2.5g planted only questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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2.5g planted only questions

After posting on my other forums, I thought "Hey, what's teh best place to ask about a planted tank? Duh! Plantedtank.net." So here it is: I'm going to set up a low maintenance, low tech planted-only 2.5 gallon mini bow at work.

I'm planning to have a black substrate (either Flourite black sand or Eco Complete). I will have flame moss and subwrasstertang for sure. I also want some hairgrass and some bushy or stem plant that is red, pink, or purple for some contrast. I will also have a Tetra Whisper internal power filter turned all the way down and perhaps also with a sponge across it for some movement (came with the kit). I'm not planning on a heater, but I do have one if needed. I don't want to mess with CO2, but I do have Excel that I can bring in and dose with a dropper if needed.

My questions are:

1. What amount of wattage would be considered medium or high light? I know I need more than the commonly figured 2-4 wpg, but I'm not sure how much I will need. Is 25 watts enough? 35?

2. Should I change a small amount of water daily (say coffee cup amount) or 25% monthly? Some have said small amount daily, others say just once or twice a month.

3. Will I have to worry about ferts? If I do, I think that a prepared fert would be best since it's such a small tank. Something like Flourish.

4. If I do get the Flourite sand, would I need to stir it up at all. I'm thinking no because of the lack of stock. Plus the roots should prevent anaerobic pockets, ehh?

5. Any suggestions for a nice red/pink/purple plant as described above?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazil323 View Post
After posting on my other forums, I thought "Hey, what's teh best place to ask about a planted tank? Duh! Plantedtank.net." So here it is: I'm going to set up a low maintenance, low tech planted-only 2.5 gallon mini bow at work.

I'm planning to have a black substrate (either Flourite black sand or Eco Complete). I will have flame moss and subwrasstertang for sure. I also want some hairgrass and some bushy or stem plant that is red, pink, or purple for some contrast. I will also have a Tetra Whisper internal power filter turned all the way down and perhaps also with a sponge across it for some movement (came with the kit). I'm not planning on a heater, but I do have one if needed. I don't want to mess with CO2, but I do have Excel that I can bring in and dose with a dropper if needed.

My questions are:

1. What amount of wattage would be considered medium or high light? I know I need more than the commonly figured 2-4 wpg, but I'm not sure how much I will need. Is 25 watts enough? 35?

2. Should I change a small amount of water daily (say coffee cup amount) or 25% monthly? Some have said small amount daily, others say just once or twice a month.

3. Will I have to worry about ferts? If I do, I think that a prepared fert would be best since it's such a small tank. Something like Flourish.

4. If I do get the Flourite sand, would I need to stir it up at all. I'm thinking no because of the lack of stock. Plus the roots should prevent anaerobic pockets, ehh?

5. Any suggestions for a nice red/pink/purple plant as described above?
1- Anything above 25 would be higher light on a 2.5g tank.

2- I change 50% a week sometime I will do a couple of 25-30% instead of one large change.

3- Liquids work you will have to get the NPK grouping of ferts from Flourish. You could also buy Dry Ferts and dose EI or PPS style.

4- Sand may compact over time but I have NO experience with the Flourite Black Sand

5- Nice Red plant is Rotala Mini sp 'Butteryfly' Requires a ton of high light and CO2 with a good fert regime. On the other hand Lindernia sp 'India' gets a nice purple color in low nitrate levels.

Craig

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I did check out Walmart to see what they had for bulbs and for lamps. I'm thinking that the hood that came with it will have to go, at least while it's a planted tank. I'll keep it around in case I ever decide to stock it with fish or inverts.

It looks like my best option is a pair of lamps (they have ones that are clip on and ones that are desk lamps that convert to clip on). They should take the compact flourescent that looks like a regular bulb. I forget how high they can take, thinking 13w. But, I'll need 2 to properly light the whole tank since they have a fairly small diameter which will not spread the light out but rather will keep it more like a spotlight. Two should fit okay over it.

The only problem now is that the highest K rating I could find in that style bulb was 2700 soft white bulbs. I'll have to check out some other stores, I guess, or perhaps I'll have to order them online.

