2 Gallon Planted Fluval Spec Pico - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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2 Gallon Planted Fluval Spec Pico

I went to my LFS and was once again enchanted by the Freshwater side of this hobby. So, I converted one of my Saltwater Picos to Freshwater. It was created from items I already had.

Here's Day 1 October 13, 2012-





It's messy ATM, but I imagine the moss covering both the sand and log. It will be trimmed and the upper portion of the tank will be open space. I may add another plant to give it some height and inhabit the upper portion of the tank.

I'm also looking for some advice though.

I'm not as experienced with Freshwater (mainly plant care) as I wish I was. So here's my question(s).

I didn't want to purchase ADA Aquasoil or the equivalent, so I was wondering if there was a cheap way to fertilize my substrate? Also, I did CO2 once and I don't really feel like going to the expense or complicating things with that. So, what are my options if I ever decide to add other plants in the future?

Also, the stock Fluval Spec LED uses 1/4 watt leds. In reef terms that's terrible, but perhaps I can grow some low light plants using this fixture?

For Fauna, I was thinking of Pea Puffers, Pygmy Cory Catfish, Cherry Shrimp, or, my favorite option, a pair/trio of Dario Dario Fish.

I am very interested in breeding the Dario Dario fish and was wondering if it's as easy as what I've read online says. Would it be possible in a pico?

Tips/Advice/Stocking Suggestions, etc. would be appreciated.

-Wizzy

EDIT-
Ehhh, just realized that I may have placed this topic in the wrong forum. Should this be moved to the Tank Journal section?
Mods?

Last edited by Wizzy; 10-14-2012 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Wrong Forum? Title Change.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 02:20 PM
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What sort of plants will you keep? If they're root feeders, regular root tabs will work for you.

The tank is probably too small for a Puffer and maybe too small for Pygmy Cories - but they'd be more likely to be okay in the tank. The only truly suitable livestock is shrimp. Maybe you could add a bunch of Cherry Shrimp and maybe some Otos?

I'm hesitant to recommend anybody keep Dario Dario in a tiny tank. Since they're small and territorial, it's tough for them to make their own space in a tank with that footprint.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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What sort of plants will you keep? If they're root feeders, regular root tabs will work for you.

The tank is probably too small for a Puffer and maybe too small for Pygmy Cories - but they'd be more likely to be okay in the tank. The only truly suitable livestock is shrimp. Maybe you could add a bunch of Cherry Shrimp and maybe some Otos?

I'm hesitant to recommend anybody keep Dario Dario in a tiny tank. Since they're small and territorial, it's tough for them to make their own space in a tank with that footprint.
I was thinking Anubias Barteri Petite at the base of the Driftwood and then Sunset Hygro or another tall plant in the back right corner.

Those are all pretty easy plants, right? I'm mainly wondering about the Sunset Hygro, I've never kept it before. Any other suggestions?

And do you feel the light is adequate?

What tabs do you recommend?

As far as the Fauna is concerned, I'm surprised that you're concerned. The fish I listed all stay under 1" in length (except the cory which now that I think about it probably isn't good since those guys like groups better).

If I kept a pair of Pufferfish or a pair of Dario Dario wouldn't that be OK?

Also, I'm really only interested in fish that I can breed, so go ahead and burst my bubble if breeding Puffers/Dario Dario in a Pico isn't going to work. It just means I'll be setting up a larger aquarium Lol.

Please grace me with your knowledge
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 03:30 PM
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Shrimp tank FTW.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:07 PM
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The lighting will be sufficient for lower light plants like Anubias nana/nana 'petite', many Crypts, Java Ferns, moss, et al.

Any root tabs will work. Everything from DIY Osmocote Plus caps to the regular root tabs you can buy at any big box store or pet shop.

While fish do remain small, keeping them in a tiny tank with very little horizontal swimming room is not necessarily the best bet for them. Doesn't mean you can't keep them - just means it's not ideal. It's always best, in my opinion, to provide the best housing for your livestock that's possible. If you can't provide an ideal setting, consider another type of livestock like shrimp.

You definitely can't keep a happy pair of Puffers in a small tank with little to no room for territory. 5.5gal minimum or 10gal, ideally.

If you can set up a larger tank for the fish you want to keep, definitely go that route.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Shrimp tank FTW.
That may be what this tank becomes. I have some time though. I want to wait for the scape to fill in before adding livestock.

Any other suggestions (of any kind)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
The lighting will be sufficient for lower light plants like Anubias nana/nana 'petite', many Crypts, Java Ferns, moss, et al.

