2.5G Aqueon Cue Planted Betta Tank - Suggestions Please! - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 10
2.5G Aqueon Cue Planted Betta Tank - Suggestions Please!

Hello All,

I am primarily a saltwater SPS reefer but after winning a betta at a local aquatics conference, I got a 2.5 gallon Aqueon Cue setup for my nightstand. After thinking about it further, I decided I'd like a little planted setup would be nice and peaceful to look at while in bed. It's been a long time since I did anything freshwater, and I've never done a planted tank. I am definitely open to suggestions and constructive criticism. I'd like something natural looking and peaceful.

I did a little research and here's the current setup:

- Aqueon Cue 2.5 with stock LED light
- Fluval Stratum substrate
- Malaysian Driftwood piece
- Cobalt heater
- RODI water (which I ordered Seachem Equilibrium to buffer)

Here's the mods I plan to do:
- Replace stock filter with an Azoo Palm filter because it blocks 1/2 the light (ordered)
- For Azoo filter, Aquaclear mini foam, mini amrid, mini carbon, and mini biomax
- Fluval 88g CO2 system with ISTA Mini Ceramic Cone CO2 Diffuser (ordered)
- Hinter Aqua Aquarium Hang on external CO2 PH indicator with Fluval indicator fluid (ordered)
- Seachem Flourish Excel (not sure if I need this with the CO2 - ordered)
- Seachem Flourish tabs

- Light - Please help with this, I can't seem to find one small enough for my 8"x8" length/width. Ideally I'd like something LED. I am doubtful the stock light is bright enough.

Current livestock:
- Betta
- 3 tiny cherry shrimp (probably too soon)
- Plants on order - tissue cultured dwarf hairgrass, water sprite, java fern

Advice welcome on equipment, livestock and plants!

Bryman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 12:28 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
ChemGuyEthan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 563
Welcome to the planted tank world!

Nice colored betta fish!

Well your equipment list looks pretty complete. Most of the things on there I don't have experience with but you've certainly got the bases covered. For a light that's small, a couple come to mind: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LIL7YPE/ref=s9_simh_gw_p199_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-4&pf_rd_r=04NNA97YQ12C8DN1TWY3&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=1970567742&pf_rd_i=desktop and the Azoo Flexi Mini (won't let me link to this one, but it's on sale on the ADA website). Another option for a tank this small is a desk lamp. I've grown plants with a desk lamp and a 23W, 6500K CFL. The nice thing with the desk lamp is you can easily adjust the height if it's too much or too little light.

The cherries may not make it, either cause the tank's too young or the betta eats them... Has the tank been cycled? I'd recommend frequent water changes and adding a bacterial starter like Seachem Stability. I've used that with success.

If you upgrade the light and you're pumping in CO2, you'll want to look into dosing fertilizer to the water column. The root tabs are good for rooted stem plants, but the java fern would benefit from ferts in the water. And the Excel is fine with CO2, the Excel has the added benefit of helping some to curb algae.

Plant options are...many, haha. With your equipment list (and ferts), you could probably grow most plants. Let's see... rotala species can be kept small and busy with trimming. But may be more work than you want. Anubias are nice on driftwood. Crypts are nice plants as well, lots of different options. Blyxa japonica is a nice grassy plant that may work in the back. It takes a while to settle in, but once it does, grows quite quickly. One or two plants could easily grow in to fill the back of the aquarium. A nice little red plant is alternanthera reineckii mini. Solid little red plant.

And at this point, the only comment on the hardscape would be to shift the wood more to one side or the other. It looks a little unnatural smack dab in the middle. It'll look more natural with plants though.

Old tanks, all torn down:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
ChemGuyEthan is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Thanks so much for your suggestions. You are totally right about the wood placement. I put it in center like you would in a reef tank to maximize coral growth. But this is another world. I will check on those lights!
Bryman is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 03:12 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
AquaAurora's Avatar
 
PTrader: (36/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 5,571
Unless its a fully cycled filter on that tank those shrimp will either die from ammonia or possibly get eaten by the betta as they have no place to hide and bettas are predators (but every fish is different... either way don't expect them to last, they do best in cycled tanks that have been running and planted for several months to build up micro organisms that they feed on).

