2.5 gallon low tech cube - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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2.5 gallon low tech cube

I have been wanting to set up a planted tank for some time and plan on setting up a custom AIO rimless 10 gallon. I am still in the planning stages of the 10 gallon, but my patients is getting the better of me. so....the wife and i were at petsmart and i decided to pick up a few things to set up an extra tank we had in the garage. the tank is a 2.5 gallon rimless cube made by topfin. the tank was on clearance a while back and i was able to pick it up for $30.





Specs:

Tank - 2.5 gallon rimless
Filter - azoo palm filter
Light - stock LED clip on (unsure of specs but most likely too weak)
Substrate - Flora Max original
Fauna - Eleocharis acicularis, Microsorum pteropus
Live stock - TBD

any questions or comments are appreciated. i do have 2 questions for all of you. first, what light would you recommend? i was looking at the finnex stingray clamp on or a 13w cfl. secondly, what would you recommend for ferts, and when do i start and how often? thanks in advance.

Last edited by bdevillier19; 11-11-2014 at 02:35 AM. Reason: tank Mfg. correction
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 05:41 AM
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That is a cool little tank, I remember seeing them at Petsmart. I would say that the Java fern would absolutely do fine with the stock light, but the Dwarf Hairgrass will probably not do well.

What are the dimensions of your tank? I think 13w would be kinda overkill for a low tech tank that small. Personally, I think the Stingray would be fine as long as the head of the fixture isn't too long for your cube. If you want a CFL, you could also maybe try the stock light of a JBJ picotype. It's a 9w cfl (I keep a few as backups)

Found one. Check it out here (scroll down the page).

Good luck with the tank!


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. The tank is actually made by topfin, not tetra. The measurements are somewhere around 9-10" cubed but I can't remember exactly. The light says its 1.5w but that's just going off the sticker on the light itself. I still have to look it up and see if I can find more detailed specs.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 02:39 PM
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You can grab a Finnex clip on fixture, that would likely put you into the medium light range. But I suggest tossing in a few fast growing stem plants to suck up any extra nutrients to combat any potential algae. As far as ferts go, I don't know anything haha. But I defer to and trust the members on here, I will be purchasing a liquid fert package. And with a tank that small, liquid ferts and excel can be extremely affordable since they will last a long time. That is what I am doing in my 7.5gallon, using 1 mL excel daily and ferts weekly.


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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I think I will go with the finnex for light. But until it arrives I will use a 13w cfl and just raise it up off the tank. The reason I am considering going with a cfl is because where the tank is sitting I have the end of a wall that divides my living room and kitchen and I could mount a nice wall mount light and it would look pretty sweet. For ferts I think I am going to buy the fundamentals pack from Dr. Foster and smith for like $12.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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And when you suggest fast growing stem plants, what would you suggest for a small low light tank?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 04:09 PM
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Well if you upgrade your light, you would be in the medium light range and would have more options. But to name a few options....ludwigia, bacopa, hygro, & wisteria. But go for what you like.

And as for livestock, I think small tanks like that look really good with only shrimp. Or a betta.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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I have a betta that was in the tank originally and might go back but I really like shrimp too so I'll figure that out when I get there. How soon should I start worry about adding ferts? Should I go with the 2 bottle EI method or something like osmicote plus capsules?
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 08:54 PM
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i used 23w cfl w/ regular clamp-on desk lamp on my 2.5 gallon without much problems. if i felt it was too much i would just cut back on the duration or put something like paper across the rim to shade the tank a bit. i would suggest smaller plants to go with the scale of the tank. like mosses (though i dont have much luck growing them well) or baby tears(my fave)! i would suggest dwarf baby tears but have no experience with it.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 09:05 PM
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I can't tell if you did or not, but don't plant the java fern in the gravel.
And MOAR plants!
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 09:23 PM
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Root tabs are good for plants that are rooted in the substrate, like crypts, and not java ferns or anubias. Java ferns and anubias should be tied to wood or rock, and not buried. As far as when to start dosing ferts, I am not certain but I would think you wait until after you get higher light and more plants. Also, are you going to dose excel, or use pressurized CO2?


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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 10:31 PM
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That substrate wont grow dhg its too inert

true you could help things w water column fert dosing, but nothing will beat dirting that tank, under your fmax, or going pressurized co2 and water column ferts. it will take a while for that susbtrate to capture and hold enough organics that break down and give the plants some reserves to use, the substrate itself claims to but doesnt very well at all.

im predicting dhg melt in two mos unless mitigated but the tank is awesome.

small old reef tank:

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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The java fern is in the flora max so I will pull it up and attach it to a small rock. Thanks for a heads up. Anything in particular I should tie it down with? Fishing string? And if need be I will track down some soil and pull the tank up and start over. I can't find the miracle grow organic choice potting mix but I can find the organic choice garden soil. Is there a difference?thanks for all the help by the way.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and I was browsing the interweb and came across the fluval 20g co2 system for $25. Is it worth it? Don't really want to spend lots on a big co2 system for a small tank.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdevillier19 View Post
Oh and I was browsing the interweb and came across the fluval 20g co2 system for $25. Is it worth it? Don't really want to spend lots on a big co2 system for a small tank.
Unless you plan to go with high light, you can probably just get away with a medium light fixture and excel. A 250mL bottle of excel will run you $6, and dosing .25mL each day will last you almost 3 years. In my opinion, it's a good balance between low-tech and high-tech, because I want descent growth but don't want to get into pressurized CO2.

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Originally Posted by bdevillier19 View Post
The java fern is in the flora max so I will pull it up and attach it to a small rock. Thanks for a heads up. Anything in particular I should tie it down with? Fishing string? And if need be I will track down some soil and pull the tank up and start over. I can't find the miracle grow organic choice potting mix but I can find the organic choice garden soil. Is there a difference?thanks for all the help by the way.
Fishing line or any string works fine. I recently used aquarium silicone to glue the rhizomes down to a small rock.

Dirt is good and has plenty of benefits, but can be very messy if you like to rearrange things often. The flora max is still a very good option, it is just inert (which means it doesnt have any nutrients), but it does a good job of storing nutrients. So all you need to do is throw some root tabs in every few months and you'll be fine. Root tabs are cheap too, $10 for a ten pack of seachem root tabs and you that'll last you more than a year in that size tank.


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