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BiUbe & BiOrb Aquariums Frequently Asked Questions

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Biorb Filters & biorb Service Kits

Click on any question below to see the appropriate answer. If you have a question that is not answered here feel free to email us at info@thewallaquarium.com

For questions about setting up salt water in the biorb or biube aquariums please click below.
BiOrb & BiUbe marine & salt water frequently asked questions

Biorb FAQ Categories - click on a category to be taken to category specific questions

Problems you might be having with your biorb
Set up and general biorb questions
Fish & the Biorb - feeding, selection, care
Cleaning & Maintenance
Biorb Saltwater FAQ

Problems you might be having with your biorb

  1. Why am I getting fewer bubbles?
  2. My service kit (filter) appears to be filling with air?
  3. My biorb light bulb has stopped working?
  4. Why is the pump so noisy?
  5. What happens if my pump stops?
  6. What happens if there is a power outage?
  7. How do I set up and establish my biorb aquarium so it is healthy?
  8. Why is the water in my biorb green?
  9. Will I need to clean the whole aquarium?

Set up and general biorb questions

  1. How do I set up and establish my biorb aquarium so it is healthy?
  2. Should I put real plants in my biorb?
  3. What type of plants should I put in my biorb?
  4. Should I put artificial plants in my biorb?
  5. Will I need to clean the whole aquarium?
  6. What is the air stone?
  7. Can I wash the service kit sponge?
  8. Does the biorb service kit (filter) contain activated carbon or Zeolite?
  9. Do I have to keep the ceramic media provided?
  10. Can I put aquarium gravel in the biOrb?
  11. Will changing the biorb filter cartridge kill the filter bacteria?
  12. Why do I have to keep the biOrb out of sunlight?
  13. Can a heater be added to the biOrb to make it suitable for tropical fish?
  14. Can I use a longer airline for my biorb?

Fish & The BiOrb - feeding, selection, care

  1. What types of fish should I put in my biorb aquarium?
  2. Can I put a bottom feeding fish in my biorb?
  3. How do I take care of my fish?
  4. How much should I feed my fish?
  5. What should I feed my fish?
  6. What do I do with my fish when I go out of town?
  7. What if one of my fish is sick?

Cleaning & Maintenance of Your Biorb

  1. How often do I need to clean the Biorb or Biube?
  2. How do I clean my biorb?
  3. How do I know if my water is healthy?
  4. How do I set up and establish my biorb aquarium so it is healthy?
  5. Can I wash the service kit sponge?
  6. Will I need to clean the whole aquarium?
  7. How often do I need to change my biorb filter?
  8. Why do I have to change the biorb filter cartridge so often?

Answers - Biorb Problems

1. Why am I getting fewer bubbles in my Biorb? Back to top

If you have noticed that there are fewer bubbles you may need to change the air stone in your biorb. Alternatively if you have just changed the filter cartridge, air from the sponge may be trapped inside the cartridge. Twist the bubble tube and lift one side of the filter cartridge slightly to allow air to escape. You may need to do this a few times.

2. My service kit (filter) appears to be filling with air? Back to top

This can be a sign that the air stone has become blocked and caused a small air leak. Removing the air stone will solve this and start the filter working again. Without the air stone the filter will be slightly noisy so we recommend putting a new one in as soon as possible.

3. My Biorb light bulb has stopped working? Back to top

Light bulbs do wear out. The special halogen bulb used in the biorb light unit should last at least 1600 hours. This can easily be replaced following the instructions included with the light unit.

4. Why is the biorb air pump noisy? Back to top

Noise from the pump is usually caused by vibration against the surface iti s on.  Place the pump on a softer surcae like a mouse mat or hang the pump up.  Make sure the airline is pushed into the air pump as far as it will go.

5. What happens if the Biorb Air Pump stops? Back to top

It is recommended to keep a spare air pump.  Without oxygen filter bacteria will start to die and the water may become polluted.  If you have live plants remove these from the aquarium at night so that they do not take oxygen away from your fish.  Do not feed your fish for a few days.  It is advisable to test the water after a noticeable power cut to see if water changes are necessary.  After a power outage it is essential that the air pump is raised will above the aquarium water level as per air pump instructions.

6. What happens if there is a power outage? Back to top

A power cut will  interrupt the supply of oxygen into the biOrb. Without oxygen for long periods of time the filter bacteria will start to die and the water may become polluted.  Fish may also experience difficulty breathing, and may even die, particularly at night when oxygen levels naturally drop and live plants take their share of oxygen too.

It is advisable to test the water after a noticeable power outage to see if the water has become polluted, so that remedial action can be taken. If long term power failure occurs it is essential that the air pump is raised well above the biOrb water level as per air pump instructions.

7. How do I set up and establish my biorb aquarium so it is healthy? Back to top

8. Why is the water in my biorb green? Back to top

Green water is caused by algae.  This is a singe celled plant that is naturally occurring in aquariums.  Small amounts of growth are normal and easily dealt with during a normal service.  If large areas of algae grow or the water goes very green very quickly, this indicates that there is a problem with the water that’s causing the excess growth.

Algae needs sunglight and nutrients in order to grow.  Too much daylight, especially during the summer months when the days are longer and warmer, will cause algae to thrive.  Excess nutrients win the water, from overfeeding for example, will also cause algae problems.  It is easier to prevent algae than to remove it once it has become a problem.

Do I ever need to clean out the whole aquarium? Back to top

Providing you follow instructions with regard to feeding, fish selection, location and maintenance you should never need to empty and clean the aquarium.  If you do ever need to do this you should keep at least 1/3rd of the old water and clean the ceramic media in dirt water taken from the aquarium (never clean ceramic media in tap water).


Answers - Set up and general biorb questions

1. How do I set up and establish my biorb aquarium so it is healthy? Back to top

2. Should I put real plants in my biorb? Back to top

There are several benefits to growing real plants in the aquarium.  Plants feed off nitrate and phosphate, helping to keep levels low and algae at abay.  They also provide hiding places for fish, add interest to their environment and a tasty snack for some fish.

3. What type of plants should I put in my biorb? Back to top

Unless you convert your aquarium for plant growth some species can be very difficult to grow.  Trial and error is often the only way to find good plants for your aquarium.  Try inexpensive bunches of hardy plants and stick with the ones that work.

Fast growing stem plants like Elodea densa or Cabomba aquatica, often sold as ‘goldfish weed’ or ‘oxygenators’ take in nutrients through their leaves rather than roots.  They will fight with algae for food and cope with well filtered aquariums.

Generally, fish like to graze on soft, bright green plants.  Tougher varieties, or fast growing plants usually withstand the attentions of fish, however, some fish will destroy any plant.

Very bright green or red plants generally need more specialist lighting in order for them to thrive.

Selecting several plants of different heights will add interest to the aquarium for you and your fish.  Buy plants that are fresh and healthy.

4. Should I put artificial plants in my biorb? Back to top

Plants can be difficulty to grow and many people prefer to choose artificial aquarium plants.  There are many to choose from, usually made from plastic or silk, and can look very realistic.  Although they do not have the benefits of live plants, they never die and can be taken out and washed when dirty.

5. Will I need to clean the whole aquarium? Back to top

Providing you follow instructions with regard to feeding, fish selection, location and maintenance you should never need to empty and clean the aquarium.  If you do ever need to do this you should keep at least 1/3rd of the old water and clean the ceramic media in dirt water taken from the aquarium (never clean ceramic media in tap water).

6. What is the Biorb air stone? Back to top

The air stone is the small white cylinder at the base of the biOrb. The air stone breaks up the air being forced through it into a stream of bubbles.

7. Can I wash the service kit sponge? Back to top

If the biorb filter sponge gets dirty before a change is due it can be washed. However the chemicals in the filter cartridge only remain ‘active’ for a limited period, after this period toxins, which have been absorbed, may be released back into the water. Therefore the cartridge should be replaced.

8. Does the biorb service kit (filter) contain activated carbon or Zeolite? Back to top

The biorb filter cartridge contains activated carbon and resins which should be removed before using aquarium medications. Leave the sponge in the cartridge to continue trapping dirt and replace with a new cartridge when the treatment period is over.

9. Do I have to keep the ceramic media provided? Back to top

The ceramic media provided with your biorb aquarium is essential for biological filtration. It is your fish’s toilet, bacteria will colonize the media and consume toxic fish waste making the water safer for your fish to live in. Without this, the water in your biorb aquarium would become polluted very quickly.

10. Can I put aquarium gravel in the biOrb? Back to top

Reef-One advises against putting gravel, sand or small stones in the biOrb. Gravel is likely to reduce  filtration and may become lodged in the filter cartridge casing. However, if you do use other gravel of ceramic media in your biorb or biube, make sure it is big enough not to get stuck in the bottom of the aquarium.

11. Will changing the biorb filter cartridge kill the filter bacteria? Back to top

No. The filter cartridge provides mechanical and chemical  filtration. Biological filtration is provided by the ceramic media therefore it is not affected by the biorb's filter cartridge.

12. Why do I have to keep the biOrb out of sunlight? Back to top

All round fish bowls have a magnifying effect. While this adds to their appeal, if placed in direct sunlight they produce a focal point of light that can scorch/burn materials and possibly cause fire. Direct or strong daylight can cause excessive algae growth and cause temperature fluctuations within the biorb aquarium making life uncomfortable for fish.

13. Can a heater be added to the biOrb to make it suitable for tropical fish? Back to top

A 50 watt biorb heater kit can be added to the biOrb with the aid of a Reef One Biorb heater stand. There is a snap out section in the light unit into which the cord can rest.

14. Can I use a longer airline for my biorb? Back to top

Anything longer than 3-5 meters will require a larger air pump. Always attach the new airline to the pump end of the existing airline, not the biOrb end. Trim the end of the tube you detach from the pump and use either a straight airline connecter, or better still a one way valve.


Fish & The BiOrb - feeding, selection, care

1. What types of fish should I put in my biorb aquarium? Back to top

Most fish will work in your biorb aquarium. If you choose tropical fish be sure to get a heater to keep the water temperature warm enough for them. The link below will give you more information about types of fish to put in your biorb and information about them.

Fish Selection for your Biorb

2. Can I put a bottom feeding fish in my biorb? Back to top

Do not keep ‘bottom feeding’ fish, such as a common pleco, loach or catfish in Biorb Aquariums.  The ceramic media used for biological filtration in Biorb aquariums is unsuitable for them.  Many of these species also grow very large.

3. How do I take care of my fish? Back to top

Every fish is a little bit different, however, the key to keeping healthy fish is to make sure your water quality is good by testing it regularly, cleaning the water, not overfeeding or overstocking, and not adding too many fish too quickly.

For more information about fish care follow the link below

Taking care of the fish in your biorb

4. How much should I feed my fish? Back to top

Eating flakes requires the fish toe spend a lot of time gulping at the water surface where it could swallow too much air.  Pellets are easier for goldfish, for whom swallowing air can contribute to swim bladder problems.  Pellets are also easier to administer than flakes and are less likely to cloud the water.  Smaller pellets can be purchased for tropical fish and minnows that are more suited to their nutritional requirements.

5. What should I feed my fish? Back to top

Good quality prepared fish foods provide a well balanced diet but fish will relish a variety of foods. Fantail goldfish in particular will benefit from a varied diet.  Daphnia, brine shrimp, or blood worms are enjoyed by most fish and can be purchased either live, in frozen packets, freeze dried, or in vitamin enriched jelly.  Only buy live food from a reputable source. F rozen foods should be defreosted before being fed.

6. What do I do with my fish when I go out of town? Back to top

If you will be away from your fish, it is important that someone checks the air pump is working and that if a fish dies it is removed from the aquarium right away.  A spare air pump should be left with instructions in case the existing pump fails.  Fish are live animals and should be checked every day, even though they will probably not need feeding unless you are away for more than 10 days.

Holiday blocks of fish food can be used but if uneaten these foods can pollute the water while you are away.  A well meaning but inexperienced feeder could do more harm than good be over-feeding fish while you are away.  In most cases it is preferable to let the fish go hungry.

If you do not get someone to feed your fish, measure out the correct amount of food and ask for this to be fed over the time that you are away.  Hid the packet of fish food away.

7. What if one of my fish is sick? Back to top

Good aquarium husbandry and fish selection is important – prevention is better than a cure.  Chronic stress, usually from poor water quality, can make the fish susceptible to disease.  If fish show symptoms of a disease get the water tested, if water quality is good, then use a suitable medication to treat the fish.  If water quality is poor this must be remedied before or at the same time as using medication’ a sick fish in bad water is unlikely to recover

Make a note of all the abnormal symptoms your fish are showing and get advice on which medication to use.  Most medications include very clear instructions on diagnosis and treatment, some also offer a help line.

The activated resins the in the filter cartridge should be removed during the treatment period.  Always follow the manufacturers instructions.  Carbon and other media inside filters can kill your fish when mixed with certain fish medications.  Read all instructions and remove carbon before treating your fish.


Cleaning & Maintenance of your Biorb

1. How often do I need to clean the Biorb or Biube? Back to top

You should clean your biorb every couple of weeks, or more frequently if you notice your water is dirty or water levels are unhealthy.

2. How do I clean my biorb? Back to top

 

3. How do I know if my water is healthy? Back to top

The best way to tell if your water is healthy is by testing it. You can do this with an aquarium test kit. For information about aquarium water and chemicals follow the link below

Aquarium water and cycling

4. How do I set up and establish my biorb aquarium so it is healthy? Back to top

5. Can I wash the service kit sponge? Back to top

If the biorb filter sponge gets dirty before a change is due it can be washed. However the chemicals in the filter cartridge only remain ‘active’ for a limited period, after this period toxins, which have been absorbed, may be released back into the water. Therefore the cartridge should be replaced.

6. Will I need to clean the whole aquarium? Back to top

Providing you follow instructions with regard to feeding, fish selection, location and maintenance you should never need to empty and clean the aquarium.  If you do ever need to do this you should keep at least 1/3rd of the old water and clean the ceramic media in dirt water taken from the aquarium (never clean ceramic media in tap water).

7. How often do I need to change my biorb filter? Back to top

 For optimum filtration the biorb filter cartridge should be replaced every 1-2 months.

8. Why do I have to change the biorb filter cartridge so often? Back to top

The biorb service kit (filter cartridge) works like a trash can, trapping solid particles and absorbing some nitrate and phosphate from the water. After a time this will become ‘full’, and unable to absorb any more waste, and may release pollutants, causing the water quality to deteriorate.

By regularly changing the biorb service kit (filter cartridge) everything it has absorbed is removed from the biOrb, just like taking your household trash can out to be collected. For optimum filtration the biorb filter cartridge should be replaced every 1-2 months.

There are three different service kits to choose from. The regular biorb service kit filter, biorb no algae kit, and biorb first aid kit.


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
       
       
       
       
       
         
       
       
         
         

 

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