2.5 gallon custom cube journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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2.5 gallon custom cube journal

So I was a member of NR for some time and did a couple nano and pico reefs before getting fed up with the ridiculous amount of cash I was dropping on the hobby, and I just quit. I have kept a 39 gallon planted tank going for over 5 years now: CO2, 110 watts of CF, Ehiem canister, Fluorite, planted with with some crypts, rotalla indica, java fern, and dwarf lilies. It's got a school of Harlequin rasboras, a couple blue rams, a few SAEs, a couple barred loaches, about 5 amano shrimp, and a TON of malasian trumpet snails. I do monthly 50% water changes and do not supplement any more (used to, but stopped, nd the tank actually started doin BETTER... go figgure). Sorry, no pics right now.

Anyway, on to the new tank I'm setting up: I 'm taking one of my old custom 2.5 gallon reef tanks, and turning it into a little nano planted tank. Here it is so far:


It's got 27watt CF over it, Onyx sand on the bottom, and a closed loop on a MaxiJet 600 (160 gps). Yes, I know this is a ton of flow for a little planted tank, so I am actually considering reducing it by trimming the impeller. I went with the closed loop instead of a filter since I'd like to see if a well planted little system with good water flow, only a few fish, and a good detritivore crew could manage it's own waste load. I will do water changes of course, and plan to supplement with Excel and a little Flourish.

Anyway, I would like to plant it with a carpet of Glosso, a couple isolated bunches of dwarf hair grass, and a few dwarf crypts from my other tank. I am still not sure what fish I'd like to go with, but I'd like something colorful and active that will appreciate the relatively high flow (even if I decide to reduce it some). Tetras? Killis? Danios? And, of course, I want shrimp. I have amanos in my bigger tank, but I'd like something more colorful in here. I've heard good things about cherries, and have considered them. How many would be sufficient in this size tank?

Thoughts on my filter choice (or lack thereof), and plant choices? Fish suggestions? Online retailer suggestions for the pants/fish/shrimp?

Anyway, it's nice to be here, and I look forward to all your advice and ideas.

Thanks,
Jared

Last edited by j_m_lizard; 10-17-2007 at 07:00 AM. Reason: decided to call this a journal and keep updating it as such.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-14-2007, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to take out the substrate, and add an under-layer of peat and a little mulm from my established tank. The Onyx also got another rinse, which should help reduce the murkiness that comes with even the most minor disturbances of this messy substrate. It was a bit of effort, but I imagine it will be worth it in the long run.

Just thought I'd mention this little change.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe if I keep shamelessly bumping I'll get some feedback/ideas/suggestions/comments?

Anyway, here's a little update:



Transplanted a dwarf lili and a few Crypt parva from the big tank. Also added foam prefilter, switched out the big 100 watt heater for a little 10 watt Marineland heater, and put in a thermometer to keep an eye on the temp (the little heater is not adjustable, it is just preset to 78 degrees... I hope it works!). the cloudiness should disappear soon. (fingers crossed).

Last edited by j_m_lizard; 10-16-2007 at 05:02 AM.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 11:24 PM
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Welcome Here's a great list of nano fish:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...st-v1-0-a.html

Personally I love Sparkling gouramis, I have 3 in my 3 gallon, but if you want shrimp, do a shrimp-only tank, especially in a small tank. The sparkling gouramis went after my shrimp Also, if you decide to do shrimp in there, make sure the tank is fully cycled, they are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites (I found out the hard way!).

Some great plants to start are anubias petite, anacharis and different types of mosses.

You've got a great start, looking forward to updates

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply! I looked at sparkling gouramis, but decided to forgo them specifically because of the shrimp issue. I think I'm just gonna go for a few white clouds and some shrimp.

The plants you listed are pretty low light, but with 27 watts, this little tank is not low light. I'm definitely going with HC instead of Glosso, but I am still thinking about the rest. Maybe some dwarf swords? I'd love some sort of isolated grass-like plant - maybe Blyxa japonica or some dwarf sags... or will they outgrow it too fast? Any other ideas would be appreciated.

I'm still wondering about the amount of current. I haven't found any info stating just how much current is too much for a planted tank... so for now, I'm just going to try it as is (~100gph in a 2.5 gallon).

Jared
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 12:20 AM
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I have blyxa in my 3 gallon with 13 watts and it is doing well. I bet you will have great luck with HC. The nana petite is just a great all-around hardy plant, and the small size really suits a nano

Definitely try to cut down on the current if you can...I found that my shrimp get blown around if I let my Aquaclear go at full flow in my 10 gallon. Even my sparkling gouramis get pushed around using my tiny 30 gph filter in the 3 gallon.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 12:37 AM
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You might want to take that powerhead out, it is way to powerful. A filter that I recommend is the Zoo Med 501 canister filter. It is rated 70gph, once you fill it with some filter floss it will be perfect for your tank. I use this filter from my 2.5G. Works great!

