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Old 01-15-2018, 05:36 PM
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Default Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

About a month and a half ago I decided to purchase a Biopod Aqua and just today I decided I was finished planting it. I will be writing a fairly extensive review on the system because there are very few out there and I would like to help those interested in Biopod. So, those of you who are on the fence please continue to read, others may skip directly to the plant list and pictures below.

I would like to emphasize that this review is strictly based off of my personal experience and opinion so please don't take it as if it were gospel.

Initial Thoughts:

When I first took it out of the box I was rather impressed with how the Aqua looked, but I quickly became somewhat disappointed. Multiple clips on the lid were broken, the screen mesh on the lid was warped and lifted so I had to fix that, and the living wall was a mess to say the least. The living wall consists of several pieces that join together and are held up by the land platform. However, it was blatantly obvious that my living wall was hastily built and not properly put together. Many of the pieces needed to be refitted together and I had to realign the entire wall and silicone it to the glass so that it was straight and pressed up against the glass like it should be. I ended up removing the land platform so that I didn't have to deal with more hassle and it gave me much more room to work with and made it more suitable for frogs in my opinion. A bit of a disappointment for a $600 unit to require some major repairs before even setting it up.

Design and Components:

The Aqua is aesthetically pleasing and there are some great features. Once you get the living wall sorted out and the entire enclosure planted it takes the unique look of the Biopod to the next level. I often find myself sitting in front of this tank just gazing and letting my mind wander, more so than all of my other displays and I think that its due to the type of glass. The low iron glass is noticeably more clear than what is typically used for tanks and makes viewing that much better. It also helps that the ventilation system does a great job keeping the front glass clear at all times. The humidity and temperature probes are fairly accurate as well and are off by roughly 0.5-1.0 according to the devices that I use to accurately measure temp. and RH in all of my other tanks when I do my rounds. There are a few things however, that I feel Biopod unnecessarily cut corners on to get these on the market quick; especially when customers are paying $500 or more for one of their systems.

Here's why:
- The lid is quite flimsy and the clips are very cheaply made, but I suppose it's a lid nonetheless.
- The control box for the system was very poorly placed. It's located under the entire tank so if a check valve ever fails water will drip right into the control box and fry all electronic components. Not to mention if an individual ever needs to access something under there should something go wrong after setting up and planting the tank.... well, good luck.
- The aeration system is obnoxiously loud and is likely caused by the air pump vibrating off of other components inside of the control box
- The water reservoir for the misting system is incredibly small at 2L so you are required to refill it often. It's placement on the back of the unit makes it difficult to access, especially if you have the tank against the wall.
- I can't comment on the camera feature because mine has never worked and after a week I have yet to receive a response from Biopod
- The lighting panel on the Aqua that the customer receives is completely different from the ones that they advertise. If you look closely at the the units they post pictures of on social media there are 2 LED panels that illuminate the entire tank quite well. On the Aqua you receive there is only one LED Panel that is placed near the front of the tank which creates a dark strip that spans across the top 2 inches at the back of the tank. I contacted Biopod regarding this concern and was told that the tanks they have running in HQ, not the ones they use for advertisement, only have 1 LED panel and are working well. I'm not totally sold on its ability to grow plants quite yet as it doesn't seem to be enough light for a tank it's size, but I will remain optimistic and refrain from coming to a conclusion.

I have 3 viv's that are all lit by a single 48" Sunblaster LED, one of which I finished planting 3 months ago so I was able to use it as an accurate comparison. It allowed me to observe how quickly the plants grew after they went through acclimation under the Sunblaster, then compare it to the growth I would see in the Biopod. The RH and temp's remained constant and similar to what the Biopod is able to create, so it can be assumed that conditions inside each enclosure were very similar. The only difference being that the Biopod has UVB, whereas my enclosures do not. I am extremely impressed with the Sunblaster's ability to grow, so I expect to see at least the same or better with Biopod because of it's 'high-tech' design. Approximately 80% of the plants have been inside it for a month and when I compare the growth between the two enclosures at the one month mark, the Sunblaster is in the lead.

This information is purely anecdotal so give it as much value as you would like, but I am remaining optimistic and giving Biopod the benefit of the doubt.


The Biopod App:

Once the unit is plugged in and powered on you are required to connect to it with the Biopod app. This process is very simple and was relatively quick and painless and the features are exactly what Biopod has advertised.

