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've got a deluxe mag350 that came with a biowheels but I cant find the attachment to it from the hose outtake. Where can I get this part?

Asked by: happypoon
If you are referring to connecting the outlet to the bio wheels, the only parts we have left for the Magnum Pro filter are these: BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-14

Does the bio wheel spin at a rapid spin or just slow and spin

Asked by: jackie01
When you first install the filter, it will spin pretty rapidly. Once it absorbs water, it will begin slowing down, and once it builds up a really good bio load, it may actually start and stop. There is no right or wrong speed. Slower is generally better just because the bio wheel is exposed to oxygen for longer periods of time, leading to more biological filtration. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-14

Hi, my Marineland Penguin bio wheel 75 has not worked. It has been off and on, and my 4 year old fish are at risk. They are rare fish. Anyway, any suggestions on how to get it working? Tried starting again, unplugging, cleaning it. PLEASE help. Thx.

Asked by: JacieBoo
If it is starting and stopping so to speak, make sure you do not have sand in the aquarium that could be causing the issue. When sand is in use, you need to place filter floss inside the strainer or put an accessory sponge over the strainer. Another thing that will cause filters to turn on and off are air bubbles. If you have an air stone in the tank, try turning it off and testing the filter. Take the filter apart, removing the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller. Clean it thoroughly, especially the impeller, and the bottom of the filter box, where the impeller resides in the motor well. You may have some sludge or other build up causing an issue. In the event of hard water or marine water, use distilled white vinegar to clean everything and rinse well. Last, make sure it is plugged into a power strip and not an outlet in case of voltage issues, if this is an older home. A filter's purpose is not to keep the fish alive, but to reduce the maintenance of the tank. So until you determine what the issue is with the filter, step up on the water changes. Vacuum and do 10% at a time, every couple of days, if the filter continues to have an issue. Also, call us directly so we may assist you. 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-26

I'm building a 10gal nano tank with red crystal shrimp and vary tiny rare fish is the penguin power filter 100 safe for fry and baby shrimp or will they be sucked into the filter and if so is there a way to put a protector sponge on the filter intake

Asked by: Arux584
The only type of filter that would be safe for fry and baby shrimp would be a sponge filter, operated by an air pump. If you use the Penguin filter, place filter floss inside the strainers. This comes in bags for just a few dollars and looks like a giant cotton ball. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-10

How come my wheel has stopped spinning and what can I do about it??

Asked by: teens
It is completely controlled by the flow rate of the filter. Most likely you need to take the filter system off of the tank, and take it apart to clean it. Pay close attention to the impeller and the reservoir it sits in. Use hot water and distilled white vinegar to clean it. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-10

Hello. I have a Smallville 2,5 gallon 2 fish aquarium. Is penguin's smallest edition good for me? Or just too much?

Asked by: Tiago
An up to 20gal filter on a tiny 2 gal is way to much suction I suggest looking into Nano tank filters for 5gal or less 5gal being the most suction on your tiny tank if your working with Beta they don't prefer to much water movement as there not strong swimmers but a filter is a must i think tetra and Fulval make nano filters 
Answered by: Arux584
Date published: 2017-03-10

brand new bio penguin 75 in a newly set up tank. (Marineland Starter kit.) Ran for about 60 sec. then stopped. I cleaned filter, water level in tank is right. will not start again.

Asked by: Jakka25
Going to answer my own question. Returned the Bio 75...Replaced with Aqueon LED Pro. Working fine.
Answered by: Jakka24
Date published: 2017-03-07

my penguin 350 filter pads release tons of micro bubbles into the water making it cloudy. what should i do to stop this from happening

Asked by: mike222
Most likely you need to raise your water level in the tank. The spillway of the filter should rest in the water so that there is less splashing. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-15

will the 350 penguin impeller work in the 200 penguin model... I have a 280 penguin I using a 400 impeller works great

Asked by: iceman4856
Iceman4856, Thank you for your inquiry. However, the impellers for our units are not interchangeable. You need to be running the proper impeller for the size of filter system to achieve the proper flow rate. Thank you, Christina
Answered by: MINI
Date published: 2017-03-03

I need the round filter for a Penguin 150 Bio Wheel. Where can I purchase this item?

Asked by: BarbaraKrauth
Barbara, Thank you for your inquiry. You are describing the Bio-Wheel for the Penguin 150. We sell these directly online to our consumers. Please type in the search box PRBW150B and the bio-wheel will become available for purchasing. Thank you, Christina
Answered by: MINI
Date published: 2017-02-28

I have a Penguin bio wheel 100 power filter. I need a new impeller, but not sure which one to order. Confused by product numbers. Which is correct ? Thanks

Asked by: joem
You need the impeller, PRIM100B. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-23

I have a new emperor 400, the water jet tubes only work for a few seconds before stopping all together, air can be heard gurgling as it stops. I have taken it apart and inspected several times but can't find a noticeable cause.

