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Old 08-05-2005, 09:46 PM   #1
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BioWheel mini won't turn

One of my Penguin BioWheel mini 100s has a wheel that quit turning and I can't get it to start back. Should I add something to the area between the filter media and the back of the filter to raise the water level so as to provide more water flow through the outlet that turns the wheel. I've had problems with the little Biowheels before but I can either put in a new filter or fiddle with it enough to get it to start back. I just put in a new filter on this one and it is not helping. My big Biowheel 350 runs like a charm and I've never had problems with it turning those big wheels. Is there a way to increase the flow rate on those mini Biowheels?
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:00 PM   #2
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Have you taken out the bio-wheel and cleaned it? Did you put anything on the end of the uptake tube?
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:31 PM   #3
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As fishyfanatic said, have you cleaned the metal rods on the biowheel? Do not clean the fins, since they contain the bacteria. When mine start to slow down, I clean the metal ends and the little yokes on which they sit.
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:44 PM   #4
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I actually put in a new wheel to see if it would turn and it doesn't. My wheels don't have metal rods, they are plastic. I can spin it easily with a touch of the finger. I think it is my water uptake or output. I'm gonna check the uptake tube for blockage, although I know I haven't put anything on it.
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:40 AM   #5
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my mini will slow down/stop occasionally and I just clean the impeller and run some water through my intake hard and it works fine again.
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Old 08-06-2005, 03:26 AM   #6
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I would suggest cleaning the intake tube.. and the inside of the filter box (it might just be a flow issue..)

btw. you might want to float the biowheel untill you get this issue solved..
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:10 AM   #7
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Thanks all. I'll give it a try today. Until then I'll float the wheel as per greenmaji's suggestion.
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:42 AM   #8
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I did all of the things suggested and the wheel still didn't turn. So I filled the filter box with colored glass rocks (came out of an old aquarium) until the water flowed over them at the output, thus raising the level of running water and turning the wheel. I don't think this will hurt my filtration, and they add surface area for bacteria. Although they aren't in contact with as much oxygen as the wheel and probably aren't as efficient for biological filtration. I don't think they will hurt anything. Just a goofy way to get the wheel to spin really.
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:53 AM   #9
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Dax29, did you remove the impeller and clean it? I have a similar problem with one of my Penguin minis. The impeller frequently gets gunked up with algae and the output is reduced to a trickle - just enough to prevent the biowheel from spinning. Rinsing the impeller with hot water and cleaning out the well in which it sits with a Q-tip fixes the problem for a few weeks.
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:37 PM   #10
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I did remove the impeller and I cleaned it. Maybe I should have cleaned the well too. I'll give it a shot. Thanks.
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