22g Mr Aqua Office Nano

BadCrab

Member
Club Member in Good Standing
Aug 20, 2022
19
25
Phoenix, AZ
"What kind of tank do you have at home?"

This was a question I would regularly get while installing and maintaining tanks. For just shy of a decade, I've largely worked in homes and businesses on the East Coast inside other people's aquariums. If you know any mechanics, they probably drive a beater. Likewise, the sandwich artists at Subway reach for anything but a sandwich for their own lunch. The last thing I wanted to do after cleaning fish tanks for hours at work was to come home and clean another. And so, I didn't have a tank that was mine for a very long time.

Filling Alexandria Renew's 7,000g Native Freshwater Display
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While I put the hours in around DC, my foot was let into the door here, in Phoenix. My first industry job was at AquaTouch (if you ever read this Michael, thank you for giving me that shot.) Now returned, I briefly grappled with starting an aquarium service company of my own or joining one of the many existing teams in the valley. Instead, I accepted an opportunity at Neptune Systems to provide remote support. While the work suits me well, it has left me removed from the livestock. Long enough that having an aquarium (or aquariums?) of my own became an exciting idea again.

I'm using an old Mr Aqua 22L and stand. I'd like to have something easy to maintain so I'm aiming for a stocklist of soft corals and inverts. Armed with a handful of equipment put into storage a decade ago and a budget spinning out of control, I set the tank up opposite my desk. I'm currently using an A2 Apex, but an A3 ApexJr will be replacing it shortly.

22g SW Reef Office Nano

Current Equipment List: (Updated 4/27/23)

  • 22g 35.5x12x12 Low-Iron Glass Aquarium
  • Caribsea Special Grade Substrate, Caribsea LifeRock Nano Arches
  • Neptune A2 Apex w/ EB8, FMM, WXM, & VDM
  • Ecotech Marine Vortech MP10ES w/ RF Module (x2)
  • AquaIllumination AI Sol Blue w/ Serial Data Cable (x2)

Current Livestock List: (Updated 4/27/23)
  • Zoanthids (Rasta, Bob Marley, LA Lakers)
  • Banded Trochus Snails

Thread Links:

Current FTS:

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Current Apex Dash: (Updated 4/27/23)

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BadCrab

Member
Club Member in Good Standing
Thread starter
Aug 20, 2022
19
25
Phoenix, AZ
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Along with the Base Unit, I'll be using an EB8 (to be upgraded to EB832,) VDM (w/ 2 AI Sol Blue,) WXM (w/ 2 MP10s), FMM (with a modified ATK setup), and eventually a Trident. In the future, I'll likely add one or two DOS modules as well. The AI Sol Blues were from AI's remaining stock at the tail end of the Sol era, were used by me briefly, and then neatly packed into storage so they're almost NOS. The MP10s are a similar story, although these are missing their wireless chips, I'll have to install old RF modules to make them controllable through the WXM.


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Substrate and rock was the first purchase (from BRS.) 40lbs of CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade along with a set of CaribSea Life Rock Nano Arches (4 total.) I added the substrate, water, and MP10 allowing the tank to clear overnight.


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BadCrab

Member
Club Member in Good Standing
Thread starter
Aug 20, 2022
19
25
Phoenix, AZ
Last historical post! After this, the journal is caught up to current.

The first update is the installation of an Apex ATK. One unassuming upgrade you can make to this system is attaching an optical sensor to the pump and a product from Harrys Aquatics makes that a simple task with an attractive mount. Harry Singer has been making 3rd-Party products for the Apex for a long time now - you're probably familiar with the popular break-out box line he's responsible for from Adaptive Reef.

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I also modified the water outlet on the ATK's Sensor Block. Neptune recommends removing the entire float valve assembly only in situations where it can't be used (like an AIO chamber where it won't fit.) Their suggestion is to secure the line from the pump using the thumb screw. Instead, I sheered the entire valve assembly off. I think this gives a cleaner look (but isn't reversible without purchasing a new float valve assembly.)

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I added a second MP10 and upgraded both Vortech drivers with wireless modules enabling control by the Apex through a WXM. Thanks to a member on another reefing forum who provided the WiFi chips quickly, safely, and at a very fair price. The new WiFi chips sold by Ecotech Marine are Bluetooth for control with Mobius or the upcoming MXM (neither of which I have,) so finding these New Old Stock or harvesting them from donor units was my only option.
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With them both connected to the tank, I was able to dial in a resonant ("standing") wave which will be my primary flow pattern going forward with the tank.

I've also added the lighting. Thanks to ATAquariums for having EXT Tank Rails in stock - something that AquaIllumination discontinued years ago - and providing them to me at a very reasonable cost shipped from NY. Can't say enough positive things about my interaction with Jose there. The Tank Rails arrived with very minor damage (all I could ask for in overstock from a decade ago,) and after a quick filing on one rail, they were operable and ready for installation.

I'm not a particularly handy person, which is why I bought into the EXT Rail system all those years ago. The installation was dead simple. I attached a board behind the tank for extra stability, marked and drilled pilots, then attached the rail mounts and slid the rails into place.

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