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Hi All--

I've read conflicting information regarding whether a charcoal filter has any purpose in a small tank with regards to ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. If the filter serves no chemical purpose I'd rather take it out of the tank to allow more light and space into the tank itself. The mechanical filtration isn't so important to me since I change water regularly.

Please educate me: does a charcoal filter keep ammonia/nitrite levels low in a 2.5g tank between water changes?
 

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For that purpose, sponge is better. It has more surface area, thus allowing for more colonisation of good bacteria, which can convert more ammonia.

Either way, though, in a 2.5 there generally isn't enough surface area for the bacteria to colonise enough to cycle the tank anyway, so you are fine to just have no filter. :) Just do one 50% and one 100% change per week. :)
 

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I can't answer your question...

But, your betta will appreciate any sort of filter- it puts oxygen in the water so they won't have to go to the surface when they need a breath.
 

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I'd take the filter out.. Carbon absorbs a lot of nasty things, but water changes will do the same thing, and carbon needs to be replaced once a month..
For betta- enough oxygen is diffused into the water through the surface.
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Charcoal doesn't do anything for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate-all activated charcoal can do is remove color, odors, some heavy metals, medication....charcoal is short lived and can't be reactivated and will need to be changed about every 2-4 weeks....IMO/E charcoal is more of a personal choice not a need, however, its a good idea to have fresh activated charcoal on hand for emergency...like a toxin falling into the water.....

IMO/E-filters are optional for this species especially in smaller tanks-often the filter/water movement is the cause of fin damage to the delicate long fin males.

Since they use their labyrinth organ to breath they don't need a lot of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Personally, I would remove the filter and stay on top of the twice weekly water changes in a 2.5gal tank of...50% water only and 100% weekly to maintain water quality......
 

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I can't answer your question...

But, your betta will appreciate any sort of filter- it puts oxygen in the water so they won't have to go to the surface when they need a breath.
A betta will always need to go to the surface to breathe. If they cannot reach the surface, they can drown. So, whilst oxygen in the water probably won't hurt, it's not going to help that much, either. :)
 
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