Our in-depth review of the Seneye Reef System

danireefBy danireef 4 years ago
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The Seneye system is a new control system just introduced on the market that stands out for being extremely cheap. We just tried the Seneye Reef which will be discussed in this review.

After quoting the price we have to start from it to understand how this system can be cheap. Seneye Reef is sold to the public at 133 € (albeit in Italy). But now let’s start our complete review.

The Seneye Reef system protagonist of this full review measures lumens, lux, par and temperature of the aquarium, and by means of a slide to be inserted inside and immerse in water can also measure pH and ammonia.

The slide lasts a month and as we said it is needed to get a reliable reading of pH and ammonia and allows access to the system Seneye Plus.

The package contains 3 slides and costs 24.5 euro and therefore lasts 3 months.

But before talking about its performance, we see in detail what is to be made and how it works.

Inside the beautiful box there is the Seneye probe connected to a USB cable to be connected to the computer, a small suction cup to connect the probe to the aquarium glass, and a slide to full operate the system for a month.

The photo shows the front of the Seneye probe, ie the one that should generally be installed to view

The rear part instead, from the technical point of view, is much more interesting, since you can see the light sensor that serves to measure Lumen, Lux and Par, and you can see in the lower part of the device, to the left in the picture, the slot where insert the slide

In this photo we can see the insertion slot

Installation is extremely simple. You just have to remember to soak the slide in the water for at least 48 hours before inserting into the probe

This seems strange indeed, but the chemicals on slide needs to be adequately hydrated for reading the values of ammonia and ph. In the case of the slide, as we see above, we read to put it in the aquarium for at least 24 hours, but speaking with Seneye customer service , they explained to me that that number actually refers to the two systems Seneye Home and Seneye Pond, or for fresh water. In salt water you need a little longer time, and they recommend just 48 hours.

Indeed, we may also enter directly the slide into Seneye and immerse the probe in the aquarium. It could not happen anything harmful, measurements, however, could be lower in the first two days, and then not too reliable, but it is enough to know this spec to avoid any problem.

Seneye must be connected to a computer to work properly, where you have have installed the Windows operating system, even if it is virtualized under MacOSX as I’m using right now. Directly from Seneye, they have assured me that it will be soon available a version for Mac OS X, which we hope will then be able to test soon.

We’ll begin to have the readings in real time after connecting the system to our computer, after logging to the site, and after activating the slide. If your computer is connected to internet, and if you read this review I think it could be 🙂 , the values will be sent to the Seneye server. This will have two great results.

  The first is the ability to see these values anywhere in the world via a computer or via a mobile phone or a tablet, you can donwload the app from the apple store directly from here: Seneye app. The app exists in two versions, a free and a fee, but we’ll talk about later in the review. The display shows not only the values but also a series of graphs to show trends over time and even warn us about the most critical times for the read parameters. 

The second result is the possibility that Seneye will notify us via email and SMS if the parameters measured by the system are hazardous to our aquarium and suggest several recommendations to solve the problem, this of course if and only if we are covered by the system Seneye Plus or only during the month of activation of the slide. At the end of the month in fact the services offered by Seneye Plus, sms or email will be disabled until the next slide authentication.

Given the importance, in my opinion, of the system in mobility we can see the screenshot above, clickable and openable to the scary resolution of 2048×1536, what we read and how we view it. The screen has been captured by an iPad but in any case the reading is made via the browser and therefore identical for each system. Of course, depending on the resolution used, more information will be displayed.

Below we see it as it appears on the screen of an iPhone

When I was spending my holiday on Red Sea I was very comfortable with Seneye installed on my aquarium because I could constantly monitor, thanks to an Internet connection, the values of my system, which has given me a great peace of mind knowing that everything was working well.

Over here we can see one display aquarium settled up by Hobby Aquari, aquarium shop in Bologna Italy, at a recent aqurium fair in Italy, and you can see the Seneye probe in aquarium, which honestly is much more beautiful than the usual probes. Obviously it must be used in the main tank and not in the sump if you want to read also the brightness values

Always on the move and having an iPhone you can download the Seneye app directly from Apple Store

With the application we can conveniently read the data of our aquarium without logging into Seneye website and then with a greater immediacy, although it is not possible to see the graphs, which I assume are dedicated to the other payment application. The application works fine, but often has required authentication to access although I had previously saved the login data. Maybe in the time you read this review the problem is been solved.

Final thoughts

I really liked the system because it’s relatively cheap but is very useful as for aquarium beginner than for experienced user, it is possible to monitor some parameters at a distance that can be very helpful to give us the peace of mind.

There are obviously many questions that I collected with a comparison with other aquarists about the parameters that are being monitored. The temperature is critical, pH perhaps slightly less important, but in this case it may be useful for beginners to understand if they are doing something wrong, and for advanced users to record some anomalies of their aquarium before it is too late. Of course the value of ammonia is probably only useful for beginners, as in a marine aquarium is virtually impossible to have some trace, especially under strong illumination. But it is certainly true that Seneye Reef is addressed to all marine aquariums, including those with a fish only aquarium, and thus the value of ammonia becomes essential to monitor the health of the fish.

In addition to this, we have now a probe to measure Lumen, Lux and Par, and to obtain a spectrum, although approximate, of our lighting system. And the probe is fully functional, even without inserting the slide.

And we must not forget that the system will alert us by SMS and email for any abnormalities recorded, within the parameters that we will set up for our aquarium. The cost of Seneye Plus and reading of pH and ammonia is 8 euro per month. All in all not a very high cost for what is offered. (Price in Italy).

Only one contra, that is the necessity that the probe has to be permanently connected to a computer in order to obtain the maximum of the readings, which are not continuous but are made at fixed regular intervals, and that the latter has to be connected to the Internet.

If your computer is not connected to internet the values will be recorded but not sent to the server, and then we could not be notified in case of anomalies. If the probe is not connected to a computer but to a usb transformer, which is not included but must be purchased separately, would record the values ready to download to your computer and on the server once connected to your computer.

  For any questions or insight into the system please leave a comment, we’ll reply to you as soon as possible.

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Danilo Ronchi, aka DaniReef lives in Italy where he is hydraulic engineer, but starting from his love for reef aquarium and photography, he began to write about marine aquariums from 2006 and now he's published his first book "Marine Aquarium". From 2007 Danilo writes on his blog danireef.com where publishes articles, pictures, product reviews, aquariums coverage, reportage and history of his tank. Now he's happy to be part of Reefs.com