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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, after some trial and error with my 5 gallon tanks I've decided to put a little more effort into setting up a nice 2.5 gallon.

At first I was thinking about going the route of a Walstad Natural Planted tanks, but I have since decided that the plants I want may not work out so well in such a tank. I dunno... I'll see how it goes.

I got some plants in the mail today and decided to give planting in this type of tank a go to see if I like the idea of soil capped by gravel.

Tank: 2.5 gallon standard
Filter: none yet, planning on a red sea nano
Light: 20W CFL - taking suggestions for lighting
Substrate: Topsoil (Earthgro?) from HomeDepot capped with black gravel
CO2: currently none; I have a Natrafin CO2 system that I got for real cheap, but having decided if I want to use it
Ferts: Excel and API Leaf Zone (won't be used till later)
Flora: not completely sure of what I have (recieved via a "mystery package") - most likely going to move plants into my 10 gallon that I'll be setting up in a couple of weeks


Just Soil in there


Right after fill up - only a temporary setup; I'm currently looking at light and at Wal-mart I saw a "Sunlight desk lamp" that I'm thinking about getting (it says it uses a 27W Florumax? light) ANY SUGGESTIONS?


Water is quite cloudy - I've also figured out that the Walstad method is definitely for those you don't want to move the plants around; basically need to get plant placement right the first... not for me :-/


Well, I've got to go to class....
 

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I just started a 2.5 too. They are a fun challenge.
The Walmart light you saw is a very common light for this sized tank. It would work great. How much is it. I don't have a Walmart close to me, so the cheapest light that is similar near me is from Home Depot for $21.

I also have the RedSea nano filter. Great for this size.

Most of those plants will probably get too big for a 2.5.

Enjoy the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, these plants definitely aren't staying; will be moving them into a 10 gallon once it's set up. My plans for this tank are to carpet the front, plant some grass-like plant (like B. japanica) in the back, and some stems in the center-back (hopefully I can find something red). Basically just going for something very clean and simple in design.

Today, I picked up a new light at Home Depot - Hampton Bay desk lamp (27W 6500K), two rocks (haven't tried hardscaping with rocks, so should be fun), and a mystery plant from Petsmart - employee couldn't figure out what it was (but for $1 a pot I didn't really mind). No luck getting the nano filter today - Petco is sold out, and hasn't gotten any in yet.

New lighting setup


Mystery plant (any guesses?) - kinda just shoved is into the gravel


Won't be putting the rocks in until the 10 gallon is setup and the "big" plants from here are out :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
New Plants!!! New Scape!!!

Got my plants today from Wingsdlc!!! Very generous amounts... much much more than what I needed for this tank. I still have plenty left; hopefully I can keep the extras alive long enough for me to set up my 10 gallon!!

Anyways, took out all the plants I had in the tank previously. They weren't doing so well anyways.....
Added two rocks and planted away. I really need to get me a pair of tweezers, it was near impossible to plant the foreground and around the larger rock! I crushed soo many stems and plants (good thing I had plenty to go around) that I'm not really sure what will survive. Hopefully the plants will pull through *crosses fingers*

Here's the updated specs
Tank: 2.5 gallon standard
Filter: Red Sea Nano Filter
Light: Hampton Bay Full Spectrum Desk Lamp - 27W at 6500K
Substrate: Topsoil (Earthgro?) from HomeDepot capped with a good layer black gravel
CO2: currently working on setting up the DIY CO2 (hopefully I can get it started tomorrow)
Ferts: Excel and API Leaf Zone
Flora:
- few bits of glosso
- B. japonica
- E. tenellus
- R. rotundifolata
- E. triandra
- 2 unknown stems
Fauna: none currently

Well here are the pictures:

Planting started easy enough, but went haywire from there


This what I finally settled on... figured I'd give it a rest before I destoryed everything


FTS with flash
 

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Looking good.

Topsoil? How does that work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I got the CO2 started up a couple hours after I finished planting a couple days ago. It's been going pretty steady for the past week and I can already see the difference! I see new grow on the glosso and Rotala already! The blyxa is melting a little (I think it's normal), but other parts of it appear to be pearling!!

This is my first setup using CO2 and I'm really liking the result so far.
I'm picking up my old 10 gallon tank from my parent's house this weekend, so should have that set up sometime next week! I wasn't planning on putting CO2 in it initially but I might change my mind about that now. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So after setting up my 10 gallon on Monday, I started thinking about what to put in this tank. Not sure I want to go with RCS, and I didn't have much success with them before.

Any suggestions for fish?
I kinda want something that will stand out and catch your eye


Overall, nothing has really changed; just some growth with the glosso and rotala (which is now too tall for the tank). I'm thinking about moving the rotala to behind the larger rock, and filling the middle with blyxa (which is current behind the rock), but I'm kinda of weary of moving things around right now. Should I wait a little longer for roots to develop better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Trimmed and moved Rotala

This tank has been going pretty good so far, blyxa i growing nice bright green leaves, glosso is growing too, and the rotala was already reaching across the top of the tank.
So today I trimmed the rotala and also moved it behind the larger rock. The blyxa that was behind the rock was moved to the middle. I was quite surprised how well everything had already rooted!


FTS: it's been about 3 weeks now

Any idea what the stem is in the middle?? I'll try and getting a closer pic posted up later

Shot from above


I also noticed that there is a little big of algae growing on the glass, so might need to get an oto or two for the tank. Still not completely sure what to put in here. I need to find some time to goto a store other than Petsmart and Petco :icon_wink
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1 month

Little update on the tank. Things are going pretty well aside from the algae that is developing in the tank. I put 2 otos in almost 2 weeks ago, but I haven't really noticed any change in the algae (might have actually gotten worse). I also did a black out over the weekend, but also not much of a change.
In addition to the 2 otos I have 2 mickey mouse platy fry in the tank. Haven't really been feeding them flake (maybe once a week), kinda hoping they are eating the algae.

As for plant growth - blyxa is looking pretty good, nice and bright; tennelus is sending runnings all over the place; rotala is starting to form a little bush in the corner (but still needs more time); glosso is growing but not really spreading (at least from what I can tell)


pre-clean up picture


post-clean up pic: just trimmed the long stems of rotala and tried scrubbing off some of the algae
 
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