The eKoral PRO aquarium controller is about a month away from release and is likely to be priced right at $899 for the entire package. The eKoral selling point is the simplicity of setup and ease of use for the hobbyist that just wants a controller that hits the majority of key functions right out of the box.
When you get your eKoral PRO, you get the eK Core that is the brains of the system, the eK Power 6 power strip with six independently controllable 10A sockets, four probes and cords (hP, ORP, salinity and temperature), the ultrasound eK Level Sensor, mounting brackets, and calibration fluids.
As we mentioned earlier, eKoral was designed from the software first perspective to deliver a straightforward user experience. The company behind it is a global leader in analog and digital power supplies and they just happened to leverage the technology they were developing for the saltwater aquarium hobby.
Taking the calibration of the probes out of the picture, you could seriously get this system out of the box and set up in 30 minutes. There are just four steps: power on the eK Core, pair with your device, connect to the internet and then dial in your settings.
Sure there are many other established brands of aquarium controllers on the market and just like trying to get a diehard Ford owner to jump to Chevy, and vise versa, swaying them to this platform is probably isn’t going to happen. However, their potential customer is those with no allegiance to a controller or people getting into the hobby buying complete, robust all-in-one aquariums (from Red Sea or others for example) that want a simple, turnkey and straightforward product that works well.
The app itself is available for both iOS and Android and has a nice interface. It also connects to the internet by WiFi, Bluetooth or via Ethernet cable to fit your needs and connects to a cloud server to allow you to remotely monitor and control your fish from any iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.Having the internet connection also means it gives you the ability to receive over-the-air software updates automatically and get alerts and notifications.
A nice feature is the ability to get a quick time-lapse preview of your settings to dial in your settings just how you like without having to wait out the entire cycle. It also features the ability to you IFTT-like control to initiate or control actions based on events or triggers.
We were also a little bit curious about the ultrasound level sensor, especially in a reef system with plenty of random flow and varying degrees of surface turbulence. Since the control is always taking readings, its crunching the numbers in the background to normalize the activity to differentiate between a rogue wave vs. rising or falling water levels. Plus with no moving parts, it won’t get stuck.
Its also designed to work well with your current devices, no matter who makes it, you should be able to get some level of control out of it. You can even use this for a freshwater or planted tank by ditching the salinity probe.
We’ll let you know as they get closer to release date on the final pricing and how you’ll be able to purchase it.