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Old 02-19-2005, 08:21 PM   #1
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bio-wheel & catridge

Hello experts,

After almost a year the bio-wheels on my Penguin 330 are still, well, like new!!! I thought they're supposed to get gooey by the 'bios' taking residence on them??? I have a rather light bio-load, 55 gal with 3 angels, 1 guppy, 3 neons, 6 zebras and two CAEs.

On the other hand, the catridges are really dirty now and according to the manual it's time to replace them. Since my bio-wheels are rather clean, should I replace them one at a time to avoid losing too much bacteria altogether? If so, how long do I wait before replacing the other one?

I'm planning to add some more fishes and fake plants soon!

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:39 PM   #2
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You don't need to replace the biowheels at all unless they get damaged.
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:43 PM   #3
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Yep, Gfink is right, you don't ever need to change out a bio-wheel unless it gets damaged, or if it does gunk up to the point that it impedes its own motion then all you need do is scrape off the gunk and its good as new (well... colonized/mature ).
The same applies for sponges, use'em, rinse'em and repeat till they fall apart. I'm not sure about the cartriges, no personal experience, but a friend uses them and there are threads here and at other sites about re-using them.
My friend re-uses his, he just rinses them in tank water or uses his water hose nozzle to blast'em clean (He only cleans on filter at a time this way) and he also cuts the carbon out of'em. I've heard others talk about disassembling them and using floss, sponge and various pads in them. Just open'em up, take out the old, put in new and rubberband'em together.
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After almost a year the bio-wheels on my Penguin 330 are still, well, like new!!! I thought they're supposed to get gooey by the 'bios' taking residence on them??? I have a rather light bio-load, 55 gal with 3 angels, 1 guppy, 3 neons, 6 zebras and two CAEs.
On the other hand, the catridges are really dirty now and according to the manual it's time to replace them.
Has it been a year since you serviced/cleaned your filter? Tell me its not so...
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:54 PM   #4
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Your bio wheels condition is most likely due to your light bio load. I wouldn't worry about it at all. Change the cartridges anytime they get dirty. I maintain a 55g with a much larger bio load than yours. It uses an Emp 400 filter. I change the carts, both at the same time, about once a month. I have never measured even the slightest trace of ammonia or nitrite in this tank...never. I picked up a couple of angels at the LFS a couple of months ago...pitiful looking fish with ragged fins. Got them free because of their condition. Now, they are beautiful and thier fins are totally healed...eating like pigs too. That wouldn't happen in a "less than stable" tank. Your bio wheels will handle your bio filtration with no problem. You can save a few bucks on filter carts by rebuilding your old ones using quilt batting from Wal Mart (make sure it doesn't have any fungus or mildew inhibitors in it) and rubber bands.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:17 PM   #5
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Quick question about that Emperor 400 if you don't mind...

I just got my 125 and 55 tank setup and I tried to use a Emperor 400 on the 55 and it just barely fit. I couldn't get the light to fit back on very well and it also splashed into the light housing. I ended up putting it on the 125 along with another one. I originally was going to put a 400 and a Fluv 404 on the 125. Do you think the 404 will be fine on the 55 gal tank or should I get a diff filter for the 55 and save the 404 for a new tank in the future?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-25-2005, 03:03 AM   #6
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Are the bio-wheels designed simply to house the biofilter for the tank? Isn't the biofilter present inside the aquarium (on all the items in the tank)? I have a 55 gal with the Emp 400, and I guess I hadn't really considered what the bio-wheels were for.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:26 AM   #7
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The way I understand it is that the bio wheel get ultra-coated with the stuff...more so than the rest of the tank and that's why they are so good. I ended up putting both my 400s on the 125 gal tank and my 404 on the 55 tank. I ordered an emperor 280 to go with the 404 on the 55 tank and will get another 404 later for the 125 (i'm burning through money like there is no tomorrow 8O ). I still need to get my feeder tanks and i'd like a 75 gal for my wife to put "pretty" fish in.
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