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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I have a 2.5g tank that's ready for a revamp! This will be my first great attempt at planting a tank, so be prepared there will be lots of questions:) It'll be the home to a betta and probably a snail as well, maybe even a few shrimp.

Specs:

Tank: 2.5 Mini Bow
Lights: x1 15w Compact Flourencent
Substrate: Currently Gravel
Filter: Some Tiny Air Pump Filter
Heater: Um... Still need to get one...
CO2:DIY? I'm not sure- questions will come!
Ferts: I've looked for excel but I cannot find it anywhere, any other ideas?

Here's a Picture of the tank currently:


Here's where some questions come in:)

1. I have Miracle Grow Potting Soil, I know that I can't just stick it in the tank, but I've read that if you bake it and sift it for all of the fertalizer that it can work. Is that true? The stuff that I have says that it can 'keep plants fertalized for 6 months' is that bad?

2. If I can use the Potting Soil or some how convince my mother to get the organic kind, how much, or how deep should it be? And the sand that goes on top as well? I think that I've read about and 1/2" to 1" of each. Is that wrong?

3. I have a 15w Compact Flourecent light over the tank. I've read lots of things about plants and lights but what does that all mean? It's about 2" from the water line if even that and the water line is about 7-8" off of the substance, which will be getting deeper (the substance I mean).

4. Ferts. I have little knowledge on ferts. I know that I need NO3 and Fe and K? Is that all? What brand of these are good? I have PetLand, PetCo, PetSmart and Jack's Pets around me and all of them have a very small collection of plant stuff. So would I need to buy it online?

5. CO2. If I did any CO2 I would do DIY. But I've read that it's tricky and I really don't want too tricky. Is it even worth doing DIY CO2 on a 2.5g tank? Would I be needing a drop checker? I've seen them online and they're $15-$20, so that's a tad bit out of the price range right now. So, the bottom question for this is: Should I do CO2?

6. Plants. I have java moss, marimo moss balls, and anubias afzelii. I'm thinking maybe some kind of carpet, if possible, moss, and some kind of plant for in the back. Any suggestions? I'd love to have Dwarf Sag or Blxya Japonica, frogbits, riccia or maybe HC, but those are all probably not good in my tank.

I think that's all for now. I know, you're all probably saying to yourselves, yay, she's done asking things! Thanks for reading this and hopefully answering some questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, so I got some driftwood today and some rocks as well! They've been boiled and cooling for a bit now. I'm hoping to use some of them for my tank, I just don't know which one yet! Anyone want to help;) Just an opinion would be great! Also, I want to add some plants to the maybe list: Anubais Nana Peite, Hygrophila sp. 'tiger', Java Fern Narrow Leaf, Maybe a different floater, staurogyne 'porto velho'. I think that's all!

Here are the pictures:
Driftood:



Rocks:

And I have some others as well, just need to get pictures!

Also, Please help with the above questions! It'd be great!
 

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pretty sure the standard depth is one inch dirt to 2inch capping substrate. though in smaller tanks i only do one and one. you can boil, bake or otherwise mineralize your dirt but it is not a requirement you can use it as is. everybody seems to agree you need to use the miracle organics choice potting mix. there is two organics choice one called mix the other called soil, read the content label, you do not want the one with cow manure, but chicken urea is acceptable. you might be able to use your mix if you soak it in a bucket for two weeks with daily water changes to leach out the ferts. then use it, plant heavily with heavy feeders and let it grow out for two weeks. this is where duckweed can be your friend. i think the lights ok, but keep an eye out for some material that is super shiny and pliable enough to make a curved reflector out of, if you can see an image in the surface it is a good material. i wouldn't worry about CO2, soil makes it's own. There is tons of info on the forums that will clarify some of things and there are people that have been doing this longer so read every thread you can. one thing to watch out for are folks who act like the way they do things is the only way to do things, those folks are probably doing something wrong lol
 

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3. Well 15 watts is the highest max. Wattage you can go on the stock hood. Just make sure the package for the light says "6500k". That's the color temperature plants can get the most light out of.
4. Seachem Flourish comprehensive is a good fert. You can find it at PetSmart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I put in the soil and the sand today:). About 3/4" of soil and then 1 1/4" of sand. Here's a picture when I ha just put it in:
.
And after an hour or so:


I also ordered: HC, red micro chain swords, dwarf water lettuce and ludwigia repens. Hopefully they'll be here Monday or Tuesday:). So excited!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's a picture of the tank currently!


I put in a nice piece of driftwood with some Christmas or java moss (forget which tank I got it from exactly) and one sad piece of anacharis that for some strange reason doesn't like my other tanks but will hopefully like this one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! It's actually builders sand, I could find any PFS and Lowes was out of play sand so I got construction sand. It takes a lot of time to clean it out but it looks great once it's done:). I think that I may have the perfect rock for Terence in one of my other tanks. It's black with a few white stripes. I'll put it in later:D. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a quick question. Would DIY CO2 be good in here? I mean I'm going to be adding HC to the tank and really don't want it to die! If I just put the tube thing into the part where the bubble go through the filter would that work or break up the CO2 too much? I was going to use a 2L bottle and try to not have a counter thing, but just go by what happens(ie get some ghost shrimp and see if they die or not). Is this a good idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got plants today!!!! Eeeeekk! So excited! Here are some pictures of everything before I plant the tank:





Now looking up how to plant the HC!
 

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lookin good will look nioce filled in
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks!!!! I am so excited for it to fill in. I just need to go get yeast to make a DIY CO2. Then hopefully it'll go faster.
 

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Would a regular air stone work as well? I have a few of those lying around.
The regular airstones produce CO2 bubbles that aren't diffused into the water and just floats up to the surface. On the other hand, the limestone diffusers produce very fine bubbles that can be used by the plants.

Another way to diffuse the CO2 is to buy an Aquaclear 20 and stick the airline tubing up the intake pipe.

Also, I'm jealous! My ludwigia never pearls!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The regular airstones produce CO2 bubbles that aren't diffused into the water and just floats up to the surface. On the other hand, the limestone diffusers produce very fine bubbles that can be used by the plants.

Another way to diffuse the CO2 is to buy an Aquaclear 20 and stick the airline tubing up the intake pipe.

Also, I'm jealous! My ludwigia never pearls!
Ok, I'll look for a limestone diffuser the next time I go to the store:)

Oh and thanks! I'm not sure exactly how I got everything to pearl but I did, well except the HC.
 
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