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 300 where can I get replacement filter cartridges?

Asked by: Ken k
Cartridges are available through local fish stores and through several online vendors. The current cartridges fit the Penguin 350.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-27

My filter and BioWheel have been out of use for a couple years now. I restarted a tank for two rescue goldfish found in a flooded basement. Do I need to replace this BioWheel since it was out of use for a couple years or can i still use it?

Asked by: SKM16
You can still use it, it does not go bad. It will re-grow bacteria on it like any other bio wheel. It just needs a couple of weeks to do so. If it is warped or damaged, somehow, then it would need replacing.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-24

had goldfish and guppies in a tank with the penguin 100. can i use my penguin 100 filter with my new beta fish instead? i have the other fish in a new setup now, but do i need to clean the biowheel or anything, or is it ok to use the same one?

Asked by: Alysa
You do not need to clean or change the biowheel, just use the same one. If the tank is a 10 gallon tank, this filter should be okay to use with a betta. Anything smaller, like a 5 gallon, and it might be too powerful for the betta. Place a thick cluster of tall plants in front of the intake tube, to break up the flow from the filter.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-21

I just upgraded my aquarium to 60 gallons and I wanted to try sand substrate. I have noticed some sand stuck on or around the biowheel.  Will this be an issue for the filter? I have the Marineland Penguin 350b Power Filter.

Asked by: x8xspazx8x
On or around the bio wheel is fine. You do not want it to get up into the impeller area. Place filter floss inside the strainer to prevent this.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-21

Does the bio wheel require replacement as well as the filter cartridges?

Asked by: Ek27
No, not unless it becomes warped or damaged in some way.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-20

Model 75Power is on, it starts making noise, but doesn't take water.  What is wrong?Water level seems fine.

Asked by: marvin
Is there water in the filter system? Try pulling the impeller housing up and out so you can inspect the impeller. Clean any detritus off of it, and re-seat it into the filter. Water level in the tank should be to the top of the tank. You may also want to wash out the bottom of the filter box if the unit has been in use for a few weeks or months, especially the hole that the impeller sits in. Use a q tip to clean this area out.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-15

I purchased a Penguin 150 for my 20 gal. fish tank. I'm having issues with small fish getting stuck on the intake of the pump.My question is could I replace the intake from my Penguin 150 with the intake of the Penguin 350?Thank you. 

Asked by: R_ACE1
First, this filter is a little bit big for a 20 gallon, but not by much. So most likely the issue is either water quality or a disease. Fish do not become stuck to a strainer unless there is something off such as an ammonia spike, they are stressed because they are new to the tank or being picked on, or are becoming sick. Test the water for pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, and alkalinity. Do the fish act normal, and swim normal? Any lethargy, white spots, red streaks, torn fins, chasing, swimming erratically, etc? The strainer has nothing to do with the problem, but no, the Penguin 350 strainer will not fit a Penguin 150, it is too big.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-14

my bio wheels won't turn on my penguin 150 and 200 filtersi have cleaned them and made sure nothing was blockedand they still don't move. what else can i do?

Asked by: zeebru
If you cleaned the bio wheels, you may have warped them. Make sure the impellers, intake tubes, and filter boxes have all been cleaned well with hot water and distilled vinegar. Do you have the purple bearings in place? If the bearings are missing, the wheels will not turn. The water level in the tank must be near the top. If none of these tips help, you may need to buy new bio wheels.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-13
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