I believe that the app is in need of a significant update (as do their servers) for a few reasons. The connection to apply, make changes, and attempt to connect to the camera is quite a slow process. My tank is well within range of my WiFi which is above average for signal strength and speed, which are Biopod's first questions for these issues, and I still have connectivity problems. For example, I have my ventilation set to be on for 20min/hr and it stays on all day long. I have the aeration pump shut off completely but it still randomly turns on and I have no means of turning it off. It's a problem that is certainly tolerable, but I hope that it will be resolved sooner than later.

The second concern I have with the app is the customization options the user has. You are only able to set the misting system to go on for a maximum of 60sec/day and I find myself hand misting the entire tank several times throughout the day. I think a solution to this even if they keep the max, would be to allow the user to set it to mist multiple times throughout the day, much like MistKing's digital control timers. I have adjusted the the direction of the misting nozzles countless times to get the best coverage but no matter what I did, the tank still dried out too fast.

I believe the largest contributor to this problem is the ventilation fan being on all day, which makes me reiterate the need for a significant app update.


Bottom Line:

So, what is the bottom line? I believe that there are two answers to this question.

I do like some of the features that the Biopod offers and it's overall look, as well as it's relative simplicity to set up as long as everything arrives intact and is properly assembled. I also like the ability to connect to the enclosure with my phone. Although it needs some improvements, its a great feature. The Biopod is an all in one package that I would recommend to someone looking for just that, or to someone who might not be as confident in caring for an amphibian or reptile because Biopod has a "push and play" feature. It is something that you will enjoy staring into as long as you are willing to fork out for it.

As for myself and more experienced keepers, I would advise sticking with your traditional ways and, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Some of the features are neat, but not a necessity that make it worth spending $500+ to get yourself a Biopod. Building your own tank also gives you far more options in regards to the design of the background/hardscape and enclosure (I'm not saying that it can't be done, but I prefer the appearance of a foamed and sculpted background where I get to decide how much background coverage I want). Not to mention you can build a tank similar to the size of the Aqua and set it up with a good lighting system and other accessories for significantly less cost.

At the end of the day, all that matters is your enjoyment of the enclosure you choose and the inhabitants within.


Now we can move on to the good stuff.


Flora:

Orchids:
Anathallis minutalis
Ano. formosanus polyploid x (Ludisia discolor alba x L. discolor) — I think....
Masdevallia herradurae
Epidendreae polybulbon ‘Golden Gate’(I was lucky to buy this just as it was beginning to bloom)

Others:
Begonia ‘Iran Jaya’
Begonia ‘Lita’
Biophytum sensitivum
Epiprenmum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’
Ficus villosa
Ficus ‘Panama’
Ficus pumila ‘Quercifolia’
Marcgravia sp. ‘Peru Bronze’
Marcgravia rectiflora
Neoregelia ‘Bonkers’
Neoregelia ‘Mo Peppa Please’
Neoregelia ‘Pauciflora’
Pearcea hypocyrtiflora
Peperomia emarginella
Peperomia jamesoniana
Peperomia prostrata
Peperomia ‘Red Stem’
Peperomia sp. Peru
Peperomia sp. Costa Rica
Philodendron ‘Wende Imbe’
Philodendron ‘Burle Marx Fantasy’
Pilea glauca
Rhaphidophora pachyphylla
Utricularia graminofolia

Fauna:

Frogs TBA
Purple Isopods
Tropical Springtails









Ano. formosanus polyploid x (Ludisia discolor alba x L. discolor)


Pep. 'Peru Spade'


No ID Pep.


Epidendreae polybulbon in bloom


Thanks for viewing,

Braeden.
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Last edited by BWeisy; 01-15-2018 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Picture links did not work
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Great review!

I was going to do a similar write up, but I think you nailed many of the complaints I have with the unit.

The low iron glass really does have a nice appearance. It is quite a night and day difference in comparison to the Exos I have. As I have found out first hand the check valve and electronics placement is a HUGE issue. All of this needs to be moved to the top in future revisions, and should be placed to allow easy access to the components. My living wall did not align at all and I had to use silicone to fill in the gaps. They should probably look at trying to get these produced as a single piece.

Some other issues I have noticed with mine:

- The top light canopy is no longer straight, I assume this is caused by heat from the lights

- The silver plastic chips/scratches very easily

- The plastic lid is sagging, again this seems to be related to heat from the lights
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Is that gorgeous plant on the back center with the very small leaves the Anathallis minutalis? Where'd you find that?
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by karmapolice711 View Post
Great review!

