* Prices may differ from that shown
=== The product === This is a service kit for a Biorb fish tank that contains a replacement filter cartridge, a cleaning pad and a water treatment sachet. === How to use === Well this is so very simple to change and to use. To change this filter I simply turn my bubble tube and then the filter and bubble tube clicks out of place and if left will float up towards the top of the fish tank. With another twist the filter is removed and the new one can be clicked in to place. There are little indentations that help to ensure that the filter clicks in to place and I can see at a glance that this is back in the right place. When I change the filter I also remove one third of the water, as advised when I first received the tank, and then replace this with clean tap water which has had a water treatment added to it (one is supplied with each service kit) and I use this water to clean any ornaments that need it. I normally use a clean brand new toothbrush to scrub these ornaments before putting them back in to the tank. I usually remove the water before I swap the filter and I do this by using a Biorb pump to remove water from the bottom of the tank to hopefully remove as much dirty water as possible and also remove some of the dirt itself from the ceramic media in the bottom of the tank. While the filter is out, the pump is off and the light is out of the water I usually take this opportunity to use the cleaning pad supplied in this kit to give the inside of the tank a little clean. I find that the pad works quite well at helping to remove marks and this just adds to the overall effect of the tank when it is in good condition. Once I have removed the water I click the filter back in place, always making sure that none of my smaller fish have gone in to the empty space, and then I add back in the conditioning treated water before putting the pump back on and putting the lid back on. === Price === These can be picked up for numerous prices and because I needed one recently and had forgot to order online I paid £6.79 from Pets At Home, however, I usually pay about £5.00 - £5.50 per kit by purchasing online and buying 6 or more at a time. These are widely available from pet stores and numerous websites and this is the standard service kit. There are also 'first aid' and 'no algae' ones available too if needed. === Overall opinion === Changing the service kit every four to eight weeks ensures that the water is kept clear and that your fish are living in a nice environment and I usually change mine every four to five weeks for the best results without going over the top and just wasting money. I find that this is the optimum amount of time, for my tank, to keep the fish healthy, happy and active. The changing of the filter is quick, simple and easy. Even with the effort involved in changing the water it still takes no more than 10 minutes to change the filter, clean any marks with the cleaning pad, treat the water and then add it back to the fish tank. I do try not to rush anything though as I don't want the fish to be too disturbed as I like them to feel happy and secure in their environment. Once I have finished using the service kit I find that the water is a little dirty but after an hour or so it is back to being as clear as ever and the bubble tube is able to work again at keeping the water fast flowing and the filter keeps it clean. Overall I would say that this is a very good service kit. It provides all that I need to keep my tank looking clean and tidy and as there are others available I can use one if I want to clear algae or one if I want to help eradicate any diseases from the tank. The price of this service kit is quite reasonable, even if bought from Pets At Home for almost £7.00, particularly as the process is so quick and the kit works very well. I have nothing but good things to say about this kit as it allows me to keep my tank looking clean and healthy at all times with minimal amount of effort.
I used the service kit when changing the water about every 3 or 4 weeks depending on how well stocked your tank is and what fish they are. I personally think the reef one guide on stocking levels is too high, I do regular water tests and about 6 white clouds is near the limit. The kit consists of the main case having activated carbon, ph stabilising crystals and a foam filter, the kit also contains a cleaning pad and instructions on what to do. I found the kits easy to use and clear what to do, I did find having the suction pump going near the old filter as I removed it caught a lot of the mess underneath the filter unit. I found you have to be careful as you undo the old filter as you might go too far and unclip it making a mess which takes a few more changes to get rid off. I always prepared the water for the change at least the night before with the packet of magic power which removes the chlorine and sorts the water ready for the fish. I did think they are a lot of money for something that looked very wasteful, only the parts that couldn't be reused where the carbon. The blue filter can be washed and used again to no degradation in performance. I did read a few reports while the carbon would work at cleaning the water, it does take useful minerals from the water as well. I used these kits for quite a few months but after reading a few things around fish keeping a few people commented on cheaper ways of doing the same thing. You can easily buy activated carbon pellets and replacement foam pads for pennies reusing the shell. This cuts the cost of the filter down to under 50p a change instead of 5 pounds plus. I have now stopped using the official kits and changed to the diy method, and other taking an extra minute or so it makes no difference to the tank.
