uncskainch's 2.5 gallon nano -- updated 5/1/07 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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uncskainch's 2.5 gallon nano -- updated 5/1/07

I started this 2.5 gallon nano after buying a "test" red cherry shrimp from the local fish store to see if my big fish would eat them -- they did eat the one "test" shrimp, but I found babies in the filter when I cleaned it and decided to use a 2.5 gallon tank I had bought as a small hospital tank to create a nano. When that sprung a leak, I got this 2.5 gallon teal Mini-Bow. The hardscape is inspired by the Sillyscape Contest on this forum from fall 2004.

Here are the specs:

Tank: 2.5 Gallon All-Glass Aquariums teal Mini-Bow (acrylic)
Filtration: Red Sea Nano filter
Light: 10 w compact fluorescent
Heat: Hydor 7.5 watt under-gravel heater
Substrate: Black Gravel
Hardscape: Easter Island guys
Dosing: Flourish Excel + Greg Watson ferts & occasional Jungle plant fizz tabs

Inhabitants: Single male dwarf puffer fish (P'Diddy) and red cherry shrimp

Plants:
Java fern
Java moss
Dwarf sag
Microsword
Bacopa monnieri (??? The stuff in the back left corner)
Riccia
Pellia
2 anubias petite nana
Brown wendtii cryptlets

I'm battling green spot, greed dust, and thread algae but with good success so far -- everything is in retreat. Still working on how I want this tank organized -- focusing on good growth at the moment.

Long-term, I want to get a 5 gallon for the puffer and use this exclusively for shrimp. I'd love any feedback or ideas for the tank.
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Last edited by uncskainch; 05-01-2007 at 03:49 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 01:58 PM
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I'm loving that Easter Island head - definately something different

I'd keep the right of your scape relatively flat so that the head stands out - maybe some plants with height behind it. The crypt(?) up front is a bit distracting right now - maybe a little more to the rear would look better. But, that's all just my opinion.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 02:28 PM
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Kathy - LOVE the Easter Island theme! A definite sillyscape competitor!

And while I DO hate algae, I think it looks outstanding on your stone heads. I wouldn't want to lose that.

One suggestion, to help the theme... I'd knock one of the heads over on its side, and make sure it is visible that way. A bit more ancient looking that way IMO. In fact, you might consider making that big one lean a bit. Such disarray would enhance the impression already started by the algae, that they are old, old, old and crumbling.

Great idea. "My name is Ozymandias... " - PB Shelley

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. Toshi, the green plant in the center is some java fern tied to a stone -- I agree that it's a little distracting up front like that. I was trying to use it to divide the riccia on the left from the pellia on the right (I'm trying both to see which grows best in this tank) but I think it's a bit too tall as a foreground separator for right now. Maybe I could tie some of the java moss to a rock and use that here instead?

I have planted some crypts along the back wall to grow in for a bit of background. They're just little cryptlets from the 29 right now, but should fill in eventually.

I'll probably eventually remove most of the random java moss as the rest of the tank grows in. Maybe I'll tie some of it to the bottoms of the Easter Island guys, though, to enhance that old look?

And scolley, I'm very careful not to disturb the algae on the heads -- I like it, too! I need to scrub the rest of the green spot off the back wall and let the cherry shrimp take care of the thread algae in the microsword (they're doing the job, slowly but surely!) and then I'll hope I can keep a little green on the heads without it taking over the tank.

And great idea to knock the heads over a bit more. The big one doesn't want to stand up straight anyway, so the path of least resistance might be the way to go!

Other thoughts and comments always welcome!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 04:21 PM
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You have to leave the large one exactly as it is - the angle of the light on it is perfect!

So that's just straight algae covering them? I have to say then that algae looks really good when it's covering a man-made object I think!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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The heads were a grayish/green/brown when I bought them (they are Penn Plax resin ornaments) but they definitely have some green algae and hair algae on them now. If I try to take it off, it removes the coloring on the resin, too, so I just leave it and have decided I like the look.