I was going to do a similar write up, but I think you nailed many of the complaints I have with the unit.

The low iron glass really does have a nice appearance. It is quite a night and day difference in comparison to the Exos I have. As I have found out first hand the check valve and electronics placement is a HUGE issue. All of this needs to be moved to the top in future revisions, and should be placed to allow easy access to the components. My living wall did not align at all and I had to use silicone to fill in the gaps. They should probably look at trying to get these produced as a single piece.

Some other issues I have noticed with mine:

- The top light canopy is no longer straight, I assume this is caused by heat from the lights

- The silver plastic chips/scratches very easily

- The plastic lid is sagging, again this seems to be related to heat from the lights
Thanks, I appreciate it!

That's extremely unfortunate that you have already had problems with the check valves and unit control. Have you been able to contact Biopod and get some sort of resolve?

I haven't experienced most of the issues you have (yet), apart from the lid sagging. I think its a combination of the heat produced from the lights like you mentioned and it not being thick enough to support its own weight.

My light has bowed at the front slightly, but not enough to be overly concerned about.

At this point it's a "time will tell" scenario and I'm hoping that no more problems arise, but I have my doubts for a few of the components. I do hope that I am proved wrong though.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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Originally Posted by mtbrutger View Post
Is that gorgeous plant on the back center with the very small leaves the Anathallis minutalis? Where'd you find that?
You are correct, that is the A. minutalis. I am fortunate enough to have a friend who has been involved with the local orchid community for many years and now has his own exotic plant shop. He had two beautiful mounts of the minutalis in his private collection and was willing to part with one after we worked out a deal. In the time he has had them in his collection he's never seen them since he first acquired them, and that was many years ago.

It is a truly remarkable specimen and I am very proud of having the privilege to own it.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

I have been in contact with Biopod finally....

They want me to fill the bottom with water and try to trace the leak back to the source. Not thrilled about having to do that. Seems like they may just be sending me a new unit eventually...we will see. I will update once I see what they decide to do.

Regardless if they send parts or a new unit, I'm going to modify the air line coming out of the back. My plan is to get a longer piece of tubing and run it up towards the top of the back wall. Hopefully, if the check valve fails again in the future I won't end up with a moat surrounding my Biopod.

The top is definitely too thin. It either needs to be thicker, or needs a center support. I don't foresee it failing, but for a $500-$1000 purchase, it looks decidedly amateur flopping down into the tank. The canopy I'm a little more concerned about. Seems the LEDs might cook themselves to death with no fan to pull in some cooler air. The other issue I have with the lighting is replacing the UVB bulb. I don't know if it is possible to get to it without removing the entire canopy. Given of prone to cracking the plastic seems to be...I'm not looking forward to attempting this.

Looking at everything as a hobbyist, I feel they might have been better off offering a separate external box/controller that would work with their app, and a bunch of accessories that could plug into the box. Pair that with the generally excellent tank (besides the top) and I think they really could have an exceptional product line. Would also help keep the price more accessible, and allow users to avoid paying for features they won't use.

Last edited by karmapolice711; 01-16-2018 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:31 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

I have found that any correspondence with them is a very trying task so you aren't the only one...

But you hit the nail on the head will all of the points you just stated and I couldn't agree more with you. You really get the feeling that these products were rushed to get on the market and they were/are totally overwhelmed on many aspects. This unfortunately resulted in many backers and customers dealing with things that SHOULD have been resolved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karmapolice711 View Post
Looking at everything as a hobbyist, I feel they might have been better off offering a separate external box/controller that would work with their app, and a bunch of accessories that could plug into the box. Pair that with the generally excellent tank (besides the top) and I think they really could have an exceptional product line. Would also help keep the price more accessible, and allow users to avoid paying for features they won't use.
I wish that they would have released their products just as you described, it's exactly how I would have liked to set it up. It would still offer some nice features, but allow hobbyists (and myself) to scrap many of the components that aren't necessary and totally customize the unit to work with what you already have (such as a MistKing system).

I feel that this would broaden their market drastically. It would be much more appealing to both experienced keepers and beginners because of the customization options and significantly reduced cost while still providing a very aesthetically pleasing enclosure.
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Not to mention with this thing glued to it's base, it is impossible to move.

Like I said in the other thread, I really want this thing to succeed. It just is not at the level of even an entry level hobbyist. Especially, not with excellent products like Mistking out there.