You should do the nylon test on your wood and any other decor/hardscape you plant to add. You can buy cheap nylon stockings at any generic grocery store (at least mine carry them). Betta fins are as delicate as nylon which is why its a great way to test stuff for tanks. Take the wood out and rub the stocking over it. If it snags or rips it can and will damage the bettas fins. But driftwood is easy to fix with sand paper and a little effort (did this recently with some old driftwood I had to re-purpose for a betta tank.
You'll need to do daily or every other day water changes until you have your filter, or a large fast growing plant mass. Bettas don't need fancy rodi water, they're very tolerant to pH and hardness ranges if properly accliamted when first introduced to new pH, just need to decholrinate water.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AquaAurora is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Yes, I don't think the tank is fully cycled. I'll have to buy a freshwater test set again as my SW Hanna checkers won't work. I did put a mix of Aquaclear Amrid and carbon in the Azoo palm filter that I installed today, so hopefully that will help clear the ammonia. I am also doing about 50% water changes about 3x a week. Here's a pic after I installed the new filter and rearranged the driftwood. BTW it has very soft corners, and I boiled it for 15 minutes before putting it in the tank.



Bump: Also, thanks to ChemGuyEthan for the light recommendation - I placed an order for the Finnex FugeRay Planted+ fixture.
Bryman is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 04:38 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: JA
Posts: 14
that tank looks amazing so far

Beautiful betta too
aksmzk is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 05:57 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
ChemGuyEthan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 563
Haha, glad I could help with the light!

AquaAurora's advice is good too. I'd also recommend daily water changes. With such a small tank, I wouldn't think it'd be too bad, pull a gallon out every day, and put a new one in. And yes, betta fish don't need fancy rodi water, but it also won't hurt. I'm sure it's what you're used to with a saltwater setup, so you can stick with it. Depending on what you tap water is like, then yes, a dechlorinator is all you need (again, Seachem Prime is a good one). Any idea on the pH of your water? If it's lower than about 8 your ammonia shouldn't be much of a problem, but the nitrites that form soon will be. That's when the water changes will really become important. Also something that will become important as you start CO2 is that you'll need some carbonate hardness (KH) or your pH will swing by a lot between day and night. That'll stress everything out unnecessarily. I think Equilibrium provides some KH, but I honestly don't remember. If not, baking soda does the trick and you can find info on that here pretty easily.

Also, I spy an oto in there too. I would shy away from adding any more fauna for a couple more weeks. Plants you should add immediately when you get them. They'll start growing and help to take up some of the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and provide cover for your fish/shrimp.

Oh, I also forgot to mention that moss would be a good addition to this tank with the shrimp. It can easily be tied to the wood. I would say anything but java moss, but that's just my personal opinion, haha.

Keep us updated!

Old tanks, all torn down:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
ChemGuyEthan is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 10
The PH out of my RODI is neutral (7.0) and comes out with absolutely no hardness and TDS of about 1ppm currently. So it's about as close to pure H2O as it gets. Using the formula on the Seachem Equilibrium bottle, I made a batch of 5g RODI today that should amount to about 5 dH, which I think is in the target range. I'll start doing daily 1G changes as you suggest using this buffered water.

Adding an oto this early was a mistake. With the reef tank I am disciplined and patient, but I threw that out the window when I started putting this "easy" FW tank together.

I think the moss would be cool on the wood too. I am a little paranoid about getting nuisance snails in the system though, which is why I ordered my plants from DFS. I guess there's probably a way to dip them like I dip my corals to get rid of the bad hitch-hikers. I've got some more research to do.

Plants and lights come on Tuesday so looking forward to getting those in.
Bryman is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 08:08 AM
Algae Grower
 
pannyx's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 53
Beautiful Betta! Which light did you decide on? I have them both but I'm not sure which I prefer yet. I do like the Finnex being out of my way, whereas the Azoo is right on top of the plants. It's a pretty light though.

