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.) 

I have a penguin 200. I've only had it a few months. I just moved and now it is noisy and will not pull water through the filter. I pulled everything out of the top and there isn't anything dirty or blocking anything

Asked by: Mscboston138
I have cleaned the impeller assembly, as well as the hole it fits in. It is still noisy, and will not pull water up through the filter. The rest of the filter housing is clean, as well as the tube that suits inside the tank
Answered by: Mscboston138
Date published: 2016-09-29

Walked by my 10g frog tank & saw the bio wheel was completely stuck. Upon inspection, it was dry too. I just replaced the filter cartridge yesterday (every 4 wks), so that bacteria is gone. Without water, the bacteria has all died, correct? :-0

Asked by: Amandine
The bacteria on the bio wheel have definitely died off, but you still have bacteria on the filter, in the filter system, the gravel, water, etc. Once you get the bio wheel going again, it will re-grow bacteria in no time. Take the filter apart, and clean out the intake tube, the impeller assembly and the bottom of the filter box to get the biowheel to spin again. It is completely dependent on the flow rate of the filter, and debris, sludge, algae, etc., will slow it down.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-28

I powered up the filter without adding water to the box.  Will this damage my filter ? It sounds a bit noisier now. I have single biowheel filter hob

Asked by: Zodiack
It should not, no, as long as it did not run that way for very long. I would just recommend removing the impeller assembly and impeller housing to inspect them. Make sure the impeller assembly blades are not rubbing the housing, pull it out, then re-insert it into the housing, then re-seat both into the filter system. Check the motor region of the filter box for any debris that may have accidentally been pulled in such as grit or sand. If you are unable to resolve the issue, please call us at 1-800-322-1266.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-27

My tank is running the double biowheel set up (takes C filters). Since day one, the wheels have been noisy. I can't run it without the wheels bc it's even noisier. I need it to stop with the drip sound. Please help. 

Asked by: CantSleep
Sounds like your water level is too low in the tank. It should be to the bottom of the top frame of the tank. This allows the spillways to rest in the water, eliminating most of the drip sound. If the bio wheels are new, take them out and float them, in order to have them absorb water faster, and reduce the noise of the water returning. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-22

I have had the penguin 100 for yrs. on my 20 gallon tank. will the 150 be better for that tank.

Asked by: thecat18
It would definitely move more water more rapidly through the filter. So it would filter more, yes.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-19

how do you adjust the mid level strainer?

Asked by: mikenan
Lift or lower the gray lever to shut off as much or as little of the strainer as you would like. It is personal preference. I just remove the gray level and leave the strainer open all the time.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-19

How can you determine power consumption on the motor of the Penguin 350? I have 4, and wonder how many volts/watts the power is pulling? I can find anything in the manuals.

Asked by: TimsTanks
It would have that information on the motor itself; you would need to flip the filter system upside down. Watts are 20.4, voltage is 120, amps are .17.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-19

I use 2 penguin 200 filters with my 55 gallon aquarium. Even if I keep the water level good, I have to tilt the filters to get enough flow to turn the biowheel. Do you have any advice on what else I could do to generate enough flow to keep it turning?

Asked by: Steven777
Take the filter systems apart and thoroughly clean the motor region, the impeller assembly and the intake tube. The bio wheels are also subject to the flow rate, which is subject to how well maintained the filter systems are, and our recommendation is to take them apart every couple of months for a good cleaning.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-09-16
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