Dueling Picos! - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 18
Smile Dueling Picos!

I could really use your advice about my planted 2.5 gallon!

About two weeks ago, I set up a 2.5 reef and a2.5 planted tank side-by-side:



Here are the specs on the planted tank:
Light: Odyssea 24W 50/50 PC (blue and 10K) - I planned to change the bulb to a 10K (no option for any other bulb). 9 hour photoperiod

Substrate: 50% standard aquarium gravel, 50% unscented kitty litter (heard it was good because of the high clay content - didn't want to pay a fortune for specialty planted substrate.

Water: R/O with Tetra "Easy Balance" added weekly (supposed to add electrolytes, buffer and "nitrate reducing granules". Never used it before. Just picked it randomly.

Fish: Male betta, tiny otocinclus

Plants: Three random and cheap plants from the LFS - no planning involved! I was told later that stemmed plants aren't good for such a small tank. I'd like some suggestions for upgrades.

Whisper pre-set heater

Filter: Whisper 10 using carbon and floss cartridge.

Fertilizer: Seachem Flourish root tabs - stuck 2 in the substrate

pH - 7.2
Alkalinity - 3.2
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0

No thoughts about water changes - just topping off so far. Top is open.

No CO2.

So - please be as brutal as you'd like with your comments and suggestions. I need all the help I can get!

Thanks!

Chris
ChrisP is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 06:41 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (266/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 9,417
Hey Chris. Saw your post over at NR...didn't want to hijack it over there, but since you're posting here now...

Switch out the substrate is your first task. =p For a tank that small, you can spend less than $20 on some ADA AquaSoil which is great for growing plants. It's nice and dark too. Otherwise, it looks good. Maybe you'd want to try some dwarf hairgrass and some Rotala or Ludwigia species.
epicfish is offline  
post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 03:44 PM
Planted Member
 
Agrippa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ft. Collins, CO
Posts: 246
To begin, welcme to TPT!

There are quite a few factors that you should consider with this tank.

For starters, the sooner you can get the replacement bulb, the better. Unfortunately, plants are unable utilize the spectrum emitted by actinic sources, so it just goes to waste (or worse, to the algae.) This brings up another important point- 24 watts is a lot of light to have over a two gallon aquarium, especially with a nine hour photoperiod. Without CO2 and other supplemens, you'll likely run into some algae problems. Consider cutting back on the amount of ime that your run your light, starting up d.i.y. or pressurized CO2, or implementing Flourish Excel.

I also agree with epicfish about getting aquasoil or another specialized substrate. With an aquarium that size, it's quite affordable, and it will make all the difference in the success of a healthy, flourishing aquarium. Just like with reefs, if you spend the extra money in the beginning to get quality equipment and stock, you'll save more in the long run because you won't regret your choices. You may be able to get away with it (I have a flourishing aquarium with just silica sand that's been running for a year now,) but the decision is up to you.

Unless your local water is rediculuously crappy, I wouldn't even worry about using RO- just use tap and dechlorinate it. Planted tanks aren't usually so sensitive to reasonable levels of chemical contaminants in a water source.

As for plants, stems can work fine if you don't mind the extra maintenance of trimming. Otherwise, look under the nano plants list for some great ideas.

As for the filter, I'd remove the carbon and just run the filter floss, as, otherwise, it'll absorb many of the helpful chemicals that you add to your setup, thus rendering them useless.

Lastly, I'd pick up some ferts and start doing 50% weekly water changes. It's basically S.O.P. around here, and seems to work well.

Good Luck
Agrippa is offline  
 
post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 08:57 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
sandiegoryu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,490
haha I saw this post in NR too. I replied too :-D.

Someone on NR told you that stem plants are a no no for small tanks.

I COMPLETELY disagree. Stem plants are almost the only plants you can go with in a small tank. Go for small leaved plants like Hemianthus Micranthemoides, Rotala indica/rotundifolia, other such rotala species (but check cuz some get large), and other ones that I can't really think of off of the top of my head.

But seriously, stem plants are the way to go. You could also go with hemianthus callitrichoides for a foreground plant. Or glossostigma. I do not recommend riccia because IMO, it creates a very unnatural and cliche planted tank.

Here's an idea...



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
sandiegoryu is offline  
post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 12:09 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
dufus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: san antonio texas
Posts: 1,880
Send a message via Yahoo to dufus
Hah, I saw this on NR too. Thought it was a neat idea, but the planted tank could use some work, and i think the reef is gonna come along alot slower than the planted one.

Dwarf hairgrass, HC(Hemianthus callitrichiodes), rotala wallichi, rotala sp. vietnam, Ammannia sp. bonsai, rotala mini, mosses of all kinds, anubias nana "petite", aand many others are great nano plants.

The first thing i would do is switch the substrate, those colors are very unatural looking.

Aquasoil(ADGshop.com), eco complete for the planted aquarium, or even florabase or flourite would work better.

Then you need to figure out what kind of aquascape you want.
Rockscape, or driftwood, or "dutch style, which is hard with a pico.

In a tank this small, rock scapes are easy, but you have to find some good looking rocks.
Hc all around the rocks, possibl with hairgrass, downoi, or blyxa in the mix is a nice display.

driftwood is easy too, but you have to get a feel for the positioning. stay away from burls and chunky peices of wood, as well as grapevine.

branchy peices and upside downroots work well.

