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Micro Plant Tank

Does anyone have any tips for creating a "micro" plant tank?  I have been
toying with idea of getting a very small rectangular tank, ~2.5 gal, and
planting it.  I have a spare 13 watt compact fluorescent ballast & 5000K
bulb, so I can DIY a small strip light.  Non-plant inhabitants would either
be only a couple of ramshorn snails, or maybe a single betta.  Plant
inhabitants would be limited to the very poor local selection, probably
Anubias v. nana, dwarf Sag., or Lilaeopsis.  There may also be smaller
crypts available, but I'll have to research which of the available ones stay
small.  I have rarely seen E. tenellus.  I have also considered using a
small internal "Duetto" filter with a sponge in it to give some mechanical &
bio filtration, as well as circulation, although I'm not sure I need it.

Some of my concerns are: 1) once I get the substrate, plants & filter in the
tank, the actual water volume will be *very* small;  2) with such a small
system, is it possible to stabilize the water chemistry, or will I be
fighting one problem after another?

Experience & opinions are appreciated!

jvaline at jps_net