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Old 08-24-2011, 01:02 AM   #1
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Bio wheel or Aquaclear?

I need your pros and cons about both filters!!
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:37 AM   #2
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AquaClear! Best HOB ever IMO and super quiet. Plus you can customize the filter media, which is a plus. Bio-Wheels are overated IMO, nothing that special really. I have one, all it does is make noise.
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:45 AM   #3
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I completely agree with above, plus the following...

the aquaclear itself has a Great surface area for biological filtration
2 sponges and biomax > biowheel imo
It also has flow rates higher than many canister filters rated for the same size tank.

And best of all - its completely customizable. You don't even have to purchase the manufacturers media.

Another plus is that the aquaclear is so easy to clean. You don't even have to dismantle the filter to clean it. Just remove the basket and replace media when necessary.

This versatility makes the aquaclear a highly recommended product and the best HOB filter hands down.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:21 AM   #4
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wow thats an awsome filter! I was reading about the media..is it good to change it?
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:36 AM   #5
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the media (sponges, biomax) never need replacing - actually this rule applies for all biomedia, no matter what filter it is.
Just wash them in old tank water when doing water changes.


however, the advantage of the aquaclear media is that they really are durable and do last a lifetime!
Other competitive filters require their cartridges to be replaced monthly. Aquaclear doesn't use cartridges! so nothing ever needs to be replaced.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:19 AM   #6
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Ditto. The only advantage of the biowheel is the biowheel itself. It is the most efficient form of biological filtration because it uses atmospheric air.

The foam will last a long time, years and years. The Biomax will last forever, but I would use Seachem Matrix. It will also last forever but has more bioavailable surface area and supposedly allows for denitrification.

Carbon isn't necessary in all tanks so doubling up on the biomedia is a good option. If you need to keep the pH up or harden the water you can use a bag of crushed coral as if it were carbon.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:22 AM   #7
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The biowheel is the most efficient biological in theory. In practice, the quit rotating and the ones I have used have never started a colony. Maybe it's because I also use sponge filters, by they pretty much continue to look just like they did out of the box, only wet. I have always considered the wheels a bit gimmicky.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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I have always considered the wheels a bit gimmicky.
Agreed. Don't get me wrong, biowheels are a good concept.
But you could probably achieve more biological filtration with 2 sponges + Seachem matrix with the aquaclear
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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I have two aquaclear 70s on my 36 gallon and I love them. definetly recommend them. The ac70 is $35 on amazon.
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
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The aquaclear sounds like a better choice. I do own a bio wheel and i hate it. My water is always cloudy and when it gets clear it turns cloudy. Will the aquaclear ALWAYS keep my water clear and clean?
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:40 PM   #11
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Always has for me.
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:45 PM   #12
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As much as it pains me to reply to a Yankee fan. I have a Penguin 350 which works great. I have some carbon in there and my tank isn't cloudy at all. The only problem is it is very noisy
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #13
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haha i dont know cause my params are perfect and my waters cloudy
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:49 PM   #14
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Do you guys know how long it will take me to "cycle" my new aquaclear 30 filter when i buy it??
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:12 PM   #15
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Do you guys know how long it will take me to "cycle" my new aquaclear 30 filter when i buy it??
Not very long - a couple of weeks (maybe less)?

Run BOTH filters (your penguin and aquaclear) on the same tank. Bacteria will be seeded into your new filter.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:55 PM   #16
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Sounds great!! cant wait to get it
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:39 PM   #17
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Hmm. I have 4 biowheel filters from the smallest to the largest on different tanks. The largest one can be loud as the water level drops but all the others are quiet... Two I have had for six months and they have seeded nicely... params great as well. I have no experience with the other one type of filter..
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:05 AM   #18
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Im a little confused because some people are saying the bio wheels are quiet and others seem to make it sound like they are a harley davidson. I want the best and have considered getting one in addition to my other filter for my 40 gallon.

I am new to the personal aquarium field so you guys will have to excuse my not really knowing anything about these issues but I have read your filter media is where the bulk of bacteria live that make aquariums liveable. Now again I dont know much about aquariums but the average information I have found states it takes 1 to 2 months in many cases to effectively cycle an aquarium. With the recommendations they give about changing a filter out every 2 to 4 weeks (Local shops recommendations) how would first off the bacteria ever survive to start out in the first place. And if so would you not be restarting the colony all over and in essence restarting the cycling stage?????
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:25 AM   #19
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Don't be concerned with all the hype. They are basically the same, a pump and some media. You don't ever have to use the manuf's product media, you can cut it from any bulk media source or customize it any way you like. The AquaClears are very cool in design features but I would prefer it if they made an "AquaOpaque" I know the filter needs cleaning, I don't need everybody to be able to see it. All the good name brands are all pretty quiet, most will be drowned out by your air pump. Just get one with adequate flow and features you like. If you find you don't like it just take it back and try a different make.
When/if I replace my Marinelands it will likely be with Fluval C-series (also made by Hagen like the AquaClear).
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:29 AM   #20
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I've seen both biowheels and aquaclears in action and biowheels can definitely be noisy. I think some just get that way in time, because I've seen some that are perfectly silent. I'd just go with an aquaclear if I had a choice between the two, I like that you can see in them and they have plenty of media options.

As far as switching out filter media goes, don't do it. It's kind of a gimmick that some filter manufacturers push to sell more product. Some filters use an all in one kind of filter media insert that has sponge material, filter floss, and carbon all together. Since activated carbon only works for a few weeks to a month, they can justify telling people to swap out inserts monthly.

Activated carbon is optional, though, and nearly everyone I know does not use any in their setups.

The general idea with filter maintenance is to rinse old filter media in a container of old tank water and put it back in there till it is literally falling apart.
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