2.5g Tank and Stocking--Contradicting Online Sources

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gilltyascharged

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So, I recently received, not one, but TWO 2.5g tanks from a friend. I'm real stoked, because the opportunity to create a low-tech planted scape with shrimp has now presented itself :D

However, now the issue of stocking has presented itself: what to put in it?

I know that one of them I plan on keeping a small colony of Neocardina shrimp in (if a population overload happens, I know many people who would be happy to take some), but I'm still looking at the perfect inhabitants for my other 2.5g. A trip to AqAdvisor suggested a good handful of invertebrates, but one that really caught my eye was a Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis). AqAdvisor stated that three Bamboo Shrimp would only be 80% stocking, and that it should be more than fine. However, a quick trip online threw out everything from 10g to 30g tanks as the bare minimum.

Would it be humane to keep a single Bamboo Shrimp in a tank that small?
Some sources online stated that they were social creatures that preferred the company of other Bamboo Shrimp, whilst others said that they were territorial and aggressive to their own kind. Online sources claimed that the predominant reason for listed tank size had to do with availability of food, and I'm assuming that with them being filter feeders that much detritus could quickly tank the water chemistry. Another contradiction concerned the footprint of the tank--that although they needed a large footprint to find a feeding spot, once comfortable they may stay there for ages (sometimes to the point of algae growing on their shells).

No matter what is put in the tank, the base plan is the same: heavily planted w/low-requirement "plants" (Anubias 'nana', java moss, marimo moss ball, etc.), natural gravel (possibly a layer of Indian Almond or oak leaves), and decorations including a small flowerpot on its side, small pieces of driftwood, and a few small river rocks for good measure. Flow could easily be altered with the addition of an aerator and tubing, but this largely depends on the inhabitants.

Any suggestions/ideas are greatly appreciated, as I have never dealt with a tank this small 😅
Thanks in advance! Gilltyascharged
 
I can't comment on your shrimp choices, but I can say I have 4 2.5 gallons here, and I only use them for hatching eggs in. They are really hard to keep stable. - very unforgiving.
 
I can't comment on your shrimp choices, but I can say I have 4 2.5 gallons here, and I only use them for hatching eggs in. They are really hard to keep stable. - very unforgiving.
Ooh, yikes 😬
I've always heard about how hard it is to keep small (in this case, tiny) tanks stable, but I was somewhat hoping that having it heavily planted would help combat ammonia/nitrate spikes....that was actually one of the reasons why I wasn't planning on doing Cardina shrimp--too delicate. How do you manage it? I'm assuming that when you say hatching you're talking about killi eggs, but I'm not quite sure of how sensitive they are.
 
Don't do bamboo shrimp in a tank that size - too big max size and they are filter feeders, which is a category of critter that is generally just very difficult to support in a small system without horrible waste management issues. Smaller shrimp like cherries can be kept in small tanks with some hardy plants and it can work well. I had a tank like that for several years although it was a long time ago (also kept bamboos once in the distant past but not in that tank of course). Tiny tanks that are planted with hardy, low-light plants (java fern/moss etc. - I never got very adventurous) and that are invert-only are much easier than trying to do a similarly small tank with any sort of vertebrate involved. My main gripe with having done small planted shrimp tanks is it was hard to keep them nicely aquascaped and tended to turn into a bit of an overgrown jungle with a shrimp party in the middle of it. I never had waste issues in my tiny shrimp system but also fed very, very sparsely - that's one of the keys to avoiding parameter issues in a small system.
 
Don't do bamboo shrimp in a tank that size - too big max size and they are filter feeders, which is a category of critter that is generally just very difficult to support in a small system without horrible waste management issues. Smaller shrimp like cherries can be kept in small tanks with some hardy plants and it can work well. I had a tank like that for several years although it was a long time ago (also kept bamboos once in the distant past but not in that tank of course). Tiny tanks that are planted with hardy, low-light plants (java fern/moss etc. - I never got very adventurous) and that are invert-only are much easier than trying to do a similarly small tank with any sort of vertebrate involved. My main gripe with having done small planted shrimp tanks is it was hard to keep them nicely aquascaped and tended to turn into a bit of an overgrown jungle with a shrimp party in the middle of it. I never had waste issues in my tiny shrimp system but also fed very, very sparsely - that's one of the keys to avoiding parameter issues in a small system.
That makes more sense--I was curious if waste management had anything to do with it. A jungle-style aquascape has always appealed to me, but I'm not sure how I would like it in a tank that small.
As far as vertebrates go, the only ones that I've seen are acceptable were a pair of licorice gourami (a fish that I would love to have in the near future, but I can't imagine how hard it would be to keep parameters stable enough for them) or possibly a pair of Ps. annulatus with TONS of water changes. Even then, that doesn't seem like the ideal situation for either.
 
