5 Best Aquarium Controllers and Monitors

If you’re serious about the fish tank you’re crafting and growing, you’ll want to think about how you approach monitoring different aspects of your tank. From monitoring the oxygen, CO2 and pH levels of the water to controlling the lighting systems and overall water temperature, technology has come a long way since traditional tanks with simple timers.

By investing in a proper controller system, you can automate and optimize every aspect of your aquarium to run perfectly and how you want it to create the kind of tank you want to create. What’s more, you’ll be able to let everything run on its own using the built-in computer settings.

The water getting too hot or cold but you’re out at work? Don’t worry; the controller will activate the heaters to get things back to normal. Is the PH level becoming too unbalanced? Again, the controller will have your back. It doesn’t matter what areas of your tank you want to optimize and what equipment you’re going to use, you’re going to need a controller to manage it all.

However, the first choice you’ll need to make is choosing the aquarium controller that’s right for you. You’ll need the right features and functions for the device to work properly for you which is why we’ve got and sourced the best five controllers available today.

We’ve taken everything into account from functionality and performance to price and ease of use, helping you find the perfect device. Let’s jump right into it!

Milwaukee pH Controller

Milwaukee pH Controller

Starting off our list, we’ve chosen the Milwaukee pH Controller; a simple yet professional and highly functional controller set designed to help you monitor strictly the pH level of your tank. Managing the pH levels of your tank is essential, and this is one of the best tools for the job.

While this isn’t a complete controller that controls every aspect of your tank, if you’re looking something dedicated to monitoring your pH levels, especially if you’re only just starting out in the world of aquarium keeper, this unit could be perfect.

This aquarium monitoring system has a 5-point pH level reader between 5.5 and 9pH which is the optimal range of fish tanks and hydroponic setups. Simply plug your device into the wall, insert the node and you’ll receive a visual/audio alarm for whether the levels are too high or low.

You can then input either the acidic or alkaline pouches until the pH is back to where you want it. Using this device is that simple and easy! Looking at past reviews, there are hundreds of happy and satisfied users of this device and for such a great price, you really can’t wrong.

PRO
  • A dedicated controller focusing on the pH levels of your aquarium
  • Well made, reliable and will last for years to come
  • Comes with pouches of fluids to help balance pH levels
  • Comes with a calibration tool to keep everything working optimally
CONS
  • Only controls the pH level of your aquarium

Hydro Smart Level Controller (Automatic Top Off)

Hydro Smart Level Controller (Automatic Top Off)

Controlling the water level of your aquarium is such an important aspect of aquarium keeping that so many people overlook; typically, with devastating results. Whether your fish tank is set up in your home or office, the chances are you can’t be around it all day.

Because you can’t constantly keep an eye on the tank, how are you supposed to monitor the water levels of your tank? If the water starts to drop so low due to evaporation, or a drain or filter malfunction causes the water to rise, you could have a lot of problems on your hand.

Instead of dealing with problems, the Hydro Smart Level controller monitors the water level consistently, without being affected by the natural waves of your tank, in the event the water level goes either way. If so, the device will send out an audio/visual alarm, as well as preventing the water from changing any more thanks to the pipes and tubes.

The device is really easy to set up and even comes with a suction cup for easy installation onto the side of your tank. The device is well made and durable with no moving parts and comes with everything you need to have the best experience! What more do you need?

PRO
  • Actively monitors the water level of your fish tank
  • Sends out an audio/visual alarm in the case of water level changes
  • Easy to install onto the side of your fish tank
  • Doesn’t set off due to waves or tank movements
CONS
  • None!

Inkbird Aquarium Dual Stage Temperature Controller + NTC

Inkbird Aquarium Dual-Stage Temperature Controller + NTC

Another essential element you’ll want to control in your tank is the water temperature. If the water of your tank is too hot or too cold, this is going to cause serious problems for life inside your aquarium, and it won’t survive very long, even with a tiny difference in degrees.

Of course, you can’t monitor the temperature of your tank manually all the time which is why it’s so important to get yourself a temperature controller like the Inkbird. This is an effective, high-performance temperature controller designed specifically for aquarium control.

The device is easy to set up inside your tank and comes with a bright, clear LED screen so you can see exactly what the temperature is at all times with a quick glance. The device also supports both °F and °C, so whatever works best for you.

Thanks to the built-in dual relay output, it’s easy to plug in your heaters and coolers directly into the device for everything to work automatically. Simply plug everything in, set it all up in your tank, set your desired temperature and that’s all you’ll have to worry about it again! If anything goes wrong, these an audio/visual alarm to grab your attention in extreme circumstances.

There’s really nothing negative to say about this temperature controller as it really does have everything you need. It’s easily one of the highest rated units available right now, meaning you can’t go wrong!

PRO
  • Complete temperature control monitoring with both °F and °C
  • Dual LED screen to see actual temperature and requested temperature
  • Audio/visual alarm if the temperature reaches a dangerous level
  • Easy to set up and get using
CONS
  • None!

Seneye Home Aquarium Monitor

Seneye Home Aquarium Monitor

If you’re looking for a more inclusive aquarium monitor that does all of the above features but all without buying separate devices, you may not need to look further than the Seneye Home Aquarium Monitor.

While this is more expensive than the other monitors, it does come with a built-in temperature monitor, a pH monitor, and a nitrogen-content monitor; all integrated into one durable and well-designed unit.

This device is super easy to set up since you just drop it into your tank gently; regardless of whether that’s cold-water, marine or even tropical tanks. You then plug the universal USB cable into your computer or monitoring station to keep tabs on everything that’s going on at all hours of the day. In fact, this device can make as many as 5600 readings per month!

Although not included in this purchase, you can also invest in the Seneye Web Server which transmits your data out to your phone or another computer, allowing you to monitor your aquarium at any time from anywhere in the world, as well as providing you with a range of other features.

We love that there’s no need to calibrate this device so you can get up and running in no time at all. It’s also one of the highest rated multi-featured aquarium monitors with no real negative points; making this a monitor that should be near the top of your consideration list.

PRO
  • Can make up to 5600 readings per month
  • Connects to computers and controller bases via USB
  • Drops straight into your tank to start readings
  • Has three unique and dedicated monitoring features
CONS
  • A bit more expensive than other monitors and controllers

American Marine Pinpoint pH Monitor + Calibration Fluids

American Marine Pinpoint pH Monitor + Calibration Fluids

The final device we’re featuring on our list today because you need to know about it is the American Marine Pinpoint Monitor. This is another dedicated pH monitor that comes with everything you need for the best monitoring experience, as well as including fluids to help you ensure the pH level is perfect.

While some of you may find this a bit expensive for ‘just a pH monitor,’ it’s worth remembering that this is made by one of the most trustworthy and reputable brands in the business and is highly accurately, so you can be sure you’re getting it right every single time.

What’s more, this monitor is battery-powered, so you won’t have to worry about it not working in the event of a storm or power cut; although an AC cable is included if you want it.

Researching online, we found a ton of positive reviews and very few saying they had problems with it. Being such a highly rated pH monitor in all aspects, this is guaranteed to be the right tool for the job.

PRO
  • An extremely accurate monitor
  • Produced by the reputable American Marine
  • Can be battery powered or run on mains electricity
  • Easy to set up and start using in minutes
CONS
  • May be a bit expensive for budget buyers

Summary

There’s no denying the fact that there are plenty of monitors and controllers when it comes to kitting out your aquarium with the latest tech, all designed to help you have the easiest and most optimized experience where owning and caring for your aquarium.

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