BIO Wheel

Q. Do I need a BIO-Wheel?

Yes. Biological filtration is critical to the success of any aquarium. If your system has a BIO-Wheel, a culture of ammonia-neutralizing bacteria will grow on its surface. The bacteria will thrive because as the BIO-Wheel provides "wet/dry" biological filtration. As it rotates, the bacteria are nourished by the larger amount of oxygen in the air and water.

Q. My BIO-Wheel isn't turning. What should I do?

If your BIO-Wheel has, in fact, stopped completely, it is probably either because the BIO-Wheel is out of position or because water flow is not strong enough to push the BIO-Wheel.

If water flow is reduced...

  • Unplug your system.
  • Inspect the BIO-Wheel carefully to make sure that there are no obvious obstructions to rotation and that it spins freely when in proper position.
  • Remove the impeller housing and magnetic impeller assembly and make sure the impeller assembly is clear of any obstruction and free to rotate. With a clean cloth or brush, clean the impeller, intake tube and impeller housing.
  • Make sure your aquarium is filled to the bottom edge of the aquarium frame or the level specified in your owners manual.
  • Restart your system. NOTE: If you have a power filter that hangs on the back of the aquarium, be sure to fill the filter box with water.

Q. When should I clean or replace my BIO-Wheel?

Unless it becomes damaged, there is no need to ever replace your BIO-Wheel. A BIO-Wheel actually improves with age. 

Q. My BIO-Wheel is making a lot of splashing noise. Is that normal?

When a BIO-Wheel is new, it has a tendency to rotate more rapidly, which can cause a "lapping" noise. Over time, as the bacteria culture grows, the BIO-Wheel will slow and operate more quietly. (To immediately reduce the sound of water hitting the wheel, grab each end of the wheel simultaneously and gently turn them in opposite directions. This will cause the incoming water to contact one side of the wheel before the other, reducing noise level.) 

My granddaughter has a 20 gallon tank with a bio-wheel 200, 9 goldfish and a betta in it.  The filters (my daughter puts 2 in) are constantly filthy; she can take the entire filter apart, clean it, and the next day it is dirty again.  What can she do?

Asked by: Gram
Your granddaughter's tank is way overstocked. Goldfish require a minimum of 2-3 gallons of water per inch of fish, and are producers of copious amounts of waste. As goldfish grow up to 14" in length, a 20 gallon is considered suitable for only two goldfish up to 3" in size. Hence, the dirty filters. Until she can re-home some fish, buy a much, much larger tank or build a pond, she can either add a second filtration system to the tank, or do partial water changes once a week by vacuuming the gravel and removing/replacing 30% of the water. Also, make sure she is not feeding too much. She should feed once a day, one to two pieces of food per inch of fish or enough for them to finish in under 1 minute.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-12

I have an existing aquarium. I am using the marineland filter. I have an extra bio wheel that I want to replace the old one with. How do I condition it before replacing? Thank you

Asked by: Regan
Float the new bio wheel in the tank for about one to two weeks, before swapping it with the old one.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-11

How long do impellers typically last 

Asked by: Tspike
I have a 150 gallon tank with 2 emperor 400's. My fish are messy (2 electric blue dempsey's, and 2 firemouth cichlids. I clean the filters and change the impellers every 6 months. Impellers are cheap.
Answered by: Justin the Dempsey dude
Date published: 2017-01-11


Asked by: SMITTY57
Thank you for your interest in this Marineland product. No, they come with filter cartridges that contain carbon and 1-2 bio wheels, depending on the model. You can purchase a media container separately, though, and add ammo chips to it to add to the filter. These fit the 200 and 350 models. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-09

 I have a marine land power filter model 400 every couple of days the spray bar stops working I have to pick up the stem and then It will start to work again it's only six months old then the bio wheel doesn't work 

Asked by: Bob s
Sounds like you need to do some maintenance on it. Filters should be taken apart every couple of months for cleaning. Disconnect the spray bars from the flow manifold housing, then pull the housing out, along with the intake tube and impeller. Clean all of the parts well, but especially clean the impeller and the well of the motor in the bottom of the filter box where the impeller resides. After cleaning, make sure the flow manifold cover is staying on the bottom of the flow manifold housing correctly. If it is loose or missing, this causes the spray bars to not work properly. If you need additional assistance, call 1-800-322-1266.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-09

I have my filter set on a timer that turns off every night. And when morning comes around my filter won't pump any water unless I physically pour water in the back of the filter! What's is going on here? I have the penguin bio wheel 200. 

Asked by: Tfishman
 In my experience you're not supposed to shut your filter off your killing all the bacteria and putting stress on your fish that's why when you have a power  failure you are supposed to change 50 percent of the water 
Answered by: Bob s
Date published: 2017-01-09

Good evening! I have Marineland - Penguin 350. It does a VERY nice job with circulation and filtration, but it is extremely loud. Is this normal? The impeller is obviously working but the rattling sound can be heard three rooms away.

Asked by: HeidiAnderson
We are sorry to hear you are having this experience! No, this would not be normal. If you have sand as a substrate, you may have pulled some into the filter. this will create a lot of noise, and rapidly damage the impeller. You would want to completely clean the impeller and the bottom of the filter box where it resides then put filter floss in the bottom strainer or put a pre-filter sponge over the strainer. If you do not have sand, but have a bubbler near the intake tube, the bubbles will go up the tube, and cause a tremendous amount of rattling. If neither is the case, then we would recommend removing the impeller and impeller housing, and checking for any hair, sludge, hard water deposits, carbon dust, etc., cleaning the filter box and the impeller well, and then re-seating everything. If this does not resolve the issue, please call us directly at 1-800-322-1266 for assistance.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-05

Hello - can the Marineland Penguin 150 filter be used for sand bottom fish tanks? Thanks, Mike

Asked by: Mike B
Thank you for your interest in this Marineland product Mike! Basically, sand is a detriment to most filters, if you do not take precautions. You can make sure the intake tube is not more than halfway down in the tank, the bottom strainer is filled with filter floss or use a sponge pre-filter on the bottom strainer.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-04
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