The BiOrb Quick & Dirty Review

June 30th, 2009

buy biorb supplies

The Biorb Aquarium line gets an A rating from us and most of its owners, and we highly recommend biorb fish tanks as unique aquariums that are fun and easy to maintain. That being said, no aquarium or fish tank is perfect, and that includes the BiOrb. However deep our love for the BiOrb aquariums may be, the BiOrb’s still have limitations and every person who owns, buys, or plans on buying a Biorb or BiUbe should understand the limitations of their aquarium set up in order to keep their aquarium and fish happy, healthy, and looking good.

BIORB FISH TANKS: THE GOOD – Why thousands of people already have a BiOrb Aquarium

  1. Biorb Aquariums have a patented, unique, sleek design and are built well.
  2. Everything you need to set up your aquarium comes with it (except the fish)
  3. The Biorb air pump and filtration is whisper quiet.
  4. The Acrylic is 17 times stronger and 4% clearer than glass.
  5. The Biorb has a 5 stages of filtration that keeps aquarium water crystal clear.
  6. Biorb aquariums have a replaceable cartridge system that provides filtration and simple, clean maintenance.
  7. It is Easy to use, & comes with a comprehensive instruction guide
  8. BiOrb has a full range of easy to use branded accessories and replacement parts
  9. Once setup and filled, the BiOrb filter is barely visible in the bottom of the aquarium, and there is nothing to detract from the 360 degree view of the BiOrb aquarium.

BIORB FISH TANKS: THE DOWNSIDE

  1. The curve of the Biorb Aquarium sometimes distorts viewing of your fish, which sometimes make it hard to easily find and watch your fish tank. Or makes them look much bigger or smaller than they really are. (this does not apply to the new Biorb Life, which is flat on the front and back)
  2. Since the Biorb (original) is a sphere, it allows for less surface area than a regular square aquarium, which means you can’t put as many fish in it as a regular square fish tank.
  3. The Biorb has a few restrictions on the type of fish you can put in your Biorb. (You shouldn’t put bottom feeders with barbells like cory’s because the rough ceramic media will damage them, and don’t recommend goldfish that get large such as Oranda’s and commond goldfish.)
  4. You can’t use smaller, decorative rocks or pebbles in the Biorb because it will get caught in the filter.(Biorb Ceramic Media is smallest size recommended)
  5. Due to the large size of the ceramic media any extra food not eaten by your fish falls between the rocks and sits at the bottom of the aquarium (which is why it is important to use the Biorb Siphon Hose to siphon fish waste from the bottom of the fish tank)

BIORB AQUARIUM REVIEW SUMMARY:

No aquarium is perfect for every type of fish or setup, and that includes the Biorb. There is no aquarium that is completely maintenance free, every aquarium will require partial water and filter changes. However, this maintenance only takes 15-20 minutes a month, if done regularly. The majority of the drawbacks of the Biorb Fish Tank have either been solved by the new Biorb Life Aquariums, or they can be eliminated through good fish selection and reading the Biorb Manual carefully, as well as understanding basic principles of aquarium and fish care. If you are considering purchasing a Biorb you will do well to understand both the positives and negatives of the Biorb, and how to eliminate the negatives by setting up your fish tank appropriately.

BIORB REVIEW – SUMMARY OF THE SUMMARY…(For those who really don’t like reading:)

If you understand any limitations of the Biorb, which fish are compatible with your Biorb, and how to properly clean and maintain your Biorb, then the Biorb is an excellent fish tank for you, and will look great in your home, office, or on a table or stand. (I have heard that over 1 million Biorb’s have sold world-wide, that should demonstrate their quality design and customer satisfaction)

  1. Tisa Lynch
    November 25th, 2009 at 19:07 | #1

    I am thinking of purchasing a Biorb 16 gallon size.
    It mentions above about not recommending bottom feeders because the rough ceramic media could damage them. Would that apply to my otocinclus also?
    I have 2 of them, plus 1 Beta and 4 cherry barbs.
    Thank you for your help.

  2. November 27th, 2009 at 00:14 | #2

    I think your otocinclus’ should be fine, they typically feed off of the sides of aquariums or on plants and not on the bottom, I have two in my 9 gallon biube and they seem to do fine.

  3. Danielle
    December 16th, 2009 at 20:44 | #3

    Hello, I was thinking of purchasing either a Baby BiOrb or the 8 gallon BiOrb for my Bubble-Eyed gold fish but now I’m a bit hesitant about the fish restrictions. Would my fish be alright in a BiOrb?

  4. Whitney Leigh
    December 29th, 2009 at 15:37 | #4

    I am looking into getting the baby biorb, would a small figure 8 puffer do well in the tank?

