkali (borax) solution to remove mineral deposits is not typically needed but can be used to try and bring back an old probe that has stopped working.

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