Running the Biorb filter with activated carbon - biorb forum method 2

Aquarium filtration can be run with the addition of a chemical filtration such as activated carbon. Activated carbon removes both good and bad from the water column. It removes some organic pollutants which often discolour the water a yellowish colour (this can also be achieved with regular weekly 10% water changes), it will also remove some metals, minerals and chemicals including medications and some liquid plant foods.
If activated carbon is used it is important it is replaced regularly as once it’s become fully exhausted it will no longer do the task it has been added to do and should there be a sudden shift in water chemistry it has the potential to release back into the water the pollutants it has removed. Every brand of activated carbon is different but if you want to use it 24/7 we recommend it should be replaced every four to five weeks.

Changing the Biorb filter sponge and replacing the activated carbon pellets is so quick and easy, it litterally takes minuites!

A good quality activated carbon is essential as some brands have elevated levels of phosphate, this can long term lead to algae issues in the tank. There are a selection of excellent brands to choose from, with the BiOrb filters it must be carbon pellets - non pellets will be very messy and will clog the BiOrb filter and escape from the filter housing into the BiOrb.

Matrix_carbonOn the biorbforum a trusted and recommend activated carbon pellet is the Seachem Matrix Carbon, it is likely available at a local fish store, online or from the biorbforum sponsors Charterhouse Aquatics this pot will likely last in excess of a year if being replaced on a monthly basis, offering excellent quality and value for money.

When fishless cycling a BiOrb aquarium which is recommended to create a safe environment for your fish, a popular fishless cycling method on the biorbforum is to use the Waterlife Biomature and Bacterlife products, it is important before starting the fishless cycle that any activated carbon should be removed from the BiOrb filter as this will likely strip the Waterlife products from the water. 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

We recommend to keep and use the initial BiOrb filter sponge for the first three months, this will ensure that beneficial bacteria has sufficient time to colonise on any decor, large pea gravel or ceramic media within the BiOrb. If the orb-it filter sponge gets dirty simply give it a swish in removed tank water when doing your 10% weekly water changes. After the three month period a fresh orb-it filter sponge can safely be added every one to two months. As mentioned above the carbon pellets should be replaced every four to five weeks.


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!