Reef nutrition

Coralvue Hydros being blackballed?

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Not sure I'm using that term correctly here but...


Gist of it is that a "bigger" controller manufacturer may be using it's muscle to keep the Hydros Control out of online market places. Now no one has been named specifically, and I'm not about to speculate on it either, but if this is in fact true damn... and this isn't a matter of some sort of patent infringing or anything, just straight up going to distributors (BRS and Marine Depot both mentioned in the article) and muscling them out of the market place is absolute bullshit IMO, you can even Google "hydros control" and see BRS did in fact have it up on their page as there's a link to it, however clicking on the link just shows a bunch of controllable products (Tunze, Apex, Maxspect, etc)
 

Meshmez

Supporting Member
In a recent brs video they mentioned the hydros and something to the extent of "we will be testing these out and deciding if we will carry them."

This could just be stalling though. If certain companies truly are blocking the hydros, that's shady, and also says the hydros might be worth a look.
 
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Rostato

Supporting Member
Well. If it’s true, it’s not surprising. Aquarium controllers are extremely overpriced. Whatever manufacturer it isis just trying to save profits.

I honestly think it’s a misunderstanding though. This just seems nuts if it’s true.

I bought my apex used because I feel they are overpriced. These things are not complicated pieces of equipment.
 

JVU

BOD
Staff member
There was also a discussion on R2R about this article. Someone from Marine Depot came on towards the end and said that it isn’t true for them, and they will be carrying the controller. Just a delay due to tropical storm Zeta (CoralVue is based in Louisiana). Then the owner of R2R closed the thread because he’s paid by people on all sides of this.


I really hope that this is just a misunderstanding, which is what it is seeming like right now (with limited info). I can’t watch the BRS FB video so I don’t know what info is in there, but I have to assume he is denying it if he’s posting. The internet is getting crazy lately with conspiracies that travel the globe within hours before the knowledgable people have time to react. People are so quick to assume the worst, and then have already moved on by the time the truth is elaborated.

Edit: I was able to play the BRS video, and Ryan gives specific info that directly debunks the Reef Builders story. Crazy world. Let’s take a breath.
 
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sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Just seeing that BRS video at face value I'd say "Oh ok this just rando- internet rumor running amok"

but directly in the article
…it has been brought to our attention that a direct competitor of HYDROS had recently taken several actions that negatively impact our distribution channels, potentially hurting our trusted retail partners of 20+ years, and more importantly, our valued customers who anxiously await our product launch.” said David D’Aquin the owner of Coralvue group located in Louisiana of the United States.
So the same David the BRS guy is talking about is also quoted as saying there's something fishy. Gotta say while they want to make sure about the controller before selling it, which is a perfectly reasonable response, but they'll more than happily use the search terms to link to other goods which is kind of like the GHL Profilux controller too they link some "random" stuff with those search terms and for some reason they don't sell that either. But I know f'all about search algorithms so this may be a very common thing companies do.
 
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max_nano

Supporting Member
BRS buys the Google ad space for so many aquarium products that they don’t actually sell. They are one of the top results if you search for the khg, which they don’t sell. I think it’s a little weird that they do that, but who knows maybe they bought it thinking they were going to be selling the khg.
 

Meshmez

Supporting Member
BRS buys the Google ad space for so many aquarium products that they don’t actually sell. They are one of the top results if you search for the khg, which they don’t sell. I think it’s a little weird that they do that, but who knows maybe they bought it thinking they were going to be selling the khg.
I'm still confused why they sell other ghl stuff but not the controllers
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
I'm still confused why they sell other ghl stuff but not the controllers
I thought/think it may have to do with being an "authorized US distributor" but then I see Marine Depot selling them, but not many other online stores so maybe it is. Recalling all the crap from Central Pet for years holding a virtual monopoly over the region as far as goods to get as they were the main distributor to LFS I can see some of that "exclusivity" type of stuff seeping through. I seem to recall one particular brand (don't ask) that they wouldn't supply to stores because they owned a competing product brand.
 

jccaclimber

Supporting Member
1. Selling adds for competing products in the same space isn't uncommon. A consumer might think "I want Papa John's" but what they really want is "pizza". If you present them with a bunch of other pizza options that you do carry they might just pick one of those. You can also see how much traffic is directed to you from those other searches. If you see a sudden increase in searches for a product you don't carry you might more strongly consider it. One easy way to track that change is to always have the ad running.
2. I've had a few limited business interactions with the non-public facing sides of Coralvue and BRS. I would not expect them to kill a product. If anything I'd expect them to sell it due to demand, even if it was only mostly ready. If they say they need to do a bit of validation, I believe them.
3. I suspect (just a personal theory) that the spotty availability of some of the European brands is a function of pricing. When I was running an aquarium setup/service company in Dallas I would get requests for GHL, Royal Exclusiv, Vertex, etc. occasionally. The issue is that my wholesale cost was often equal or even higher than the cost to buy directly from them. If I spend time, risk, accept warranty liability, and pay the sales tax for a product that I'm selling at my cost, then I'm not going to do so at a loss even before the time involved. I'll do that for a friend, but trying to do that for a business is a good way to not have one. My LFS didn't carry their products for the same reason. If a portion of their product line had especially high demand or better margins they'll carry it either as a loss leader or exception. There is a reason stores keep Vortec pumps and Radion lights in stock and prominently displayed, but you didn't see a shelf full of Reeflink modules right next to them, and it's not because of suppression of a competing system. Same with other things. My LFS in Dallas carries a lot of Aqueon products, but stopped carrying their heaters due to too many customer issues with them in marine applications.
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Obviously CoralVue seems to be upset about something. Maybe they're hoping for a whistle blower since right now it's all hearsay.

