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biOrb Flow 30 - First tank

fishy_sean94

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Hello :)

I've just joined and am hoping for a little advice and some help as I am considering getting a biOrb Flow 30 tank.

I would love to have a bigger tank however due to space I'm very limited and can only really fit a tank being around 40cm wide, so with that in mind if anyone can recommend a different tank that would be good too.

I'd like to have some tropical fish but wanted some advice on what kinds and how many would be 'appropriate' for a tank like the biOrb Flow (30 litre).
I was thinking of having a few tetras and/or guppies in the tank but am not sure if I could have a mix of these and if so which particular ones would be best suited and how many of each etc?

Any advice would be appreciated :)
 

Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Don't buy a bio-orb. They are awful things.
Look for a standard rectangular tank because they have a better surface area for the fish. Standard tanks are easier to get filters and lights for and are a bit easier to clean and maintain.
Bio-orbs look fancy but in my opinion, they just suck.
 

Retired Viking

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Hello and welcome to the forum, Most tetras like neon or glow light need to be in groups of 6 or more. With guppies you may want all of the same sex unless you want a tank full of fry. Males are better looking.
 
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fishy_sean94

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Thanks for the replies :)

It seems the biOrb's don't have a very good reputation.
I suppose the stylish looks of them is what attracted me to them but they do seem very 'limited' in terms of what fish you can comfortably put in them.

I've had another quick look around and have come across the 'Fluval Flex 57 litre' tank, which seems to have good reviews (on Amazon at least).
It's almost twice the capacity as the Flow but is virtually the same width which is good for me.
Would this tank be a better choice? How many fish/what types would be best for this size/style of tank?
 

JuiceBox52

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Thanks for the replies :)

It seems the biOrb's don't have a very good reputation.
I suppose the stylish looks of them is what attracted me to them but they do seem very 'limited' in terms of what fish you can comfortably put in them.

I've had another quick look around and have come across the 'Fluval Flex 57 litre' tank, which seems to have good reviews (on Amazon at least).
It's almost twice the capacity as the Flow but is virtually the same width which is good for me.
Would this tank be a better choice? How many fish/what types would be best for this size/style of tank?
This is a better tank for sure. Guppies require hard water, while tetras need soft. Do you know your waters hardness? You might be able to find it on your water providers website
 

PheonixKingZ

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Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

Don’t buy the bio orbs. They are terrible. Mostly because they’re essentially fish bowls. Try to get a larger/more surface area tank.


Fluval Flex 57 litre' tank
This is a really good tank. My good friend has one of these and it’s absolutely awesome. The filter is really good as well.

It all depends on what your water quality, GH, and your parameters.

I would maybe do a smaller species. A Betta with some shrimp and snails would be super cool. You can do a lot with a beautiful tank like that.
 
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fishy_sean94

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This is a better tank for sure. Guppies require hard water, while tetras need soft. Do you know your waters hardness? You might be able to find it on your water providers website
The water here is "very hard" according to our water provider's website.
The full info it lists is:

366 mg/l (or parts per million)Calcium Carbonate
146.4 mg/l (or parts per million)Calcium
25.474 °CDegrees Clark
36.6 °FDegrees French
20.789 °dHDegrees German
3.66 mmol/lMillimoles

Does this mean there is no way I can have tetras in my tank?

Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

Don’t buy the bio orbs. They are terrible. Mostly because they’re essentially fish bowls. Try to get a larger/more surface area tank.


This is a really good tank. My good friend has one of these and it’s absolutely awesome. The filter is really good as well.

It all depends on what your water quality, GH, and your parameters.

I would maybe do a smaller species. A Betta with some shrimp and snails would be super cool. You can do a lot with a beautiful tank like that.
Thanks and yep I've already gone off the biOrb idea and liking the Fluval much better :)

I believe the biOrb has to have a specific type of stones/gravel at the bottom for it's filter to work correctly, but with this Fluval tank I can choose my own gravel to have as well, is that correct?
 
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fishy_sean94

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A couple of extra questions regarding the Fluval Flex tank.

