Posts tagged ‘set up’

Setting up: comparing Tetra AquaArt aquarium with biOrb

I was really impressed at how easy it was to set up the Tetra AquaArt aquarium. So, I thought it might be interesting to compare setting up the AquaArt with setting up the biOrb.

The Tetratec filter for the AquaArt aquarium couldn’t be easier to install. It’s not particularly difficult to insert a filter cartridge into a biOrb (at worst, a little fiddly). But with the AquaArt, the filter cartridge just slides straight into the filter unit. There is even a convenient flap in the hood to allow easy access for cartridge changes. No need to get hands wet!

The biOrb comes with substrate included. However, you MUST use this substrate as it forms part of the filtration system. It is fairly rocky material and, therefore, not great for bottomfeeders. The AquaArt tank does not come with any substrate (‘complete aquarium kit’?). However, there is a little more flexibility in what you can use. Fine sand, however, is not recommended with the Tetratec filter which comes in the AquaArt package.

The biOrb comes with an airpump which is very easy to set up and produces a constant flow of bubbles through the bubble tube. You MUST keep this running all the time because it works in conjunction with the filtration system. I’ve had my airpump running for a year and a half with no problems. By contrast, I was very disappointed to find that Tetra’s ‘complete aquarium kit’ doesn’t contain an airpump.

Another point to note is that a coldwater biOrb runs all the power it needs through one socket: light, air pump and filtration system (a second socket is needed for heater to keep tropical fish). Alternatively, the AquaArt requires numerous sockets (one for light, one for filter, one for airpump…).

Both the biOrb and the AquaArt include lighting. I upgraded my substantial halogen biOrb light with the slimline LED lighting system which is preprogrammed to include periods of daylight and moonlight over a 24hr period. The AquaArt has a switch on the side of the hood which can be turned on and off on demand and perfectly illuminates the tank.

When comparing the cost of both aquariums, the AquaArt is the cheaper option. If you add on the cost of substrate and an airpump to the price of an AquaArt aquarium, it will probably still be the best value. It represents great value for money, in my opinion.

Overall, the AquaArt tank was so easy to set up but don’t expect to find everything you need to set up an aquarium in the box. It would probably be best described as an ‘almost complete aquarium kit’. The biOrb required more time and attention to get it up and running; its requirements are possibly more rigid than the AquaArt tank. But it does come with everything you need in the box!

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October 17, 2008 at 8:27 am Leave a comment


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