Starting 2.5 gallon planted tank. Tips? Plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Starting 2.5 gallon planted tank. Tips? Plants?

Tank will be low-tech, no c02. Black diamond sand substrate with root tabs. Do not want to dose ferts or excel.

What are some common plants that I may have success with? Looking for a lush thick look without the C02, which I know means I need to choose low demand hardy plants. My concern is ones that stay small and have small leaves so that they look appropriate in this tank.

I assume I actually need to choose from foreground plants, which a lot of time are supposedly high light demand, however since the tank depth is very small is it safe to assume that they will do ok?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 09:39 PM
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Why not do dirt capped with sand?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 09:42 PM
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i would look at the numerous types of cryptocoryne, such as wendtii, undunlata, balansae. Also, anubias, java fern, java moss all will do well under low light. I have crypt undunlata in my 5.5g, and 29g gallon tank, it doesn't get that tall i would say 8" is a good rough estimate.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 10:41 PM
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keep in mind a lot of what you see as foreground carpet plants (hairgrass, glosso, etc) are much more high light and co2 to develop a decent look.

That being said, anubias nana, and esp nana petite are good low light plants that stay small, and would look pretty decently to scale, just find a couple small rocks or drift wood to tie it to. My java fern also stays pretty small.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 04:00 AM
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I have a 1.5-2 gallon hex (not 100% sure about tank volume) that I've setup with some cherry shrimp in it. I have a 23 watt CFL bulb in a fixture on top of the tank that lies horizontally. I put 1mL of liquid carbon in it daily and root tabs once a month. I realize that doesn't necessarily qualify as low tech, but because its so small it requires very little in terms of liquid carbon and root tabs. Also maintenance is very low. I have to be honest, I really think my tank would be perfectly fine without the daily carbon and monthly root tabs.

Plant list:
Dwarf hairgrass carpet
Ludwigia repens (background)
rotala bonsai
a tall and thick grass of some sort (can't remember the name)
anubias nana narrow leaf tied to cholla wood
java moss

The java moss grows the fastest, but the ludwigia is pretty fast growing too. If I wanted a lowlight setup I'd maybe use a 16 watt CFL instead, but honestly with the little cost of the liquid carbon you might as well just put the plants in it that you want. You can really only put invertebrates in a tank this small anyways so algae is no problem (it wasn't a problem before I stocked the tank either).

I really think you could do this without carbon or fertilizers. I use them for the added benefit, but things would likely just be slower without them. The important thing to keep in mind is that maintenance with a small tank can be a huge pain (trimming plants etc), so be sure to choose plants that aren't gonna have to be trimmed all the time to maintain the look that you want. Good luck!
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Last edited by GrantF; 03-02-2015 at 04:04 AM. Reason: added info
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 04:10 AM
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The Lilaeopsis species of grass like plants will do well in your tank. I also used crypt wendtii and parva. Anubias will do well, as will java fern. The java fern I started with small plants and as they grew too large I pulled them out and replaced them with smaller plants.

Unfortunately a 2.5 gallon is pretty small so alot of plants are going to outgrow it. The crypt wendtii might outgrow it too unless you trim it. The best thing for that size tank is moss! It did really well under a 23w flourescent light.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 06:41 AM
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Don't know about show tanking a 2.5 but I have 4 pet smart grade 2.5 gals and I use them to breed Celestial Pearl Danios. I use duckweed, rotala rotundifolia and java moss. Duckweed and rotala are extremely fast growing plants but helps out up taking excess waste and enables me to over feed without altering water quality too much. The moss for breeding purpose. If you want a tank to "enjoy", c'mon. Get a 10 gallon at warmart for like $12. You will have more space, fun and maintenance to work with.



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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvdb View Post
Tank will be low-tech, no c02. Black diamond sand substrate with root tabs. Do not want to dose ferts or excel.
Looking for a lush thick look without the C02, which I know means I need to choose low demand hardy plants. ?
Lush green without ferts would be difficult to achieve unless you decide to go moss only.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 05:28 PM
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I loved my 2.5 gallon. It was a great place for a betta. I had a turtle canister filter so nothing in the tank. Then I put a large Marina breeder box on the back so there was more water volume. It was really fun to scape the tank cause it was so small and a bit of a challenge to achieve scale. I liked it more than my 10 gallon.

I did use ferts and root tabs, just have to keep an eye on algae growth and dose accordingly.
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