About the light, is it compact flourescent? If so you will be able to grow HC for sure. I have the Coralife Mini-Aqualight for my 2.5G (2x9W) and the HC spreads fast.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 12:39 AM
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I have the same heater too! It will keep the water temperature around 76F-78F, depending on ambient temperature. For example, for the past few days, my room temperature is 66F, it can only heat up the water to 74F.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trfjason View Post
You might want to take that powerhead out, it is way to powerful. A filter that I recommend is the Zoo Med 501 canister filter. It is rated 70gph, once you fill it with some filter floss it will be perfect for your tank. I use this filter from my 2.5G. Works great!

About the light, is it compact flourescent? If so you will be able to grow HC for sure. I have the Coralife Mini-Aqualight for my 2.5G (2x9W) and the HC spreads fast.
Yep, I just took the powerhead off since I came to the same conclusion... it was WAY too much for a little planted tank. Right now I just have a little Azoo 16gph HOB on it. I really like the idea of that canister though... I'll look into it... thanks for the pointer!

As for the light, yep it's a CF, so yeah, the HC should do well I'm guessing. Also, thanks for the word on the B. japonica... I think I'll give it a try.

Jared

EDIT - Decided to go with the ZooMed 501 canister... that way if I decide to inject CO2 at some point, I'll just throw togehter an inline diffuser like I have on my bigger tank. Until then, Excel will do the trick, and I'll still be using my preferred method of filtration... Yay!. Thanks for the tip jason.

Last edited by j_m_lizard; 10-16-2007 at 03:51 AM.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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I think I've decided on some Blyxa jabonica and Hydrocotyle verticillata, to round out the plant stock (along with the HC, Crypt parva, and dwarf red lily, of course). Anything you think I should reconsider? Other options or additions?

Once all the plants are in place and established, I'm leaning towards a few Chili or Phoenix Rasboras, an otocinclus, and some cherry red shrimp (and of course, the ubiquitous MTS). Thoughts on this stock?

Thanks again,
Jared
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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update

So, today I did some re-scaping, and put in a Lobelia cardinalis and an otocinclus. Who knows if the Cardinal plant will work in here, but I thought I'd give it a shot since it was in good shape and only $5. I also added a very sickly little stem of an undetermined plant that may be a Hydrocotyle species (I'll post pick tomorrow of the larger specimen I snagged which I put in my other tank). I got the poor little thing for free from one of the LFS I visited today. It's a shame that Sacramento has some of the nicest fish stores in Northern California, but none of them have much in the way of plants or planted tank supplies. Worse yet, I've yet to meet more than one LFS employee in the whole area with even a rudimentary knowledge of aquatic plant husbandry. Sad... just sad.

Anyway, here's some pics:
new fts


right side view


Left side view


The new cardinal plant


Please let me know what you think!

-Jared
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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little update with new aquascape and planting plans

I did a little rearranging today, preparing for all the plants I'll be gettign in the next week from cool members on the S-N-S, and over on the FS forum on APC. Yay for online communities! Oh, on the community note, I've also got six beautiful cherry shrimp lined up for local pickup at a Sacramento Aquatic Plants Society meeting early next month (plenty of time for the tank to get settled in). After I get he shrimp in, and they have settled, I'll order the Phoenix rasboras from Frank's.

So, anyway, here's what the tank looks like now:



And here's what I'm planing to do with the space available:
I'm thinking I'll put a couple downoi to the left of the crypts already in the middle there, and one to the right. HC will be interspersed throughout the foreground, with the hope that it will not overgrow and strangle the other little plants up there, but rather fill in, and the other plants will just reach up and out of it - it looks beautiful in my mind. I may end up regretting this decision however - we'll see. Blyxa japonica will go between the two rocks. Ludwigia senegalensis will go in the back right corner in front of the heater and filter intake. Hydrocotyle verticillata in the middle background. I put in the links for clarification of any plants anyone might not be familiar with... like I was only a few weeks ago .

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Jared
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 07:10 AM
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Nice start so far. Opposite from you, I started here and moved to NR...been about 9 months and $6,000. Hahaha.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 02:18 PM
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Good progress! HC will look great there!

Wow, nano reef is that expensive?
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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This is H. vert... right?

I picked up a very sickly lookign plant for free at O street Aquarium that I think is Hydrocotyle verticillata. I put it in my 37g for a few days with the intention of leaving it there to grow out and get healthier... but impatience won out, and I cut up the long leggy funky stem and planted the healthy, leafy, and rooty bits in the nano. I think it'll do fine here. Anyway, here's a fw pics of it:







So, was I right in thinking this was H. vert... or is it something else entirely?

Thanks,
Jared
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