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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Here are a few photos of my new 2.5 gallon planted tank. It has plain aquarium gravel, DIY CO2, a 20gph HOB, currently one 15 watt bulb (although there are two in the hood), and gets water changes about 2-3 times per week.





I have about 5 ghost shrimp, one small guppy left from cycling, one small oto cat, and one chinese algae eater, an impulse buy that I'll either move to a larger tank or bring back to the LFS when he grows. The shrimp have been carrying eggs, although I think the guppy may have been picking off the babies.





The tank has been up for about 5 weeks, and you can see the Rotala has taken off, while the Baby Tears became algae infested and started dying off. I trimmed it back to about two inches tall, below the algae infestation, and there are new shoots growing in. The Wisteria on the right is probably good for plant mass right now, but is such a large plant that it really doesn't look right in this small tank. It will probably be picked out as soon as I can figure out where to put it.

The small Cryptocornes have taken off as well, they suffered an almost complete melt-off when I planted them, and have now all put out leaves. I was considering pulling out the wisteria and allowing them to take over that area, along with the micro swords, which have also taken off along the front.

I have a constant algae fight in this tank, although since I put in the Oto and the Chinese Algae Eater they've kept the micro swords and Cryptos pretty clean.

Thanks for looking, any tips are always welcome.
 

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I know what you mean by to big of a plant for that size tank. It looks nice so far.

I will have some Myriophyllum mattogrossense and HM clippings in the next couple of weeks I can send ya if you would like them. PM if your interested .
 

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DENG! That doesn't look like a 2.5 :0O

I guess it is all about scale, huh?!!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the comments! It's kind of a weird tank shape, its a Betta 4-plex with the glass dividers removed. It's about 6 inches from front to back x 16 inches long.

I'm trying to stick to plants with smaller leaves in order to keep everything somewhat proportioned. Even the small cryptos are threatening to be too big and too numerous... When they melted off, I just stuck the stumps in the gravel off in the corner; now they're all putting out leaves and probably should be separated a bit, they look like a jumbled mess in my opinion, but the shrimp and the fish like hunting through the leaves so I've just let it be.
 

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Yeh, your scale is on the money :) :thumbsup:

I think I have the same tank at home, but it is divided in 3??

I will have 18W light no CO2, don't think I can use plants like yours, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Yoko, Mine had three glass dividers -- so 4 betta slots. It's a lot like the 3 slot tanks except just add one more on, so the shape is more "wide angle". I saw a very cool "6-plex" betta tank at the LFS, it was VERY long, but still only about 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide. Very cool, but it cost like $70.00!

I picked up a cheap aquarium hood built for incandescent bulbs, and am using the screw-in type CF bulbs that replace them. I just used a 15 watt "bright white" from OSH; they're very cheap and I've had oxygen forming on the leaves.

I also picked up an extra incandescent socket at OSH and installed it in the other side of the hood. At the time I was thinking "the more light the better" then when I turned everything on, it was VERY bright! I realized I was putting in over 10 watts per gallon, and the bulb is probably no further than 4-5 inches from most leaves! Overkill?:icon_eek:

By the way, don't be hesitant to do a DIY CO2 setup, it was really easy to do. I think I used the instructions on Cichlid-Forum.com in the DIY section...but the instructions are all pretty similary wherever you get them. I think the entire setup cost me about $7.00, including a BIG jar of yeast that was probably more than I'll use in several years! It's basically yeast and sugar in a 2L bottle with an oxygen tube running to the tank, with an airstone and a check valve. That's it.
 

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Ok, so basically, does that mean your divided sections are smaller than mine?? Since it is the same volume?? :redface:

Honestly, I am new to plants, so you can imagine CO2 seems very intimidating to me. I would think it's difficult to keep the equilibrium between plants and fish with the CO2. I think of CO2 as steroids, is that wrong? :redface:

Since it is $7, I will have to research (something else to research!!!!) and maybe try it on a plants-only tank... :redface:
 

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I forgot to welcome you to the Forum!

Welcome!!!!!!!! Nice to meet you :0)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was scared about the CO2 at first also, I've only had it up now for about 5 weeks. I figured though, that since I have a lot of light and a lot of plants right off the bat, and I change the water pretty often, that it wouldn't be too big of a deal. Small tanks are so unstable that they go bad without attention anyways!

I felt the same way about CO2 as you, but with the DIY thing it was soo cheap, and my tank was small so if I lose my plants I'm really only losing about $20.00 worth... And it turned out to be no big deal.

Two points though, since I did the regular 2L bottle recipe, I figured this would be a lot of CO2 for this tank, so (1) I kept using my 20gph HOB filter which turns over the water alot and probably lets a lot of CO2 out of the tank, and (2) I also just ran the tube into the tank with an airstone, I didn't do one of those "diffuser" plates that capture the C02 in the tank until it dissolves into the water. This would be considered inefficient and wasteful in a regular tank, but in mine I think it's probably necessary in order not to overdose.

I had my water tested at the LFS, and he did say my PH was much closer to neutral than regular Santa Monica water, indicating I probably had a lot of dissolved CO2.

The fish and shrimp have done well. Except for the shrimp tackling and eating some of guppies I put in for cycling....:eek5: I currently have about 5 shrimp, an oto, a CAE, and one last Guppy who has developed nice colors and looks healthy (or tasty, apparently...). These fish have been ok now for over a month, so I wouldn't worry about the C02 too much... just start on the safe side.