The largest head is already sort of leaning back -- if I move it at all, I'll make sure that the light still hits it to the side like it does now -- I like that effect, too!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncskainch
Thanks for the comments. Toshi, the green plant in the center is some java fern tied to a stone -- I agree that it's a little distracting up front like that. I was trying to use it to divide the riccia on the left from the pellia on the right (I'm trying both to see which grows best in this tank) but I think it's a bit too tall as a foreground separator for right now. Maybe I could tie some of the java moss to a rock and use that here instead?

I have planted some crypts along the back wall to grow in for a bit of background. They're just little cryptlets from the 29 right now, but should fill in eventually.

I'll probably eventually remove most of the random java moss as the rest of the tank grows in. Maybe I'll tie some of it to the bottoms of the Easter Island guys, though, to enhance that old look?

And scolley, I'm very careful not to disturb the algae on the heads -- I like it, too! I need to scrub the rest of the green spot off the back wall and let the cherry shrimp take care of the thread algae in the microsword (they're doing the job, slowly but surely!) and then I'll hope I can keep a little green on the heads without it taking over the tank.

And great idea to knock the heads over a bit more. The big one doesn't want to stand up straight anyway, so the path of least resistance might be the way to go!

Other thoughts and comments always welcome!
Kathy,
Funny I didn't realize it was Java Fern as I have some in my tank - though not as compact and full as yours. Another idea may be to angle the top of the Java Ferns towards the front or back so that the height difference isn't as distracting. Once the plants start to fill in, it should be a beautiful tank.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Toshi -- I do think that Java fern will get too big for this tank. It was a plantlet from my 29g that I tied to a rock and stuck in there quite a while ago and it's stayed pretty compact for whatever reason. I'll see if I can find another spot for it i nthe tank and when it gets too big for this tank, I'll move it elsewhere. I may be starting up a 5g and that would maybe be a good spot for it.

I know that the crypts and dwarf sag might get too big for what most people would like in a 2.5 gallon, but I think that combined with the riccia and pelia foreground and the microsword might make an interesting jungle-like effect, which is kind of what I'm shooting for with the statues and the "ancient ruins" feel. We'll see how it grows in, but I think it has some potential to be interesting.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2006, 02:51 AM
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do you have any pics of the whole tank and a little of where it is? do you hang the lights or is it a top
because i have a 2.5g minibow purple and havent really done anything and i want some ideas

