2.5 Gallon, Planted, CO2 Guidance? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-25-2019, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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2.5 Gallon, Planted, CO2 Guidance?

Hi all,

I'm new to the group but not to fish keeping. I'm giving planted tanks a go with an unusual 2.5 gallon nano tank I want to plant heavily.

I'm struggling with what I'm going to need when it comes to CO2 and what would be the most cost effective way to go about this?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 01:32 AM
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There are several co2 options available. The most cost effective (cheapest) option is to do DIY CO2. For that you need a 2 liter bottle of soda (empty of soda) some airline tubing. A drill. Some epoxy. An intake diffuser. And whatever you want to use to create co2 (yeast and sugar, baking soda and sugar, etc).

You can go pressurized which will be more expensive. Probably run you closer to 200-300 dollars if you go relatively cheap with a pressurized system. Not sure what your price point is.

There are cheaper pressurized systems but frankly they are not as good and have their own risks. Bottom line is if you are not ready to drop say 200-300 dollars on CO2 then you are likely in the DIY co2 arena.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 09:33 PM
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There are some plants that will not need co2 (Anubias, java ferns, bolbitis) and will grow slowly without it but happily and greenly....what are you thinking of planting?
For DIY CO2 options (baking soda/citric acids or yeast) you want to watch the plethora of YouTube videos about setting up and using these.
And I agree with minor hero, reliable co2 under pressure will be 200$ min (and you will want a system that can be adjusted down to very little co2 for the tiny tank).
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 07:09 PM
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I was in the same scenario with a 2.5 gallon and I found, which may have not been the cheapest in the long run, the easiest for me was disposable CO2 cartridges. I got the fluval 20g kit and used that regulator and tubing. Then i went on amazon and bought a cheap bubble counter and diffuser. This for me was simple because i didn't have anywhere to refill CO2 canisters and with only a 2.5 gallon it wasn't that expensive to buy disposable cartridges. However if I did it again i might go with the fluval 45g kit and do the same thing with that kit. Just my 2 cents hope it helps.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 07:37 PM
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I'd like to chime in on the question of if you need co2. As stated above there are some common plants that grow slow and don't need co2.
It depends on the plants you want and the light you use-stronger lights needs co2 to combat hair algae.
That said I have a 5g set up with soil base (look up "walsted method") and sand cap. Packed with fast growing stem plants and no co2. It was getting a lot of light but never developed hair algae because of the amount of plants +decomposing soil making its own co2 source.
Don't try a soil based tank unless you can pack it completetly with medium to fast growing plants right off the bat. Also do not put any fish/inverts in a soil based tank for several months as the soil will leeh ammonia (add a filter-no hassle cycle for you done in around 2-3 months).
I've not used co2 on any of my tanks, I can't grow hc(dwarf baby tears) or dwarf hair grass but have managed a lot of other medium-high ish light plants.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskey93 View Post
Hi all,

I'm new to the group but not to fish keeping. I'm giving planted tanks a go with an unusual 2.5 gallon nano tank I want to plant heavily.

I'm struggling with what I'm going to need when it comes to CO2 and what would be the most cost effective way to go about this?
Unless you are going for a high tech set up (co2 injection, high lights, ferts, good substrate, weekly water changes) I would highly recommend you don't bother with co2. I'd you want the experience I would try your hand at diy co2 but closely monitor it or don't have any livestock as stuff can go wrong very quickly in a tank that small

At least I can grow Algae
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 05:50 PM
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My concern is: even with a DIY CO2 system you're much apt to have swings in pH and possibly over dosing CO2 at night.


Like other forum posters have chimed in about, there's other more reliable ways to go heavily planted in a tiny tank. The Walstad Tank, demineralized soil technology, is lengthy, fussy setting up, ( please do a thorough search for demineralization of soil for planted aquariums..) but it's also least likely to cause a lot of drama with wildly increasing ammonia and nitrate problems.


A lot of organic potting soil uses animal manure, which even if it is composted is dangerous to use. demineralized is where you expose the soil to alternately soaking, draining and then sun baking soil over and over again. It's best done in Spring and Summer for the obvious reasons.



Demineralization breaks down organic waste and increases cation exchange zones in the soil, to help the plant's roots catalyze nutrients more efficiently. What small amounts of organics present will create CO2 in the soil itself where it's readily diffused into the water column and picked up by the plants.

The other advantage to demineralized is that the tank cycles in the usual time so there's not so much urea and ammonia being converted like with manure based potting soils.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 02:06 AM
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I've used paintball co2 on a 2.5g. You can just adjust the valve using a bubble counter to slow the output to meet plant needs, avoiding big water chemistry swings. I ran an air stone with the lighting off to keep o2 levels high in the dark.

The real downside to a 2.5g is what you can humanely put in it. I would stick with invertebrates.



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