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Biorb - different pump?

(5 Posts)
Lookslikeimstuckhere Fri 07-Nov-14 18:57:31

For my sins, I have a Biorb Life thingy, 30L. I currently have 4 WCM Minnows and a Platy which all get along quite happily.

However, when my original biorb pump gave up I bought the latest version which is total shit not very efficient and noisy.

I was thinking about swapping to an in tank type filter and pump such as the eheim aquaball. In doing this I was hoping that I'd also be able to ditch the fish suicide that is the ceramic media and replace with sand.

So my questions are:
Anyone have a experience of the eheim aquaball? Especially in a Biorb.
Has anyone successfully changed the ceramic media to sand? I would keep some of the ceramic media in a net or something whilst the system re-stabilises.

EauRouge Fri 07-Nov-14 22:16:35

You'd have to ditch the biorb filter completely if you want to use sand, but you are right about the ceramic media damaging fish. The aquaball is a good filter and you should be able to fit a bag of the biorb ceramic media in there (you might need to trim the sponge a bit)- make sure you put it in a bag so that the media doesn't get into the filter impeller and knacker it. You can get bags especially for ceramic media or you can stick it in a clean stocking.

But the tank you have is too small and overstocked, so you'd still be teetering on the edge of crappy water quality all the time. Also the minnows really need to live in a larger group, as does the platy which also has very different requirements to the minnows.

Is there any reason why you can't replace the biorb with something a bit more suitable? If not, even if you just rehomed the platy that would make things a bit better.

Lookslikeimstuckhere Sat 08-Nov-14 00:04:21

Thanks for the advice, is it really overstocked? All fish shops and everything I had read suggested that it was ok confused

Originally I had 6 WCMM and was just going stick at that. I bought two platys when two of the WCMM died in the media after panicking during a water change. And then one of the platys committed media suicide as well. I'm clearly scary...

The water quality has been fine but you could be right about it teetering on the edge of crappy. It can need a few water changes to keep it ok. Plus the WCMM are dirty!

I'm not changing tanks now even though I'm prepared to admit it's a shite tank, but would rehome if it would be better for the fish. I originally wanted Tetras but after seeing the media in situ, decided that they'd just be too small. Hence the sand!

Can one rehome the fish easily? I'll ask at my local fish place. Poor little fellas.

EauRouge Sat 08-Nov-14 08:22:33

There are loads of groups on Facebook if you're on there, you should be able to find someone that's got space for a platy. That way you can be a bit more selective about where he goes as well.

If you go by the old inch per gallon guideline then you're overstocked. All of the guidelines have some kind of flaw though, but the problem you have is that the tank is very small (small bodies of water are unstable) and it has a small surface area compare to volume because the design is tall rather than long iyswim.

If you really wanted to keep a tank that size then you could probably get away with a single male betta, but you have to keep a really close eye on it. If something happened, like the heater jammed on, then in a 30 litre tank it would go wrong really quickly. Twice that volume and you'd have longer to spot it and fix it. I don't know why smaller tanks are marketed at beginners, they are a sodding nightmare to maintain. 60 litres is my minimum, I am too lazy to do more than one water change a week grin

Minnows are really active fish so they need the space to zip about, and they are shoalers so the bigger the group, the better (without overstocking obv). I would say 6 would be a good minimum size and a 60 litre would house them quite happily.

Lookslikeimstuckhere Sat 08-Nov-14 21:03:44

Thank you so much for your advice, will definitely have a look for some Facebook groups.

Wish fish shops were more informed...

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