I'm sorry I cheated on you, TFK!!!! - 2.5 gallon planted questions! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
I'm sorry I cheated on you, TFK!!!! - 2.5 gallon planted questions!

I need to start off by apologizing. I am really getting into planting and wandered over to a planted fish tank forum for help. Seems like they don't want to help newbies, never got more than two responses a thread and honestly, I want help so I do this right! I'm sorry, TFK, I shouldn't have even tried. You're so much better.

I want to re-scape my 2.5 gallon in a higher tech manner, ditching my java fern, crypts and window light. I'm just not aesthetically happy anymore. I began collecting rocks to 'scape with today and cannot for the life of me tell if they are granite or limestone, so they are in a cut-off cleaned out rum bottle of treated water to see if it affects the pH or not. If not, it's granite and I'm safe. Otherwise, I'll buy some inert rocks.

As far as plants, I want to plant HC (dwarf baby tears), Dwarf Hairgrass (maybe microsword instead?) and possibly Anubias Nana. I plan on starting out immersed, at least with the HC.

Substrate, I'm thinking MGOPM capped with sand because I honestly don't want to buy a bag of flourite or something for $20 to use 1/8 of it.

Ferts, I have Flourish Comprehensive, will this be enough?

CO2, I was thinking this system. I'm on a budget.

Lighting, maybe this? If you have cheaper lighting alternatives, PLEASE link.

Only fish that will be in this tank is my betta and maybe a snail. I had a Nerite but I manage to kill it somehow? Who knows. I might do this filter as well, but we'll see.

Any and all advice is appreciated. I just want some help and again, I'm so sorry for cheating on you TFK. ): It was wrong and I didn't get help.
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
The hubby ok'd this CO2 kit, I like it better than the smaller version. I definitely want to replace the diffuser and drop checker with glass and add a check valve, however. I am also thinking about purchasing Flourish Iron, Trace, Phosphorus, Nitrogen and Potassium so I have my fertilizer bases covered for when I do the 10 gallon and 75 gallon. This 2.5 is a test to see if I am capable of a planted tank that requires more than sunlight.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 08:40 PM
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It's totally okay! I've cheated a few times too, but I always come back to TFK <3

I honestly don't have too much experience with higher tech tanks, (although they are soooo gorgeous!) so i don't have much advice on this front.

The only tidbits I have are that I know t5s generally run pretty hot, have you thought about LEDs? I've seen some good reviews of this one AquaVibrant for planted tanks. Plus it's a bit cheaper ^-^

I don't know much about ferts so I'm afraid I'm not much help there. I know a lot of people who do high tech tanks dose dry ferts for cost efficiency, but I don't know much about them. Sorry :(

Good luck though! I hope you start a build thread for this tank :)
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post #4 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
I will once we get our finances straight and I finally get my last name changed over so I can set up my credit card. Hubby may be switching jobs AGAIN now. /:

I am definitely looking for light recommendations, I'm hoping someone comes along. I've given up on getting everything on one site, lol. That's why I posted about that light. I really just need something that will produce enough light for the plants I want to be happy and fits my 12" tank.

May just get the CO2, drop checker, bubble counter, diffuser and check valve, then the light, then substrate, then plants, then heater, then filter if I still want it. I don't /think/ based on the minimal research I've done that I need any ferts but my comprehensive, but I could be mistaken. Plant info is greek to me, so it makes it hard to read.

I'll just wait patiently until my plant guru comes along. I'm so sad that site wouldn't help me, they all have such pretty tanks but nobody wanted to help a newbie it seems. /: I also hate how they argue a betta should be in a 5 gallon but shove neons and various other fish in a 1 gallon. No basic stocking knowledge over there what-so-ever.
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post #5 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 10:38 PM
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Ahhh, Flint! I wish I had an answer for you - but my tanks are such a far cry from low-tech, it's not even funny! We don't have many high tech members, but there are a few - hopefully someone will be by soon with better input to share!
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post #6 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 10:58 PM
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Haha.. Title made me laugh. I remember "cheating" on my gym years ago and having to explain myself yet with no good excuse lol!!

So i'm curious. *disclaimer!! I have knowledge of yet no experience woth CO2 high tech tanks" . Are you sure the CO2 system is neccesary in there? However for lighting i'd look for LED .. A good one if using CO2. I know fluval plant &aqua life make a smaller one that if it fits would be perfect. Keep us updated as i'm super curious how that'll all work in your tank. I have faith you'll do it right so it will be nice to have a thread covering your progress!
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-09-2014, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
The CO2, I've read, is necessary for the Dwarf Hair Grass happy and spreading and the HC (Dwarf Baby Tears) pearling. I don't want to go crazy high tech but I'm hoping the dirt under sand will be okay.

I'm also trying to figure out how to build up the 'scape in the background without using the dirt because I read it can actually leak some nasty gases, unlike sand, which we know doesn't necessarily do that. Maybe because I'm using Petco sand (AKA extremely fine gravel) I can build up with that, then do my layer of dirt, then the sand cap?

Does anyone know if the light I listed is adequate lighting for the plants I listed? Maybe I can turn into TFK's very own plant guru!
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post #8 of 33 Old 02-09-2014, 07:37 AM
for lighting, depends on your budget

i like aquatraders for cheap lighting
after that i would recommend garden lighting fixtures

aquatraders i got a T5ho (4 bulb) fixture for $100 including shipping (24" lights - they have smaller for less)
there's a place in california that sells an 8 bulb fixture for $170 about (add shipping to that) for 48" lights

the moment you look at actual aquarium lighting fixtures prices can be as high as $400 for 4 bulbs (plus shipping) ... seriously not funny ;(

Last edited by Flear; 02-09-2014 at 07:54 AM.
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-09-2014, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
Flear, I'd like to spend around $30ish for lighting. This is a really tiny tank and I am already looking at $200 in equipment and another at least $100 in plants. Can you show me a light fixture I can use? I don't understand how many Ks I need or what t5 means or anything. I know I was looking at using shop lights for my 75 but they don't make 12" shop lights, unfortunately. /:

Also, not sure on ferts.
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post #10 of 33 Old 02-09-2014, 07:57 AM

dirt can, ... as it decomposes (bacterial activity) lots of CO2 is released, i'm sure ammonia & possibly other nitrogen chemicals as the nitrogen cycle establishes

the CO2 production will taper off as the dirt gets remineralized due to bacterial activity (no idea how long this will take - just a guess really) ... actually a benefit for a DSB - as it fills with detritus & mulm breakdown will release CO2, with plants don't expect a DSB to do a thing about reducing nitrates, which is good because your plants want those. (don't do this on a small tank)

if it's deep enough that Oxygen is deprived from deeper sections you can get H2S - if so just don't mess with the substrate, ... this will bond with oxygen and neutralize, and plant roots will add oxygen to the substrate, ... so if ever this shows up it's a temporary thing.
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