I'm interested to see if other companies see this product as a success and decide to often similar solutions. It would be interesting to see a premium Exoterra with low iron glass.
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

I backed this thing long enough ago that I've lost track of exactly when.... I finally got mine this past weekend, long after they were available in retail stores.

The screen on the lid was warped and punctured.

All of the parts for the wall and island were thrown haphazardly into the tank. Assembly was most definitely required, and the only instruction booklet was for the app (which is pretty self-explanatory).

I had to file a larger opening in one of the plastic pieces to allow for tubing to pass through without causing a gap. I may need to do the same in a spot on the lid if the new one doesn't fit better.

The Biopod network had issues when I first tried to set it up.

So no, not a great first impression.


On the other hand...

When I first set up the app, it triggered an automatic email about the possibility of a warped screen on the lid, with contact info and a promise of replacement.

I've already gotten an initial response from support about both the screen issue and the spotty network connection (which started working after I emailed them back with more info).

They're sending a surprise free plant pack with things I might actually want. Maybe this wasn't a surprise to any of the other backers, but I stopped reading the updates because I assumed they were just more inaccurate shipping date promises.

It looks damn good, and fits nicely in the spot I had available.


So yeah. Mixed feelings. But in the end, as long as it does maintain safe parameters for the frogs, it's going to be beautiful and I'll probably forget all about my initial irritation.

Pics of hardscape coming in a week or so when I'm happy with the bones.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Glad to hear they were so quick to get back to you.

I unfortunately have not heard anything from them since 1/16. They keep wanting me to track down leaks and check components in an attempt to diagnose things. Hoping that maybe they are just going to send a new unit, but given that it has been two days with no contact...I'm not holding my breath.

Sadly, I'm getting to the point where I just want my money back. They actually suggested I silicone the tank myself to fix the leak. While I'm fully capable of doing this, I'm not sure that is a great response when someone just dropped $500+ on your product.

Like I have said before, I really want to be able to get behind this product. I think there is great potential to do some good things for the hobby. Biopod as a company seems to be doing everything they can to sabotage things.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

The last few days I have been in contact with Tom, one of the founders, and one of their customer service reps. Currently Tom and the IT team are looking into the problems I have with the app and they said that they will resolve the issues as fast as they can. Apparently there is a glitch that isn't allowing the app to communicate information and settings properly. Although they were difficult to contact at times, I have nothing but good things to say about Biopod's customer service. Once I was in contact they worked quickly to rectify my problems and assured me once they fix the glitch they will contact me again.

They also appreciated the feedback (I pretty much sent them what I posted here) and the IT team is developing and will be adding the features many of us want to the app in the near future. Great news!

Although it has been a trying and frustrating process for myself and many others, things seem to be moving in the right direction.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Finally heard back from Biopod customer service today...

They instructed me to attempt returning the unit to the retailer. I have reached out to the original seller, but I'm not very hopeful they will do an exchange of any kind.

I will update if anything changes, but looks like I might have this Biopod for good.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Here's another little update with the Aqua:

I was able to get more moss and placed it onto the living wall, B. lyallii was added and this time around it has inhabitants. 2.1 R. fantastica 'Monte Cristo' from UE







Begonia lyallii


Anathallis minutalis in bloom. It's been sending out flowers over the last two weeks with more and more continually popping up. How many flowers can you spot?


Here's one of the flowers with a dime for scale. Really wish I had a camera so I could get a macro shot of it, these pictures don't do it justice.


Finally, some frog pic's.




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Old 02-09-2018, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

One the nicest biopods I have seen so far!


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Old 02-09-2018, 06:39 PM
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One the nicest biopods I have seen so far!


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Old 03-16-2018, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

I grew tired of having to constantly pull the Biopod forward to access the 2L reservoir so I opted out of using their misting system, bought a premium double nozzle from Mist King and connected it to my Ultimate system. I really wish I had done this from the beginning and it made me appreciate Mist King that much more. The mist quality is unparalleled and since the changeover there has been significant moss growth everywhere, I love it! As you can see, everything else is growing great.

I am also pleased to announce that they are breeding and raising tads inside the viv! Looking forward to watching them develop and grow over the next few months. I know most would pull them but I thoroughly enjoy watching them do what nature intended. Plus it's exciting to one day see little froglets cruising around.







