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 new system and I have only had it running for 4 days. I noticed one wheel is spinning at regular speed and the other is barely spinning. I havent gotten my fish yet, but I am worried by it not spinning correctly it will mess up my new system.

Asked by: Juparlia
How fast they spin does not matter. Speed or lack thereof, is not important. As long as they are spinning, that is all that matters. As they build up bio load, they will eventually slow down to a point where they start...stop....start...stop, etc. Just make sure the tank is full to the top black frame of the tank, and that there is nothing inside the filter body or the intake tube, interfering with the filter. Even in new systems. you can pull in various types of debris that can cause an issue. However, if you continue to have concerns, please call the Consumer Relations Team at 1-800-322-1266.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-26

Hi I was wondering if I used penguin 75 for saltwater would that work or not?

Asked by: Dylan558
You can, yes. Such filters work for saltwater tanks as well, you just need to keep them well maintained.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-23

I have a penguin 150 filter for my turtle tank that I purchased a little over a month ago and I have cleaned it thoroughly but the water is not being picked up and there is little to no current coming out. What should I do?

Asked by: Bhamel1997
Your water level is probably too low. These do not make great turtle filters because the water level needs to be pretty close to the top of the tank for maximum flow. That goes for any hang-on-the-back filter such as these. However, you could try removing the impeller and cleaning it with white vinegar. Also, clean out down in the bottom of the filter box where the impeller resides with vinegar as well. Water alone may not get all deposits.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-22

I have a Penguin 350 and was making awefull rachet. So I unpluged -cleaned out with toothpick-cotton swab, ordered thru you the impreller assy - bio wheels - both covers, ext tube & mid level strainer. (I do not have fish yet)-It's still loud, any advice?

Asked by: YoYo Beam
No air stones, I have sand mixed with pebbles, no fish yet. But noise was there before sand and stones , plus I removed pump when I added them and hooked back up three days later?
Answered by: Yoyo Beam
Date published: 2016-08-20

is there a spray bar attachment for the penguin 200 series filter? i need to find a way to reduce the current for my axolotls

Asked by: G12345
No, there is not. You might try placing a large natural rock underneath it or a piece of driftwood. Alternatively, place a piece of filter floss on the spillway or stuff some in the strainer to reduce flow rate. Here is a great site for info on axolotls:
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-17

Where do you find replacement wheel filters

Asked by: Chris Taylor
If you mean the bio wheels themselves, you can order them from our website, or you can buy them through a local fish store. To order them through us, go to the filter product page and click on Parts.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-15

hello we have a 75 gallon tank set up with smaller parrot fish. We have 2 50gallon marineland bio wheel filters and the current seems to strong. Is there any way to turn the current down a little??

Asked by: Jeanine
No, the Penguins do not have flow control. The current from the Penguin 200 should not be too powerful for these fish in a 75 gallon tank. I would recommend testing the water quality to make sure they are not overly stressed due to an issue with the water. To help reduce the flow rate, simply place tall plants directly in front of the filters. This will help disguise them and will break up the flow.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-15

How do I remove the bio wheel bearings to replace them?

Asked by: john1john
Depends on the version. Approximately a year ago, we began gluing them in, and prying them out can be trickier. The older version is easier; they just "pop" out. If you cannot pull them out easily, use a flathead screwdriver or butter knife, etc., and carefully pry them out.BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-12
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