The 2.5g Retreat aquarium appears to be the same as the Top Fin 5 gallon glass aquarium as seen here https://youtu.be/miXC9KuwH14
I think the Retreats can easily be compared to a Fluval spec of equivalent volume, just way crappier filter compartment and light build quality. I wish there were a greater modding community for these tanks as they could be really good value for money with a little DIY.
Also since it seems Top Fin is Pet-smartís house brand, they run discounts on it much more frequently. It retails at $50, but I picked up pair of the 2.5g for $33 in Oct, and the 5g would have been $42.50. I imagine theyíll do some big markdowns for Black Friday that may be even better.
The issues I intend to address are:
Light doesnít default to On when it is given power. Preventing use on a socket timer.
Filter cartridges and flow. Flow was just a bit strong for my betta and there is space in the filter before the pad but after the grill for my bettaís food to hide.
The biggest problem for me is the light as I want a consistent, automated photo period for a planted nano.
The light bar is relatively easy to open and gain access to the electronics.
The chip U2 handles the capacitive sensor and power.
Fortunately we just want power to flow through all the time rather than have the chip decide.
Pin 1 and pin 5 need to be connected.
The filter Iím actually fine with the addition of some floss to fill up the compartment space so Shrimp donít hide in there, but I prefer some dedicated bio media. Simple enough to toss a bag of rings or something into the space on top of the pump, but I have other plans.
Picked up a 3 pack of these for $1 at a dollar store.
Opening comes off.
Cut off excess plastic around the opening and use some tubing to adapt the size. Cut bottoms off and insert into each other and viola! Media reactor.