  5. January 7th, 2010 at 14:21 | #5

    Hi Danielle, I’m not familiar with how big your fish is or how big it will get, it sounds like the 8 gallon biorb would work better though, since its a goldfish. Hope that helps

  6. January 7th, 2010 at 14:24 | #6

    My brother actually had a couple figure 8 puffers in his baby biorb, however, I think if you have more than one you’d be better off with the 8 gallon

  7. Simon
    April 3rd, 2010 at 07:42 | #7

    Can you put crabs in Biorbs

  8. Bryn
    April 10th, 2010 at 04:12 | #8

    I have a figure eight puffer with two platys, a panda cory and bronze cory, and a plec. They all seem to be doing really well now. They’ve been there for a few months. The puffer has taken a few chunks out of the platy’s fins, but they grow back quickly and he doesn’t seem that bothered anymore. I have a biorb life 30. For the cory’s I put some slates at the bottom so they have a smooth surface to play on. The figure eight puffer is a lovely fish. I feed them brine shrimp, cockells, bloodworm (all frozen) as well as dried bloodworm if I’m away on holiday. The plec gets cucumber, broccoli and courgettes.

  9. Bryn
    April 10th, 2010 at 04:15 | #9

    I’d like to add, it’s not recommended to have figure eight puffers in community tanks. This seemed to be the case with my platy’s, but as I said they’re left to the their own devices now. The puffer never ever bothers the plec or corys. I do a close to 50% water change once a week as the puffers are quite sensitive and need a healthy environment.

  10. April 12th, 2010 at 12:26 | #10

    yes, you can put crabs or shrimp in biorb tanks

  11. Denis
    June 27th, 2010 at 17:06 | #11

    Please can someone tell me why my lovely White cloud minnows get stuck in the Biorb filter….I saved one…but another one died…an unpleasant death because I was a way for one day and unable to release it…my super Zebra danios are ok…I hate the thought that I could wake up to another poor sole (Minnow) stuck…any ideas??

  12. kyle
    July 25th, 2010 at 11:26 | #12

    I work at pets at home gateshead and we sell biorb tanks, we always recommend not to house any bottom feeding fish, catfish-plec-otocinclus-snails-shrimp-loaches. As they will cut themselves on the ceramic media!

  13. kim
    October 5th, 2010 at 10:28 | #13

    I just purchased the baby biorb and did not get any kind of guide. In the pros section of the article above it mentions that it comes with a comprehensive instruction guide. It does say in the assembly instructions that only the supplied ceramic rocks should be used. They are very unattractive (they look like cement aggregate) and I would like to use regular decorative rocks. As long as the rocks I choose are as large as the ones supplied, am I ok using rocks of my own?

  14. Pointer Men’s Basketball
    October 30th, 2010 at 03:38 | #14

    Maybe you could change the page title Biorb Reviews – Real Life Experience and Feedback on BiOrb & BiUbe Fish Tanks | Biorb Aquarium Reviews: Biorb Fish Tanks, The Good & Bad to more generic for your content you write. I liked the post however.

  15. kim
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:24 | #15

    I wrote previously about being unhappy with the ceramic rocks that come with the Biorb. Since I do have a bottom feeder, a small catfish, I was worried they would be too rough on him. I was also concerned it would be difficult for him to find his food because it tended to settle to the bottom and be hidden by the rock, whereas when I had smaller gravel sized rocks, the food sat on top of the rock where he could easily find it. You can’t use anything smaller than pea sized rocks, so I replaced the rock with some smooth larger river rock I found in the Aquarium shop. I left space between the rock so he could find his food.
    My catfish lived about a month in the Biorb and then died. He was very healthy and happy in the regular goldfish bowl but outgrew it quickly. So, I agree that the Biorb is not made for bottom feeders. Wish I had realized it before I set it all up. It would have been helpful if there had been a guide of some kind that came with it. Not very happy. :(

  16. Lynn
    December 18th, 2010 at 21:28 | #16

    My son has the BiOrb the middle size one ( I forget the size) he have had 4 small fantails in it, and for the first 2 months all was fine, then two of them died within weeks of each other. They just seemed to get slow inside and not be swimming as fast as they use to. 2 months later the same thing happen to the 3 fish, but this time it had a blackish tummy. After regular cleanings and feedings and everything, a month later the 4th is looking tonight like it too will be gone by morning. The strange thing is we have feeder gold fish in a normal tank and they have all done well. What I’m wondering is what can be happening to these fish? the levels are fine, they are feed just enough to have none left over, the water part changed regularly, and the filter too. The only thing we haven’t changed is the rocks, but from what I read they only should be changed every 6 months, and we are just at that now. any ideas would be greatly appreciated

  17. Katie
    January 25th, 2011 at 03:27 | #17

    Hi, I have a Biorb 60L, but the filter case is stuck in the tank and will not twist out, i need to buy and put in a new filter and I wondered whether you had any advice please?
    Many thanks

  18. lesmond1889
    January 28th, 2011 at 19:57 | #18

    kim :
    I just purchased the baby biorb and did not get any kind of guide. In the pros section of the article above it mentions that it comes with a comprehensive instruction guide. It does say in the assembly instructions that only the supplied ceramic rocks should be used. They are very unattractive (they look like cement aggregate) and I would like to use regular decorative rocks. As long as the rocks I choose are as large as the ones supplied, am I ok using rocks of my own?