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Old 03-16-2018, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

I assume you drilled a new hole in the center for you nozzles? I am getting ready to start my aqua so I need some pointers.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:17 AM
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I assume you drilled a new hole in the center for you nozzles? I am getting ready to start my aqua so I need some pointers.
You are correct, one hole dead center. Just a heads up, due to the flimsy nature of the lid I strongly recommend drilling the hole on a solid surface and treat it almost like glass as you drill. You 'should' get a clean hole with no cracks that way.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

I haven’t set mine up yet, but after seeing how small the built-in water reservoir is, had already been considering using a MistKing once I do put everything together, unless I find some location that makes it very easy to refill the reservoir. Glad to see the new mister is working for you. (I’m also probably going to just disable the air pump from the get-go, having read and heard of a number of problems associated with it. Better safe than sorry...)

Question on the frogs; are you sure they are actively raising their tads? My fantastica morphs certainly did no tadpole care, nor do my other fantastica-group frogs (R. benedicta), and the sources I can find all generally agree that fantastica provide no parental care after transport. But anything is possible! And I suppose, if you are feeding enough, the tadpoles may just be feeding themselves on fruit flies or other microfauna that fall in the water. I just found it striking that you commented on watching them raise their young, even though no fantastica group frog I’ve kept has exhibited that behavior. I’ve heard stranger stories, though, for sure.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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Originally Posted by herbivrus View Post
I haven’t set mine up yet, but after seeing how small the built-in water reservoir is, had already been considering using a MistKing once I do put everything together, unless I find some location that makes it very easy to refill the reservoir. Glad to see the new mister is working for you. (I’m also probably going to just disable the air pump from the get-go, having read and heard of a number of problems associated with it. Better safe than sorry...)

Question on the frogs; are you sure they are actively raising their tads? My fantastica morphs certainly did no tadpole care, nor do my other fantastica-group frogs (R. benedicta), and the sources I can find all generally agree that fantastica provide no parental care after transport. But anything is possible! And I suppose, if you are feeding enough, the tadpoles may just be feeding themselves on fruit flies or other microfauna that fall in the water. I just found it striking that you commented on watching them raise their young, even though no fantastica group frog I’ve kept has exhibited that behavior. I’ve heard stranger stories, though, for sure.
Honestly, I completely agree with you and all sources I've read say that fant's don't raise their own. However, I've been seeing them near the bodies of water where the tads are and shortly after I find what appear to be infertile eggs. I've attached a photo of the suspected 'eggs' so perhaps we can determine what they are. Either I have a strange group of parenting fant's or its simply coincidence that I catch them by the tads and those little orbs are from something else. I am thinking its the latter of the two and they are feeding on dead fruit flies and such as you mentioned.

As for your Biopod, I was in the same predicament when I first got mine. I have it placed in what I thought was an easily accessible location but even at that it still became a pain. The biggest drawback in my opinion is the size of the reservoir, not the misting itself. It was just emptying far to quickly and now that I have it connected to 5 gal. of water I have zero issues. I wish I would have disabled the air pump too but of course, all of the problems with the air pump and check valve began to surface after I had set mine up... fingers crossed I stay in the clear.

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Old 03-16-2018, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Could you please post a picture showing how you ran your tubing from the nozzles to your reservoir?
Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Excellent review. I hope you don't mind, if I add my thoughts based on my biopods. I may have an advantage over those who only got one biopod. That's to say that I've had more than one shipping company deliver my biopods. The first two biopods I got were not handled well by the shipping company; the boxes had some holes in them and one had a partially crushed side. The living walls were not in one piece and many of the internal pieces were in a jumble on the inside and several plastic parts were broken. I had to use silicone to fix it all and get the wall into place. However, the third and fourth biopods came on a pallet, wrapped with a lot of plastic and over all appeared to have been handled well. Nothing was broken and the living walls were secure to the back. I have noticed a little bowing of the lids (I've had them now for 2-3 months), so I don't know if it'll get worse or not. Overall I think the problems with broken pieces etc that several folks have mentioned might be the result of the shipping companies rather than the product per say.

On one of the original biopods had a leak from day one, much as has been reported elsewhere and was quite bad. It turned out to be the check valve on the airline going to the air pump had failed and was allowing water to pass. Because the tube runs straight out the back and down gravity pulls the water through like a siphon and it ends up looking like there is a leak from the control box under the biopod. I added a second check valve and an extra loop of clear tubing so water couldn't run straight down for a total cost of about $6 and everything is fine now. The other biopods appear to have a different check valve and are not leaking, but I think it would be a safe bet to go ahead and add a loop of tubing just in case it fails. Even if the valve fails water would have to run up and around the loop and then down before it started dripping from under the unit.

