BiOrb vs Fluval Comparison: Top 5 Aquarium Tanks Reviewed

BiOrb vs Fluval

When looking for a small, compact aquarium tank suitable for limited spaces, BiOrb vs Fluval, two of the most popular brands to consider. Both companies offer contemporary curved acrylic designs perfect for bringing the tranquility of an underwater ecosystem into apartments, offices, or homes with minimal floor area.

In this comprehensive comparison guide, we will analyze the key features, sizes, and functionality of the top models from BiOrb and Fluval. By understanding the unique pros and cons of each tank, you can make an informed decision on the best option for your needs.

An Introduction to BiOrb and Fluval Tanks

BiOrb and Fluval are leading manufacturers of small-footprint aquariums, using modern materials and technology to create eye-catching tanks.

BiOrb emphasizes unusual curved shapes, mimicking the natural flow of water. The tanks feature colorful LED lighting and a multi-stage filtration system housed in the base. Available in acrylic or glass, the BiOrb range offers contemporary styling for fresh or saltwater aquariums.

Fluval focuses on sleek, minimalist rectangular designs with panoramic viewing windows. The tanks incorporate high-tech filtration with adjustable flow rates and energy-efficient LED lighting. Fluval offers glass tanks in freshwater and marine configurations.

Both brands effectively combine form and functionality to appeal to urban dwellers, design enthusiasts, or anyone constrained by space. When choosing between them, you\\\’ll want to consider size needs, filtration performance, aesthetics, and cost.

How Many Fish Can You House in Each Tank?

When stocking a small aquarium, there is always the temptation to overload the tank with too many fish. However, sticking to the recommended capacity ensures healthy water quality and active fish.

Understanding the \”Inch Per Gallon\” Rule

A common guideline for determining fish capacity is the \”inch per gallon\” rule. This suggests allowing 1 inch of adult fish length per 1 US gallon of water.

For example, in a 5 US gallon tank you could house:

  • 5 x 1 inch fish
  • 2 x 2 inch fish
  • 1 x 5 inch fish

This rule provides a rough estimate but has limitations. The shape, decor, filtration and other factors in your tank can further restrict capacity.

Key Factors Affecting Fish Capacity

Tank size – Small tanks under 10 gallons are best for housing a single betta, shrimp colony or micro school of petite fish. Larger tanks offer more flexibility.

Fish size – Stock small, slender fish for best results. Large fish need much more room.

Tank decor – Decorations, substrates and plants take up swimming space, so factor that into stocking.

Filtration – More powerful filtration supports higher bio-loads but creates strong currents that some fish dislike.

Fish behavior – Aggressive or territorial fish need more personal space than shoaling community fish.

Growth – Baby fish grow quickly, so plan space for their adult size.

With those considerations in mind, let’s examine popular tank sizes and fish capacity.

Stocking 5 Gallon Tanks

Best for:

  • 1 betta OR a single small species like guppies, tetras, rasboras
  • Shrimp colony
  • Snails

Avoid overcrowding by limiting to 1-2 inches of fish maximum.

Stocking 10 Gallon Tanks

Best for:

  • 1 betta plus a few small shoaling fish like neon tetras, harlequin rasboras
  • 1 dwarf gourami or honey gourami
  • Small community of micro fish under 2 inches long

Aim for only 3-5 inches of fish.

Stocking 15+ Gallon Tanks

Best for:

  • Pair of dwarf gouramis
  • Schools of small tetras, danios, rasboras or white cloud minnows
  • Betta sorority for female bettas
  • Community tank with medium tetra species

Limit to only 1 inch per gallon and select peaceful species.

BiOrb and Fluval Tank Sizes

Now that we understand general fish capacity guidelines, how do the tanks sizes of BiOrb and Fluval compare?

BiOrb tanks range from small 5-15 gallon nano models to larger 30-60 gallon tanks. They offer these popular sizes:

  • BiOrb LIFE 15 gallon
  • BiOrb FLOW 30 gallon
  • BiOrb LIFE 60 gallon

Fluval tanks start at 15 gallons and go up to 25 gallons. Their models include:

  • Fluval FLEX 15 gallon
  • Fluval SPEC 19 gallon
  • Fluval SPEC 25 gallon

Based on these sizes, BiOrb provides more choice for nano tanks under 10 gallons, while Fluval focuses on larger 15+ gallon configurations.

