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Old 02-13-2006, 08:30 PM   #1
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Penguin Bio-Wheel: Maintenance?

I have a Penguin HOB filter w/bio-wheel on my 20 gallon tank. I was wondering what maintenence is necessary for it to continue to work well, other than replacing the carbon every month or so.
Anything I else I need to be concerned with?
Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:00 PM   #2
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You don't even need to replace the carbon.

After I have rinsed and washed and scrubbed a filter cartridge over and over until the blue floss is falling apart, I tear the floss off and cut a new piece of bulk floss and attach it to the frame with a couple rubber bands.

At the same time, I dump oot the carbon that I don't need or want in my filter.

I don't buy new replacement cartridges anymore.

You will most likely never need to change the biowheel.
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:09 PM   #3
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I don't replace the filter cartridges either. Just a good ol' scrub down till they fall apart!
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Old 02-14-2006, 01:02 AM   #4
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Interesting...
How often do you scrub them?
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:19 AM   #5
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I scrub them when they get so clogged that water begins to overflow and bypass the filter cartridge.

Although many people suggest rinsing them in tank water to preserve the beneficial bacteria, I prefer to hit them hard with the kitchen sink sprayer to get them very clean. I spray them and rub them gently with my fingers until no more brown gunk flows out.

To preserve the beneficial bacteria, I only do this with one filter cartridge on any given day. With biowheel filters, there is so much biological filtration going on in the biowheel that the risk of a mini cycle is pretty low.

Because all of my tanks with Penguin/Emperor filters have either two (or more) filters or have a large filter with dual cartridges, I can ensure the survival of my beneficial bacteria by always leaving one cartridge uncleaned at any given time.

I buy the bulk filter floss material and my cost for a "new" filter is less than $1
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:04 AM   #6
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how good of a job does a bio wheel actually do? I have thought about purchasing a HOb with a bio wheel in it and was wondering how they performed and how maintence wason them
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:11 AM   #7
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Well, I greatly prefer my Aqua Clear 110 over my Emperor 400's, but I do like the emperors, especially since I stopped buying expensive replacement filter cartridges and began rebuilding them myself with inexpensive bulk filter media.

I do think the biowheel does a great job because it provides a lot of surface area and exposure to the atmospheric oxygen for very efficient biofiltration.

Now if I could buy an aquaclear with a biowheel, then I would be in HOB filter heaven.
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:53 PM   #8
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Does the actual 'biowheel' supposed to have carbon inside of it? Or is it supposed to be hollow? I thought it was intended to house carbon? Please advise. Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:48 PM   #9
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There is no carbon inside the biowheel.

The biowheel is a very lightweight plastic wheel with a lot of media around it in an accordion fashion. This media provides a lot of surface area for the beneficial bacteria in your filter.

Because it spins with water flow, it gets exposed to the atmosphere, providing much more oxygen to the bacteria than is available under water. I think they are very good, but they are not the only filter on the block with excellent biological filtration. They are the only filter on the block with a neat wheel you can watch spin, so the wheel is also a great marketing gimmick (except that it is not a gimmick if it works).
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:51 PM   #10
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How do you get the biowheel started? My box didnt come with instructions and when I plug it in it just makes a grinding noise and doesn't pump any water (even though I've filled the compartment with water already)? Help!
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:14 PM   #11
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You can download the manual for your filter here:

http://marineland.com/products/consu...filtersnew.asp

I would start by checking the impeller and just making sure everything is put together right with all the parts.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:15 PM   #12
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I have a Aqua Clear filter rated for 10 gal max together with a Penguin Bio-Wheel filter.
The wheel will move by itself with the water flow, since the wheel sits on top of the water fall channel. The grinding sound is perhaps some loose carbon media that got stuck in the impeller housing, or just air trap in there. I usually pull or lift the snorkel or pick-up tube and allow the water to enter the pump impeller...
Check first your manual, it should have the instruction on how to take apart the filter for cleaning, if not, simply empty the power filter housing of the water you put in, take of couse the filtering media, then lift the pick up tube from the bend. It should come up about 4 or so inches before its free from the housing. From where you took out the pick up tube, that round hole is also a separate part that can be take out, just lift it up and ill will come out pulling with it the impeller little magnet and blades... look into the bottom of the filter housing from where the little magnet sat and check with a flash light if there is any particles of carbon or anything else.. if any..clean it... check the blades too for any damage . then just put everything back starting from the last piece you pulled.

Good luck, good filter, hope this helps you out.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:47 PM   #13
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It will make a grinding noise when the filter is empty of water. Pour water into the basket until it fills up, and it should be quiet. Make sure the water flow thingie (I don't know what it looks like on the Penguin, but on the Emperor it is gray and sticking out of a hole in the lid of the basket) is pulled up all the way to allow maximum water flow.

Maintenance also includes rinsing the parts once in a while and making sure the tubes are clear. About once a month I do that and run a little brush through the spray bar to make sure the plumbing is clear.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:53 PM   #14
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Finally got it! Thanks for the help and quick replies!
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