If I do get at least a 25w, which I think I'll need for red or purple plants, will I have to dose CO2? Will Excel be sufficient? I don't want to mess with DIY CO2 or pressurized CO2. I could do one of those fizz kits like the Red Sea one, but I heard that they are not that good. But, the less I have to mess with at work, the better. I'm not sure how much room I'll have in my new office (we're building a new hospital in the next year or 2).
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 03:09 AM
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If you want to go high light get the Hampton Bay 27W Desk Lamp from Home Depot. It's between $20-$30, provides the light you're looking for, is 6700K and can be easily adjusted when working on the tank. Depending on the plants you're looking to grow Excel may be enough, but I personally both dose Excel AND run a DIY CO2 setup on mine.
To get the plants red you'll need to make sure you have a combination of both high light and good iron levels and CO2. Using an iron-rich substrate such as Flourite will help, not sure of the iron levels in the Black Sand but I know its more than other substrates.
I'd say you should give DIY CO2 a try as that provides MORE than enough CO2 for a tank so small, supplement it with Excel and watch the tank grow faster than you know what to do with it. It's not too tough or bothersome, and if you use the Jello method you can run one for a good couple months before the whole things needs to be replaced. GL!


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I stopped into Menards last night, and I found a lamp similar to what you described. I'm not sure it's the same, but it did have the 27w compact flourescent with a gooseneck, and the replacement bulbs were 6500K. We don't have Home Depot around here, closest is about 2 to 2-1/2 hours away.

What's a good link to the Jello method? I guess that I'll have to break down and do DIY if I want to stick with the high light plan.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 09:06 PM
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I'm sure it's the same light, or at least close to it I've seen a few variations.
Here is a link to the Jello method, https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...o2-thread.html
I've personally tried it both ways described in that thread, both chopping it into squares and using it that way as well as letting it set in the bottle as a whole and letting the yeast/sugar water combo sit on top of it. I've found the second method to be more effective, but I know of others who have had luck using the other method as well.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Would I be able to do the Jello method in the Hagen container? It would be nice to have the equipment already made for CO2, since I'd have to buy more tubing and sealant and some some actual work, lol.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 04:41 PM
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Theres almost no work in making a diy CO2 unit and youd save like 20 bucks at least. All you need to do is get a drill bit the size of the INSIDE diameter of the hose, drill a hole in the cap of a 1 or 2 liter bottle, snip the hose at an angle yo make it have a pointy end, insert it into the hole and pull it through with some pliars. Its tough to get it through but when you do it will be an air tight seal and there is NO sealent required. Just my two cents. -elliot
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:11 PM
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I'd skip the eco-complete if I were you. I used it in my 29g and hate it. Find it much more dificult to plant in compared to ADA aqua soil and there are always giant marble size chunks in it I have to pick out.

I'll probably only ever use ADA aqua soil in tanks from now on...or maybe the 3M colorquartz stuff, lots of people seem to like it.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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I've got Eco in my 20g long, and I liked it. But then it's mixed with inert gravel and laterite.

My only other option that available around here is Flourite gravel in red (blehh), and I'm asking the area stores if they will special order Flourite Sand in black for me. The one couldn't find it on their list, and the other I haven't asked yet. Petsmart and Petco are the only other stores here, and I don't think they carry it at all.

I'm leaning towards Flourite black sand if I can get it, but it looks like I'll have to order online.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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I just ordered Yamato Green-N for fertilizer. Here's a link: http://www.yamatogreen.com/products.htm#YamatoGreenN
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:31 PM
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I try to support any local (individually owned) shops I can, but often it is far cheaper to order online (even after paying shipping). If you need a heater or a few other little things, it easily justifies the shipping for the substrate.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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That's the thing. I'll have to take stock of what I've got right now, but I don't think I need much other than the substrate and possibly a CO2 system. I also like to buy local if I can.

I'm really liking the Hagen system, if only as a sturdy container for a jello or regular DIY mix. I'm kinda nervous about bringing a soda bottle or juice bottle to work and possibly having it explode. Where it would have to go is very near my computer, transcription pedal, etc., and it would cause a major, major mess that I'm sure the IT guys, admin, and my coworkers would just not appreciate, lol.

The plants I for sure have to order online (mainly from you fine folks) as the LFSs around here suck at plants.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I broke down and got the Flourite black sand from Big Al's Online. I also got a small bottle of Excel, root tabs, and some sponge media for my filters at home.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:18 PM
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Good chocies! All you need now is the co2 system. Making one would prolly cost $6.00 (pop bottle and hose).
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