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Old 11-07-2011, 10:54 PM   #1 
Pataflafla
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Small Planted Tank?

I'm gonna be starting my 2.5 gallon over for Ratchet. Dumping the Topfin heater, the plants, and the gravel once the new heater gets in and I get everything set up.

I plan on getting new gravel or a plant specific substrate, a moss ball, and some anacharis.

Here's what I know so far:
- 2.5 gallon tank
- Heater, no filter (Plan on keeping the tank around 78-80)
- Low light (Regular light bulbs and non-direct sunlight via window)
- Major water change(s) weekly

My water seems to be relatively hard and high in calcium (The crust around all the faucets is a testament to that), but my sister is able to keep anubius in her sorority with no issue.

So, would an anacharis plant be a good choice for this tank (I'm not too worried about a moss ball) and if I were to get this, should I stick with aquarium gravel or go with a plant specific substrate?
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:35 PM   #2 
Kytkattin
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I am doing something very similar, though I am getting quite a bit of light from a window.

I currently have duckweed, lucky bamboo (leaves out of water!), anacharis, one moss ball, and 3-4 java fern plants (they are growing and reproducing!). The anacharis is growing like crazy too. I get 1/2-1 inch of growth per day.

It is heated.

The important thing to know is that you simply can't do 100% changes on a tank like this. Unless you don't have the anacharis rooted. Mine is all pretty permanent in my tank, with the anacharis and java moss being rooted. I suppose that if you had the anacharis floating you could do 100% changes pretty easily. That is what I am doing in a tank with fish that aren't mine (the anacharis is just floating).

I have just regular gravel, but if you are rooting the anacharis and you already have plant specific sub you could use that. If you are going to be doing 100% changes absolutely don't have plant sub.

And pictures please! Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:16 AM   #3 
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I think I am going to use gravel just for the ease of just rinsing and putting it in. I'll see if Petsmart has anything finer than the usual gravel.

Since it'll only being Ratchet in the tank (And since he's small or whatever reason) I think I can get away with 3-4 50% changes a week instead of 1 50% and 1 100%. It'll also be good if I do the more frequent schedule since he bites his tail if he's in a cup. I'll siphon the gravel as best as I can with a camelpac hose (So far it seems pretty good to use, just a little hard to start the suction).

I'll get pictures up as soon as everything is up and running, but that won't be until after the 16th at the latest, since the heater won't be getting in until the 10-16th (Don't want to expose the plants to whatever is causing issues in the tank currently).

I'll probably go out to Petsmart tomorrow, buy the plants, and get them set up for quarantine with some epsom salt to get everything going. Do moss balls do well with epsom salt, or will it(they) need a separate container?
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:39 PM   #4 
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I know that Petco has some heavier grain sand, though I have absolutely no experience with sand.

For my girl, I do two or three 1/3 changes a week. However, she is a tiny little female and I monitor the ammonia. She is definitely growing at this point, but so are the plants. I am not sure how much experience you have with planted tanks, so I am just going to throw out there that it takes about 3 months for a planted tank to really be established. My 2 gallon isn't at this point yet, but I expect to do even fewer water changes once it is.

One thing I will warn you of is that my anacharis was melting when I bought it, and pretty much all of the original stalks have melted at this point. I have a ton of new growth to make up for that, but since the stalks from that same bunch, that I put in the boys tank did not melt (and actually recovered), I am going to assume that the stalks in the girls tank did not like the high temp of 82-86 that her tank was at for the first week. So be warned that once you add a heater things will change and your plants might not like you.

I have absolutely no experience with salt and plants. I have not used any salt since setting up my planted tanks, nor have my fish had to undergo any treatments. My older boy did some tail biting a couple of weeks after being in his split tank, but I did not do anything with it but keep a close eye on it. It grew back beautifully and this is the first time in the 2 years I have had him that he has all his fins! Honestly, I haven't quarantined any of my plants for more than 24 hours. Some of them have come in with various bugs and critters on them, which I (and my fish) enjoy immensely. I only look for hydra, and when I don't see them, assume them safe. However, there are absolutely risks so I do not advocate anyone do what I do.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:47 PM   #5 
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The difference in peoples setup for planted tanks is UNREAL. Some say to use specific gravel (that looks to me like nothing more than fertilized, cycled rocks) while others say to use a layer of poly batting and top soil, others sand, others peat moss with a top layer. I personally used a mix of small aquarium gravel and river rock in my 10 gallon, I'll tell you all how it goes.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:55 PM   #6 
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Well, I have large river rocks in my back yard that I can clean off and use, but I think they would take up too much space in a 2.5 gallon.

I'm not too worried about fertilizer since I'll be using a relatively low maintenance plant, but I can buy liquid fertilizers if needed (Or possibly some substrate for that). That and I'm sure my water can do relatively well as a fertilizer itself since it's doing a good job of keeping my lucky bamboo nice and healthy (And an anubias as well).

Do let me know how your tank goes though. This is my first venture into live plants, so this is exciting.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:25 PM   #7 
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Alrighty. I got 6 bundles of Anacharis, 1 big moss ball, and 1 small bag of fine gravel (The finest Petsmart had). I was lucky and got them from a fresh shipment, yet to be put into any tank.

I've got all the plants in a washed out cat litter bucket for quarantine. I also took the chance to do a 60% on the 10 gallon and used that water for the plants (Lots of yummy poops and such for the plants, plus no one in the 10 gal is sick, so why waste the water?).

I plan on testing the heater for reliability as well as for any leaks on a molly fry or two just to be on the safe side once it arrives. This, of course, will be after some heavy rinsing.

Will epsom salt hurt the moss ball any, or will it work like a fertilizer for it? I want to be sure before I add anything to the water, if I add anything at all.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:14 PM   #8 
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Wow
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:32 PM   #9 
Pataflafla
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Here we are, pictures of everything that's here so far.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:43 PM   #10 
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from what I understand epsom salt shouldn't affect plants. I had a moss ball in it for a while and it didn't seem to affect it.

I've used the sand from petsmart (Called caribsea) and I wouldn't recommend it. I don't know if it was just my bag, but it had something funky in it.

Oh, and make sure the plants get some light while you have them QTed
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