  19. lesmond1889
    January 28th, 2011 at 20:03 | #19

    hey kim the rocks that are supplied as its a lot better for filtration when i got my 9gal biube i didnt get any so was unaware and bought normal gravel and my tanks was so dirty all the time within couple of days , i now have there ceramilc rocks after been told its needed tried it and it works !!!! since using it my tank has been crystal clear upto every water change .

  20. lesmond1889
    January 28th, 2011 at 20:04 | #20

    @lesmond1889
    hey kim the rocks that are supplied as its a lot better for filtration when i got my 9gal biube i didnt get any so was unaware and bought normal gravel and my tanks was so dirty all the time within couple of days , i now have there ceramilc rocks after been told its needed tried it and it works !!!! since using it my tank has been crystal clear upto every water change .

  21. wendy
    February 1st, 2011 at 18:34 | #21

    I too have had some troubles with keeping fish alive in the biorb 8g. As I am brand new to this hobby I have followed instructions carefully. First fantail goldfish did good for about 3 weeks and then mysteriously died. My local aquarium depot said not usual for a ” starter ” fish and not uncommon to get new tank syndrome. So I waited a month got another fantail he lived 2 mths and when i added the second fish as the instructions said to wait 28 days , both died within a week . I went back to the aquarium place feeling like a fish murderer and asked what am I doing wrong ??? . I am told that 8g is not big enough for a gold fish they are too dirty . But water checks out good , little to no ammonia ,only gave 2 pellets a day with 1 day of fasting as book suggests weekly water changes and yet no fishy’s . So after I grieved for 3 mths and let the tank contine to ” culture” with still keeping up water changes and filter change before my most recent attempt at fish keeping , I tried yet again to add a single fishy ( goldfish again , maybe that’s the problem ) but the little book shows 3 fish in the tank . This poor little fish got ich , fin rot and suffered a horrible death. I did get fin rot med which helped him , but the ich was the real disaster with no instructions available to deal with fish issues , as there is a medicated filter available to buy but not in Canada !. So I was given instructions on salt baths , and raising the heat ( can’t be done in biorb ) unless you want your whole house to be 86degrees. And while the ich med did prolong his death this required removing the filter cartridge altogether due to carbon and meds not mixing. So maybe fish keeping is not for me , I have kept a cat alive for 14 years but no fish longer that 2mths ?. So can I just please have the real truth is the biorb 8g just designed for looks and maybe 1 minnow or something microscopic?. The aquarium folks are not a fan of biorb they say too small too many problems that manifest faster. Better off to start with the 16g or better yet the new 28G . Is it really possible to keep a 2inch goldfish in a 8G tank ? and is it better to keep the 8g as a quarantine tank for sick fish and just get a normal square tank for fish keeping . signed very sad :( I thought this would be a fun and new hobby but instead I feel I have become a serial fish killer.

  22. allison
    February 20th, 2011 at 15:58 | #22

    @Denis
    Just seen your post…What was the outcome? I’m having the same problem.

  23. Bryony
    March 20th, 2011 at 03:42 | #23

    I am considering getting a bio-orb life and would like to keep cichlids. I can’t find any reference to a hearing system.are these tanks restricted to cold water fish?

  24. nunu
    April 7th, 2011 at 16:06 | #24

    I have baby biorb almost 2 years. The starter fish I bought, two schools of tetras, have been living for 2 years. Some people think the curve is downside, but I like it since I can see my fish from far. The only thing I don’t like is that the tube which supply air at the bottom got worn out so I had to fix it.

  25. Debbie
    July 18th, 2011 at 15:09 | #25

    Hi ;) I have a BiOrb 30 litre containing 6 neon tetra, 3 guppies, 2 wcm minnows and a Siamese fighting fish, in two years I have only lost a couple of guppies a wcmm and a neon tetra, I think the BiOrb is fantastic, every 4 weeks i do a third water change, wash the filter sponge in water from the tank and vacuum the ceramic media, the filter cartridge is supposed to be renewed every 6 weeks, I renewed mine after 20 months. I feed them a small pinch of king britsh flake food one day then miss a day then a small pinch of Hikari semi- floating micro pellets, my mother in law has had her BiOrb for over 3 years, she replaced the ceramic media with gravel and she keeps 3 common goldfish in there and they are about 3 inches long excluding their tails, they are thriving as are my fish. ;) x

  26. Sarah
    July 21st, 2011 at 03:53 | #26

    I have had the baby biorb for 3 years now and the biorb life as well. Please, please do NOT put goldfish of any type in the biorb. Goldfish need at LEAST a 30 gallon tank. Please do your research and you’ll save yourself and a poor goldfish a lot of grief. Goldfish are supposed to live 15 years, a “successful” biorb only keeps them alive about 3 years. Hardly a success. I love my biorbs and they are great for small cold freshwater fish but not goldfish.