BiOrb Marine Q and A
What is the Marine Kit?
The Marine Conversion Kit includes everything needed to convert a biOrb 30, 60 or biUbe into a marine aquarium. The Conversion Kit has been designed as an ideal introduction to marine fishkeeping.
The kit is supplied with 4 pieces of imitation porous modular live rock, premeasured high quality reef grade marine salt (produced to the highest European standards), unique marine filter cartridge, Hydrometer/thermometer, 2 artificial plants, a bottle of Instant Aquarium 2 (Beneficial Bacteria Booster), high quality Marine fish pellet food sample pack and halogen light gasket. A full set-up guide, water level measure and water testing record are also supplied.
Do I need to buy anything else?
The Marine Conversion Kit contains everything required to convert a tropical biOrb or biUbe into a marine aquarium.
To complete your marine aquarium you will only need to add water and fish. We would recommend you also consider adding some 'cleanup crew' and 'Cured Live Rock' to help create a balanced system.
I’m converting my old biOrb, can I use the old ceramic media?
If you are converting an old freshwater biOrb or biUbe into a marine aquarium, you can use reuse your existing ceramic media providing it is not extremely dirty or covered with algae. The Ceramic Media is a vital element of the biological filtration system so if you are concerned that it may be too dirty you should replace the ceramic media (available at all good biOrb stockists). Using new ceramic media will ensure that the system works a maximum efficiency
Can I convert my baby biOrb for salt water?
The baby biOrb does not provide a large enough environment for marine fish and we would strongly recommend against converting a baby biOrb into marine aquarium.
If you are interested in converting a Baby biOrb for shrimps then we would suggest you purchase a Marine Service Kit as this includes enough Reef Salt for the Baby biOrb and includes our unique marine filter cartridge.
Where should I place my Marine biOrb?
The main cause of nuisance algae is sun light, if your aquarium develops a lot of algae you should consider moving it to a darker location in your home. The aquarium can really help brighten a dark corner of a room, and this will be an ideal location.
What is the Halogen light gasket for?
If your biOrb has a halogen light you should fit the gasket to protect it from salt creep. Without this salt may get into the light and damage it. If you have an LED light unit you will not need to fit a gasket.
Can Marine fish really be kept in a biOrb?
With advances in marine technology and techniques, it is now possible to keep a selection of beautiful marine fish in a nano sized aquarium like the biOrb and biUbe. Our system has been extensively tested to ensure its effectiveness. Following our suggestions for stocking levels, feeding and performing the regular maintenance will keep the water quality high and the fish healthy.
How many fish can I keep?
We recommend two Clownfish as well as a few clean-up crew for the biOrb 30/biUbe. The biOrb 60 can support more fish, please see the stocking suggestions in your Marine Conversion Kit Instruction. The welfare of the fish is key to us so we recommend a stocking level which allows plenty of space for the fish to swim and grow.
Can I keep Corals
Corals generally require large specialist Very High Output lights and massive filtration to ensure their survival. Presently the biOrb and biUbe should be considered as ‘Fish Only’ marine aquariums. By not focusing on corals we believe this helps provide the ideal introduction to Marine fishkeeping. We do recommend customers buy some invertebrates like a “cleanup crew” as it helps create a balanced marine system.
What are ‘Cleanup Crew’?
Cleanup crew help to keep your aquarium environment healthy. The added benefit is usually less maintenance work for you and a more balanced environment.
The term cleanup crew generally refers to invertebrates and other inhabitants who either scavenge and process decaying matter, such as excess food, or herbivorous who help keep nuisance algae under control. Inhabitants commonly referred to as cleanup crew include; red leg hermit crabs, left-handed hermit crabs, sally light foots, emerald crabs, turbo snails, and astrea snails. Do not keep more than one large crab in your biOrb/biUbe (such as sally light foot crabs, emerald crabs, etc.), you can keep multiple hermit crabs.
Should I use real live rock?
The main advantage of these porous rocks lie in their colonisation by a large number of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms, including nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. Live rocks also sometimes contain macro-algae, sponges, worms and other invertebrates which can be beneficial to your aquarium. Live rock contains a large number of beneficial bacteria and we recommend customers consider purchasing some. If you choose to use real Live Rock you will not require as much as a traditional marine aquarium as the Ceramic Media (supplied) is extremely effective at supporting large colonies of beneficial bacteria.
What about dead spots in the artificial live rock?
Dead spots can occur in aquariums in cavities where water can collect and become stagnant. The modular artificial live rock supplied in the Marine Conversion Kit has been specifically designed for Reef One and is very porous allowing water to flow in and out avoiding dead spots.
What fish food should I use?
Feeding of the marine inhabitants is one of the most important factors in keeping a healthy aquarium. We recommend the Hikari Marine-S™. These high quality pellets have been formulated to float and will not dissolve or cloud the water. The porous pellet immediately becomes soft & sponge-like, it's a texture your marine fish are accustomed to. Hikari Marine-S includes krill meal, silkworm pupa meal, alpha starch, and dried seaweed meal to help establish proper metabolism while maintaining good digestive system health. Frozen foods are sometimes suggested by aquatic stores, however these are not recommended as they may decrease water quality if all the food is not eaten.
What is Sg?
The Specific gravity (Sg) is the measurement used in marine systems to describe the salt content of water. In a marine aquarium the Sg should be between 1.022 - 1.026. We recommend a Sg of 1.024 which most experts agree is an ideal level for most marine fish. The Sg is affected by temperature so the Sg needs to be measured when the water is 24-25C. Sg is easily measured using the Hydrometer provided in the Marine Conversion Kit
What type of Marine Salt is supplied?
