Help w/ a 2.5 gal setup - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs down Help w/ a 2.5 gal setup

Hi there! I'm going to setup a low-tech nano tank and wanted some advice first. The tank I have is a 2.5 tank that I would heat w/ a submersible 25W heater and I was thinking of placing it in front of a north-facing window that gets fairly bright light throughout the day (not much direct sunglight though). For fauna, I was thinking a single female betta and maybe five or so cherry shrimp Questions I have:

1. Should I use gravel? I was thinking yes b/c I'd like to keep a peace lilly in the tank and bury the roots, though I suppose I could just let the roots dangle in the water. Also, what kind of gravel? Should I use laterite?

2. What kind of plants would be good for this kind of set up?

3. Should I filter? ( Since it's going to be in front of a window, I was thinking that the tank would be heavily planted, which might be all the filtration I need?)

4. Any other fish I could add? Do I have too many critters already planned?

5. What do you think about the peace lilly, good idea or bad? They can grow pretty big...

Any questions you can answer and additional advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

ricardo
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 07:24 PM
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ricardo,
take a look at my office 2.5g post
>drew

36g planted, 110w, Pressurized CO2, Eheim 2213, Eco-complete mix; 5.5g planted, 13w, flourite
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 07:53 PM
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Couple of quick thoughts…

1) North light by itself isn’t nearly as bright as you might think. There’s nothing wrong with direct south light if you have lots of plants in the tank, and you can always screen the back if you think you’re getting too much light.

2) Bettas are jumpers, so make sure you factor that into your plans if you’re not planning a tank cover. (Does anyone know if Bettas harass shrimp? It wouldn’t surprise me.) Also, 2.5G is on the small side for a fish of this size, personality, and curiosity, but I’ve seen worse treatment.

3) Typical gravel tends to look huge in a 2.5G, so you might consider filter pack or other inert sand. Also, keep the substrate to a minimum depth since you’re displacing valuable water volume.

4) A small filter might be good, at least until your tank is settled, and for the long run you might consider a small power-head with internal sponge that suction cups to the side of the tank. Make sure you get one that you can crank way down as even the small ones seem strong in small volumes of water

5) You might consider Anubias or other slow-growing plants, since you’ve only got that small vertical space to work with and you might not want to be pruning every other day.

Good luck and be sure to post pics!!!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 08:19 PM
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1) Critically depends on answer 3, but I would say yes anyway. A bare tank is said to be more stressful to fauna as there is a lot of reflections which spook them out. Not many plants will grow without a good foothold in some sort of substrate, and you will have to forget about any sort of "design" to the layout without gravel, as plants would be constantly being moved by the fauna. As mentioned about answer three... the gravel (especially if small, irregular grains) will be a big surface area for bacteria to develop which "filter" the toxins in the water by converting ammonia, to nitrites, then nitrates. Therefore, without a filter to do most of the work for you, the gravel will become the next major source of biological filtration.

2) It really depends on how much light the tank will recieve, but you can go for the easy, low-light plants such as java moss, java fern, anubias etc that will at least give you an indication of light levels in their growth.... they will tollerate and grow in dull condtions, but will show greater growth if higher light is available.

3) I would say it depends how heavily planted the tank will be, and how much you want to experiment. Here is a pic of my 6 gallon tank that is probably more like 3 or 4 after displacement from large pieces of bogwood...

I have no filter on that, and current inhabitants are three large adult African dwarf frogs, 1 sparkling gourami and a large (approx 2.5") wood shrimp. Plants are labelled, and I wouldn't exactly call it heavily planted!
I have no problems with water quality on this tank and actually have to add nitrates every three to four days (at a level of 15ppm) as they dissapear! You can always add some duckweed (lemna minor) to your tank to soak up nutrients.
This tank has also gone weeks without a water change before with no problems whatsoever (as nitrates never accumulate). Currently, I have returned to the no water change plan for a while. Last one was done on 6th March.
If you go for the no filter route, be sure to test the water at first for a while to be sure that nothing is building up too much.

4) Shrimp do not really add much to the bioload of an aquarium, however you are talking about a small volume of water. You might be able to squeeze another smallish fish in there or a few more shrimp, but again.... water testing would indicate the answers you were looking for.