Both brands can comfortably house the small fish species, bettas, shrimp, and snails recommended for tanks under 20 gallons. Now let\\\’s analyze how the tank designs and functionality of each compare.

Spotlight on BiOrb Aquariums and Their Features

BiOrb favors round, spherical acrylic tank designs inspired by the natural shape of water bubbles. The curved tanks are stylish centerpieces, though the unconventional shape does impact functionality.

Key Features of BiOrb Tanks

  • Acrylic construction – Made of tough acrylic rather than glass for light weight.
  • Curved shape – Distinctive round shape has aesthetic appeal.
  • Nano to medium sizes – Ranging from 5 to 60 gallons.
  • LED lighting – Integrated LED light capsules in the lids.
  • Multi-stage filtration – Uses air-driven filtration without motors.
  • Starter kits – Most models offer all-in-one starter kits.

Let\\\’s examine some of these features in more detail.

Innovative Use of LED Lighting in BiOrbs

One highlight of BiOrb aquariums is the unique LED lighting built into the tank lid. The lights sit in a raised dome that amplifies illumination while also creating a shimmer effect.

The LEDs generate little heat, keeping water temperatures stable. Models use either warm white or RGB color changing LEDs. The lights are energy efficient and offer customizable intensity.

The Multi-Stage BiOrb Filter System

At the base of each BiOrb is the filtration unit. The patented filtration uses air pressure to drive water through various media stages.

The key steps in the filtration process are:

  • Oxygenation – Bubbles oxygenate the water.
  • Mechanical – Sponge removes debris.
  • Biological – Ceramic media houses beneficial bacteria.
  • Chemical – Activated carbon removes impurities.

This air-powered multi-stage filtration eliminates the need for motorized pumps and creates gentle water circulation. The media stages provide thorough mechanical, biological and chemical filtration to maintain clarity and water quality.

Acrylic Over Glass – Why BiOrb Prefers Acrylic

Most mass market aquariums are made using tempered soda lime glass. It\\\’s inexpensive but very heavy and prone to cracking.

BiOrb instead constructs their tanks from acrylic. Compared to glass, acrylic offers many benefits:

  • Lighter weight – Acrylic is half the weight of glass, making tanks easier to handle.
  • Impact resistance – Less prone to cracking or shattering if knocked.
  • Optical clarity – Transmits light better than standard glass for crystal clear viewing.
  • Thermal insulation – Acrylic is a poor conductor, reducing temperature fluctuations.
  • UV protection – Acrylic blocks more UV light that can trigger algae growth.
  • Color and design – Can be tinted, etched, molded or shaped more easily than glass.

The innovative curved designs of BiOrb tanks take advantage of acrylic\\\’s flexibility while also being durable and scratch-resistant.

Next let\\\’s overview some of BiOrb\\\’s most popular tank models.

BiOrb Tank Models Showcase

BiOrb offers unique tanks in a variety of shapes and sizes. Their most popular models for home use include:

BiOrb Classic Tank


The BiOrb Classic features a spherical shape for a bold look. Despite the small footprint, its bowl-style design provides panoramic 360 degree views.

Sizes available:

  • BiOrb Classic 4 gal – 12\\\” diameter
  • BiOrb Classic 8 gal – 13\\\” diameter
  • BiOrb Classic 15 gal – 18\\\” diameter
  • BiOrb Classic 30 gal – 22\\\” diameter

The larger 30 gallon size works well as an office tank or tranquil living room centerpiece. Complete setups include a halogen lamp, air pump, water stabilization drops, and ceramic media.

BiOrb Life Tanks


The BiOrb Life tanks feature a flattened oval shape. This \\\\\\\”squashed sphere\\\\\\\” design gives fish more horizontal swimming space than a full globe shape.

Available sizes:

  • BiOrb Life 7.5 gal – 19\\\” x 11\\\”
  • BiOrb Life 15 gal – 22\\\” x 14\\\”
  • BiOrb Life 30 gal – 25\\\” x 17\\\”
  • BiOrb Life 60 gal – 30\\\” x 18\\\”

Starter kits include white or color LEDs, ceramic media, water treatments, decorative sand, and a 5-year warranty on the acrylic tank.

BiOrb Tube Tanks


The Tube tank lives up to its name – featuring a long cylindrical design perfect for squeezing into tight spaces.

