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 just set up a new Marineland tank in my bedroom with the Biowheel 200 filter and the motor is very loud. Much loader than my canister filters on my other tanks. Is there any way to make it quieter?

Asked by: KCDiving
Make sure there is no air stone under the filter or near the intake tube. Remove the filter system from the tank, take out the intake tube, impeller housing and impeller and inspect each piece. Make sure the impeller is properly installed in the impeller housing and the blades are not rubbing the housing. Check down in the bottom of the filter box where the impeller resides to make sure there is no grit from gravel or carbon, sand, etc, in that area, interfering with the impeller (this can happen even in new systems). And finally, re-seat all pieces, refill it with water, and start it back up. If it continues to be noisy, please contact us at 1-800-322-1266.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-04-26

I just purchased a tank that came with the Penguine Model 75. It came as a set in the box. It is brand new. I took out of the box, installed and the biowheel turns either very slowly or not at all?

Asked by: Ttillman
Make sure your water level is to the top of the tank, just below the top frame. The speed of the bio wheel is affected strongly by flow rate. Also, remove the bio wheel, and make sure the bracket and bearings are properly in place, then install the bio wheel again. You can also let it float in the tank for a day or so, to absorb water, then re-install. If you continue to have issues, please call 1-800-322-1266 for assistance.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-04-25

How do I decrease flow rate? Just bought tank with filter on 4/9/16. The filter is obviously brand new. However, the filter is overflowing back into the tank via the channel next to the intake. What is wrong?

Asked by: Kathie190
Even though it is brand new, the overflow is signaling a clog somewhere. In a new filter, this can be due to air pockets in a new cartridge, carbon dust caught on the impeller assembly, grit from the gravel if the tank is also new, plant matter if there are live plants involved, a clogged cartridge if the tank is established and was needing some clearing up, etc. In other words, there are lots of things that could be interfering with the flow and impeding it, so I would recommend taking the filter apart and checking each section; intake tube, filter box, impeller, and so forth.If you are unable to ascertain the issue, call us at 1-800-322-1266.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-04-18

I recently purchased two Penguin 350B filters.  One works fine, the other has a very hard time getting started.  Once it starts it works fine, but I have a real hard time getting it to start.  This appears to be a common problem.  Any ideas?

Asked by: Nplawyer
Follow up:  The problem appears to be a defective impeller.  I swapped it out with the impeller from the other filter, and that resolved the problem.  Of course, now the other filter has the bad impeller and is not working.  
Answered by: Nplawyer
Date published: 2016-04-19

What is the wattage consumption of each model...

Asked by: mike2758
4 watts, 14.4 watts, 14.4 watts, 20.4 watts, 20.4 watts, respectively, from the Penguin 75 to the Penguin 350.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-04-15

So I just recently got this and for some reason it randomly starts flowing. It'll be flowing great then randomly make a noise and stop. If I pull up on the thing that sucks and put it back the flow begins again. This is getting really annoying any help? 

Asked by: tttyler33
If you have an air bubbler, stone, wand anything of this sort near the intake tube, this will happen. Additionally, if you have sand, rather than gravel, this will happen. If you have neither, then remove the impeller and check for any other type of debris on it or in the bottom of the filter box that could be interfering with the impeller. If none of this is the case, call us at 1-800-322-1266.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-04-14

Are 2 emperor 400 with bio wheels enough to maintain a 75 gal discuss community tank

Asked by: Norman
Yes, definitely. One should be enough with proper maintenance, but two would definitely be better, and give more even filtration. You can also use the media containers for extra biological filtration such as bio beads or something like peat to make the water more like the Amazon River if you wanted to re-create their natural environment.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-04-11

My penguin bio wheel 350 use to be working and I noticed one side of it was not flowing with water as well as the other so I decidd to do a water change and now the water is not flowing at all. I cleaned out the impeller/tube but it's still not working. 

Asked by: Robin1290
I would recommend removing it totally from the tank, and cleaning out the reservoir the impeller resides in with a q tip and some distilled white vinegar. Also, it would be a good idea to soak the impeller in vinegar for 10-20 minutes.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-04-11
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