so i bought the tetra whisper 3i filter for my 2.5 gallon around a month ago but i didnt keep it in the tank for longer than 10 minutes. i assembled it exactly as the instructions said and it was a hot mess. it needs to stick out above the water line making the glass lid uneven because its sticking up like 2 inches in the back. when i actually turn it on bubbles come out from all over the place! it looked like the tank water was boiling. its also the noisiest filter ive ever heard. the pump vibrates loudly and the actual filter vibrates against the glass lid.
im fed up and kind of mad that i wasted the money when im already struggling financially as a college student. i doubt that i can return it now because it has been used (kinda) and wont really fit back into the box correctly.
is there anything i can do with it now other than just throwing it out? are there any cheap filters that are better? if it wasnt so expensive id just get a 5-10 gallon aquarium kit with a filter included but it would take me forever to save up at this rate. my budget for "fun" stuff (where the fish stuff falls) is $25-ish. any suggestions are appreciated!