Do you remember the old-fashioned fish bowl? Kids used to marvel at goldfish swimming in these cheap bowls. Some advanced to rectangular tanks, but often that hobby was squelched by angry mothers upset with dead, belly-up fish floating in a smelling mass of green scum. You can enjoy the marvel of an aquatic orb, but include modern aquarium technology with a biOrb 60, or Mega biOrb freshwater aquarium, created by Reef One.
Norwich, near the eastern coast of England, is the home of Reef One. Matthew Stevenson and his father, Paul, started their company in 1998 with the idea of making fishkeeping an easy activity that also keeps the welfare of the fish in mind. Matthew created an 8-gallon (30-liter) sphere with a complete five-stage filtration system and incorporated lighting for a product that was better than a fish bowl, but with less upkeep than a large and expensive tank. Reef One has retailers in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, Turkey, China, Hong Kong, Laos and Australia.
The Mega biOrb, also called a biOrb 60, holds 16 gallons (60 liters) of water. The tank portion of this sphere is made from acrylic. It’s 20.4 inches (52 centimeters) high and 19.6 inches (50 centimeters) wide. This is a perfect size for more advanced species of freshwater fish. It also mirrors a larger aquarium, but maintains the smaller maintenance dynamic that Reef One stresses.
A spherical shape filled with water can create distortions. Items at the back of the tank appear larger through the front. But, that visual deformation is actually admired by some reviewers of this freshwater aquarium. Many prefer a spherical shape to a cubed or rectangular aquarium. Purists might balk at a tank made from acrylic. Reef One says acrylic has a transparency rating of 93 percent, compared to 70 for glass. Acrylic is strong. A sheet of acrylic over one inch (32 millimeters) thick resists bullets. It can bend, meaning it’s resistant to breaking. Acrylic maintains insulating properties. It weighs 50 percent less than glass.
Ceramic media comes in a biological filtering system that receives water conditioner and helpful bacteria when first installed. The media, which doubles as gravel in the bottom of the biOrb, contains multiple surfaces, which vastly enhances the effective surface area that houses the filtering bacteria. All filtering is performed through a lift tube in the center of the sphere. This tube also contains chemical and mechanical filtering, as well as aeration. By replacing the filter cartridge once a month and changing a third of the water, you can easily maintain this freshwater aquarium.
There are two options of Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lighting available with a Mega biOrb, or biOrb 60 aquarium. One is the standard LED light in a plastic covering that’s curved to help moisture run off. The other option is called an Intelligent LED Light that uses a built-in timer which changes light to replicate a 24-hour period of sunlight and moonlight. The daylight mode shines with true white light. Blue moonlight shines at night, revealing a stunning effect in your spherical freshwater aquarium.
A low-voltage pump comes with the biOrb that quietly provides air to the aquarium. Included is a one-way valve and five feet (1.5 meters) of hose. All electrical accessories plug into a 12-volt transformer. You also get an air stone, a filter cartridge and instructions.
Reef One also sells a biOrb Heater pack, that includes a 50-watt heater, a heater stand for connecting your heater to the spherical tank, a glass thermometer and a sample of fish food. Reviewers claim that if you keep your home or office at normal room temperature, tropical fish live well in a biOrb freshwater aquarium. If you lower your thermostat, an aquarium heater is recommended.
Following the instructions supplied by Reef One is in order. Put too many fish in a biOrb and you’re back to the days of mad mothers viewing dead fish.
Reef One brings all of the charm of a goldfish bowl into the technology of today’s aquarium filtration so that you can enjoy freshwater fish with ease. The orbital shape looks pleasing and contributes to a thorough cleaning of your water, since non-circulatory corners do not exist.