~29gallon Freshwater tank~~~~~~~~
~~10Gallon Freshwater planted tank~~
~~~10Gallon Saltwater reef tank~~~~
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Updated by Request

Here's a recent set of photos of the tank. I used the hood that came with the tank and it sits on top of a filing cabinet in my home office. (For the record, I do not recommend setting up even a nano tank that is at or near eye level -- I have to get a chair to stand on to work in the tank, which is a royal pain -- I may move this tank somewhere else eventually to make it easier to maintain.)

The changes since the last update include:

-- The java fern plantlet went to the planted nano tank that I set up in my husband's office for him.

-- The riccia went into my 5 gallon hex and ultimately was given to a friend, but some of it is still floating in there.

-- The petite nana was split between my husband's tank at work and my 5 gallon (see the 5 gallon hex journal to check it out on top of my driftwood)

-- I added a blue background -- I thought the black made the statues get "lost" against it, but the blue makes them stand out more.

-- So the tank is now mostly crypts, dwarf sag (I think?) and pellia mixed in at the base of the plants. And some java moss growing on the Easter Island dudes. I added a bunch of cherry shrimp from my 5 gallon hex.

What do you think? I'm debating sticking 2-3 more mini-Island guys or another big one. Overkill? I'm liking the jungle look, but wondering if I ought to try for something more scaped? Should I go back to putting in some stem plants (which I've resisted because it's hard to trim in this tank?)

In these pics, you can actually see the dwarf puffer. Cool little fish!

Apologies for the blurry pics -- I didn't have as much time as I would have liked this morning to fool with the camera and tripod.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 10:54 PM
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TOO COOL!! I just love the way those guys look. I think stems would look fabulous in there with them, even untrimmed! Like a jungle and the Easter Island heads would be "hidden" among them. Maybe you could use some slower growing stems so it wouldn't be such a pita? Being a newbie, I don't know if there is such a thing.

I just can't get over how "ancient" they make the tank look, like the remains of a sunken pre-Roman or even pre-Egyptian city. I'm reading a novel whose premise is archaeologists finding the sunken city of Atlantis in the bottom of the Black Sea. Last night, I was at the part where they've just found it and are looking around at the whole immense place in their little manned ROVs, seeing a massive sphinx with a bull's head, huge stair-sided pyramids, large clusters of houses stacked on top of each other, etc.. Every time they turned a corner, I kept picturing your tank. YAHAHAHAHA!!

Where did you get those heads? I'm starting to think I need one of them in one of my tanks. I think I'll put java moss on his head like a 'fro.

BTW, your dwarf puffer doesn't eat the shrimp? Or does he, and that's why they're in there?

~ Linda ~

How many watts do I need to make my swimming pool a high light tank?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Penn Plax makes the heads -- the big one is the "small" size, which is 5" tall and the smaller two are the "mini" size. I think I got them all at "big box" pet stores in my area, but I know that some of the online retailers also sell them. They were very inexpensive.

I've noticed that I very, very seldom see any small cherry shrimp in the dwarf puffer's tank so while I've never seen him eat an adult, and the adult population seems relatively stable, I don't think the baby cherries stand much of a chance in there. That's why I have a shrimp-and-snail-only 5 gallon.

Maybe I'll try some stems in there when I trim my 29 gallon. I have some bacopa, cabomba, wisteria, and ludwigia I could try out. I also have some HM, and the petite nana in my 5 gallon tank has multiplied so that I could reintroduce a section into the 2.5 gallon. Cabomba strikes me as too big for a tank this size, but it might work with the jungle feel -- who knows?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 04:29 PM
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I think cambomba would grow awful fast, too, but look great. It's got that "tropical" feel to it, doesn't it? That's what I think would look great with your EI guys ~ a tropical jungle that they're "lost" in. That'd probably look more interesting and be easier to take care of than a total Easter Island look ~ carpet plants aren't that easy to take care of, are they?

~ Linda ~

How many watts do I need to make my swimming pool a high light tank?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Now with stem plants! (Cabomba, wisteria, and a little ludwigia (short still, in the back right corner). Sorry for the cloudy water -- I took the pic right after adding the stems.

So should I try to tame the sag or chain sword, or let it go nuts?

Should I remove the java moss from the statues? Or trim it? Or leave it be?

Should I add more statues? Or other adornments?

Should I stick with the blue background or go back to black or something altogether different? (RED?!?)

Comments welcome!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-04-2007, 03:46 PM
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Ooooh, that looks better! I can hear that little bird hollering "Coocoocoocoocoo!" I'd leave everything alone as it is except move the plants from in front of that big statue. Leave the ones that are to the side, but move the ones directly in front of it to the back and let everything go nuts. That way, when they "go jungle" you'll still be able to see that big statue some, as if it's peeking through the foliage. If it gets too covered up you might want to try to tame everything, but if not, I'd let them go. But that's just MHO.

For the backgrounds ~ I think the blue works just fine as it looks DARK and almost black, but you can still see the statues. Once all the plants grow in, you ought to be able to see the statues no matter what color background, so I'd say play with it and see if there isn't another color you like better. After all, this is about what YOU think looks good, huh?

Man, I can't get over how much better it looks with just some more stems! Good job, Unk!

~ Linda ~

How many watts do I need to make my swimming pool a high light tank?
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