Running the Biorb filter without activated carbon -biorb forum method 1
It is possible and popular to run aquarium filters without chemical filtration such as activated carbon (in the BiOrb, it is the the black pellets located under the BiOrb filter sponge). A aquarium will still thrive as a healthy environment with just the filter sponge in place. Correct feeding, stocking levels together with regular 10% weekly water changes will ensure all the trace elements are replenished and levels kept in check.
Changing the Biorb filter sponge is so quick and easy, it literally takes minuites!
If running a BiOrb with real plants which is beneficial as real plants consume nitrates it can be advantageous to add a liquid plant food from time to time, having the filter activated carbon free has a benefit as there is no chance the carbon would remove some of the liquid plant food from the water column.
When fishless cycling a BiOrb which is recommended to create a safe and healthy environment for your fish, it is important before starting the fishless cycle that any activated carbon (and zeolite) should be removed from the BiOrb filter, a popular fishless cycling method on the biorbforum is using the Waterlife Biomature and Bacterlife fishless cycling products, activated carbon will likely remove the Waterlife products from the water meaning the tank can not cycle effectively.
If you are running the standard BiOrb filter with the white Zeolite pellets located under the biorb filter sponge these should also be removed from the filter as Zeolite will remove the Ammonia which essential to fishless cycle a aquarium. Once the fishless cycle is completed your fish can be safely and slowly added, this help ensure ammonia levels will be processed quickly and safely by the beneficial bacteria present. It is not adviable to use zeolite in a aquarium long term as the beneficial bacteria requires ammonia to survive. For more information on zeolite please check out our zeolite article.
The biorbforum recommends to keep and use the initial BiOrb filter sponge for the first three months, this will ensure that beneficial bacteria has time to colonise on any decor, media in the BiOrb. If the biOrb sponge gets dirty simply give it a swish in removed tank water when doing your 10% weekly water change. After the three months has passed there is adequate benificial bacteria present and a fresh orb-it sponge can safely be added every one to two months.
If you would like further tips and advice on how to use this BiOrb filter method and all aspects of the biOrb, biOrb Flow, BiUbe, BiOrb Life and BiOrb Halo aquariums please come and join us and post any queries on the biorbforum, we are always happy to help!