Neptune Systems AquaController 3 Pro (no probe)

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This item has been discontinued.

Neptune Systems

The AquaController III Pro base unit contains all the necessary capabilities to monitor and control even the most demanding aquarium setup. All of the features described below are present in the base unit; there are no additional software upgrades to buy.

The AquaController III Pro has an easy to use and intuitive three button user interface. The buttons are used to navigate through the menus and to modify the standard setup. All setup and program modifications are possible through the buttons on the AquaController III Pro - no external computer is required.


The base unit includes a comprehensive owner`s manual, which contains instructions and examples on how to best utilize your AquaController III Pro. No technical background is necessary to setup and operate the controller. The base unit measures 4.0" x 7.50" x 1.30"

To help you perform the initial setup of the AquaController III Pro, the base unit comes pre-programmed with a default setup which requires little if any modification to work with most aquarium setups.

Monitor pH, ORP, Temperature, Conductivity and Dissolved Oxygen
The base unit includes software which is capable of monitoring pH, ORP, temperature, conductivity and dissolved oxygen. The monitored data is continuously displayed on the large LCD display and also logged into the internal RAM for later retrieval. All probes support digital calibration.

Control pH, ORP, Temperature, Conductivity and Dissolved Oxygen
The AquaController III Pro also contains the functionality to control the pH, ORP, temperature, conductivity and dissolved oxygen in your tank. The standard control functions for the monitored parameters listed above are possible.

For pH control typically CO2 is injected into the aquarium when the pH rises too high. The AquaController III Pro continuously monitors the pH and can turn the CO2 injection system on or off based upon the user defined high and low set points. Because of the AquaController III Pro`s highly programmable nature, it is possible to control pH in new and nonstandard ways. For example, in reef tanks with a calcium reactor it is desirable to stop injecting CO2 into the reaction chamber if the pH of the tank falls too low. The AquaController III Pro is currently the only known controller on the market capable of this type of control. The CO2 injection system is not included with AquaController III Pro.

Similarly, the AquaController III Pro can control the ORP level in your tank with the injection of ozone. If the ORP in your tank drops to an user defined settings, the AquaController III Pro can enable ozone injection into the tank. The ozone injection system is not included with AquaController III Pro.

Also the AquaController III Pro can control both a heater and chiller to maintain a stable temperature environment in the tank. The heater and/or chiller enable and disable temperatures can be set independently. Given the tank has an adequate heater and chiller, the temperature can be maintained within +-.3 °F.

Additionally, the AquaController III Pro has many more features for temperature control. For example, if the temperature of the tank exceeds a preset value, the AquaController III Pro can turn on a fan to cool the tank. If the temperature rises higher, an additional fan or chiller can be enabled. If the temperature rises even higher, lights can be shut off. There is really no limit to the number of ways that the AquaController III Pro can control the temperature.

Also, the AquaController III Pro has a special temperature cycle which is used to simulate seasonal temperature variations. All of the above mentioned features for temperature control are available in this mode as well; only the target temperature set point varies with the day of the year. This mode of operation is most interesting to the serious aquarist trying to induce his corals and fish to spawn.

The timer functionality included in the base unit is capable of turning devices on and off at specific times of the day with one minute resolution. The AquaController III Pro can also turn the devices on or off multiple times per day not just one time per day as with other controllers. The flexible timers allows for the standard lighting control as well as for dosing of various elements. Up to 30 devices can be controlled by the AquaController III Pro.

Sunrise and Sunset Simulation
The AquaController III Pro has a special type of timer which can be used to simulate the varying lengths of days throughout the year. This feature is used to make the length of daylight hours longer in the summer than in the winter. This results in a more realistic simulation of natural lighting variations.

Moon Cycle Simulation
The AquaController III Pro has another special type of timer which can be used to simulate the moon cycle in your tank. A special lamp control module is used. This control module is capable of varying the intensity of light emitted from an incandescent bulb. The intensity variations are controlled by the AquaController III Pro which is preprogrammed with correct intensity values for each day of the moon cycle. The AquaController III Pro automatically updates the intensity value depending upon the current setting of the AquaController III Pro`s clock. With this artificial moon cycle, it is possible to induce corals and fish to spawn.

Each pump to be controlled can either have a random or fixed time period. Both the on and off times are fully programmable and can range from 1 minute to 4 hours in 1 minute increments. Up to 20 pumps can be controlled by one base unit. A variable length feed timer cycle can be initiated with the press of a button and will disable some or all of the pumps in the system (programmed by the user).

4 External Switch Inputs
The AquaController III Pro comes equipped with 4 TTL level external inputs which can be used to activate/deactivate receive an external stimulus. Applications for these inputs include connection to water level float switches, water pressure and flow sensors, and water on the floor sensors. The AquaController III Pro program can be set up to signal alarms or turn on/off appliances in the event of external switch open or closure.

Programming Language
One of the AquaController III Pro`s most compelling features is its simple to use yet very powerful programming language. The extensive owner`s manual thoroughly describes the installation and customization of the AquaController III Pro for use in your tank. The manual also contains many programming examples which illustrate many of its unique features. With this system the control of your aquarium is limited only by your imagination.

The AquaController III Pro can be programmed to enable an audible alarm when a monitored condition exceeds a preset value. The AquaController III Pro will immediately let you know when your tank needs attention. With an internet connection (cable or DSL connection) and alarm email can be sent. The information received in the email includes the current pH, temperature, ORP, conductivity and dissolved oxygen, power status, and the state all the controlled devices at the time of the alarm.