Asked by: DraxixEntreri
Sounds like either the flow manifold housing cover is missing or not attached properly. You need to disconnect the spray bars, pull up the manifold housing, and check to see if it is in place on the bottom of it. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-21

I own two marineland filters. The 100 and 200 series. I love them both as they are very quiet and work amazing. However I just picked up the 350 for my 55gallon tank and it seems to make a lot of noise. Mainly the motor. Is this common for the larger size

Asked by: Jwhite
No, not really. It should be just as quiet. Remove the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller and re-connect then re-seat them. These parts may not have been installed correctly on the production line or may have been knocked out of position during shipping. Also, make sure there is no air stone near the intake tube, and that the filter is plugged into a power strip with surge protection. If you are unable to resolve the issue, please call us at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-21

Hi I just bought biowheel penguin 150 and everything is working fine except the biowheel is not turning at all. The water doesn't seem to be hitting it at all. What can I do to get the water to hit the wheel to start it turning?

Asked by: 20Gallonfishlove
Make sure the water level in the tank is all the way to the top of the tank for one thing. This is the most likely culprit in a new filter system. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-21

I have 29 gallon marineland tank with 5 rather large goldfish in it.. It came with bio-wheel 150 but it seems with goldfish level of waste it is not enough( getting plugged almost every other day). I am thinking about upgrading filter. Is 350 too big?

Asked by: Olga G
No, if the goldfish are good size, they will not be bothered by this filter at all. The additional filtration would be good to have, but make sure you run the old filter for a week or so as well, until the new one has built up its own bacterial base. Or you can put your old media into the new filter system. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-10

I have the Marineland Bio Wheel Penguin 200 bout it maybe 2 months ago. Wheel stops spinning, water overflows the intake chute. Like the cartidge is stopping the water from flowing. Have taken it all apart and rinsed and cleaned any buildup.

Asked by: Eliza87
Take it apart again, this time place the impeller into a dish of distilled white vinegar and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Take a paper towel and soak a corner in the vinegar, as well, then twist it and pack it into the motor at the bottom of the filter box. Let it sit for a few minutes, then twist it around to clean out the motor. You may also want to use a small baby bottle brush to clean out the intake tube and the impeller housing. There is some debris somewhere, interfering with the filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-17

I have a penguin bio-wheel 200 and the wheel is still spinning but the water is not getting clean, what should i put inside the filter?

Asked by: AwesomeRazor
There are a lot of possible reasons why your tank may not appear clean. It would help to know more about the tank such as how long it has been set up, what kind and quantity of fish, your routine for partial water changes, etc. We would actually recommend a partial water change, addition of Tetra SafeStart Plus, and either a second filter cartridge or adding some additional carbon, ammo chips, floss or bio beads. Test your water quality parameters as well to help determine the issue so you can make an educated guess as to what type of media you need to add more of to the tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-17

My filter is brand new , plugged it in and nothing is happening 

Asked by: Ivy1
Pull out the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller, check them for any damage, then re-seat them. The impeller may be jammed or not seated properly. If the unit still makes no noise, contact us at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-14

I have a 350 that I bought at least 20 years ago still rocking and rolling. My question is do y'all have reusable cartridges like the company that walmart sells? All i can ever remember seeing are the completely sealed filters.

Asked by: Insaneinnixa
We still have the sealed cartridges, but you can buy media containers for this filter and fill them with whatever type of media you want/need for your tank. Here is a link to a site that carries them. Scroll to the bottom of the list on this page: BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-21

my 10 Gallon bio wheel filter isn't working. I've tried priming, un plugging it and plugin it back it...... could there be a loose part I should be concerned about?.....or anything else I could do?

Asked by: CFred44
A very dirty filter cartridge can slow the water flow and stop the bio-wheel from spinning. Try replacing the cartridge.
Answered by: SailorVF21
Date published: 2017-02-09

Hi I has a penguin 200 with my 29 gallon tank and the bio wheel has stopped turning and the water started to over flow over the intake tube I put two new filters in on 01/22 and my tank is clear and clean so I think its to soon to need new filters ?

