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Old 06-30-2003, 08:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mound
so how can worthwhile bacterial colonies thrive say, inside a Fluval (or any canister)? that's entirely enclosed, can't imagine much oxygen is in there, but there's a tray for ceramic discs which acts as a biofilter..
As long as the O2 levels in your tank are where they should be, there's plenty of O2 for the bacteria to function. The bio wheels are probably more efficient because they are exposed to air. You can have a good filter either way. If you are going to have a sump under the tank, then a trickle setup probably makes the most sense. As Jack said, you can remove some media to clean it or seed another filter.
I have used bio wheels for years and have never had any trouble with them. I think, if you are using a canister or HOB, they are the way to go. The trouble I have had with them freezing up is when I didn't have enough flow on them. I usually power them with a PH instead of the filter and that seems to keep them turning. The bearings need to be cleaned once in a while too.

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Old 06-30-2003, 09:01 PM   #12
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I certainly love my biowheels, but I have a canister on my 55-gal with no biowheel and have identical water parameters, consistently, as the other tanks. The nitrifying bacteria eventually colonize on hard surfaces throughout the tank; on the glass and on the ornaments and gravel, so once you get rolling the biowheel is not the only source of bacteria. If you remove the biowheel from an established tank you will not "crash" your biofilter. Also, if you do not have one you can certainly seed a new tank with gravel and other objects from an established tank. On my smaller tanks I like the power filter with a biowheel, and on my large tank I like a canister because I can keep the tank close to the wall and have no equipment topside, other than heaters in the tank. BTW, as the biowheel gets a good crop of bacteria it tends to hitch and stall a bit but I have never had one stop turning completely, unless the bearings (plastic shims that govern the pins of the biowheel) are misaligned. I say go for your own custom combination and see how it flies!

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Old 07-01-2003, 08:04 AM   #13
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I have a HOT biowheel on my 55G in conjunction with a Fluval 304.. when I need to setup a hospital tank, I use the biowheel from the 55g and don't see any changes in the 55. My 125 is an overflow/sump system with the Tidepool2 biowheel/sump.
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Old 07-01-2003, 01:57 PM   #14
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Temporary removal of biowheels will not harm your tank. Longer-term removal could definitely harm your tank. Most FW tanks have too little current and too much bioload to allow gravel and such to make a significant difference in biological filtration. Even more importantly, bacteria tends to grow in the most favored places. If you have a biowheel or a wet/dry, the bacteria populations will be very significant in those areas, yet very sparse elsewhere.

Many folks with reef tanks use the berlin method of filtration (basically, they use liverock and sand to perform the biological filtration). This works because there is more current in the tank (increases oxygen) and less bioload. If you switch from a wet/dry or some other filter to the berlin method, you have to do so slowly. Even though the rock/sand might have been in the tank for years, it doesn't have enough bacteria to handle the tank's bioload. For a wet/dry, one would slowly remove the biomedia over several weeks, even months. A biowheel would be more problematic in that if you only had one wheel, you couldn't really remove slowly.

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