I'm looking forward to watching your tank progress. I would agree with daily water changes, especially with the Oto in there. I don't know anything about shrimp but I've seen my Betta go after the smaller snails in the tank so I would be careful.

Where did you get your plants if you don't mind my asking? I'm overrun with snails because I didn't dip mine.

Good luck with the tank!
pannyx is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by pannyx View Post
Beautiful Betta! Which light did you decide on? I have them both but I'm not sure which I prefer yet. I do like the Finnex being out of my way, whereas the Azoo is right on top of the plants. It's a pretty light though.

I'm looking forward to watching your tank progress. I would agree with daily water changes, especially with the Oto in there. I don't know anything about shrimp but I've seen my Betta go after the smaller snails in the tank so I would be careful.

Where did you get your plants if you don't mind my asking? I'm overrun with snails because I didn't dip mine.

Good luck with the tank!
Thanks! Frank the betta was free and I won him at an aquatics convention a few weeks ago. I went with the Finnex Planted+ Clipon, which should be here next Tuesday with the plants from LiveAquaria.
Bryman is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 09:30 AM
Planted Member
 
sushant's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: india
Posts: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post
Welcome to the planted tank world!

Nice colored betta fish!

Well your equipment list looks pretty complete. Most of the things on there I don't have experience with but you've certainly got the bases covered. For a light that's small, a couple come to mind: Finnex planted+ clip on light and the Azoo Flexi Mini (won't let me link to this one, but it's on sale on the ADA website). Another option for a tank this small is a desk lamp. I've grown plants with a desk lamp and a 23W, 6500K CFL. The nice thing with the desk lamp is you can easily adjust the height if it's too much or too little light.

The cherries may not make it, either cause the tank's too young or the betta eats them... Has the tank been cycled? I'd recommend frequent water changes and adding a bacterial starter like Seachem Stability. I've used that with success.

If you upgrade the light and you're pumping in CO2, you'll want to look into dosing fertilizer to the water column. The root tabs are good for rooted stem plants, but the java fern would benefit from ferts in the water. And the Excel is fine with CO2, the Excel has the added benefit of helping some to curb algae.

Plant options are...many, haha. With your equipment list (and ferts), you could probably grow most plants. Let's see... rotala species can be kept small and busy with trimming. But may be more work than you want. Anubias are nice on driftwood. Crypts are nice plants as well, lots of different options. Blyxa japonica is a nice grassy plant that may work in the back. It takes a while to settle in, but once it does, grows quite quickly. One or two plants could easily grow in to fill the back of the aquarium. A nice little red plant is alternanthera reineckii mini. Solid little red plant.

And at this point, the only comment on the hardscape would be to shift the wood more to one side or the other. It looks a little unnatural smack dab in the middle. It'll look more natural with plants though.
+1.
Activate carbon doesn't go well with planted setup and should be used only in the initial days of setting up the tank as a measure to control algae (by removing ammonia and excess minerals leaching from the substrate).its prolonged use will starve the plants ,instead use the filter‘s space for holding biomedia.
sushant is online now  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Ok, thanks. What about the ammorid media?
Bryman is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Update - 11/29/14

Today I went out and got Seachem Stability as recommended and dosed the tank. I also got a nice little pest-free Anubias Nana (comes in a plastic cylinder) and was able to stick the rhizome in a crack in the driftwood. I lost another shrimp but one is still alive. Also did 50% water change with buffered up RODI. Finally, I got some tank safe rocks from Petsmart but only added one to balance the empty space. Here's what it looks like now:


Thanks again for the suggestions.
Bryman is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 02:44 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
ChemGuyEthan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 563
Nice, already looks much better just with these two additions! Looking forward to seeing it when you get the rest of the plants in it!

Old tanks, all torn down:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
ChemGuyEthan is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 02:59 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
AquaAurora's Avatar
 
PTrader: (36/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 5,571
Take the oto back to the store, it will die from an un-cycled tank, and they are a shoaling fish which do better in groups not solo, it will be stressed alone, also -like the shrimp- it does better in may month aged tanks with micro organisms, that small or and new of a tank will not get enough natural food in for it.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AquaAurora 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