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 bought a penguin 200 a couple of days ago. The bio wheel will NOT spin, I have ensured the unit is square with the tank and appropriate level of water is in unit. Any thoughts?

Asked by: Justin W
So the water level is to the top of the tank then? Check and make sure you have both purple bearings. If they are missing, it will not spin. Try placing a little bit of silicone lubricant on the bearings as well, and it would help to float the bio wheel for a day or so as well.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-05-31

I just got a lot that came with a penguin 200 bio wheel power filter, but I think grit may be stuck in the pump and I would like to know if there's a way to get it out. I know how to get the impeller off. It is making a very loud noise.

Asked by: Krussell
Take a toothpick and a q tip to clean out the motor. The tooth pick will gently work the grit out of the very bottom of the motor. The q tip can swipe the loose grit out. Make sure no grit is up under the blades or magnet of the impeller as well.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-05-31

I got my bio-wheel 200 3 months ago and it has worked great until this morning when I noticed it wasn't pumping water at all. I've done everything it says to "troubleshoot" but it still will not work. Nothing is working. Please help!

Asked by: Callie
Remove the impeller assembly and impeller housing. Separate the two and soak the impeller in distilled white vinegar for about 15 minutes, after removing any sludge, hair or other debris. With a q tip and vinegar, clean out the little motor area where the impeller resides in the bottom of the tank. If this does not work, please call the Marineland Consumer Relations Team at 1-800-322-1266 or email us at for assistance.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-05-26

I have a double bio-wheel filter system ,now I want to buy another one but I can't find one who makes them can't find any name on the one I have?

Asked by: penn
All of our filters have the brand, model name, and model number molded into the top cover. You would have to have a Penguin 350 or Emperor 400. These are sold through most local fish stores, large chain pet stores, and online vendors.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-05-25

My biowheel is not turning, straight out of the box, even with no filter in place.  When I put the filter back in, the displacement briefly raises water level enough to turn the wheel, and then it stops.

Asked by: wheelnospin
Thank You, it was just the water level. Filled it to the very top and it works fine.
Answered by: wheelnospin
Date published: 2016-05-22

I bought a biowheel 350 and it didnt come with media trays like the emperor 400??

Asked by: Ljs9
Correct, the Penguin filters do not come with the media trays. We do sell some separately, specifically for the Penguin 200 and Penguin 350 but they do not come with the filter purchase.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-05-17

I purchased a penguin 150 yesterday. I followed the instructions to the letter , turned it on watched it for a few hours and went to bed, I get up this morning and it's no longer working, I did all the trouble shooting from the paperwork, what should I do

Asked by: Number1Yota
Most likely you need to pull the impeller and impeller housing out and re-seat them. Before you re-seat them, rinse out the bottom of the filter box and/or check it for any grit, carbon, sand, etc, that may have gotten caught up in it. If you are unable to get the filter to run, call our Consumer Relations Team at 1-800-322-1266 for assistance.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-05-13

What is the expected life of the filter? Does the wheel need to get replaced before the filter does? Thank you. 

Asked by: CarlyR
Average life of the filter is 10+ years. The bio wheel only needs replacing in the event it becomes damaged.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-05-11
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