I've had no problem with the app or connections to the biopods. However, changing a setting is very very slow and it forces an update each time you change something. I can't change more than one thing at a time. A friend of mine however has the problem that the app keeps resetting to 1/1/2000 at midnight (loosing it's date/time basically) and then all the settings get thrown out of whack. However, the battery on his phone is bad and it's possible that is what keeps causing the app to loose the date/time.

I would very much like to see a setting added about misting like was mentioned above. That would be great. And I would like the mist heads to be spaced further apart so you could get better coverage over the whole viv. I find some spots don't get misted no matter how I've adjusted the nozzles.

I also agree the misting reservoir is small; I have to fill mine about every 2 or maybe 3 days. But I've gotten into good practice with just reaching behind the units and lifting it up and out.

I don't have frogs in all four biopods yet, but I do have two lehmanni in the one that has been setup the longest. They seem to be doing well. I do not see them often, but that is also true of my other two lehmanni that are in a standard viv. I see them when I feed them and that's about it.

Hope you don't mind I added my thoughts.
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Old 03-17-2018, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

i had a similar experience. the first biopod aqua i received came with a huge hole in the box, the glass broken, everything inside a jumbled mess, huge scratch on the top, and the power source didnt work. they sent me a replacement almost immediately and the replacement came with the box intact, the island already installed, everything working.

i think there are backer biopods that are complete shit and retail biopods that are actually packaged correctly. so biopod made backers wait for years with the promise that they would deliver a complete product but in reality they sent the real biopods to retailers before us and they sent us the shitty ones months after retailers got them.

edit: its possible the shipping company is to blame for the first biopod coming in a hot mess. the first and second biopod were shipped by different companies.

Last edited by macuser; 03-17-2018 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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They're sending a surprise free plant pack with things I might actually want. Maybe this wasn't a surprise to any of the other backers, but I stopped reading the updates because I assumed they were just more inaccurate shipping date promises.
is this plant package real? i ordered mine on feb 25th (literally laughed out loud at the thought of sending them more money for an upgraded plant package), sent an email on march 7th asking when i could expect this plant package and i havent received a response.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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Originally Posted by BWeisy View Post
I grew tired of having to constantly pull the Biopod forward to access the 2L reservoir so I opted out of using their misting system, bought a premium double nozzle from Mist King and connected it to my Ultimate system. I really wish I had done this from the beginning and it made me appreciate Mist King that much more. The mist quality is unparalleled and since the changeover there has been significant moss growth everywhere, I love it! As you can see, everything else is growing great.



I am also pleased to announce that they are breeding and raising tads inside the viv! Looking forward to watching them develop and grow over the next few months. I know most would pull them but I thoroughly enjoy watching them do what nature intended. Plus it's exciting to one day see little froglets cruising around.

















That looks awesome! What kind of moss do you have growing on the background?


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Old 03-17-2018, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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Originally Posted by FrogSnob View Post
Could you please post a picture showing how you ran your tubing from the nozzles to your reservoir?
Thanks!
I actually didn't do anything with the Biopod tubes apart from tuck them away under the hood. I should have been more clear so my apologies, but I just connected my Mist King to my Biopod and that is what has the 5 gal. reservoir.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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Originally Posted by tardis101 View Post
Excellent review. I hope you don't mind, if I add my thoughts based on my biopods. I may have an advantage over those who only got one biopod. That's to say that I've had more than one shipping company deliver my biopods. The first two biopods I got were not handled well by the shipping company; the boxes had some holes in them and one had a partially crushed side. The living walls were not in one piece and many of the internal pieces were in a jumble on the inside and several plastic parts were broken. I had to use silicone to fix it all and get the wall into place. However, the third and fourth biopods came on a pallet, wrapped with a lot of plastic and over all appeared to have been handled well. Nothing was broken and the living walls were secure to the back. I have noticed a little bowing of the lids (I've had them now for 2-3 months), so I don't know if it'll get worse or not. Overall I think the problems with broken pieces etc that several folks have mentioned might be the result of the shipping companies rather than the product per say.

