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Hi!
I just got a new fish named Eugene about 3 days ago (a metallic green and silver super delta). I have an Aqueon Minibow 2.5. I have a Marina heater installed and the tank came with a filter. The problem with it is that the outflow pushes down my betta fish. I've tried baffling the filter using the plastic water bottle method, but I'm afraid Eugene will tear his fins on it since his fins are very long. I've turned it off and have been trying to purchase a TOM Mini Internal Filter. The problem is that I can't find anyone who sells it in Canada. Petsmart stopped selling them online and they're only available on amazon.com (USA) and can't be shipped here. :-( I really want to get a filter so I won't have to do as many water changes and so the heat can be evenly distributed throughout his tank.
Does anyone know a reliable shop where I can purchase the TOM Mini Internal Filter in Canada? And how much and how often should I change his water now that his filter is turned off?
Thanks!
 

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In your specific situation I would recommend removing the filter.

The filter does not drastically reduce the toxic substance quantity regarding ammonia/nitrites in a 2.5 gallon tank at all for multpiple explained reasons below. Beneficial bacteria is what breaks down and oxidizes materials into less harmful substances, such as nitrite oxidoreductase, this bacteria oxidizes very harmful nitrite into the less harmful nitrate. Having a good nitrate reading would indicate that you have a well established colony if beneficial bacteria. In tanks downwards of 5 gallons you will have a hard time cycling, establishing a good colony of beneficial bacteria, and keeping the colony stable. Which means there is virtually no beneficial bacteria constrained within the specific habitat, resulting in Almost nothing to neutralize, or make it disappear concerning more harmful substances such as nitrite, and ammonia. So in this case a filter will not reduce the water changing schedule at all for the explained reasons above.
 

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Just saying with a 2.5 gallon tank you are looking at 2 water changes a week, one 50% and one 100%. Having a filter in anything less then 5 gallons won't do very much as it won't keep a stable cycle, thus, there is no need for a filter besides circulating the water, which bettas don't even need.

Using the bottle method is safe, I always round the corners that go in the tank, I have never had a betta tear his or her fins on a filter's baffle.
 
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