Moss on the wood along with anubias petite around the base with Hairgrass in the back and HC in the front is an impressive display.

Also, unlike reefs, you want between 5-10 ppm nitrateand 1-2 ppm phosphate. you can obtain these either via letting your betta create them(not fertilizing) or dosing dry ferts.

in your case i wouldn't dose at first.

Also, weekly 30-50% WC are a must, especially in this size.

-Devin-
Steve irwin- a father, a hero, a memory now. -We'll miss you mate
dufus is offline  
post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 02:15 AM
Planted Member
 
psybock's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: "Swamptown", SC
Posts: 230
Cool

Nice little duel you have.

I would have to agree with the others as far as substrate goes. The darker the substrate, usually means, the brighter your colors will be in the tank, for both plants and fish. Also you could try using plant fertilizer tabs if you don't want the hassle of dosing ferts all the time. In all of my tanks I dose at least 2x a week, however the ones that have the pft's look better overall. Anyway, try baby tears or it's micro version.

Windolev fern works great tied to driftwood, I have that and anubis nana in my 1.5 gallon betta tank. However, it might melt a little with such high lighting. Dwarf Sagittari works great for giving small tanks that "high grass" feel for the background.

Crypts such as luciens stay smaller so they would also be a good choice.

As far as the layout, I think you need to reconsider, from the looks of it the planted tank looks to be very cut and dry, basically like you just placed them in the substrate just to get them there. Try going for a more balanced approach, maybe add some driftwood or stones to make a better focal point.

Oh almost forgot, Flourish Excel seems to do a wonderful job for different types of algae, I don't know how but it wiped out thick green mat algae that had grown across my driftwood. It cleaned it out faster than my florida flagfish killie could eat it.

Try using a background as well, usually a black or deep blue will help keep in some of that light as well not cause the rest of the occupants color to fade as bad. A top (maybe plexiglas would work) would help regulate temperature and stop the water from evaporating so fast..

Anyway, that was a mouthful so I will await further pics.

By the way, what do you have in the Reef tank?
psybock is offline  
post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 04:03 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
sandiegoryu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,490
I find dwarf sag too fat for a tank this small. I wouldn't use it. Use dwarf hairgrass. Either Eleocharis acicularis or Eleocharis parvula. Parvula is smaller than acicularis.

Also stay away from any crypt except maybe cryptocoryne parva. Otherwise it'll make the tank look too small.

And if you get a nice substrate (like ADA Aquasoil) then you won't need to and you really shouldn't use tablet fertilizers. If fertilizing, use liquid or bulk chemicals. Search for the EI method.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
sandiegoryu is offline  
post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 18
I listened to your suggestions and started again from scratch. Does this look any better?



The substrate is now Flourite. New plants are Amazon chain swords and the (?) one attached to the piece of driftwood in the center - don't know if these were good choices, but all that was available at the (best-planted-tank) LFS.

I decided to try daily doses of Flourish Excel rather than trying to do a CO2 system.

Chris
ChrisP is offline  
post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 12:19 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
dufus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: san antonio texas
Posts: 1,880
Send a message via Yahoo to dufus
very nice now.
That's a good idea w/flourish excel, it;s much easier.

-Devin-
Steve irwin- a father, a hero, a memory now. -We'll miss you mate
dufus is offline  
post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 18
Update!

My betta has suddenly disappeared! Can't find it anywhere. Do I need to call in CSI? Sorry if I don't seem to be going through a proper mourning period, but if the betta doesn't turn up alive, any suggestions for alternate fish? I've always wanted to keep cardinals, but don't know if that's reasonable in a 2.5.
Thanks!
Chris
ChrisP is offline  
post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 06:13 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
frozenbarb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (51/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA NY
Posts: 2,332
Send a message via AIM to frozenbarb
wow Probably hoped away.

Im eyeing those So called Amazon swords, I dont know why. I have a feeling it looks non aquatic

One month in.
frozenbarb is offline  
post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 11:29 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
dufus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: san antonio texas
Posts: 1,880
Send a message via Yahoo to dufus
Hmm, no clue on the betta, but i wouldn't go with cards for reasons.
1)they're a bit big and need more space to swim.
2)they school, so you need 5 at least.

I'd go with 7-8 microrasboras.
Unlike pico reefs, there are an abundance of tiny fish for planted picos.

-Devin-
Steve irwin- a father, a hero, a memory now. -We'll miss you mate
dufus is offline  
post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 01:53 AM
Planted Member
 
pet-teez's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vista, CA
Posts: 273
If you don't have a lid the betta could have "jumped ship".

-Cassie S.
No fish or invert tanks right now... just 1 H. azureiventris...
But I'm working on that!
pet-teez is offline  
post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 18
Update - need advice

I've been adding Flourish Excel (half capful daily). Decreased photoperiod to 6 hours based on prior suggestions about algae growth. Substituted 12K, 24W flourescent bulb for the 50/50 blue/white I had. I know the 12K is probably too blue, but it's the only option I had. The chain swords are starting to look "pale" and less hearty, but still alive. Any sugestions?
Thanks!
Chris
ChrisP is offline  
post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 10:55 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Kayen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 883
any luck on the betta?
i think 12000k is too blue and high of a specctrum fo plant use not too sure.
Kayen is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome