The secrets to fish keeping success. Practical advice and how to avoid common mistakes.
Creating and maintaining your aquarium is easy if you follow a few basic principles. We live in a fast-paced world so the first piece of advice is simple.
Slow down. Fish keeping requires a little patience, so make sure you take your time and above all, enjoy it.
Put your aquarium on something solid.
It sounds painfully obvious, doesn’t it? But a solid and level base for your biOrb is important.
biOrbs are light, but water is surprisingly heavy. How heavy? 1 litre of water weighs 1 kilo. So, the water in a small 30 litre tank will weigh around 30 kilos – that’s the weight of a young child. And don’t be tempted to move any aquarium when it’s full of water. You could put stress fractures into it and damage the water-tight seals. What’s more, lifting wobbly water is a sure-fire way to hurt your back.
Have you got a spot where a house plant just won’t grow?
If you’ve got a spot in your home where house plants suffer, chances are there’s not enough daylight for them and that’s a good place for an aquarium.
You should keep any aquarium away from direct sunlight. Sunlight will give you algae problems and will cause changes in the water temperature, which is unhealthy for your fish.
Try to avoid walkways and doors too. And keep it away from sources of heat like radiators. Finally, don’t stand it on anything electrical.
You’re nearer to a free fish keeping expert than you might think.
Chances are, your local aquatic store is run by enthusiasts. They usually are.
Being fish keepers themselves, quite often their knowledge of fish keeping is encyclopaedic and they’re usually a good source of help and advice. Get to know your local store and ask questions. People love to talk about the hobby and a friendly local store will point you in the right direction.
Proven. Did you know your biOrb has been tested by experts in Germany?
The filtration system in your biOrb has been tested by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover. Their department for fish diseases ran a three month test and found that fish in biOrbs were very calm and fed well. They tested oxygenation, optics, behaviour and filtration. All performed with flying colours. Like all aquariums, the secret is to take your time, don’t overstock, be careful how much you feed your fish and you’ll enjoy your biOrb for years to come.
How to decide which kind of aquarium to have.
Deciding on the kind of aquarium you’d like is your first decision. A marine (sea-water) aquarium requires some real know-how. They’re beautiful, but without lots of proper research, they’re not recommended as an entry into the hobby. In this guide, we’re going to talk about two most common types of aquarium: Tropical and Coldwater.
A warm water aquarium allows you to choose from a wide range of colourful fish and invertebrates, such as shrimp.
To have a tropical tank all you’ll need to do is add a heater to your biOrb.
There are plenty to choose from and like most things you generally get what you pay for. A standard glass tube style heater will suffice, and it’s also a good idea to get an aquarium thermometer so you can keep a close eye on the temperature. A digital one is easy to read and they are not expensive. These are available as biOrb accessories.
Once set up, a tropical tank can be looked after quite easily and needs very little maintenance. It’s worth repeating that the best advice is to take your time.
Don’t be tempted to add too many fish too quickly.
Why? Because when you add a fish to an aquarium, the aquariums bacteria start to multiply to catch up with the waste they produce. If you add too many fish too quickly, the aquarium simply won’t be able to keep up and the water will become toxic.
The simplest set up there is. As the name suggests, coldwater fish live in unheated tanks.
There is a good choice of coldwater fish available. It’s best to start a new aquarium with a hardy species. Ask your local aquatics store for suggestions. Again, the best advice is to take your time.
Don’t be tempted to add too many fish too quickly. Remember that when you add a fish to an aquarium, the aquariums bacteria start to multiply to catch up with the waste they produce. If you add too many fish too quickly, the aquarium simply won’t be able to keep up and the water will become toxic.
Here’s a good motto that’s worth remembering...
Good fish keepers look after the water, the fish look after themselves.
How to maintain your aquarium.
It’s a fact of life that all aquariums need maintaining. The good news is, your biOrb is designed to be easy to look after. Here’s another good motto that’s worth remembering...
Dilution is the solution to pollution
Regularly changing some of the water in your biOrb will make it easier to look after. Water changes dilute harmful Nitrates. It can also a good idea to get yourself a simple water testing kit and get into the habit of testing your aquarium water regularly.
Things to do every day
Check your fish. Are they behaving normally and swimming freely? Feed them if necessary. Check your equipment, is the pump running and making bubbles to oxygenate the water?
Things to do weekly/biweekly
Every week aim to change 15% of the water. Biweekly, change around 30%.
All aquarium water must be dechlorinated before being added back into any aquarium because chlorine will dissolve fishes’ gills. Use biOrb Chlorine Remover and biOrb Water Optimiser.
It’s also time to wipe any algae from the acrylic, the more often the better.
Change the filter every 4-6 weeks
A biOrb Service Kit will be required to maintain the water in top condition.
Replace the dirty filter cartridge and change 30% of the water. This is essential to reduce Nitrate and Phosphate pollution.
The Service Kit contains everything you need; a filter cartridge, water treatment, a cleaning pad and instructions.
Using a biOrb Cleaner Pump is a easy way to remove debris and siphon out the water.
Every 6 months
Check the one way valves.
Disconnect the airline tube from the air pump and lower the airline to a level below the biOrb water line. If water leaks into the airline, replace the one way valve in the biOrb base or fit an additional one way valve in the airline 6 inches from the air pump.
Check your Air Pump.
All Air Pumps are mechanical devices and over time they will wear out. They can become noisy due to continuous operation. It is vital that they are replaced immediately after failure to avoid water quality problems. Many fish keepers find it is a good idea to keep a spare Air Pump.
Replace your Air Stone.
The Air Stone, in the base of the biOrb. Over time, it will become blocked by bacteria and calcification. This is normal, especially in hard water areas. If you notice the flow of bubbles into your biOrb reducing, then the Air Stone should be replaced. It only takes a minute and is best done when changing your filter.
How to clean your biOrb
Cleaning the biOrb requires care to prevent scratching.
NEVER USE HOUSEHOLD DETERGENTS, POLISHES OR SCOURING PADS.
biOrb Cleaning Pads are lint free and are especially for cleaning the inside of your biOrb. The external acrylic surface can be polished using biOrb High Gloss Polish, which should be applied with a soft micro-fibre cloth and not sprayed directly onto the biOrb.