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Old 12-05-2004, 12:51 AM   #21
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I have heard a lot about aqua clears having leaks/running over with new carts.

My main problem with them is that there is no bio-wheel.
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Old 12-05-2004, 01:46 AM   #22
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I guess to each their own... I never had a single one of my (8 running now) ACs leak in over 25 years & I dislike biowheels. I use BioMax inside my filters.
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:12 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by PK Tester
I have heard a lot about aqua clears having leaks/running over with new carts.

My main problem with them is that there is no bio-wheel.
I hate to open a can of worms... BUT.... IMO bio wheels are useless gimmicks. They are an attempt to replicate a system that sewage treatment plants use, except that treatment plants use giant motor driven wheels. So while the concept behind the bio wheel isn't a gimmick, the small wheels used on Emperor/Penguin HOB filters are too small to be any more effective than a HOB filter without a wheel. They continue to sell them because people continue to buy them.
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:14 AM   #24
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Agreed. I think a bag of BioMax placed in the top of a HOB is much more efective.
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Old 12-05-2004, 08:23 AM   #25
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An interesting discussion. There are so many products on the market for filtration and the truth is they will all do an adaquate job if used properly. Kind of like a 20 year old Dodge will get you to the same place a brand new Mercedes will.

I'm using all kinds of filters on my 11 tanks. The most important considerations are:
1. What do I want my filter to do?
2. How much am I willing to spend?
3. How much maintenance will I have to perform?
4. What's my experience with brand recognition and brand satisfaction?

On all my discus breeding tanks I'm using air driven sponge filters solely. Well, I do have box filters only so I can use cc to buffer the water. The reason is my major concern is bio filtration. They are very easily cleaned and I've a ready source for seeding tanks. They also provide enough surface agitation for O2.
I do enough water changes that mechanical filtration is of no concern.

On my pleco breeding tanks I'm using a combination of sponge filters and AC400s. Plecos are messy and I require additional mechanical filtration. The HOBs all have sponge pre filters as well. They protect the fry from being sucked in and just a quick rinse under the faucet and I'm ready to go.

On my stocked discus tanks again air driven sponges (lots of them in each tank), and Penguin 330s. HOBs are really very easy to clean and clean is where I want to be with these tanks. I will also diatom these tanks about an hour a week each.

On my planted tanks I use cannister filters only (Fluvals and Eheims). I find cannisters to be the best bang for the buck. I can set them up the way I want, control surface agitation, and they are just the most versatile. They are all set up with sponge pre filters to limit the amount of solids accumulating in the cannister. I'd rather rinse the sponges every few days than open up the filters. I do find the Fluvals easier to clean than the Eheims. However, I only clean these monthly (sometimes every other month). That consists of rinsing the sponges (which aren't replaced more than yearly), and changing the filter floss. Every six months of so I rinse the bio-mech in tank water, and thoroughly clean the cannister and tubing.

That's my take and routines with filters.
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:49 PM   #26
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WOW!!! Interesting discussion. All because my Eheim was being subborn and a royal PIA after a cleaning.
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Old 12-05-2004, 05:56 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medusa Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by PK Tester
I have heard a lot about aqua clears having leaks/running over with new carts.

My main problem with them is that there is no bio-wheel.
I hate to open a can of worms... BUT.... IMO bio wheels are useless gimmicks. They are an attempt to replicate a system that sewage treatment plants use, except that treatment plants use giant motor driven wheels. So while the concept behind the bio wheel isn't a gimmick, the small wheels used on Emperor/Penguin HOB filters are too small to be any more effective than a HOB filter without a wheel. They continue to sell them because people continue to buy them.
Well...it is a fact that bio-wheels increase the amount of oxygen in the tank and that is my main concern...so as far as I can see they are not useless gimmicks.

Most of Marineland's products are created by scientists and there are many studdies done.

I also know that many people who have bare-bottom tanks have to have somthing to grow bacteria on...and be able to change cartridges if they feel they need to...the BIO-Wheel does this. So once again I do not feel it is a "useless gimmick", but this is my way of thinking.

Anyhow you all have your choices and I'd say almost all of them work but...I have to say I have heard horror stories with Aqua clears and I haven't heard any with Marineland's products (Maybe I don't read enough?)

Anyhow...Best of luck with the canister filter.
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:45 PM   #28
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I must put my two cents in being an owner of a penguin 170 and a cannister filter. With regards to a biowheel filter I think they are useless.Even if you argue the point that they are good biological filters,they most certainly lack acceptable mechanical filtration,contrary to the manufacturers claims.I had to modify a cartridge with fine filter material to make it acceptable but now it needs constant cleaning every 2 or 3 days cause it slows the rate too much.The vertical cartridge design was an engineering blunder.For those believers of biowheels how about one on an AC filter?
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:50 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by PK Tester
Well...it is a fact that bio-wheels increase the amount of oxygen in the tank and that is my main concern...so as far as I can see they are not useless gimmicks.
The best way to increase your dissolved oxygen is via airstones and airpumps. Again, the science behind bio wheels is accurate, it's just that the bio wheels in HOB filters spin way too fast and are so little that their impact on the tank is minimal when compared to using a non bio wheel filter. But they do look pretty nifty with the spinning wheel and all!
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:21 AM   #30
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As long as you have circulation - pump, powerhead, airstones, you won't have an O2 problem in the tank. Once it's saturated you can't get more in. The biowheel is for biological filtration. I don't know how well they work. Does anyone? A lot of people seem to successfully use them. All biofilltration is a bit of a stab in the dark tho. You use as much as you think you need and the details of available surface area are sketchy at best. I personallly use trickle wet/dry, but the wheels are probably cute to watch. Fluid bed filters are also cool to watch.

tim
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