Would I be able to have a catfish in this tank and/or a beta fish with any others or is the latter only recommended to be pretty much on it's own in a tank this size?
 

essjay

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A betta should be kept on his (or her) own, they are not community fish.

You have very hard water. Fish profiles use one of two units; the figures you need from your table are 366 ppm and
20.789 german degrees, which is also called dH. Round it up to 21 dH.

This is too hard for tetras, and bettas. And most catfish, I'm afraid. But it is fine for livebearers. In the Flex, I would look at endlers. Just males because females will give birth to a batch of fry every month and soon over populate the tank. Endlers come in several different colours and patterns and having shorter tails than guppies they are less prone to tail damage. They are also less inbred.

If you really, really want tetras you would have to change the hardness. This means either mixing a bit of your tap water with a lot of pure water such as reverse osmosis (RO), or using all RO and adding a few minerals back in. This is a lot more expensive than using plain tap water. RO can be bought from a fish store or you can get a machine to make your own. If you are on a water meter, it is expensive as it wastes a lot of water.
 
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fishy_sean94

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A betta should be kept on his (or her) own, they are not community fish.

You have very hard water. Fish profiles use one of two units; the figures you need from your table are 366 ppm and
20.789 german degrees, which is also called dH. Round it up to 21 dH.

This is too hard for tetras, and bettas. And most catfish, I'm afraid. But it is fine for livebearers. In the Flex, I would look at endlers. Just males because females will give birth to a batch of fry every month and soon over populate the tank. Endlers come in several different colours and patterns and having shorter tails than guppies they are less prone to tail damage. They are also less inbred.

If you really, really want tetras you would have to change the hardness. This means either mixing a bit of your tap water with a lot of pure water such as reverse osmosis (RO), or using all RO and adding a few minerals back in. This is a lot more expensive than using plain tap water. RO can be bought from a fish store or you can get a machine to make your own. If you are on a water meter, it is expensive as it wastes a lot of water.
That's a bit dissapointing :(
I never knew this sort of thing mattered so much (stupid of me I suppose), mostly because in the past my family have had various fish tanks in the past (in the same area) with a variety of tropical fish, including tetras with no issues.
Being quite young in those days I don't remember greatly but can't recall the fish acting unusual in any way or anything like that either.
I also remember my dad having a tank with a betta fish in it, along with other fish also with no issue as far as I can recall.

Were they just lucky or?

I'm enjoying doing my research now though and getting advice here as I'd like to do things 'properly' with my first tank and get it right.

Is this compatibility chart incorrect, as it says female bettas are compatible with fish such as tetras, guppies and a few others?
 

seangee

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Is this compatibility chart incorrect, as it says female bettas are compatible with fish such as tetras, guppies and a few others?
There are some really glaring errors / inaccuracies on that chart I'm afraid. I would not rely on that.
In the Flex, I would look at endlers. Just males because females will give birth to a batch of fry every month
That's the best I can think of for the flex with your water as it comes out of the tap.

@essjay's comments are all spot on so I won't repeat them. I have opted to use RO instead of my very hard tap water - but you need to think about this carefully as it is a big commitment.
 

essjay

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Keeping soft water fish in hard water won't kill them instantly but they won't live as long as they should. Their bodies have evolved to hang on to the hard water minerals (calcium and some magnesium) they take in as there are not many in soft water. When they are put in hard water they still keep hanging on to the minerals and they end up with so much it forms calcium deposits in their organs, which reduce the life span.
 

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It is too bad that they have not develop a way for fish to handle better hard and soft water. Or a conditioner that would treat hard water and make it soft for fish and an additive that would make water hard for fish.
 

essjay

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There are additives that make soft water hard - Rift Lake salts and the remineralisation salts for adding to RO water. It's removing minerals that's not possible by adding something else. That would only work by adding something that turns calcium and magnesium into an insoluble salt, but that would precipitate them out onto the bottom of the container and then you'd have to remove that before putting the water in the tank. And leave some of the added chemical in the water.
 
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