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Old 05-29-2009, 02:50 PM   #1 
pdxKris
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Not happy with Baby Biorb, any advice?

Hey all,

My wife and I are completely new to fish, but recently decided to get a Betta. We looked at all of the pamphlets at the LFS, and did a little internet research here and there (but not enough!). After a couple of days we thought we knew enough and went and got a male Betta, a baby Biorb (4g), and some necessities (water testers, food, a plant, etc). As usual, no mention from the LFS about the nitrogen cycle, or much else for that matter!

So, itís been a couple of days and our little guy seems real happy so far, but Iím not sure we made a good decision on the tank. It comes with large ceramic rocks that line the bottom and are apparently part of the filtration system. The directions state that the good bacteria live on those rocks, so youíre not supposed to remove them or use any other type of substrate.

Here are some of my issues w/ the Baby Biorb:
1) The opening is relatively small (a little larger than a closed fist), so I suspect itís going to be a chore if we ever need to do a deep clean. It also makes it challenging to get a scoop in there to get out uneaten food. We also would like 1 or 2 ADFís in the future, and Iíve heard sometimes you have to be able to get the food directly to themÖ. Iím not sure thatís going to be possible with such a small opening.

2) Since all wires have to go in through hole in the middle of the top, cords for the thermometer and heater dangle from the center of the bowl (not pictured, we added the thermometer after we took the pic). We havenít picked up a heater yet, but I suspect Iím going to have a challenge finding one that fits/sits nicely in a round bowl.

3) Because of the curved surface, it really distorts the view. Sometimes (like in the picture below), he looks 3-4Ē long when in reality heís only about 1.25Ē, other times, you canít even see him because of how the light bends. Iíd prefer to be able to see everything in the tank at one time, rather than moving side to side to see him when he goes into ďblind spotsĒ.

4) Iíve read that the supplied rocks have been known to be too sharp for Bettas, but we havenít seen a problem yet in our 2 days with it. Iíd prefer to use the small aquarium rocks that many other people seem to use. I suspect with the included rocks we wouldnít be able to get ghost shrimp or other bottom dwellers either (instead of the ADFs)?

5) With the small opening, and the pillar in the center, I think it'll be hard to get any reasonably sized container in there to remove old water during cleaning.

6) It makes surface bubbles constantly, and they always push from the center to the edge then break. I suspect if he were try to make a bubble nest, all of his bubbles would pop?
So.. My wife absolutely loves the look of the Baby Biorb, but Iím not sure itís worth the hassle. Does anybody else have one that can weigh in on the above? If I get my way itís going back to the store and a nice 6-12 gallon rectangle tank will replace it, but I think I have a fight on my hands

Wow.. sorry for the huge first post, sometimes my fingers don't know when to quit



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Old 05-29-2009, 03:38 PM   #2 
IonBaller07
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Well as for the rocks, the benificial can grow on most if not all substrate, the stuff you were supplied with might be better in some way but it certainly would not hurt getting something you prefer.

As for your questions:
1) You shouldnt have to do too deep of a clean but if you find the need you could just drain the tank and swish some water around it, or you could ghetto a cleaning device by like wrapping a towel around a rod and scrubbing with it. As fod feeding the ADF's they make some nice long tweezer-like feeding tongs used to feed reptiles, they should work.
2) That might be an issue, I think they make some "heater mats" that you can stick under it or to the side of the bowl. I heard they dont work too good but Im sure its better than nothing.
3) I know what you mean, I had a 1g bowl and it was basicallly all a blind spot.
4) Some rocks are too sharp for bettas but most are fine, I would be more worried about the "other bottom dwellers" though, the most common are cory cats and such and they could get their bellies cut, but like I said you could switch your substrate if needed.
5) Most pet stores carry rather small gravel vacs that Im sure could fit in the opening and suck out all the water, they are only about $7 too.
6) Yes, anything that disturbes the surface will destory the bubblenest, but it is not essential for him to blow the nest unless hes being bred. He will be just as happy and healthy if he blows it and it pops as if it stayed.


Nice betta by the way, quite a cutey.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:25 PM   #3 
MrVampire181
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The only problem I see is the water changing, so how would you fit a gravel vacuume in there?

As for the bubble nests, they are constructed of sticky cement like spit from Mr.Betta. I've seen males build nests next to power filters so it might not be a problem.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:45 PM   #4 
dramaqueen
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If it were me, I'd get a different kind of container for the fish.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:49 PM   #5 
IonBaller07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmhalfmoon View Post
The only problem I see is the water changing, so how would you fit a gravel vacuume in there?

As for the bubble nests, they are constructed of sticky cement like spit from Mr.Betta. I've seen males build nests next to power filters so it might not be a problem.
This is true, one of my males nests survived a 100% water change by sticking to the wall. It even got caught in the downflow when pouring the new water and still managed to float up to the top.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:38 PM   #6 
onekatietwo
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I'm pretty sure some shrimp or otos would work fine with the supplied rocks.

Nothing sounds like it's really that bad, just a matter of whether or not you want to deal with the inconvenience.

A 4 gallon is just small enough that oyu could handle partial water changes with a turkey baster if you can't find a gravel vac that will work (but it will take longer and be kind of annoying. Still, i usually use one with my 5 gallon)

And as far as replacing the substrate goes, I'm sure you can. It looks like an undergravel filter? Just don't get anything too fine.
But telling you that you can't replace it is probably just some marketing scheme. Any reasonably sized gravel or rocks will work fine in that, I think.

I don't know about the heater. Other people on the forum have used heaters in bowl shaped tanks, so somebody should be able to help you out on that front.

Good luck! It is SUCH a stylish tank. I might get one later (though now maybe I'll opt for a larger one after reading all your cons...) It does sound really annoying though.
Maybe make the wife do all the maintenance unless she lets you replace it? Haha.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:47 PM   #7 
dramaqueen
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Originally Posted by onekatietwo View Post
Maybe make the wife do all the maintenance unless she lets you replace it? Haha.
I agree! lol
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:57 PM   #8 
pdxKris
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Thanks for all of the information so far, it really helps to get more opinions some times.

After much debate I think we're going to upgrade to this (Eclipse 12): http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2752388

I'm still doing a bit of research on it this evening, so if there's a good reason to avoid that tank (or specific cons I should weigh while considering it), please let me know! She was pretty dead set against average rectangle tanks with seams, and I was really shooting for a 10g+ tank, and this seems to be the best compromise I could find. At first glance it also seems to get great reviews as well.

Regarding substrate, are there any advantages over the various types (specifically rocks vs sand)? What about if we wanted to add something like corydoras in the future?



Quote:
Originally Posted by onekatietwo View Post
Maybe make the wife do all the maintenance unless she lets you replace it? Haha.
Funny you mention that, I think that was what sealed the deal
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:29 AM   #9 
dramaqueen
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If you want to add corydoras in the future,you should go with a sand substrate. Sand is best for them so they won't hurt their barbels.
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:13 PM   #10 
AngelicScars
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Sounds like your alternative will work much better. I can understand not wanting a typical rectangular tank, but sometimes they just work better! :P
You can always fancy up the tank so it's not so ordinary.
Oh, and your little guy is a beauty!
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