I noticed that the recipy for C02 says, more yeast = faster C02 production, so this time I'll probably cut WAAAY back on the yeast compared to the regular batch, which is for bigger tanks. It will also run longer this way as the yeast don't consume the sugar as fast.

I wonder about the size of the tank... I'm pretty sure my tank is a 2.5, because I used to top it off with those 2 gallon-ish water bottles from Safeway... But I could be wrong...

By the way, my plants have gone CRAZY compared to other planted tanks I've had. I trimmed the rotala, basically cutting it in half, and within about 48 hours, every leaf node on the original stems was now sprouting an entirely new stem!! Also the foreground plants are rapidly sending up new shoots and the cryptos have all put out about 3 new leaves each in one month!

If that's not a reason to take the gamble, I don't know what is!

What are the measurements for your tank? I'll check mine tonight. I have seen betta divider tanks that were a bit deeper and taller than mine, which is only 6 inches from front to back.
 

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Ok, I just got home and measured my tank and it's 12" long, 6" deep and 8" high.

Where did you get your tank??? I want one!!


I don't know. Being inexperienced in the planted scene, I tend to think of CO2 is to plants, as NOS is to cars :redface: hahah That is the only thing I can think of.... I could be totally wrong...

I want to have a low-maintenance and natural environment as possible for the animals. Pumping the tank with CO2 is just a weird concept to me, with the animals in there. I just worry.
Also, I think it's unnatural, I mean most of the tanks I see look too good to be real, you know what I mean? They are very nice and I can appreciate it, but it is very strange to me... I guess I mean "unreal". Not neccessarily in a bad sense, but just very abstract to me........ I don't know, I am weird, I guess, hahah :redface:

I will most likely try the DIY CO2 in a tank with no fish, JUST because you make it sound so simple and, you're right, it is very affordable...
I will probably put ghost shrimp in there? Only becoz they are only 30 cents here HEHE. I only have experience with bettas, so other animals will be new experience for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
By the way, thanks for the welcome to the forum! I didn't see that post before!

I thought the same as you about CO2 before, and I tend to prefer "all motor" too... :) I was trying to think of a car metaphor that would counter yours :) , so what about this:

(1) Putting NOS (or a big turbo) on a factory NA car kind of pushes the car beyond what it's really engineered to do reliably.

(2) Unlike an unmodified car, which is basically reliable and not going to blow up on you, an aquarium is already a tweaked, distorted version of an aquatic environment -- unlike an unmodified car, you are not starting from scratch with an aquarium, you've already got a 500 horsepower civic!

(3) So, instead of the CO2 being the NOS or big turbo that threatens to blow up your engine, it's more like the CO2 is high octane fuel that brings everything relatively back under control...

(4) So, without CO2, you're pinging!! :)

Ok, so I don't really buy it either, but it's the best I can do!

I can tell you I felt the EXACT same way as you, and I just did it this time because I was setting up a tank primarily for plants this time. My LFS actually gave me some ghost shrimp for free to cycle the tank, then when they didn't put out enough waste to cycle it, he gave me the guppies, which the shrimp went after... They all did fine, but if you put too much in, it can poison them.

I would just do water changes and use less yeast than the DIY recipe asks for. This will give you a slower rate of CO2 Production. I didn't do this because I was impatient and wanted to make my tank go crazy, but it was probably not wise! Either way my fish were ok and are doing well.. the Shrimp are even trying to breed!

Now watch, you'll try it and kill everything and be mad at me... :)

Oh, checked my measurements -- 8" tall x 6" wide x 16" long. I got it at a Petco in San Diego a few years ago. I guess it's not 2.5...weird, that's what the sticker said. Maybe it's like a 3 gallon or something...

Did you look around at Capitol Aquarium? they have tons of Bettas there, I'll bet they've got lots of betta tank type things to choose from. I'd go for the really long one, it's like 8" high x 6" deep x 20-24" long. Really cool.

Also, someone dumped non-native aquarium plants in Putah Creek in Davis a long time ago... now they grow there! Free stem plants! I think it's like cabomba and something that looked like Baby Tears..
 

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Yah, I understand that a tank ain't really "natural" haha,
but I guess I kind of related the two, because both are "on the bottle" :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Oh, that one hurt! I suppose your performance will really suffer if you get a clogged injector? :)

I guess I'm running out, that was pretty sad.

I checked my measurements, It looks like my tank is either 3 or 3.5 gallons. So that's why it looked bigger -- I guess I'm not the master of small-scale after all... :icon_redf
 

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hahaha you can still be the master of small scale :) Oh I'll get on the bottle on a lill one, after I finish my other projects ;)
 

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I don't know, man... I may get on the bottle sooner than I thought...
I am actually reading a DIY CO2 set up in another window-- and, I may do it JUST because I am so fascinated by the JELLO:icon_eek: :icon_eek: and the whole "science" of it. I mean, I got tons of jello from Birthday Jello shots.... and I am just amazed...
Also, while I was at Ikea a couple of weeks ago I saw some bottles in the kitchen section and I told myself I would totally buy it if I was to ever do CO2, but I'm not ever going to :icon_roll so hahaha We'll see, I have to work this weekend so I will probably end up just making Jello shots... :icon_roll buahauahuah
 
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