Asked by: Coco
Hi Coco, How often you need to change filter cartridges depends on the size tank, number of fish, types of fish, and feeding routine. Typically, they need changing every two to four weeks. You may also need to clean out the intake tube, impeller, and well down inside the filter box. These areas can build up sludge, algae, and other deposits. Take the filter apart, and clean each piece separately. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-06

Is there any Carbon in the actual bio-wheel? I know the filter inserts have carbon, and I'm not using them intentionally. But something is removing the medication from my quarantine tank and I suspect carbon in the bio wheel.

Asked by: maggarcj
No, there is absolutely NO carbon in the bio wheel. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-02

I have an older bow front, believe 10 or 20 gallon, aquarium that needs a bio wheel, about 2.5 inches in length.  Can you tell me which one I can get.  

Asked by: Susan41
We do not have any that are 2.5" in length. Look on the top of the Penguin filter to see which model filter you own. This will tell you what bio wheel you need as well. The model number is molded into the cover, in one of the corners, depending on the model and the age of the filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-01

I have the new Marineland 400 , one bio wheel turns really good other one does run very good at all and stops ? Can you tell me how to fix ? Doesn't matter how high I set the water pressure .

Asked by: Canadian Male
Check the bio wheel bearings at each end and make sure they are properly inserted. Smear a very thin amount of silicone lube on them to help make it rotate. If you continue to have issues, please call us and we will replace the bio wheel for you. 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-30

We just bought a 55 gallon aquarium for our turtle. it came with a bio wheel filter. the problem is we don't fill the tank to the top so the filter doesn't work. What can I do?

Asked by: Jennifer123
This filter is not recommended for turtle tanks for that reason. Your water level absolutely must be above the mid-level strainer. The only way you would be able to do that is if you have a screen top or a turtle topper over that part of your tank, because the water level will be within 2-4 inches of the top of the tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-30

The filter out of the box will not turn on when plugged in. This is straight out of the box. The level is to the outtake, filter is primed with water. I have tried two and its the same problem. What is the problem?

Asked by: Mklein
Pull the intake tube, impeller housing and impeller out of the filter box and re-seat them. The impeller may have been knocked out of position during shipping, and this should start it for you. Make sure, of course, that there is water in the filter box before plugging it in. If you are unable to resolve this issue, please call us directly at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-02-06

My Marineland Penguin Power Filter Model: 75 did not come with the impeller housing or the impeller/magnet assembly. What should I do?

Asked by: Emily85
We are sorry to hear your filter is missing some parts, and will reach out to you directly via email. You may also call us at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-25

My bio wheel 350 is making a very obnoxious rattling sound. I have thoroughly cleaned my filter and impeller. What can be done about this as it is unbearable to run.

Asked by: Josh Albright
We are sorry to hear you are having this experience with our filter. This is not reflective of the brand or the company's reputation. Here are some things to try if you have not done so already: - remove the impeller again and soak it in distilled white vinegar for about 15 minutes. Swab out the motor region of the filter as well, with a q tip and vinegar - are you using sand? If so, it has probably been pulled into the impeller and is either caught under the magnet or has worn grooves in the shaft and/or magnet. This means you will need a new impeller. Always place a pre-filter over the strainer or some filter floss inside of it to prevent sand from damaging a filter system. - is there a bubbler in the tank? If so, and it is near the intake tube of the filter, move it away. Air bubbles will travel the tube and get caught around the impeller, causing it to rattle. If you are unable to resolve this issue, please reach out to Marineland directly via 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-25

My filter is leaking water past the intake tube some of the water is getting filtered but a good bit is coming back into the tank unfiltered by the tube? Do my filters just need to be changed?

Asked by: Tja93
This is usually indicative of a clogged filter cartridge or impeller assembly. We would recommend unplugging the filter and removing it from the tank. Take it completely apart and clean all of the parts, paying close attention to the impeller and the motor region at the bottom of the filter box. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-01-25

1st problem is rectangular suction pipes vs older models with round pipe. Do you offer any filters with the round pipe? 2nd problem, my Marinelands do not turn the bio wheel without a lot of cleaning and manipulation. Are there newer models that work?

Asked by: MikeSmith
I have owned a number of these and if the meadia is a little bit dirty water back over a spillway at the suction tube. Instead, the filter cartidge should be lower to allow the excess water to pass over and contact the bio wheel.
Answered by: MikeSmith
Date published: 2017-01-23
  • y_2018, m_9, d_20, h_19CST
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvqa, vn_bulk_2.0.8
  • cp_10, bvpage2n
  • co_hasquestionsanswers, tq_684
  • loc_en_US, sid_PF0100B, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=LAST_APPROVED_ANSWER_SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_marineland