Available in two sizes:

  • BiOrb Tube 20 gal – 16\\\” diameter, 25\\\” tall
  • BiOrb Tube 30 gal – 18\\\” diameter, 25\\\” tall

These dimensions give fish a lot of vertical range but a narrow footprint, maximizing use of floor space. Starter kits include white LED lighting, filtration, and accessories.

BiOrb tanks stand out for their unusual shapes and modern aesthetic. Next we\\\\\\\’ll examine the more traditional rectangular designs of Fluval aquariums.

An In-Depth Look at Fluval Tanks

Whereas BiOrb focuses on round shapes, Fluval opts for geometric lines and large straight-view windows. Functionality takes priority over unusual form factors.

Key Features of Fluval Tanks

  • Glass construction – Made using thicker, low-iron glass for clarity.
  • Rectangle and cube shapes – Symmetrical shapes create a contemporary style.
  • Medium sizes – Spanning 15-25+ gallons.
  • Sliding panes – Front and side panels slide for easy access and maintenance.
  • Advanced filtration – Powerful customizable filtration with foam, carbon, and BioMedia.
  • LED lighting – Full-spectrum or RGB LED arrays with effects and control.

Some of the most beneficial features of Fluval tanks are the high-tech filtration and lighting systems.

Fluval\\\’s Energy Efficient LED Aquarium Lighting

All Fluval aquariums come with integrated LED panels providing intense illumination. The LEDs generate minimal heat while consuming a fraction of the electricity of fluorescent or halogen lights.

Higher-end Fluval models include:

  • Full spectrum LEDs – Simulate natural sunlight for vibrant plant and fish colors.
  • RGB LEDs – Create special effects like storms, moonlights, and sunlight cycles.
  • Wireless control – Adjust lighting colors, effects, and timings wirelessly.

Fluval combines energy efficiency, naturalistic lighting, and wireless control for easily customized aquarium lighting.

Fluval\\\’s Built-In Multi-Stage Filtration System

Fluval filters utilize a 3 or 5-stage system designed for optimal mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration in one compact filter:

Stage 1: Foam – Captures debris and particulate matter.

Stage 2: PolyFoam – Polishes water of fine particles.

Stage 3: Activated carbon – Removes odors, discoloration, and impurities.

Stage 4: BioMedia – Porous ceramic rings provide abundant surface area for beneficial bacteria.

Stage 5: Precision-grade foam – Further optimizes water clarity.

The filters offer adjustable flow rates and instant prime buttons for quick restarts after maintenance. This powerful filtration translates to crystal clear water and healthy fish.

Next let\\\’s look at some of the most popular Fluval aquarium models.

Fluval Aquarium Models Overview

Fluval offers several series of small aquariums with varying design elements. We\\\’ll focus on two of their top selling lines:

Fluval FLEX Aquarium Kits


The Fluval FLEX features a clean, modern rectangle design with dual curved front windows for panoramic views. The 15 gallon glass tank dimensions are 20\\\” x 15\\\” x 14\\\”.

The FLEX LED lighting includes warm white LEDs plus RGB color effects controlled wirelessly via remote or app. The customizable 3750 lumen light is perfect for planted tanks.

The included filter touts 5-stage filtration with foam, BioMedia, activated carbon, and adjustable flow rates.

Overall the FLEX series provides advanced functionality in a compact frameless package. The kits include the tank, lighting, filter, lid, and accessories starting around $250.

Fluval SPEC Aquariums


The Fluval SPEC tanks have an open-top design with aluminum trim for a sleek contemporary look. Models come in freshwater and saltwater configurations.

Available sizes:

  • SPEC V 5 gallon – 17\\\” x 7\\\” x 10\\\”
  • SPEC 16 gallon – 22.8\\\” x 11.8\\\” x 11.8\\\”
  • SPEC 19 gallon – 16.3\\\” x 16.3\\\” x 14.2\\\”
  • SPEC 25 gallon – 20\\\” x 20\\\” x 14.2\\\”

The powerful builtin filtration includes stages for chemical, mechanical and biological filtration. SPEC models also include warm white LEDs along with RGB accent lights.

SPEC tanks deliver beauty, versatility, and functionality. Kits start around $150 and up.

Now that we\\\’ve covered standout models from each brand, let\\\’s directly compare the pros and cons of BiOrb vs Fluval tanks.

Comparing Key Differences: BiOrb vs Fluval

When choosing between the contemporary designs of BiOrb vs Fluval, there are several factors to weigh up.

