Starting a rimless 2.5 gallon
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:42 AM   #1
YellowDawg
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Starting a rimless 2.5 gallon


Hello all, this is my first post on The Planted Tank. Long time lurker, first time poster.
I have a currently unoccupied 2.5 gallon that I plan on making into a rimless iwagumi/heavily planted shrimp tank. I'd like advice on EVERYTHING:
-Nano filter
-Lighting
-CO2(DIY?)
-Substrate
-And, last but not least, shrimp!
As a noob I'd appreciate your advice and opinions.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:11 PM   #2
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try dry starting the iwagumi first. it will give you tons of time to research the other things.
lighting can be as easy as a 13W daylight CFL bulb or more intense like an archea fixture.

if you want this to be a higher tech tank, since you will likely use high light, i recommend you get a paintball CO2 system, they sell it for planted setups on various aquarium supply websites. You could start with DIY CO2 but you must be very dedicated in changing the reactor regularly; otherwise you'll end with cO2 fluctuations and a huge algae mess. the paintball CO2 is just easier and faster to replace i guess.

For substrate the easy way is to just use one substrate that is formulated for plants like eco-complete, or amazonia aquasoil.
My personal preference would probably have to be organic potting soil, capped with a substrate layer of your choice (eco-complete or black sand if you want dark substrate or playsand if you want light colored substrate) The miracle gro organic potting soil is a good choice, and grows plants very well. The benefit of using the soil as you bottom layer is that you will not have to dose anything to your tank, just do water changes with tap/re-mineralized RO water (depending on what shrimp you want to keep)

You can either keep shrimp that will do fine in your tap water (assuming your tap water has higher TDS, higher pH, and higher GH/KH than softwater shrimp prefer) Most Neocaridina shrimp are good choices for this.
Or you can try keeping softwater shrimp like Crystals and Tigers. These need distilled or RO water, re-mineralized with some additive like Mosura mineral plus. Or you can try mixing tap and RO/DI water together to get a TDS of 100ppm-200ppm and keep them in that.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:52 PM   #3
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PICs!!!
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:58 PM   #4
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Thanks! Pretty much what I expected. I'll just try to find the smallest, cheapest system I can because my while my budget isn't tiny, it is still limited... I've never dry started a tank before but it doesn't look terribly difficult. I think the hardest part will be finding rocks for my hardscape.
On the shrimp, do you think I could do sulawesi? My water is quite hard and alkaline, and their environment is actually similar to the iwagumi style...

Pics will come!
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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sulawesi will be impossible w/o a heater. idk how you can fit a heater into your 2.5
I would recommend a tank over 5 gals for sulawesi shrimp.
they're also pretty expensive and sensitive, so be careful with them, or you'll lose them pretty quick.

I would check with this guy about dry starting:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...tank-10-a.html
its probably much easier than running the tank and trying to deal with algae.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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Ditto above. Pics please.

What kind of hardscape are you going to use? Driftwood? Rocks?

I agree on the substrate comments by Newman. Using soil can be a little messy, but over all it is worth it to jumpstart your plants. But keep in mind after a while, soil will lose its nutrients so if your plants suddenly start looking not so great, you will have to fertilize.

For a filter, make sure that whatever filter you get creates enough surface ripples so that your tank stays oxygenated. Because your tank is so small, it will lose its oxygenation quickly.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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after the soil loses nutrients, the wastes coming from shrimp should be good for supporting plant growth. The plants in my shrimp bowl have been going extremely strong for a year now on the same small amount of soil.
If they do start looking like garbage or yellowing out, then i'll probably dose something too...

as for the filter, the smallest HOB you can find would be good, but you still have to be sure not to off-gass any CO2 if you're injecting it with the paintball system. a waterfall created by the HOB will do that so try to minimize the effect.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:12 PM   #8
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I have a little 50 watt tetra heater that always stays at 78 degrees. I'm making a DIY mini canister, and I had hoped to put the heater in there. In the meantime, it will deffo fit in the tank. It's quite small. You guys have me considering soil! Pics will depend on how soon I can acquire rocks, but I am trying to go to the beach today! I already have an attractive little piece of driftwood I found at this very same beach, and maybe I'll grab some more.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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remember you could also do just DW and plants without rocks. those look just as good.

the thing with soil is, that
1st you lay down about 1.5" of soil
2nd you moisten the soil slightly
3rd you take your plants that will be rooted, and plant them in the soil.
4th you take the capping substrate and cap the soil with about 1" layer, being careful not to break plants or dislodge them.
5th you fill the tank maybe 1/2" with water, cover it with plastic wrap to keep moisture in and let the dry start begin.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
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Sounds good. I'll decide on the actual scape as time goes on, but I have ideas for rocks, for driftwood, and for both.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:07 PM   #11
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Thoughts on these lights?
http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Perch...m_cr_pr_sims_t
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?m...roducts_id=451
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?m...roducts_id=665
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:47 PM   #12
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i like the first two.
ive seen the last one on a small tank and i think its best for low light plants, otherwise you get slower growth on all other species of plants.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:44 AM   #13
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ok. I think I'll go for the 2nd, more aesthetically appealing one...
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