Data Logging
The AquaController III Pro has data logging for the aquarist that wants to keep an accurate log of the conditions in his aquarium. Temperature, pH, ORP, conductivity and dissolved oxygen are sampled and stored into battery backed RAM. The sample interval is user programmable and can be from 1 minute to four hours in 1 minute increments. The data log can either be viewed on the LCD display or downloaded to a PC or Macintosh. via a standard RS232 serial connection.

Web Interface
When the AquaController III Pro is connected to your local network by its ethernet port, the controllers status and configuration settings are available through a standard browser. Not only can the current status be access, but also any of the controlled devices can be manual turned on or off. Also available through the web interface are the ability, view/modify the current controller program, view the datalogs, set the clock, and view the seasonal table. If an internet connection (DSL or cable modem) is available where the AquaController is installed, then your system can be checked on in almost any location in the world. Of course all access to the controller is password protected to ensure security. Note that a PC is not required for the AquaController to serve web pages; the webserver is built into the AquaController III Pro.

Computer Interface
The AquaController III Pro can be optionally connected to PC or Macintosh via a standard RS-232 cable (available from Neptune Systems). The serial interface allows you to download the datalog log as well as retrieve the current status of the monitored parameters and controlled devices in the aquarium. A computer is NOT required to program or operate the AquaController III Pro.

Standard terminal emulator programs interface quite easily to the AquaController III Pro. These terminal emulators are bundled with Windows or available as a public domain program for the Macintosh.

In addition the III Pro also supports a standard telnet server, so that the current status, datalogs, etc. are also available by a standard TCP/IP Ethernet connection.

Battery Backup
An internal lithuim battery powers the AquaController III Pro`s internal real time clock in the event when no external power is present. In the event of a power failure on both the primary AC adapter or the optional secondary power backup source, no configuration, program state, or clock settings will be lost. After power is restored all controlled devices will be in the correct state within five minutes after power is restored.

The internal battery is only used to retain the time of real time clock; the program and settings are stored in non-volatile memory. Since this is non-volatile memory, the AquaController III Pro retains the program and settings even during a power outage or failed internal battery. Once the AquaController III Pro is configured no more setup or reprogramming is required.

Power Fail Alarm
In the event of power failure the AquaController III Pro can signal by email or a local audible alarm the fault condition. The III Pro has a second AC adapter connector which should be plugged into an external UPS to power the controller internal circuitry. The AquaController can sense the loose of power on the primary AC adapter connector and signal either a local audible alarm or send an email through its Ethernet internet connection. In addition the AquaController III Pro logs the time that power failure started and when the power was restored.

Large LCD Display
The large and informative display on the AquaController III Pro is capable of displaying 20 characters by 4 lines of text/special characters. In the status mode the display shows the current conditions in the aquarium, the date and time, and the status of all the controlled devices. The large display also makes it much easier to program the controller as well as look at the data log. No other aquarium controller offers as large and informative a display. The AquaController III Pro comes standard with a backlit LCD display.

Display Lock with password protection
To keep unauthorized users from accessing and modifying the AquaController III Pro`s configuration, the display can be locked. To unlock the display a user settable password must be entered.

The AquaController III Pro comes with a built-in self test diagnostic program which lets you know if the system is operating correctly. Also displayed on the self test screen are the revision and date of the firmware.

Product Manuals & Documentation

Neptune Systems AquaController 3 Pro (no probe)

Owner's Manual available for download in Adobe PDF file format

Manufacturer Info

Neptune Systems Aquarium Supplies
Neptune Systems is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aquarium controllers. The company was founded in 1995 for the purpose of developing affordable water quality monitoring and control instrumentation. Their engineering team has extensive expertise in computer hardware and software system design as well as a background in water quality analysis. Neptune Systems uses these finely-honed engineering skills to develop innovative monitoring and control solutions for use in reef and fresh water aquariums, aquaculture tanks, hydroponics systems and general laboratory use. Neptune Systems is best known for their AquaController line. The company is known for their innovation and customer centricity.


90 day warranty on probes. 1 year on other equipment.



Experience Level: Expert

AC3 & Neptune Products

I have a 2500 gallon reef system & the AC3 Pro & AC3 run it for me. I've been a customer of Neptune for about 3 years now & they've never let me down. The AC3 pro does it all! I can be in Maui & still keep tabs on my system. The controller will even let me know if something is wrong! How cool is that! I have two controllers just in case something happens to one. Just a little extra assurance I guess. The support behind the product is what really matters & Curt @ Neptune Systems knows the product & helps whenever I have a question. The sky is the limit with programming & customization.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Too Much Information

I selected the AC3 Pro because it seemed to have a lot of flexibility to monitor beyond just basic TEMP and PH readings. I purchased the Temp, PH, Conductivity and ORP probes. All worked right out of the box after simple calibration steps provided in the instructions. Now the trick is keeping my tank tuned to stay within the readings. I so much info that I didnt have before. I was not a consistent tester of water parameters. Now I am able to graph readings throughout the day and night and can really see some interesting trends. I am still working on the controlling the lighing, temp, CO2 and Ozone to maintain more of a stable environment on my 120Gal live reef/fish tank. I also connected an external breakout box to a waterbug WB200 water-on-the-floor sensor and was able to modify the AC3 program to alarm me when I get a spill or leak. Still working on setting up the Web and email alerts. The Aquanotes software took a little work to configure but so far Neptune's tech support has been there for me. Having some difficulty with the X10 dontrols but recommend the DC-4 or DC-8 to control devices. Automation and control is cool!

20 out of 22 found this review helpful

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Steve Walker from

Awsome controller!

I love this controller! It's packed full of cool featuresand easy to use. My tank is really shaping up thanks to the Aqua Controller III Pro

7 out of 17 found this review helpful

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