Any root tabs will work. Everything from DIY Osmocote Plus caps to the regular root tabs you can buy at any big box store or pet shop.

While fish do remain small, keeping them in a tiny tank with very little horizontal swimming room is not necessarily the best bet for them. Doesn't mean you can't keep them - just means it's not ideal. It's always best, in my opinion, to provide the best housing for your livestock that's possible. If you can't provide an ideal setting, consider another type of livestock like shrimp.

You definitely can't keep a happy pair of Puffers in a small tank with little to no room for territory. 5.5gal minimum or 10gal, ideally.

If you can set up a larger tank for the fish you want to keep, definitely go that route.
Thanks for the insight.

I agree on what you've said about the fish.

I'm pleasantly surprised that you think I can keep all those plants. Do you know of any low light plants that grow tall? I don't know if the Sunset Hygro is really a "low light" plant or not, but I still want to add some height to the tank.

As far as fertilizer goes, what is the "most inexpensive" option?

And how often do I need to fertilize?
----

As far as Dario Dario breeding is concerned, I am still highly motivated.

If anyone has any advice from me please post it here- Breeding: Dario Dario
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 07:22 PM
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You could keep a single betta.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 11:00 PM
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All ferts are inexpensive. Depending upon the plants you plan to keep, you'll either get dry ferts (usually $20 or less shipped - enough to last usually a year, maybe 2-3 depending upon how much you dose) or root tabs (range from $1 - $10, typically).

The frequency and amounts of fertilization are dependent upon your specific tank and the plants as they grow and adjust.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecGrrl View Post
You could keep a single betta.
I may do that, but I already have a couple of other tanks with Bettas ATM. Gracias Anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
All ferts are inexpensive. Depending upon the plants you plan to keep, you'll either get dry ferts (usually $20 or less shipped - enough to last usually a year, maybe 2-3 depending upon how much you dose) or root tabs (range from $1 - $10, typically).

The frequency and amounts of fertilization are dependent upon your specific tank and the plants as they grow and adjust.
Thanks, I look forward to some Sunset Hygro in my tank.

Besides Dry Ferts though, what are your opinions on API Liquid Plant Food or API Co2 Booster or Flourish Excel?

Is one better then the other, should they be used together?

Thanks- Wizzy
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 01:57 AM
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Excel can work pretty well in tanks where you can't or don't want to supplement with CO2 (if the plants need the CO2 in the first place). Beware: it's toxic in certain concentrations to most invertebrates.

When it comes to liquid ferts? You're paying for water. Why not buy dry ferts and mix your own (there are handy fert calculators all over the place to help you - as well as this forum) with some distilled water? That'll work wonders.

If you're dead set on buying liquid ferts, consider buying from one of the forum sponsors so you're getting more bang for your buck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizzy View Post
Besides Dry Ferts though, what are your opinions on API Liquid Plant Food or API Co2 Booster or Flourish Excel?

Is one better then the other, should they be used together?
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Excel can work pretty well in tanks where you can't or don't want to supplement with CO2 (if the plants need the CO2 in the first place). Beware: it's toxic in certain concentrations to most invertebrates.

When it comes to liquid ferts? You're paying for water. Why not buy dry ferts and mix your own (there are handy fert calculators all over the place to help you - as well as this forum) with some distilled water? That'll work wonders.

If you're dead set on buying liquid ferts, consider buying from one of the forum sponsors so you're getting more bang for your buck.
Thanks again

I was doin' some research and discovered Osmocote Plus.

Could I use these two products (empty capsules + actual osmocote plus grains) with success in such a small tank?

http://www.amazon.com/Now-Foods-Veg-...eggie+capsules
http://www.amazon.com/Scotts-Company...ose+Plant+Food

Advice on how to do this?

Also, the more I look at my current LED, the less faith in it I have.

If I wanted to upgrade, what would be an inexpensive option?

I looked at CFL, but am not sure if I want to spend money to change those every 6 months or so.

What pico LEDs are available for my little FW?
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Bump
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 10:34 PM
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nice

i just joined the spec club... I have had my first tank (a spec V) going since july but had to start another project but want to stay small so I went with a spec 2 like yours here, I will make it a betta tank with tons of green
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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nice

i just joined the spec club... I have had my first tank (a spec V) going since july but had to start another project but want to stay small so I went with a spec 2 like yours here, I will make it a betta tank with tons of green
I like it and seeing you grow those plants w/the stock light gives me some more hope in the LED.

Any Ferts?
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Help me with Oscmocote Plus/Other inexpensive fertilizers-

Osmocote Plus
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dario dario, led, low tech, pico, shrimp

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