On one of the original biopods had a leak from day one, much as has been reported elsewhere and was quite bad. It turned out to be the check valve on the airline going to the air pump had failed and was allowing water to pass. Because the tube runs straight out the back and down gravity pulls the water through like a siphon and it ends up looking like there is a leak from the control box under the biopod. I added a second check valve and an extra loop of clear tubing so water couldn't run straight down for a total cost of about $6 and everything is fine now. The other biopods appear to have a different check valve and are not leaking, but I think it would be a safe bet to go ahead and add a loop of tubing just in case it fails. Even if the valve fails water would have to run up and around the loop and then down before it started dripping from under the unit.

I've had no problem with the app or connections to the biopods. However, changing a setting is very very slow and it forces an update each time you change something. I can't change more than one thing at a time. A friend of mine however has the problem that the app keeps resetting to 1/1/2000 at midnight (loosing it's date/time basically) and then all the settings get thrown out of whack. However, the battery on his phone is bad and it's possible that is what keeps causing the app to loose the date/time.

I would very much like to see a setting added about misting like was mentioned above. That would be great. And I would like the mist heads to be spaced further apart so you could get better coverage over the whole viv. I find some spots don't get misted no matter how I've adjusted the nozzles.

I also agree the misting reservoir is small; I have to fill mine about every 2 or maybe 3 days. But I've gotten into good practice with just reaching behind the units and lifting it up and out.

I don't have frogs in all four biopods yet, but I do have two lehmanni in the one that has been setup the longest. They seem to be doing well. I do not see them often, but that is also true of my other two lehmanni that are in a standard viv. I see them when I feed them and that's about it.

Hope you don't mind I added my thoughts.
I don't mind whatsoever, I actually encourage it! If anything you just made me envious of your lehmanni Hopefully one day!

I have since worked out the app issues and it functions quite well, although it is still quite slow as you mentioned. Do you have the latest firmware on your Biopods? Since doing the firmware update I have had no issues changing multiple parameters at once and it certainly doesn't reset things.

I agree completely regarding the coverage that the Biopod nozzles have, which is part of the reason why I chose to hook up my Mist King. I made sure though that should Biopod improve the misting schedules and a few other things I can easily reconnect to their system. I know it would never happen, but if Marty from Mist King and Jared and his team at Biopod got together and developed a nozzle/system together for the Biopod units it would be amazing.

Other than that it seems like you have had a similar experience to mine. Overall I'm happy with everything but I'm still waiting on some updates!
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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That looks awesome! What kind of moss do you have growing on the background?
Thanks I appreciate it!

The moss on the background is the tropical carpet moss from UE. It took a while for it to establish but now it's flourishing

All of the moss on the ghostwood grew naturally. At first I got a green film on the wood that looked similar to algae, then shortly after moss began to develop and carpet on it's own.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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I don't mind whatsoever, I actually encourage it! If anything you just made me envious of your lehmanni Hopefully one day!

I have since worked out the app issues and it functions quite well, although it is still quite slow as you mentioned. Do you have the latest firmware on your Biopods? Since doing the firmware update I have had no issues changing multiple parameters at once and it certainly doesn't reset things.

I agree completely regarding the coverage that the Biopod nozzles have, which is part of the reason why I chose to hook up my Mist King. I made sure though that should Biopod improve the misting schedules and a few other things I can easily reconnect to their system. I know it would never happen, but if Marty from Mist King and Jared and his team at Biopod got together and developed a nozzle/system together for the Biopod units it would be amazing.

Other than that it seems like you have had a similar experience to mine. Overall I'm happy with everything but I'm still waiting on some updates!
I'm glad thanks! Yep, the firmware is updated on all but one, which actually isn't setup yet. And there was an app update...maybe a week ago and that's updated also. The living wall does seems to be sprouting some green spots and I'm hoping that means the New Zealand sphagnum moss is coming back to life.

Yes I think we've had similar experiences. I'm not sure if I'm posted a picture of the one that's been setup the longest or not here. I have in other places.
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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I'm glad thanks! Yep, the firmware is updated on all but one, which actually isn't setup yet. And there was an app update...maybe a week ago and that's updated also. The living wall does seems to be sprouting some green spots and I'm hoping that means the New Zealand sphagnum moss is coming back to life.

Yes I think we've had similar experiences. I'm not sure if I'm posted a picture of the one that's been setup the longest or not here. I have in other places.
I love the dense plant growth in yours it looks great. Definitely a paradise for those stunning lehmanni!
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

HI there,

Your biopod looks amazing if mine looks half as good I will be rather happy.

I just joined this evening, I too bought a biopod, a grand and have had similar issues as you. I have been working through them with biopod and their UK distributor to get it up and running. I have gotten it to a point where I am almost planted, have set it up with logs & moss but am waiting for a shipment of pants which should be here the end of the week.