Hmmm...does anyone have any experience with purple zebra shrimp? I read that they only get .25" long, and don't breed successfully unless they're in brackish conditions.

Would Thai micro crabs work? But with them having such a short lifespan, and being extremely hard to breed/raise in captivity...
 
Personally I'd just keep two different colour varieties of neocaridina shrimp in each tank. Or pick your favourite colour variety, get some high quality ones, and use the second tank as a cull tank for the ones that don't have the best colour, to keep the first tank line as high quality as possible and sell excess stock.

I've heard of people keeping various tiny fish in super nano tanks, but to be honest, I don't think it's worth the hassle to try to keep anything beyond shrimp or snails in a 2.5g. That's super tiny, even planted. Because you'll need fast growing plants if you're worried about them keeping the water clean and the parameters stable, but for a nano scape, you're looking at nano plants, which tend to be the super slow growing varieties that aren't much help in waste processing.

Not knocking you at all, it's an interesting avenue to explore! And you're putting thought into it, not just chucking fish in there and finding out it doesn't work. Nothing wrong with asking and considering it. I just personally have a little tank sitting in a cupboard because the only thing I'd keep in in is shrimp, but I haven't been motivated to scape it yet. But just looking at it, even without decor/hardscape/plants - it's a very tiny water volume to begin with, but remember how much water volume will be displaced by your substrate/hardscape etc, and how dilution is the solution to pollution.
 
Personally I'd just keep two different colour varieties of neocaridina shrimp in each tank. Or pick your favourite colour variety, get some high quality ones, and use the second tank as a cull tank for the ones that don't have the best colour, to keep the first tank line as high quality as possible and sell excess stock.
That's a great idea! While I was looking at Neos for one of the tanks, I wasn't quite sure if I would be on board with two--but quite frankly, I think that having a cull/quality tank knocks out two birds with one stone, as far as cost and overpopulation go.

I've heard of people keeping various tiny fish in super nano tanks, but to be honest, I don't think it's worth the hassle to try to keep anything beyond shrimp or snails in a 2.5g. That's super tiny, even planted. Because you'll need fast growing plants if you're worried about them keeping the water clean and the parameters stable, but for a nano scape, you're looking at nano plants, which tend to be the super slow growing varieties that aren't much help in waste processing.
You are exactly right--I should have clarified, the two species (or genus, in the case of the gourami) were suggestions found online, but I couldn't quite find a way to justify it to myself. The Parosphromenus would do much better in the 25l/6.6g SOT tank I'm planning for them 😁

Not knocking you at all, it's an interesting avenue to explore! And you're putting thought into it, not just chucking fish in there and finding out it doesn't work. Nothing wrong with asking and considering it. I just personally have a little tank sitting in a cupboard because the only thing I'd keep in in is shrimp, but I haven't been motivated to scape it yet. But just looking at it, even without decor/hardscape/plants - it's a very tiny water volume to begin with, but remember how much water volume will be displaced by your substrate/hardscape etc, and how dilution is the solution to pollution.
I personally wouldn't have ever considered getting a 2.5g--I'm currently looking at getting a pair of 20g and a 10g or two for this Christmas (provided my parents allow it, lol), but ended up with these two from a friend (long story short, I rescued a couple of sickly bettas from the Biology room and ended up rehoming one with him back in April, and this was his way of paying me back).
Definitely a small area--the dilution-pollution rule was the only reason I was able to convince my parents to upgrade to a 75g for their peacock cichlid ("monster tank" = less cleaning). I doubt I'll be able to fit a sponge filter in there, so I'm counting on plants, a turkey baster, and some good ol' scavengers to help me out in this case 🤞
Worst case scenario, I'll use it to propagate cuttings or as a fry tank (I already have a .75g quarantine tank).
 
I have a very tiny sponge filter in my little 3 gallon shrimp aquarium, hidden away behind a large bolbitis. It is a “Aquaneat mini sponge filter for betta and fry tanks”. There is a HOB filter on the little aquarium as well, it came together as a kit (TopFin Shrimp & Fish Oasis). I have the sponge filter set so it is only releasing two bubbles a second. It isn’t even splashing the glass lid one inch away from the waters surface. I keep 15 ”super tigers” bred by seller in that little aquarium along with 3 small ramshorn snails. I dropped in a very tiny pond snail earlier today also. It is too soon to know if the shrimp will begin to have babies. I’ll know by spring I suppose.
 

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