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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The way my tank is set up is that there's a barrel decoration in the back left corner; Anubias Nana in front of it (front left corner); Water Wisterias lined up throughout the back to back right corner; a small heater in between the Wisteria and decoration; a Marimo moss ball in the middle-right; and a lucky bamboo plant in front right corner. I can provide pictures if you guys would like. My tank measures 12 in. x 6 in. x 8 in.

The general gist I get from watching nano-low-tech planted aquariums is that water changes shouldn't be made more often than once every week. However, some of the top articles through Google search ranges from doing 50% water change daily, 20-30% every week, to 100% water change every week. I've never seen people so divisive over caring for a planted betta fish tank, especially one that's 2.5 gallons at most. I need to hear from your experience whether it would be better that I get a filter (preferably one that does not take up too much space inside the tank, like hang-on-back) or do water changes, and how often and how much to do those water changes. I'm leaning more towards water changes as I'd rather keep my aquarium appearance clean without having a filter ruining the look. I also top off my tank with distilled water due to it being open-top.
 

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There are several small filters that will work. Sorry dont have the links. Small sponge filter, small HOB filter, even scene small in tank hob type looking filters. When I first got landed taking care of the bettas that were brought home in little 1/2 gallon tanks I fed sparingly and did about 30-50% water changes once a week. These tanks were the kit with little led cover and the internal hob type filter (its not a hob I know but the design was the same just inside the tank).

With a 2.5g tank, plants, a betta, and some sort of flow/filter you can do 50% once a week. Just feed sparingly. Thats in my opinion/experience anyway. Dont make it necessarily right.

Pics are always nice.
 

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A small sponge filter can do the trick. I'm only comfortable going filter-less for a single betta when the tank is at least 10 gallons.
 

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Problem is a tank that tiny it'll be hard to keep the water parameters stable. That'll stress the fish and lead to disease. Betta are tough little fish but not impervious to ammonia spikes etc.

With displacement probably less than 2 gallons. I'd change 2x a week (30%) and/or feed sparingly.

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OK, you keep Wisteria trimmed down to fresh shoots.

With a emergent plant, moss ball and one fish most I would change is 10-20% week.

Azoo Mignon 60 is micro hob filter, 16gph max so turn down bit for that small betta tank. Only thing in tank is little small lift tube, most the rest hangs below rim on back of tank. Put background on back glass you won’t even hardly know it’s there.
 

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I have done successful non filtered tanks but it was mostly for experimentation. We even tried to have a little competition on the this forum for a second of how low tech can you go with a nano and still have a good tank. I would say that though I had a healthy tank that never had a spec of algae, was very lush, and housed healthy livestock for long periods of time, I see no advantage in this. I understand why one may not want an internal filter that may come with a small tank, or a sponge filter if keeping specific livestock or for something cheap, a filter will always be better.

I am not versed in tanks this small but I would likely choose the Azoo mentioned above, or a similar filter of your choice. It will take up little room in the aquarium but will be noticeable outside. I think if it bothered you, the benefits make up for it. I don't think aesthetics alone would lead me to have no filter, it just is too beneficial.

Right now, your plants are not doing much for you, you need something much denser for the planted aspect to be beneficial to any real level. I personally would treat it as a non planted tank. I can't recommend water changes, as my tanks were so much more heavily planted than yours, I did like 25% a month. Reason for that is CO2 fluctuations can cause algae issues, but also BGA issues, which is a difficult bacteria that looks like algae. I wouldn't feel comfortable with your plant load however, I would be inclined to do a small one daily, but I never had a non heavily planted tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all your responses, I have ordered the Azoo Mignon Filter 60 because it won't intrude into the swimming space of my betta too much. The only problem with internal filters, especially in smaller tanks, is how much space they require and a non-adjustable flow that bothered my previous betta a lot.
 
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