I come from a planted aquarium background and have 4 long-term planted aquariums, so I'm going the palladium route, I'm going to get it planted & established with endlers livebearers (my aquanauts) for a while to make sure I don't have any further issues before adding dart frogs into the mix.

At present, I don't have any experience with frogs but am keen to learn while I prove the biopod can happily keep fish in it.

So fingers crossed by the weekend hopefully it will be planted and looking like a decent habitat, I'm going to set it up bioactive in anticipation of getting frogs when I am happy I know enough to introduce them.

Again, your biopod is a great inspiration to my setup.

Dean
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:44 PM
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An update on this has been long overdue and just recently I had the opportunity to clean things up a bit and take some pictures. Things have grown in like crazy since the last post. The Monte Cristo's are still doing well and since starting their breeding cycle again I have seen lots of courting.





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Old 09-19-2018, 10:31 PM
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That looks great! I wish mine looked like that. My back wall is a mixture of black mush and plants. No moss, it never grew or got green.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

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That looks great! I wish mine looked like that. My back wall is a mixture of black mush and plants. No moss, it never grew or got green.


I have a terra and my back wall is also black. The sphagnum moss and some other moss turned black. Wish it was green also


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Old 09-20-2018, 12:47 AM
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What’s that plant with hairy leaves? I appreciate the lushness of you pod.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:36 PM
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That looks great! I wish mine looked like that. My back wall is a mixture of black mush and plants. No moss, it never grew or got green.
Thanks, I appreciate it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpet240 View Post
I have a terra and my back wall is also black. The sphagnum moss and some other moss turned black. Wish it was green also


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I used sphagnum moss inside each of the compartments on the back wall then covered it with carpet moss from UE. Over time it spread and filled the entire background.

Not entirely sure why both of yours have a similar issue. Possibly high algae growth that's grown on top of the sphag?
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:38 PM
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What’s that plant with hairy leaves? I appreciate the lushness of you pod.
Thank you. The plant you are referring to is Ficus villosa, one of my favorites.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:50 PM
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Thanks, I appreciate it!







I used sphagnum moss inside each of the compartments on the back wall then covered it with carpet moss from UE. Over time it spread and filled the entire background.



Not entirely sure why both of yours have a similar issue. Possibly high algae growth that's grown on top of the sphag?


What do u use for the app settings ?


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Old 09-20-2018, 09:30 PM
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What do u use for the app settings ?


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I've never relied on the app personally, but here is what I have the settings at:

Temperature - 21 C, it usually fluctuates between 22-26 degrees so its basically set to warm things up should it drop below 21.

Humidity - 85-99%, almost always stays at 97%. I haven't relied on it once because of the probe placement and quality and it's very easy to tell that its not 97% throughout the entire enclosure. There's lots of zones and pockets where it increases/decreases.

Ground Temp - 21 C, usually at 22 and doesn't fluctuate much.

Rain - I hooked up my Mistking and disconnected the Biopod misters because I was not getting the coverage I wanted and I got sick of the small reservoir. So the cycle it gets is: 9:30am 20sec, 1:30pm 25sec, 5:30pm 25sec, 9:30pm 20sec

Irrigation - 1min/hr but I am going to bump it up to 2min/hr

Aeration - 0min/hr

Ventilaiton - 0min/hr, but something has been broken since I've had it and the ventilation stays on for 12hrs a day and turns off when the lights go off.

Light - 100%

UVA/UVB - 10%

IR - 0%, to reduce heat output. I haven't noticed any change in plant growth or activity decreases in the frogs since shutting it off (which was 6+ months ago), but the heat reduction has been significant.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Biopod Aqua: The Experience, Review and Setup

Hello!

I am looking to get a Biopod Aqua for a group of Gray Tree Frogs and was wondering what your thoughts were on it for this species?

Why I want to get a Biopod:
I am customizing a 125 gallon and 75 gallon so it's a lot of money and time keeping both going so not looking to go all out with accessories just want something that has a system already. The Biopod has some accessories I wouldn't be able to give my frogs now and it's actually the only terrarium that is the best size I'm trying to fill. I have 5 enclosures and trying to be efficient so one plug from the Biopod instead of 4-6 for a custom build would help out.

Would you recommend this? The money isn't as big a deal I looked at options if I built my own setup and it's not much different so I can live with the cost.

Thanks!

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