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Old 12-13-2004, 10:49 PM   #1
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penguin 170 biowheel question

How long is a Marineland Penguin biowheel supposed to last?

I bought the pump/filter assembly about six months ago and the biowheel has stopped turning. I have disassembled it several times, cleaning the shafts and bearings, but a few days later, it stops turning again. It has been erratic for quite a while, but the instructions say that as long as it turns, don't worry about it. Well, it isn't turning any more, despite cleaning the moving parts. I guess I expected it to last longer than six months.

How often do others change the wheel and the charcoal filter assembly?

If I change it out, how long should I float the old wheel while the new wheel builds up its bacteria coating?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:05 PM   #2
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I've been using a Penguin BIO-Wheel 170 converted from an Aquatech 20-40 (that came with an aquarium kit) for almost 3 years now. I have not had to replace the BIO-Wheel or the bearings. I do clean out the intake tube and the hole that the impeller magnet assembly goes in to about every other month. I change the filter cartridge whenever water starts to flow around the intake tube or once a month, whichever comes sooner.
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Old 12-14-2004, 12:59 AM   #3
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Hold the unit up to a light and see if the wheel is touching the frame. Also check the area the frame sits on for debris or snails, on the main body of the filter housing. If the wheel is touching the frame, a little gentle work with a file can create clearance. Clean the pick up tube and impeller housing with a brush. I have had to do one or more of these things to my biowheels.
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Old 12-14-2004, 12:43 PM   #4
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Does the wheel turn if you remove the filter cartridge? I find that no matter how smoothly the wheel turns, if the water is backing up behind the filter, it slows way down. If that happens to me, and I'm not ready to change the filter cartridge, I just lift the cartridge up half an inch (so you can still put the lid on), and let some water flow under it. I also had to clean the impeller, and found a root wound around it. It's much better now.
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:31 PM   #5
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you may have build up on one side of your biowheel as well which will keep them from turning. One of my 330 biowheels once had build up and I had to wipe it off. Try that. You really shouldn't have problems with the biowheel, that's kind of weird.
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Old 12-14-2004, 10:16 PM   #6
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I had the same problem with my penguin 170.The bacteria scum built up under the bio-wheel on the housing.Wiped it off and wheel was spinning again.You should periodically check the impeller for clogging.My wheel is 1 1/2 years old with no problems.I think the filter itself is a poor design and modified a filter cartridge with finer padding.Now their are no more floating particles in the tank.
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:15 AM   #7
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I had the same problem with my 170. The wheel wouldnt spin. I cleaned everything. even the bearings.still didnt spin. went to the LFS payed 2 dollars for new bearings. The wheel spun like it was new. Has been up for 2 years now. Just recently took the bio wheel out though cuz its produces too much nitrate and not needed if you have suffiecent live rock in your tank.
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29 gallon
Equipment:
2x65 Satelite PC 50/50
Penguin 170 filter (no wheel)
Neptune 100 heater
2xAquaclear 301 PH
25 lbs of LR and 40 lbs of LS from LFS

Fish: occelaris clown , bicolor blenny , evil blue damsel
Corals: Starburst polyp, Candy cane, Bullseye mushrooms
Cleaners: 3 margarita snails, cleaner shrimp,scarlet hermit,2 dwarf redleg hermits,2 dwarf zebra hermits
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:19 AM   #8
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whoa realized i clicked on freshwater and brackish. MY bad. If your running a FW tank keep the bio wheel in there.But if you do ever convert to salt take it out . sorry about that. new bearings should do the trick.Make sure you replace the carbon pad every 3-4 weeks.
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29 gallon
Equipment:
2x65 Satelite PC 50/50
Penguin 170 filter (no wheel)
Neptune 100 heater
2xAquaclear 301 PH
25 lbs of LR and 40 lbs of LS from LFS

Fish: occelaris clown , bicolor blenny , evil blue damsel
Corals: Starburst polyp, Candy cane, Bullseye mushrooms
Cleaners: 3 margarita snails, cleaner shrimp,scarlet hermit,2 dwarf redleg hermits,2 dwarf zebra hermits
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