That said, again, this does not shock me that this is done in the hobby.
 

Thales

Past President
Isn't Coral Vue legend for advertising stuff before it is available and that sometimes never actually arrives?

The whole "we heard something, but we can't tell you details, but Ooooweeee..." seems so awful to me.
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
This strikes me as really some sort of viral marketing ploy, to get people talking.
It is hard to enter the market with yet another fish controller. Even if cheaper.
Although I bet it started as some simple argument over MAP pricing and wholesale costs.

The problem with controller sales is low volumes and no monthly fee.
You have to cover all software and support in the cost of the head units sold.
A few phone calls, some returns, ongoing software development, server costs, marketing ..... it really adds up.
And without many millions sold, hard to distribute those costs.

I was in the DVD player business long ago. Costs now are about $10 for a complete unit. For a crappy one, but yes, just $10.
And a DVD player is FAR FAR FAR more complex than some fish controller that just needs a micro controller and a couple of relays.
A decent wifi microcontroller chip is only $0.90
So $200 for Coral Vue, or $900 for Apex .... a tiny part of that is actual electronics.
 

Meshmez

Supporting Member
A decent wifi microcontroller chip is only $0.90
So $200 for Coral Vue, or $900 for Apex .... a tiny part of that is actual electronics.
This can be said for almost anything these days though. You're paying for the software and the support. I know not everyone loves neptune/apex but at the end of the day it's a fairly easy to implement controller with plug n play expansion. Is everything perfect? No. But what is these days?

I have a reefangel too. Bought it years ago, programmed it, it worked great. When I moved I never set it back up. When I set my bigger system up I thought about setting up the reefangel, and ultimately went and got an apex, and have no regrets.

I'm by no means saying the hydros won't be good, I have no experience with it, just saying the underlying cost of components is generally not what you're paying for. How much do bulk Cree LED chips cost?

Edit: re reading your post, I think we might be saying the same thing... :D
 

Patio

Supporting Member
Is one of the main selling points (other than price) fo the Hydros the fact that you will not need to write your own code? Code writing is a barrier to entry for me.
 

max_nano

Supporting Member
I have the hydros app for my gyres and I think they did a pretty decent job building the ecosystem for their new products. It will be interesting to see reviews as more come out.
More competition gives us more options and can help keep prices lower and products evolving. I think Neptune needed the competition and will look forward to what they come up with for products going forward.
After using Neptune and GHL it’s really just about the experience you are looking for and both are great options, I hope hydros can be successful and provide reefers with 3 good choices for controllers. Time will tell

Is one of the main selling points (other than price) fo the Hydros the fact that you will not need to write your own code? Code writing is a barrier to entry for me.
GHL is all no code already, but my experience with apex makes me think you could go for an apex and just ask for help here or on other forums. You set the code and can pretty much forget it. For example you may want to setup 2 heaters, there are some really interesting code snippets to alternate which heater is being used to divide use between the two, and once that is set you would never be messing with the code again
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
I can't speak of the Hydros controller, I use the IceCap Gyre pumps which use the Hydros app though. There's no programming involved with that, but it's pretty damn clunky.
 

max_nano

Supporting Member
I can't speak of the Hydros controller, I use the IceCap Gyre pumps which use the Hydros app though. There's no programming involved with that, but it's pretty damn clunky.
I think it has improved since we each got the gyres during that BRS sale a few weeks back. I had been experiencing connection issues when first setting it up, but now it is working great. I’m sure as they get more users it will hopefully help them find more bugs and improve the stability.
I think it works just as well as the Mobius, myAI, or GHL connect apps. It’s just about learning the way they name the parameters and how their system works. You have presets, and then triggers that switch between those presets. You also have modes that can be set for water changes, feeding, etc
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
This can be said for almost anything these days though. You're paying for the software and the support. I know not everyone loves neptune/apex but at the end of the day it's a fairly easy to implement controller with plug n play expansion. Is everything perfect? No. But what is these days?

I have a reefangel too. Bought it years ago, programmed it, it worked great. When I moved I never set it back up. When I set my bigger system up I thought about setting up the reefangel, and ultimately went and got an apex, and have no regrets.

I'm by no means saying the hydros won't be good, I have no experience with it, just saying the underlying cost of components is generally not what you're paying for. How much do bulk Cree LED chips cost?

Edit: re reading your post, I think we might be saying the same thing... :D
I have a reef angel in some box somewhere also.
The guy selling those was local, and a member.
I went from DIY-Arduino #1 -> RA -> DIY-Photon #2 -> Apex.
Key to Apex was Fusion and I was sick of coding.
 
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