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Old 10-10-2005, 01:23 PM   #1
Yao
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Filter Maintenance

I have a Marineland Penguin 100 HOB filter for my 20G Long. I've been told it's not necessary to replace the filter every 3-4 weeks like it says on the package, and that it would be bad to change it frequently because the good bacteria grow on the filter. I read a review for a similar product - the Marineland Penguin Mini - and it says the BioWheel has the good bacteria on it. I'm fairly new to this, so can someone tell me what is the proper way to maintain a filter? How often do I change it? Am I supposed to be rinsing it in the water I change out every time I change water? What exactly does the BioWheel do, do I need to clean that? How often do I clean which parts of my filter? All tips are welcome! Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:30 PM   #2
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A bio wheel contains and maintains the beneficial bacteria, and no you don't change it or clean it. Carbon filtration is not necessary unless you need to remove meds from the water. You can use filter floss as a removable filter media, you can even purchase it from places like walmart, it is just 100% pure polyester filling for pillows and such. Make sure it is pure and no additives. Cut it to fit your filter. Rinse your filters out in tank water when you do water changes and only change the removable filters when they can't be rinsed enough to work anymore. You can also add bio balls or ceramic depending on the filter. I am not familiar with the penquin brand myself so I don't know if you can use bio balls or not. I have biowheels on 2 tanks and I find the work well.
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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I have a couple of Penguin minis - nice filters. The biowheel is supposed to provide a huge amount of surface area for good bacteria to grow. It's also partially exposed to air, so those bacteria get plenty of O2.

You're not supposed to ever clean the biowheel, even if it's surface becomes gunky. Sometimes mineral deposits will grow around the axel and prevent it from spinning, and you can remove these with a damp paper towel.

Once a week at every gravel vac/PWC, I pull out the cartridge and rinse it off. I used to do this in a bucket of tank water, but I've grown lazy and now do it under tap water. I can do this for about 3 months until the blue fiber pad wears thin - only then do I replace the cartridge.

I don't worry about the carbon in the cartridge, although I would remove it if I had been treating the water with meds. If you want to run carbon all the time, you could cut the back of the cartridge with an exacto knife, remove the carbon every two weeks, and replace it with fresh carbon.

My only complaint about the Penguin Mini is the propensity for its impeller to get gunked up. When I notice the output decreasing, I know that it's time to disassemble the filter and clean the impeller, the two bushings, and the wells in which they sit.
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Old 10-10-2005, 01:54 PM   #4
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Zagz, you must have the Aquaclear filter, which is more versatile and a bit more expensive than the Penguins..
Unfortunately, the Penguin is too small to allow bioballs or other extra media. The fiber pad is heat-sealed onto a plastic support frame, so I'm not sure how difficult it would be to cut floss pads to fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
100% pure polyester filling for pillows and such. Make sure it is pure and no additives.
I just want to stress your point - some polyfill and foam sheets are treated with antibacterial and/or antifungal agents.
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Old 10-10-2005, 03:18 PM   #5
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I only rinse the filter pads when the flow is reduced. You can call me lazy, but that works just fine.
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