Jump to content

Maestro's 7.5g Mr. Aqua Build


Recommended Posts

After the success of my 57g Illuminata build, I'm trying my luck with another nano reef. This time it's a 7.5g Mr. Aqua cube for my bedside table.


Equipment List

  • 1x 12" cube Mr. Aqua 7.5 Gallon Frameless Low Iron Glass Aquarium Tank
  • 1x Finnex P-360 All-in-one Compact Canister Filter
  • 2x Ecoxotic EcoPico LED Arm Light Fixture w/ 12K White & 453nm Blue Strip
  • 1x Eheim Jager TruTemp 50 Watt Fully Submersible UL Approved Heater
  • 1x Hydra Aquatics 5mm Glass Hang-On Thermometer
  • 1x Sybon Refractometer

There's no room for a sump near this tank and the back will sit fairly flush against the wall. I'm opting for the canister filter instead of the ever-popular Aqua Clear 70 with fuge mod. I've heard countless times that a canister can turn into a nitrate factory without proper maintenance, but it will only house chemi-pure and a tiny bit of floss to polish the water. The majority of filtration will be done with live rock and sand. The bio-load will be low in this tank so waste shouldn't be a major issue.


Stock List

  • Zoanthids
  • Ricordia or Blue Mushroom
  • Fire Fern red macro (Bryothamnion sp.)
  • Small Torch Coral or Frogspawn
  • 3-4x Sexy Shrimp
  • 3x Dwarf Serith
  • 1x Glass Shell Hermit
  • (maybe) Catalina Goby

Maintenance Schedule

  • Daily freshwater top-off
  • Weekly tests
  • Weekly 2 gallon water change

The tank will be seeded with live sand from my main tank and cured live rock, so I'm not anticipating much of a cycle. Nevertheless, I plan to stock this tank slowly.


Any questions, comments, advice, trolling, and name-calling are welcome

Link to comment
  • Replies 94
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I'm setting up the same thing.


What made you decide on the EcoPico LEDs?


Nice. Do you have a build thread for yours?


As for the EcoPico, there were a number of reasons

I have all Ecoxotic over my 57g so naturally I was attracted to their product line.

I like the sleek design of these fixtures and the ease of upgrading them

I didn't want a desk lamp or a hanging pendant with a par bulb beside my bed

I wanted to choose a cool fixture; my room gets warm

For the price of 2 units, EcoPico seemed like the ideal choice without mods or diy

Link to comment
I plan to go against the grain with my new rimless setup and get a canister filter also. What made you choose that particular one?

The reviews on Amazon were pretty good and I like the way the inlet/output are designed. I'll know for sure once I put it to the test. Everyone claims canister filters are nitrate factories, but so are dirty tanks, dirty refugiums, poorly-maintained hob's, and unchanged socks/sponges in sumps.

Link to comment

I've been researching canister filters all week. I can't decide. I do like the intake and output of that finnex. It's one of the only "nano" size filters. Some of them have such big intake and outputs. And the darn eheim tubes are bright green but have a reputation of being quality filters.

Link to comment

I reached out to my guy Colin Foord at Coral Morphologic and he's sending a nice package of rics and zoas my way. I'm especially looking forward to the ORA African Blue Cespitularia, I like the specimens I've seen in youtube videos.


It looks like I might be making some revisions to my lighting. I saw a nice LED retrofit on the EcoPico arm and it turns out to be produced by one of the forum's sponsors. I'm awaiting his response to my post, it may turn out to be a better and less expensive alternative to what I had planned. Stay tuned.

Link to comment

Finally some pictures!


Just got my package from Colin at Coral Morphologic...






Unidentified zoanthids



Ultra Neon Green w/Aqua Skirt Ricordea florida6289255912_778be69e6c.jpg


Super Red Discosoma sp.



Metallic Aqua-Teal-Blue Vice Zoas



ORA African Blue Cespitularia sp.6288736649_6087314d66.jpg


Feather duster colony



Day-Glo Pink w/ Lavender Center Ricordea



Strawberry tunicates



Unidentified palys



St. Thomas mushroom



Yellow ball sponge


Link to comment
Dang looks like you have some good stuff! Let's see some pictures of them in the tank. :)

Thanks, Nick. The tank hasn't been delivered yet, I'm just piecing everything together in the meantime.

Link to comment

I received my Finnex PX-360 Canister filter today. I hooked it up to my larger tank to test it and break it in until the Mr. Aqua arrives. I was amazed at how utterly and completely silent it is. It's rated to work on systems up to 25 gallons, so it should be perfect for my 7.5 gallon pico. I plan to run it with a little bit of floss in the top chamber and a mix of purigen and chemipure in the lower level. I'll be doing biweekly floss changes to keep the waste from accumulating and recontaminating the tank. Overall I'm very happy with my purchase and I think it will keep my tank water crystal clear.

Link to comment

I just spoke with a rep from Ecoxotic. He says the mounting brackets for the new Panorama Pro modules are to be released early next week. I may use one of those instead of the Ecopico lights. I'm still drawn to the modularity of my original choice, but I'm also attracted to the light boost of the Pro.



Link to comment

The tank, lights, and thermometer came today. Off to walmart to buy spray for the back. I'm going to hold off on unboxing the lights since it seems some other options are on the horizon.





Link to comment

I decided to go with an Aquaclear 50 instead of the Finnex px 360. The Finnex is dead silent but using the airlines to run it below the tank robbed me of flow due to back pressure. Also, the outlet of the filter is below the water's edge and I see the potential for a film to develop.


On the other hand, the Aquaclear adds a tiny bit of surface area to the water and the cascade it creates causes a good deal of surface agitation. I tried using an AC20 impeller in the AC50 but it backed down the flow too much.


The tank passed the wet test so it's time to get some salt in here.

Link to comment
can wait to see it all set up. how come you didnt go with the ac70 and use a bit smaller impeller?

I didn't want to do any fancy fuge mods and my local petsmart didn't have the 70 in stock. I'll check at another store while I'm out. I guess the added water volume wouldn't hurt.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...