Aquarium controller Aqua go – in-depth review
GSM module and notifications
As we said, one of the most interesting characteristics of Aqua Go is its GSM module. This allows the system to send us notifications in the occurring of many events. The most important is, obviously, the blackout, but it’s also very useful if the temperature is too low (could be a sign of a broken heater) or too high (a sign of a broken vent or chiller), if the pH is too high in the calcium reactor and so on! This is one of those features that should always be present in a marine aquarium. It really is necessary.
Here below you can see some of the received SMS.
Wifi Go module
The last arrived in Aqua go is the wifi module.
This module allows Aqua go to connect online via your home wifi. It has multiple advantages: first of all, you can control the entire system remotely, directly from your sofa!, outlets and sensors included. Then, you can also set the outlets and choose the switches. It’s easier if you access through the browser than with the texts that Aqua go sends.
Moreover, you can download a .csv file for each sensor that has the variations of the values through time.
The wifi go module costs 149 euro.
The subscription to the wifi module
Included in the purchase there will be also a premium subscription for 3 months. That’s how it works: Aqua go is connected to a server cloud that then passes us the possibility to see or do certain thing, and that’s decided by the level of subscription that we have. There are three levels:
- Base: it’s free and only allows to see the status of sensors and outlets;
- Premium: costs 19 euro per year and allows to do every basic operation but also to activate, disable, shut down and restart;
- Deluxe: costs 24,9 euro per year, but you can also have it by a monthly payment of 3 euro. It allows to do every operation included in the premium module but it also adds the possibility to include/exclude the level/flooding/blackout sensors. Moreover it stores the history of all the values of the aquarium (every sensor and outlet) up to a year with graphic dispaly.
Well sure we would rather have had everything with any further cost, but on the other hand the web space has its costs and the history with the everyday data can be very invasive. In any case, I believe that the base service can offer what is needed to the 90% of the users, also because you can do the various turning on and off via SMS. I, being such a graphs lover, had to subscribe to the deluxe.
The best quality of Aqua go is also its worst fault. The system is very complex. It sure allows to do everything you can imagine. But that’s exactly what can cause problems. Let’s do a practical example: if you have a UPS and you connect the blackout sensor but you forget to tell it what to do if there’s a power outage Aqua go doesn’t know what to do when the power goes down and when it returns… and it doesn’t do anything.
You have to think using the logic of the system. For some things it’s easy, like for the temperature, for others is less intuitive. But you can bypass the problem asking the excellent costumer service, and I had a very good experience with Cristiano, who has been fantastic. Always ready to help you at almost everytime… “almost” because he also needs to sleep sometimes! And this is surely a great plus for Aqua Go, because no matter what happens there’s always a person that listens, knows the system and fixes the problem.
Another thing that could be a source of problems is the update of the superior release. Even though the main part of the problems has been resolved, it’s better if you do the update when you have time for that, maybe on a Monday than on a Saturday, so that the customer service is available if something doesn’t go correctly. And, obviously, follow the istructions step-by-step.
In the first three months of selling there was a problem with the stability, especially due to the pressure surges that the system poorly tolerates. But the last releases are stable, except for a annoying problem with Vodafone.
Aqua go and the problem with Vodafone
Let’s keep this short: don’t assosiate Aqua go to a Vodafone SIM. I had to do it for personal problems with TIM and now I have to turn back to a TIM SIM. In the pursuit of saving channels, Vodafone (but also other telecommunications companies), puts the SIM in parking zone, and when Aqua go tries to restart the SIM it can receive by Vodafone a wrong answer or no answer at all and then force a reboot of the SIM.
The reboot of the SIM blocks completely Aqua go until it doesn’t finish the process. The moment in which Aqua go isn’t usable can last up to 30 seconds, and in this time may happen that Aqua go also reboots, or that it reboots the outlets. You won’t loose your set up and the notifications but it could shut down all the outlets, then restart again, and then be active only the ones that you planned. Very annoying.
Ah, did I tell you that with TIM these problems don’t exist?
Needless to say, I liked the system very much. I found it very complete, it allows to do basically anything.
The customer service is top-notch. Cristiano, who deals with the programming of the system, is always present to help you with your problems and the speed of response is remarkable. Also, if some user has a sensate request it might be teken into account for the updated version, which denotes great care and attention to users.
If you want help on your configurations, or even just to set the system up, you can consult the apposite section in our forum, given the high number of users with this system. But there’re also available some videoguides created by Aqua go and their official forum. But when you turn it on Aqua go allows to use a simplified configuration and if you don’t have any specific need you can just use that one.
The price is honestly low, especially for the base version that includes the GSM and a power unit with wich you can already program many things.
Programming possibilities practically infinite;
GSM module included in every version;
Optical level sensors;
Base version already suitable for managing the aquarium;
Top quality customer service;
Complex to program;
Problems with Vodafone SIM;
Aqua go by 3lements – summary table
|Quality – price ratio|
- 3lements website
- Available discounts
Disclaimer: The Aqua go kit Deluxe object of this test has been made available by 3lements