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Old 07-24-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
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Penguin Filter reviews? and more ?'s

Hello Everyone I had a few questions so here we go

1. I have a penguin 150 running on my 20 gallon. So .... how long do penguin filters last because I have seen mixed reviews ?

2. if the filter is crap and I turned to aqua clear .... how would I go about transferring the bacteria from the bio-wheel to the other media ?

3. Right now I'm (fishless) cycling my tank with gravel. So .... When I'm done cycling I would like to change my substrate to sand. Is it possible to plant plants with an under layer of plant substrate and sand on top?

Please no rude comments I'm only 13 and am still fairly new to the hobby
-Thank You
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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Haha I'm 13 too and I'm also fairly new with tanks. I have the same filter as you and I change it every two weeks. I wouldn't wait any longer or ammonia or other bacteria/chemicals could build up. I'm not too familiar with bio-wheels so I'll have to research that some more. If your tank is new, I'd recommend using fake plants. Real plants are hard to care for and cost more money because you have to buy food. I personally don't have live plants but I have seen tanks with plants that are like what you're talking about. I'm not sure if they'll live long though.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:50 PM   #3
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I don't know the answers to the first 2, but yes, it is possible to grow plants with sand on top of planting substrate. Your cycle ///might/// be affected by changing the substrate though (some bacteria live on it) so maybe you should change it before you get very far in your cycle. However I don't think it would affect it that much.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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Haha I'm 13 too and I'm also fairly new with tanks. I have the same filter as you and I change it every two weeks. I wouldn't wait any longer or ammonia or other bacteria/chemicals could build up. I'm not too familiar with bio-wheels so I'll have to research that some more. If your tank is new, I'd recommend using fake plants. Real plants are hard to care for and cost more money because you have to buy food. I personally don't have live plants but I have seen tanks with plants that are like what you're talking about. I'm not sure if they'll live long though.
Thanks for the input I haven't decided if I want plants or not yet I will do more research and decide
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PiranhaSlayer View Post
I don't know the answers to the first 2, but yes, it is possible to grow plants with sand on top of planting substrate. Your cycle ///might/// be affected by changing the substrate though (some bacteria live on it) so maybe you should change it before you get very far in your cycle. However I don't think it would affect it that much.
Thanks I have never done sand before so would it mess up my filter eventually
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:56 PM   #6
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Thanks I have never done sand before so would it mess up my filter eventually
As long as you clean the sand thoroughly before you put it in the tank I'm sure you'll be fine. I have sand in my cycling tank now lol. Maybe use pool filter sand or Tahitian Moon sand if you're concerned with ruining your filter since they're more medium-grained and won't kick up and cloud the water when your fish swim near it
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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As long as you clean the sand thoroughly before you put it in the tank I'm sure you'll be fine. I have sand in my cycling tank now lol. Maybe use pool filter sand or Tahitian Moon sand if you're concerned with ruining your filter since they're more medium-grained and won't kick up and cloud the water when your fish swim near it
Do you have any beginner plants that you would recommend
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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1. I think the primary complaint with the Penguin/Marineland series is noise. They can run a bit noisier then other types. Sometimes cleaning or replacing the impeller will resolve this. For this reason and because of flexible filter media options I switched ACs.

2. You could simply float the biowheel in the tank or tie string or fishing line to it and position it so that the current from the new filter is flowing around it. Not sure how long (maybe 2-3 weeks) so that the new filter can build up enough BB.

3. You could try that. Keep in mind that over time the finer sand will settle downward into the plant substrate and vice versa. If the two substrates are similar in color this should not be too much of a big deal.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
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Do you have any beginner plants that you would recommend
Java fern, java moss, and anubias. They all require low light and are easy to maintain. (Also, stupidly before I read the reviews for them, I bought the aquatic plant bulbs from Petco. They have many, many bad reviews but I thought hey you know why not give it a shot, I already have them right? lol. But amazingly 5 out of 6 grew and they grow fast! So maybe if you feel like taking a bit of a risk you could try them )
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
1. I think the primary complaint with the Penguin/Marineland series is noise. They can run a bit noisier then other types. Sometimes cleaning or replacing the impeller will resolve this. For this reason and because of flexible filter media options I switched ACs.

2. You could simply float the biowheel in the tank or tie string or fishing line to it and position it so that the current from the new filter is flowing around it. Not sure how long (maybe 2-3 weeks) so that the new filter can build up enough BB.