Our synthetic Reef Salt contains every necessary major, minor, and trace element and has no nitrates and no phosphates. Our Reef Salt is manufactured in Europe and every batch is analyzed using sophisticated biological and chemical testing to assure consistently high quality. Exceptional solubility, uniform particle size, and 40 years of experience from the people who make our salt means it’s second to none. No other product outperforms our Reef Salt.
How often do I need to change the water?
Each month you should change 25% of the water in your aquarium with fresh saltwater. In the Marine Service Kit is a replacement filter cartridge and a packet of high quality Reef Salt which you should mix with either tap water or RO water.
Never change more than 1/3 of the water in your aquarium when you have live inhabitants. Changing large amounts of water will alter the water pH and can adversely affect the health of your inhabitants. NEVER wash the ceramic media in tap water, this will kill all beneficial bacteria which have been developing.
Do I really need to buy Marine Service Kits?
To simplify the process of marine fish keeping we have developed a unique marine filter cartridge that has the exact quantity of water conditioners to keep the aquarium working perfectly. You will also need to change 25% of the water each month using the high quality Reef Salt supplied in the Marine Service Kit. Like all aquariums if you don't perform regular maintance the level of Nitrate will increase over time. Nitrate can cause kidney, liver and eye problems, as well as preventing the fishes gills from absorbing oxygen from the water.
What if I need extra salt?
If you have a biOrb 30 or biUbe the Marine Conversion Kit will contain additional salt which can be used if required. By following the instructions provided, you should not need any additional salt. The Marine Conversion Kitcomes with the exact quantity of Reef Grade Marine Salt for a 60L biOrb, this makes creating the ideal saltwater simple.
Can I use a normal biOrb Service Kit?
No, the standard Service Kit, First Aid and Anti Algae Service Kits are intended for freshwater fishkeeping. The Marine filter cartridge has been specifically designed for saltwater aquariums. The Marine Filter Cartridge has been developed over a number of years to ensure that the optimum combination of resin particles are used to help create and maintain the marine system.
What about the pH?
The Marine Filter Cartridge and the Reef Salt have been carefully tested through numerous trials to ensure that the pH will naturally buffer to a range of 8.0 to 8.4 (typically 8.2) which is regarded as ideal for Marine fish. Rapid pH changes stress fish but our system buffers the pH, keeping it within the required range without the addition of any liquid pH buffer chemicals.
Do I need a protein skimmer?
No, the biOrb and biUbe aquariums use a natural method of filtration via the ceramic media (supplied) and aided by real Live Rock (optional). Monthly filter and water changes will remove harmful Nitrates and dissolved organic compounds while the Reef Salt will replenish the trace elements. This monthly maintenance will be sufficient to keep the aquarium in good condition.
There are many ways to maintain a marine aquarium but most people would agree that for large salt-water aquarium a Protein Skimmer is a wise addition to keep maintenance possible (doing a 25% water change on a 450 Litre aquarium would be impractical for most people). A Protein Skimmer removes numerous organic compounds from the water including proteins. Protein Skimmers consist of a chamber where air and water are mixed together separating the organic compounds from the water keeping water quality higher. An alternative to using a Protein Skimmer is the natural method of filtration using beneficial bacteria. For smaller aquariums which don’t have corals or an excessive amount of fish a Protein Skimmer is not needed, as regular water changes are more reliable – they remove any bad pollutants and replenish the good. Protein Skimmers can also have a negative effect in small aquariums by removing beneficial micro organisms which help create a balanced environment. The ceramic media supplied with your aquarium will act like Live Rock performing the same function. By using a high quality pellet food (as supplied) and performing regular maintenance your aquarium will continue to function at maximum efficiency. Nitrates and dissolved organic compounds are also removed when performing maintenance.
Should I use RO water?
Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is created using a specialist water purifying unit to produce. This water is purified tap water where approximately 98% of dissolved solids and organics have been removed. High quality RO water is required for Coral aquariums and can be used in the Reef One aquarium if your tap water has excessive levels of harmful chemicals. However, our system has been designed to work with regular tap water and this is fine to use.
Why do I have salt all over the top of my aquarium?
Why do I have salt crystals on top of my aquarium? All saltwater aquariums will have salt crystals building up on top of the aquarium due to evaporation; this is called saltcreep. You will notice it collecting on the top of you aquarium and on the light. Due to the unique design of the biOrb both evaporation and saltcreep are substantially less than other aquariums, keeping the aquarium environment extremely stable. Any saltcreep should be wiped off with a damp cloth and not added back into the aquarium. Never use a chemical cleaner!
I’ve been told the oxygen levels aren’t high enough for Marine fish?
The dissolved oxygenation levels in all our aquariums have been scientifically tested and all reports have proved that the oxygen levels in our aquariums are at the maximum levels possible. This maximum oxygenation level provides an ideal environment for the inhabitants and the biological filtration.
The diverse array of micro-organisms and beneficial bacteria which help the aquarium work rely on oxygen to enable them to function effectively. The patent protected Reef One filter system ensures that these micro-organisms and beneficial bacteria have a constant supply of oxygen ensuring that the water quality doesn’t deteriorate. Without the oxygen supplied by the Reef One air pump the beneficial bacteria in the ceramic media cannot oxidise and detoxify ammonia into nitrite and nitrate. Independent tests have proven that Reef One aquariums contain the optimum level of oxygen compared to all other aquariums, allowing for the most effective environment for these micro-organisms to develop.
I’ve also been told I will need a powerhead?
Powerheads are electrical motors that are sealed, allowing them to be submerged and pump the water around the tanks. Our filtration system already oxygenates the water to the maximum level and the water flow is ideal for a fish only aquarium. Powerheads are recommended when keeping coral tanks, however we advise keeping biOrb's as fish only aquariums.