I'm well aware of what you're talking about, and I know none of those reference minibows specifically.. like I said that was just the first few searches that came up. I wasn't willing to spend hours trying to find all the old threads I've come across which reference minibows specifically. If you don't want to believe me, that's no skin off my back..I just pray it's no skin off any of your betta's backs really. Hopefully you will never have to experience what I have seen, but believe me or not, I have seen many threads with minibows killing bettas and plenty of unsettling mutilated betta photos to boot. It doesn't happen to every betta thank G-d, but I've seen enough to know it's not a fluke.
All I'm saying is spend pennies and seconds to protect your betta from a potential life threatening situation.. Last I'll say on the subject.
I personally don't use those filters anymore since I changed my 5 to a different filter and my other aquariums are basic rectangular tanks. The bow filters are not strong enough for a 5 and I do find it hard to believe that anything too horrible could happen with them since I've even had young Ghost Shrimp in with those aquariums and filters. I'm not calling you a liar by any means, so I hope you don't think I am, I'm simply saying I find it hard to believe these bows could cause any devastating life threatening problems.
As FishehGoBloop said, it's all about being smarter than the filter. And yes, research is the key to everything.
So I picked up the Fluval edge prefilter A 1387. $2.70 tax included at Petsmart. Fits perfectly on the Aqueon stock filter for my 2.5 mini bow. It does seem a bit big but we will get accustomed to it. I do have a question since that sponge sits close to the side of the tank... Hopefully no one has had a fish get stuck between tank wall and sponge?
I have the 5 gallon MiniBow for my betta and I love it. It is great for small spaces like mentioned before (I keep mine on my desk at work). I have my filter baffled because it was rough for my CT at first. He did get a bit of fin damage because of the intake, but I was able to stop that right away by sticking a small piece of filter foam in there. Works like a charm, and baffles it too. Before I had gotten this tank my poor little dude was in a half gallon cube (luckily I wised up pretty quickly) so he didn't like the current at first, and I had to elastic band another piece of foam around the out flow (I tried the water bottle thing, but I couldn't get it to stay, and he kept trying to play in it and I was worried he'd get cut). He doesn't need the foam there anymore, because he has grown strong and healthy, but its a good place for BB to grow, so I'm keeping it. I stopped using the filter cartridges it came with, and replaced it with some plain Fluval ones that fit nicely because I read that plants don't really like the carbon (not sure if that is actually true though) and because it slows the flow down. I found the incandescent light bulb it came with got quite hot and would fluctuate the water temp too much, and making it too hot with the heater, so I changed that out for the Aqueon 50/50 daylight/bluelight CFL flouresent bulb. It is much better for the plants and they are growing like crazy (especially the banana plant I have in there!). I did order one of those Azoo Palm Filters for this only because I'd like one that hangs off the back instead of being inside like it is. I just find that it is annoying to have in there, but that is just me! We'll see if I actually want to change it out and compromise my cycle once it gets here, haha. All in all, Sir Gilbert the Lionheart and his trusty snail On Nom are both very happy in there!
I literally just went out and bought a Minibow 2.5 gallon, and I'll see how it works. I am kinda worried about the filter, but I don't think I'll be able to get a sponge thingy for it. I'm thinking cheesecloth might work, but what is cheesecloth? I don't mean to sound dumb or anything, but I have no idea what it is.
It's ridiculously cheap, like a couple of bucks for the small one which is more that you'll need. We used one package on all of our filters (I believe we had between 10 and 15 at the time between 3 of us) and we barely made a dent in the pack. Works great, though.
If you can keep up with a tank with no filter, and the proper water changes, then that is okay (I personally know that I can get slack, or lazy, or busy depending on my work schedule and it's hard to get the 100% changes in sometimes). So I know it IS a bit easier for some people to have a filter. But, as my mom always says, "you do you." Which is basically do what works best for you and your schedule, for the health of your fish. (I sometimes wish that I could stay home with my fish all day lol, but alas, that's impossible).