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Old 01-08-2007, 05:29 PM   #1
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bio wheel vs hagen aquaclear

I have a used emperor ?? on my 30 gallon cube tank. It is beginning to fail. I have noticed that some water flows over the media, not through it, and into the tank. This is just at the top and I can adjust it, I know. It seems to me that every salesperson can only talk about Bio Wheel filters. Like it is there mantra or something but not necessarily what they know from experience. I really like the look of the aquaclear in that there can be no bypass of the filter and it looks much more flexible. I even thought of putting two on the tank and just putting foam and ceramic block media in one of them. I know only enough about this to really be frustrated with my indecision. If I trusted the sales people I would belive the bio wheel could also do my laundry.
please give me your unbiased opinion on power filters. I can not afford canister so I wont be considering it yet. Any other filter you have used and can recommend or warn me against would also be helpful.
Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:07 PM   #2
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Did you clean the filter pads?
I personally like Hagen AquaClear... Its almost like a hang on the back canister filter with three spaces. However, it does allow a small amount of bypass.. but it filters crystal clear.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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I only use ACs for HOB filters. I don't own a bio wheel and never will after the ACs.
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:00 PM   #4
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I have one of each and have used the ac filters a number of years ago. So far, I'm not sold on the bio-wheel concept other than to say that it does a great job of aerating the tank. I don't like bubblers so this is a good thing.

The other issue I have is that the bio-wheel is noisy/loud. The ac is as silent as it can be.

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Old 01-08-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
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I also have both a biowheel emporer's and A/C filters. The bio wheel has more aggressive of a flow and it can be noisier. What I like about it is I can have the water level higher than the output spout so there is less "splash" than with a lot of HOB's. The A/C's are easier to clean and maintain and quieter in operation as well. The chamber for media is larger and easier to use IMO as well.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:16 PM   #6
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It has been posted here that "while the principal of the bio-wheel is sound, it isn't happening on a large enough scale to live up to its claims" still trying to find the thread I just read that in. I have had both and would in retrospect not buy a bio-wheel.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:50 PM   #7
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I would agree with everyone else. I've had several ACs over the years and liked all of them. Plus, if you get a biowheel filter and ever decide to do a planted tank, you'll have to take the wheel out anyway as it will gas out all your CO2.

I've never understood the HOBs that have that little skinny cartridge that slides in, leaving all that empty space. The ACs have big, beefy foam blocks and other media that have to do a better job than those tiny cartridges.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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I'm going to chime in with the masses here. The benefit of the biowheel is the biofilter, but you get that with an AquaClear HOB filter without having another moving part. If you really wanted to get the best filtration on an HOB filter, Eheim makes one that forces the water through each filter. They're huge for the amount of water they actually pass.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:28 PM   #9
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Another plug for the Aquaclear...it allows mix and match media...and really I think the biowheel is just a marketing strategy.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:47 PM   #10
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Thank all of you for responding. I will shop at Foster and Smith unless someone knows of a cheaper online store.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:49 PM   #11
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Check out www.bigalsonline.com They price match and knock off an additional 5% of any other online company. To get that extra 5% you have to call in the order.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:59 AM   #12
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I think the bio wheel has the advantage of air contantly hitting it. My fish never have problems since I have put bio wheels on the tanks.

Sometimes marketing and a good ideas go together. Of course, I have a George Foreman grill too...so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Heck, the GF Grill works great too.

Now back to the QVC!
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:43 PM   #13
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I have a bio-wheel and like it much better than the aqua clear I replaced it with. I keep goldfish though and they seem to do better with the biowheel. They are dirty little pigs too...
I think if your keeping tropicals, you should go with the advice given here. For those with goldies, I'd consider the bio-wheel. We've have better luck with it, personally.
On our 35 hex with 4 fat goldies and three corys we have consistent test reading as follows:

ph 7.2-7.4
nh1 0
no2 0
no3 5 (sometimes a little less but it's our water around here)

We also have a healthy supply of the good green algae growing on everything which is something I did not have with the Aquaclear.
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:35 PM   #14
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There are pros and cons to each filter, as with all equipment. The Emperors have the Biowheel (which isn't that convincing to me either), but they are also noisy, more expensive, and use those proprietary cartridges, thus making them more expensive to operate. The Aquaclear is quiet, doesn't use cartridges (you can rinse and reuse the foam block until it falls apart), is more customizable, and cheaper, but IME is less reliable than the Emperor if you skimp on maintenance.

I've used both brands numerous times and have been generally satisfied with both, but you do get more bang for your buck with the AC in terms of flow rate and the amount of models you can choose from. I'd go with the AC 70 on a 30 gallon (300 gph), and skip the carbon. It isn't necessary except for removing meds. I like to stack 2 of the foam blocks on top of each other for extra mechanical filtration, and then put the bag of ceramic rings on top, which is great for bio filtration. JMO.
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