Factors BiOrb Fluval
Construction Acrylic Glass
Shapes Curved spherical Rectangular, glass panels
Sizes 5 to 60 gallons 5 to 25+ gallons
Filtration Air-driven multi-stage Motorized multi-stage
Lighting Warm white or color LEDs Full spectrum and RGB LEDs
Price $$-$$$$ $-$$$

Let\\\\\\\’s analyze some of these key differences in more detail:

Comparing Design Aesthetics and Practicality

BiOrb tanks feature smooth futuristic shapes but the unconventional spherical designs make cleaning and aquascaping more difficult. There are also some concerns about fish struggling with the distorted views and limited surface area.

Fluval opts for traditional rectangular tanks that are easier to maintain and aquascape. The clean lines offer contemporary style with maximum interior space and viewing for fish and plants to thrive.

Evaluating Durability: Acrylic vs Glass

BiOrbs acrylic material is lighter, clearer, and less prone to cracking than glass. However acrylic can scratch more easily, potentially impacting long term aesthetics.

Fluval uses thicker low-iron glass for crystal clear viewing and durability. They avoid thinner fragile glass. The glass is heavier but avoids scratching issues.

Filtration System Comparison

BiOrb\\\’s multi-stage filtration relies on air pressure rather than motorized pumps. It provides effective mechanical, biological and chemical filtration without strong currents. Maintenance can be frequent.

Fluval incorporates high-capacity motorized filtration with foam, activated carbon, and BioMedia for extensive biological filtration. Flow rates are customizable via dials.

LED Lighting Face-Off

BiOrb LEDs include white or color LED capsules integrated into the lids. While energy efficient, the lighting lacks advanced features and customization.

Fluval LED systems offer full spectrum or RGB LEDs with effects like storms, moonlights, and wireless app control. This advanced lighting excels at supporting plant growth.

Cost Considerations

BiOrb tanks carry higher prices due to the specialized acrylic materials and unusual curved production. Expect to spend $250+ for most models.

Fluval aquariums have more manufacturing scale. Tanks start under $150 for the smaller SPEC models. Larger and higher


Choosing between BiOrb and Fluval aquariums comes down to personal preference and specific needs. If you\\\’re drawn to unique, futuristic designs and are willing to accommodate the quirks of spherical tanks, BiOrb offers a visually stunning choice with its air-driven filtration and distinctive LED lighting. For those who prioritize traditional, rectangular designs for easier maintenance and aquascaping, along with high-capacity filtration and advanced lighting features, Fluval stands out as the ideal choice. Both brands offer quality and functionality, ensuring a beautiful and healthy environment for your aquatic pets, regardless of your space constraints.


Q1: Are BiOrb tanks suitable for beginners? A1: Yes, BiOrb tanks, with their all-in-one starter kits, are very beginner-friendly. They offer everything needed to set up a new aquarium, making them a great choice for newcomers to the hobby.

Q2: Can I keep tropical fish in a Fluval tank? A2: Absolutely! Fluval tanks are suitable for both freshwater and marine setups. Just ensure you have the right heating and filtration systems in place for tropical fish.

Q3: How often should I clean my BiOrb tank? A3: Cleaning frequency depends on several factors like tank size, number of fish, and type of filtration. Typically, BiOrb tanks require cleaning every 2-4 weeks.

Q4: Are Fluval tanks made of glass or acrylic? A4: Fluval tanks are made of thicker, low-iron glass for enhanced clarity and durability, differentiating them from BiOrb\\\’s acrylic designs.

Q5: Is the \\\”inch per gallon\\\” rule applicable for both BiOrb and Fluval tanks? A5: Yes, the \\\”inch per gallon\\\” rule is a general guideline that can be applied to both BiOrb and Fluval tanks, but always consider the specific needs and behavior of your fish.

Q6: Can I grow plants in these aquariums? A6: Yes, both BiOrb and Fluval aquariums can support plant life. Fluval\\\’s advanced lighting systems are particularly beneficial for growing a variety of aquatic plants.

Q7: Are these tanks suitable for saltwater setups? A7: While BiOrb offers options for saltwater setups, Fluval tanks are predominantly designed for freshwater. However, some Fluval models can be adapted for marine use with the right equipment.

Q8: Which brand is more budget-friendly? A8: Generally, Fluval tends to be more budget-friendly compared to BiOrb, particularly when considering their smaller models like the Fluval SPEC series.

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