3. You could try that. Keep in mind that over time the finer sand will settle downward into the plant substrate and vice versa. If the two substrates are similar in color this should not be too much of a big deal.
Well my filter is running great but I just don't want it to stop on me the reviews scared me. Since I only have enough money to buy sand and plant substrate I will probably keep the filter or do you think in the long run would it be better to get AC because my cycle has only been going on for about a week If so I will return the filter and keep the bio wheel
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PiranhaSlayer View Post
Java fern, java moss, and anubias. They all require low light and are easy to maintain. (Also, stupidly before I read the reviews for them, I bought the aquatic plant bulbs from Petco. They have many, many bad reviews but I thought hey you know why not give it a shot, I already have them right? lol. But amazingly 5 out of 6 grew and they grow fast! So maybe if you feel like taking a bit of a risk you could try them )
Thanks I will do some research on these
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
1. I think the primary complaint with the Penguin/Marineland series is noise. They can run a bit noisier then other types. Sometimes cleaning or replacing the impeller will resolve this. For this reason and because of flexible filter media options I switched ACs.

2. You could simply float the biowheel in the tank or tie string or fishing line to it and position it so that the current from the new filter is flowing around it. Not sure how long (maybe 2-3 weeks) so that the new filter can build up enough BB.

3. You could try that. Keep in mind that over time the finer sand will settle downward into the plant substrate and vice versa. If the two substrates are similar in color this should not be too much of a big deal.
Well my filter is running great but I just don't want it to stop on me the reviews scared me. Since I only have enough money to buy sand and plant substrate I will probably keep the filter or do you think in the long run would it be better to get AC because my cycle has only been going on for about a week If so I will return the filter and keep the bio wheel
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCB1000 View Post

Well my filter is running great but I just don't want it to stop on me the reviews scared me. Since I only have enough money to buy sand and plant substrate I will probably keep the filter or do you think in the long run would it be better to get AC because my cycle has only been going on for about a week If so I will return the filter and keep the bio wheel
Don't want to start a Biowheel vs Non-Biowheel feud here. You're only a week into the cycling so if you started from scratch you've only lost a week. IMO I'd return it and get an AC, but that would cut into you substrate budget.
I purchased a Penguin 200 HOB about 4 years ago and used it for 2-3 years. I was going to use it a second filter for DIY CO2 injection (no biowheel) but even after a thorough cleaning it made a humming / grinding noise. Perhaps a new impeller would help. Oh, I just remembered that I used it in a tank with fine sand so that may have contributed to its current condition.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:15 AM   #14
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If your fishless cycling break it down and start over. Way easier, no real time lost. Bio wheels are louder for the most part, if you clean your tank alot the media will be cleaner longer and also how many and what kind of fish your housing. I have sand in one of my FW tanks and personally I would go with gravel cause you don't have to have a fork on the end of siphon and it's just easier to maintain versus a SW when you have clean up crews to do it for you plus it's not as hard on your filter. If your new to the hobby gravel will be easier but if you like the sand do it to it!
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post

Don't want to start a Biowheel vs Non-Biowheel feud here. You're only a week into the cycling so if you started from scratch you've only lost a week. IMO I'd return it and get an AC, but that would cut into you substrate budget.
I purchased a Penguin 200 HOB about 4 years ago and used it for 2-3 years. I was going to use it a second filter for DIY CO2 injection (no biowheel) but even after a thorough cleaning it made a humming / grinding noise. Perhaps a new impeller would help. Oh, I just remembered that I used it in a tank with fine sand so that may have contributed to its current condition.
What i'll probably do is order one off of amazon or ebay and wait on sand because I think it would be better to actually have an aquarium that would be nice to look at instead of hearing the loud hum of a crappy impeller
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:21 AM   #16
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If your fishless cycling break it down and start over. Way easier, no real time lost. Bio wheels are louder for the most part, if you clean your tank alot the media will be cleaner longer and also how many and what kind of fish your housing. I have sand in one of my FW tanks and personally I would go with gravel cause you don't have to have a fork on the end of siphon and it's just easier to maintain versus a SW when you have clean up crews to do it for you plus it's not as hard on your filter. If your new to the hobby gravel will be easier but if you like the sand do it to it!
Thanks I will probably get AC it has far better reviews and I will probably stick to gravel
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:34 AM   #17
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You can't go wrong with an AC, I have nothing but good things to say about them.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:08 AM   #18
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I just got a bunch of aquarium stuff that my bro was throwing away... Cleaned up two marineland emperor 280 HOB's, and they are SILENT. I keep my water level highhhh though, so maybe that helps. Moving the spray bar really allows u to customize how fast the wheel spins too. They don't show any signs of stopping and they were in bad shape wen I got them lol.

The pix show some before and after lol
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