If you own a Biorb, a service kit every couple of months will keep your fish healthy and happy and your water clear. The kit consists of a filter cartridge, water treatments and a algae cleaning pad. To service my Biorb, I remove the lighting unit and turn off the pump. I always keep the LED light switched on though, to keep the daylight/moonlight cycle going. I then remove the bubble tube and any ornaments which need a clean. I use a plastic pump to remove around one third of the water, concentrating on the bottom of the tank to remove waste. Then I remove the old filter cartridge from the bubble tube and discard it before cleaning the bubble tube and the ornaments in the old tank water. I then give the inside of the tank a good wipe with the cleaning pad and also use an algae magnet for any stubborn algae. Then I attach the new filter cartridge to the bubble tube and place it back in the tank, ensuring no fish are in the way! Now it's time to replace the water that was taken out, if you have tropical fish it is useful to use a thermometer to ensure the temperature of the water matches the water already in the tank. Important: add a dechlorinator to the water BEFORE you add it to the tank! You can use either the supplied sachets or a decholinator of your choice, I use Tetra Aquasafe. Now turn the pump back on and replace the lid with the light unit. The water may be a little cloudy as you may have stirred up some dust from the substrate but your new filter will make it crystal clear within minutes! I hope this has shown how easy it is to maintain these tanks, using the service kit. You can usually pick one up for around a fiver if you shop around. The process I have explained above usually takes me around ten minutes.
If you've read my earlier reviews you will know that I am a proud owner of a 35 litre Bi-Ube tropical fish tank, part of Reef One's Bi-Orb range. These tanks are extremely low maintenance and so much better looking than the old fashioned big square block tanks of old which would dominate an entire room. The reason that these tanks are so low maintenance (you only need to change about 1/3 of the water every 6-8 weeks) is because of the unique filtration system. If you add to that a couple of fish that feed on any algae build up then the tank more or less looks after itself. In order to carry out the periodic maintenance, you need to have one of these service kits. They are only made by Reef One and are available in most pet shops that stock fish. The prices can really vary so you are advised to shop around. I see at the moment they are £4.79 on Amazon. I have paid up to £7.50 in the past from an independent pet shop! What I normally do is buy them in bulk off Ebay, usually 5 at a time which generally works out at about £4-5 per kit. The kit itself it suitable for all freshwater Bi-Orb aquariums (coldwater and tropical fish). So if you decide to go for a bigger or smaller tank and have a few of these kits, then don't worry because the kits will still be compatible. In the kit you get a filter cartridge which is the key to how the tank stays clean. The cartridge sits at the bottom of the tank at the base of the bubble tube and essentially attracts and traps dirt - be that fish droppings, stray food flakes etc. It also contains a natural substrate which keeps the water pure in between changes - clever stuff. To change it over you simply take out the bubble tube, detach the old cartridge and throw it away (which is generally absolutely disgusting!) then attach the new one. It really is that simple. As I said, this should be done every 6-8 weeks but read the manual because this can vary depending on number of fish kept and size of the aquarium. The kit also contains a cleaning pad which you can use to give the inside of the tank a good wipe. This pad is a special material which will not leave scratches on the glass. Although it is only about 15cm squared, I have easily given the tank, the bubble tube and the L.E.D light a good old clean with one of them. Finally in the kit you get a little sachet of conditioners which you should add to the new water before you put it in the tank. This will remove the chlorine which is present in tap water. You can really see the difference within about an hour. As a lot of the grime is usually disturbed when you hoover (not literally) out 1/3 of the water. The new cartridge will attract a lot of that pretty much straight away. I know my fish are a lot happier and more active just after the tank has had a service. And there you have it, an excellent bit of kit from the superb Bi-Orb range. Tropical fish maintenance for around a fiver every other month - you can't really go wrong.