Best way to Setup a BiOrb Flow 15l?

RolyMo

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19 Jun 2012
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Fareham, UK
Hi and thanks for reading this post.

Background
I started this hobby 2 years ago and got my first ever tank and Rio 180l after getting over my desire to have a BiOrb. Since then I have learned a lot from the great people on this forum and 1 year later I added a Nano CRS tank which this too appears to be thriving. The hobby of fishkeeping and planted tanks is great and rewarding.

This has prompted friends to admire my planted tanks and the fish inside them. So much so that an 8yr son of a very good friend recently bought a BiOrb Flow 15l to start with.

Not wanting the little guy to be disappointed and wanted to part some knowledge to help make sure his fish will survive etc. I have read the instructions for the BiOrb Flow online and was somewhat shocked to see that you could add fish after what looks like 24hrs of starting the tank and adding the conditioner and then the biological booster. This is currently not a planted tank. Not sure you can even put plants in there.

Questions
So I just wanted to check and confirm a few things with the community, which I think I know the answers to but am sure you guys know better. They are:-
  1. You need to cycle the tank for 4-6 weeks without fish? Especially as this is not a planted tank.
  2. I understand the gravel that comes with the BiOrb acts as filter media and bacteria colonise this too. Can I take a sponge from my established Rio 180l and squeeze out into his tank to help kick start the cycling?
  3. Doing number 2 will reduce the time to cycle. But monitor with an inaccurate test kit to at least get some sense of are the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels coming down?
  4. Can they get away without a heater or should they get one to boost it up to 24+ degrees Celcius (clearly it depends on the fish and temp of house)
  5. Looks like the filter is also a cartridge. Does this mean no squeezing of sponges to save money?
  6. 15l Is not much volume and rules out a lot fish varieties as well as volume of fish. The kid wanted Neon Tetras or Zebra Danio's. But I am wondering are these really too big for 15l?
  7. I was thinking Chilli Rasboras? Amano Shrimp (although what are they going to feed on). Thoughts on small, beginner (hardy), not needing big space fish welcome?
Thanks any insights and answers you might have.
Regards
R
 

James O

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16 Nov 2013
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That's a real tiddler for any fish. Even a Celestial Pearl Danio at 2cm isn't going to have much swim space. Once you've reduced the 15l with gravel etc it'll be maybe 13l. Look at seriously fish for an idea on min ideal tank sizes. fish can 'live' in it but won't thrive. How about shrimp?

Get an Anubias n. Petite and java fern on a nice jumble of redmoor root and maybe dress with java moss.
 

RolyMo

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19 Jun 2012
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430
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Fareham, UK
Thanks James.
Agreed on the tank size.
With the plants you suggested will they have to introduce CO2 (liquid would be easiest and more aesthetically pleasing on this tank)?
Thanks
R
 

James O

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16 Nov 2013
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No, all of them are low tech starter plants so no CO2 required -the air stone will make fore good gas exchange anyway. Make sure the anubias is part shaded. They'll only suffer if the light is ridiculously bright. If it is a piece of tracing paper or similar will diffuse it somewhat.
 

justissaayman

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10 May 2013
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Watford, UK
Shrimp on the alfagrog aint fun. That tank is a bit small even for Micro Rasbora. The filter cartridge, no need to replace it, squeeze sponge and keep the zeolite and carbon pellets in there. You can run as said Java Fern and Anubias in there with a smile without a heater along with some colourful shrimp like Golden back Sakura or Fire Reds
 

harryH

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18 Oct 2013
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I always feel we do the kids no favours by buying them a tank that is so limited they will find it hard to maintain and are limited as to what they can keep.

Why not buy them a proper tank from the off? get the kids interested and help them to learn how to enjoy an aquarium?. This way they will become interested and maybe fish keepers of the future.

Keeping a Nano sized aquarium in good order is for the more experienced aquarist in my view.

Harry.
 

RolyMo

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Fareham, UK
Thanks Justissaayman. Thats the money saying tip I like re the sponges and thanks for the advice on the shrimp. Flippin love shrimp!!! Is it worth having some Amano to clean any algae that gets on the plastic plants?

Harry - I completely agree with you. I guess the manufacturers are thinking of there pockets and are trying to cater to the consumer who might not have the large space in their bedroom or living room and thus produce a small lifestyle product that is attractive to that audience. And as you say there's the rub, nano tank more can go wrong rapidly.
R
 

justissaayman

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10 May 2013
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Well Roly, Amano, Cherries etc etc will all get on fine in there. Shrimp fry will get into the filter itself so be aware of that.

Chuck the plastics though and put a nice piece of Redmoor around the tube and plant it. Just be aware of the maintenance process which might need to take place.

You could also use some silicone and seal the bottom inlet and convert the tank to a single sponge filter with sand....
 

harryH

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18 Oct 2013
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338
Harry - I completely agree with you. I guess the manufacturers are thinking of there pockets and are trying to cater to the consumer who might not have the large space in their bedroom or living room and thus produce a small lifestyle product that is attractive to that audience. And as you say there's the rub, nano tank more can go wrong rapidly.

Hi Roly,
Yes I wasn't trying to lecture of course:lol:
justissaamyman's advice on shrimp looks sound:thumbup:
 

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