Hundreds of dollars in a 2.5g?
How many corals do you think you can possibly fit in there? Corals need space. Not just space to grow, but space to avoid both physical and chemical warfare. I still don't think you should even attempt a picoreef, especially with zero reef experience, but if you do, only put one variety of coral with maybe a couple species. For example, you can do a couple zoanthid species. Toadstools can grow massive, and will also release massive toxins, especially when sick which will easily kill everything else in such a small tank. If you've done "non-stop research" you would already have this basic understanding of the corals you're interested in. Also, with the smallest amount of nano-reef research you'd know that picoreefs are left for the very experienced reefers. Experienced reefers will always suggest that a newbie start with as large a tank as possible (typically 50g+) because they're much more forgiving. I'm sorry for being so harsh but somebody needs to. I really don't see this ending well for you.