The Aqua Link Controller is a new, much better driver that is specifically designed to replace the bare bones drivers that have shipped with so many legions of DC pumps in the last few years. Jebao, Deepwater, and Waveline DC Pumps have always been equipped with a super rudimentary ‘controller’ which is quite a shame when you consider all the things that these controllable pumps can do.
We got a look at the Aqua Link in action at MACNA 2015 and it’s a real product which can deliver some tangible upgrades to your DC pump by simply replacing the existing driver. The Aqua Link Controller drives the DC Pump much quieter than stock drivers with new and improved driving current signal, it has a port for plugging in a battery backup, and it can even spin your impeller backwards in an effort to automatically clean it.
The digital display of the Aqua Link Controller can adjust the pump settings from 8% to 105% in one percent increments, and we don’t think it’ll be too much for the pump to “overclock” it by a measly five percent. The Aqua Link Controller also has built in programming for protein skimmer pumps, as well as Wave Maker functions which will particularly useful for the Jebao WP and Aqua Medic EcoDrift series of propeller pumps.
Most importantly, the Aqua Link is both
Apex Ready Apex-“capable” and GHL Ready allowing you to network all sorts of DC pumps including Jebao prop and centrifugal pumps, previous generations of Wavelines, and it’ll even play nice with the MaxSpect Gyre, just like the IceCap Gyre Interface Module.
We’re not one to really ‘cheerlead’ for direct-from-china aquarium products, especially for fairly sophisticated electronic equipment such as a pump driver, but it is hard to ignore the huge feature set that the Aqua Link Controller can unlock for about $100. When you consider how many DC motor-powered devices are out in the world, the appeal of the Aqua Link Controller is readily apparent.
That being said, we find it hard to wrap our heads around how the Aqua Link Controller can distinguish between say, a low-power prop pump like the Jebao WP-10 that draws between 6 and 15 watts and a centrifugal Waveline DC-10,000 that draws a maximum of 85 watts. The feature set offered by the new Aqua Link Controller is quite attractive, but we definitely won’t be the first user to test it out on our own tanks.
Correction: A previous version of this article mentioned that the Aqua Link is ‘Apex-Ready’ but this is not entirely correct. The Aqua Link has connections for controllers like the Apex but the trademarked designation of Apex Ready requires steps to be followed and it must be granted by Neptune Systems, something which hasn’t yet happened for the Aqua Link.