There are a variety of different aquarium controllers on the market. Why would you want to buy a Hydros Controller over the competitor’s controller? Here are some reasons to choose Hydros Control.
Low Entry Cost
When aquarium controllers first came out, they were expensive. For a long time, aquarium controllers were at least $500 (retail). The Hydros Control XS and Control 2 Starter Packs are less than $199 (2023 retail MAP). These are great basic controllers for nano tanks or for people who want to try a controller without spending a large sum of money.
Many Hydros modules are also considerably cheaper than the competition. Dosing pumps are only $60, ATOs are $80, and controllable power strips are $40. Most competitors will charge 2-3 times this much for the same add-on modules. Using a Hydros controller may actually save you money because it will allow you to add integrated options, such as the Hydros Auto Top-Off and Hydros Dosing Pump, for a lower cost than with the competing stand-alone solutions.
Most controllers use one central “brain” that has the CPU and memory that controls all of the devices. But this means that if that main control unit fails or is disconnected, then everything stops working. With Hydros each “control” unit has its own memory and CPU. This means that when you use multiple Hydros products together much of your system will continue to work if one unit fails. You can also wire the units together so that if one unit loses WiFi it can still function by receiving data from the other connected units.
Bluetooth and WiFi
Most modern aquarium controllers can only be controlled with an app or internet connection. When the network is down there is no way to turn things on and off. All Hydros Control modules have built-in Bluetooth, allowing you to turn items on and off even when the internet is down.
With most aquarium controllers you need to run wires from the main control unit to all of the connected devices and modules. With Hydros, devices communicate wirelessly, so there are fewer wires to tuck away and devices in one room can communicate with devices in another room without needing to run a cable through your walls.
Each Controller system has unique sensors that other controllers don’t have. Hydros has some useful sensors that you won’t find in other controller systems.
The first Hydros product was the Hydros Wave Engine. The wave engine is a single controller that can control pump models from Reef Octopus, Ice Cap, Maxpect, Abyzz, Tunze, Jebao, Ecotech (with an RF Chip), Coral Box, and Red Dragon. This means that all of these pumps, even from different brands, can work together to create custom flow patterns in the tank. Many of the pumps can also be connected to the main wave engine power supply, reducing the number of wires and power bricks in your stand.
Water Resistant Design
Hydros Control units have waterproof connectors that are IP-65 rated, making Hydros the most water-resistant controller you can buy.
- TDS Meter
- Hydros is the only aquarium controller we are aware of with a TDS meter. The TDS meter connects to a sense port and can monitor TDS from 2 separate probes while allowing one of the two probes to trigger events and send notifications. One probe can alert you when your DI resin is going bad, and the other probe can alert you when your membrane performance is diminishing.
- Skimmer Sensors
- Nearly all aquarium controllers have some form of water level sensor but Hydros has a Hydros Skimmer Sensor that magnetically couples to your skimmer cup with the sensor inside and the wire outside. The sensor can trigger your skimmer to automatically turn off if the cup is overflowing, and send you a notification that your skimmer needs to be cleaned. No cutting or drilling of the skimmer cup is required.
- Triple Water Sensors
- When you are using your controller to top off your aquarium or perform automatic water changes, you will use a level sensor. The Hydros Triple Optical Water Level Sensor has 3 electronic water level sensors connected to one cord. This gives you the redundancy of running 3 separate water level sensors without using 3 ports on the controller and running 3 wires.
- Magnetic Temperature Sensors
- Every controller has a temperature sensor but Hydros Temperature Sensor has one with a built-in magnet so you can easily mount it without needing a dedicated probe holder. This is great for nano tanks or for sensors going in overflow boxes.
- Rope Leak Sensors
- Monitoring leaks is one of the most important roles of a controller as leaks can not only ruin your aquarium but also your home and maybe even your marriage. When a leak happens, it could happen from anywhere around the aquarium--from any piece of plumbing, or any glue joint. Sometimes the leak occurs somewhere other than where the leak sensor is placed and the system is not alerted. The Hydros Rope Leak Sensors are flexible 9 ft long sensors with sticky tabs so you can wrap the sensor all the way around your aquarium or inside your stand, and know if there is a leak anywhere along the length of the sensor. There is even a Sensor Extension if you would like the rope to go even further.
- 0-10v in
- Hydros has a unique 0-10v in port that allows you to connect switches, buttons, and even other brands of aquarium controllers to your Hydros in order to send it commands. An example would be a button that activates a feed mode, water change mode, or equipment maintenance mode.
- Door Sensors
- Have you ever opened your aquarium stand to find yourself squinting to see what is going on in the sump? With the Hydros Door Switch, you can have your controller automatically turn on your refugium light or a dedicated light strip when your cabinet door is opened so you can see what you are looking at. You can also send your phone a notification if the cabinet is opened by a too curious child.