5) By peace lily, I assume you mean the common Spathiphyllum sp. which is a terrestrial plant? If so, can these grow in water? I have read that they do not like to be standing in water for any length of time.

This sort of setup can work, you just might have to fiddle a bit with it to get the right balance.
The only other thing I would mention is about the sunlight. Just make sure it does not get too much direct light (which you said it doesn't really so you should be fine), as this can cause problems by heating the water, especially such a small body like 2.5 gallons


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

Thanks to all who have replied so far!

drew- I love your 2.5g and I guess what I was wondering is if the same effects could be achieved w/ a tank situated in front of a window...

hoffboy- I like the idea of a small internal submersible filter, how could one hide a filter like that?

stu- I thought about another small fish... i was thinking about an oto, any thoughts on that? Also, yes, the peace lilly i was referring to is the common Spathiphyllum sp. I have several of them right now in my 30 gal w/ the roots hanging in the water as I heard that they are good at soaking up phosphates and I have a serious blue-green algae problem in that tank b/c of the phosphates and the large fish load! Anyway, the plants are doing great... I guess I'll experiment to see if they survive with the stems mostly in the water... You usuall see peace lillies in those AWFUL! betta/vase/plant setups. It's almost always a peace lilly there, i've found
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 11:38 PM
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Ahhh, I can see how a few roots in the water would not do any harm to the plant, and infact helps to transport excess nutrients.

My single Oto I have at the moment is relaxing in my 29gal planted tank. Originally, he was in my 6gal tank and to be honest, he never seemed truly happy. I think they like space, heavy planting and most importantly do best in the company of other fish; preferably more of their own species. So my advice would be against an Oto.

I know from personal experience, that it is quite hard to find a suitable single fish for a very small aquarium. They either need to be in a group or are too large to be suitable.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 06:17 AM
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A pea puffer might like to be alone in a 2.5G.

I don't bother trying to hide my small internal power filter. It's black and fairly inconspicuous. I'm actually planning a prototype tank with built in sump and fluidized bed with all the guts exposed at both ends of the tank...a sort of tectonic approach that would be VERY educational for my 2-year-old son, not to mention newb family and friends.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 08:03 AM
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Is a pea puffer another synonm for an indian dwarf puffer?

Almost all puffers fin nip, so I wouldn't put one with a betta, even a female.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hey thanks! I hadn't heard of those puffers until yesterday while cruising around this website. They're kinda cute! From what I've read, they seem to do better in slightly bigger tanks so maybe I'll set up my 5 gal as a pea puffer habitat. I'm gonna stick w/ my single female betta and some cherry shrimp. (STU- I thought you'd say that about the otos... when I last had them in a 20gal they seemed very happy and they definetly liked to swim all around the tank so 2gal would def be too small.) Hoffboy- do you think the puffer would get along ok w/ the cherry shrimp?

Hmmm, then again, if I get a pea puffer, then I won't have space for the female betta and thus no one to breed the males with... Unless of course I move the A. striatum.... argh! So many fish, so few tanks (actually, lots of tanks, just no place to put them!)
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 03:28 PM
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Check out my signature - have a couple low-tech nano tanks that are doing very well with no filter or heater - haven't changed the water since january and ph, hardness, alkalinity are stable while nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia are zero. And the stocking levels are really high - a couple adult cherries and about 20 babies in a 3/4 gallon tank - no signs anything is out of balance (yet).


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hey littleguy: I saw your tank setups and they look great. I'm slowly gonna get started on mine. I was wondering.. what is this book you were referring in your other post? I'll have to pick it up before I start my tank....

thanks for your help!

ricardo
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 10:24 PM
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The book to which littleguy is refering, is Diana Walstad's; "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium"
Link 1, Link 2

A book I own myself, and find an excellent resource.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 10:55 PM
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Everyone should read Walstad, IMHO. I just posted about a tank I'm working based on her ideas https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...852#post140852
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2005, 03:38 AM
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Every female betta I've ever had wouldn't hesitate to commit shrimp genocide. I'd pick a different fish.
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