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 lost the Filter sponge that fits behind the carbon filter - can it be replaced?

Asked by: lsp2
Penguin filters do not use sponges. They have a bio wheel, and a carbon cartridge. So if you also had a filter sponge, it must have been something you bought separately. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-02

The tube of Emp. 400 reaches the bottom of my tall 65 tank. I have another for a 90 g non-tall tank. Lower strainer won't fit w/o the extension tube. I hope I don't have to cut them; very hard plastic, not safe. Wasn't expecting to have to do that.

Asked by: Terria1
You can attach the bottom strainer to the intake tube and bypass the two middle pieces, but yes, the long extension is most definitely intended to be cut, and it cuts easily and smoothly, with a large pair of kitchen scissors, kitchen knife, or an exacto blade. It does not leave any sharp edges, I've cut them myself for my own tanks. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-01

Fill line on filter? How far up on the filter should water be?

Asked by: L PUPPY
There is no fill line, you fill it up until the water overflows into the tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-01

Will the penguin power filter 150 automatically start after a power failure?

Asked by: MelodyRaine
Good morning, Thank you for your inquiry. The Penguin 150 should indeed start up after a power failure. However, you may have to prime the unit if the water in the filter housing is lower than normal to begin the syphon correctly. MINI
Answered by: MINI
Date published: 2016-07-29

I am setting up my 5.5 gallon tank and bought the bio wheel 100. If I attach the mid-level intake strainer, and the Extension tube, it is too long and doesn't fit my tank. Can I just add the strainer to the intake tube?

Asked by: Nikki T
Yes, correct, you do not use the two middle pieces, just the intake tube and the bottom strainer. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-08-12

I just purchased a Penguin 200 yesterday. Primed and plugged, filter started no problem. Woke up this morning and filter was seemingly dead. No noise, no water flow. Unpluged filter, removed impeller no apparent debris. Reinstalled still dead.

Asked by: ChuckD
If you are not feeling any vibration at all or hearing even a little bit of a hum when you install the impeller, then it does sound like the motor may not be working. You may want to try a different outlet, in the event that you have not already done so. Otherwise, please call 1-800-322-1266 for further assistance. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-25

I buy a marineland bio-wheel led kit 2 weeks ago and the filter doesn't work. The wheel just stop spinning. What can I do to get work my filter?

Asked by: Kaveza
There are a number of possible reasons for this issue. Make sure the tank is filled with water to just under the top black frame. Remove the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller. Clean all three of them well. Re-insert them into the filter system. Once water starts flowing again, give the bio wheel several seconds to start turning. You may also want to check your cartridge, pull it out and re-insert it. Remove the bio wheel, check that there isn't anything caught in it or that there is anything on the spillway interfering with it. If you continue to have issues, please call 1-800-526-0650. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-22

Where can I buy the BIOWheels for model #350?

Asked by: Chreyl
We sell them through independent fish stores, and various online vendors, as well as our own site: BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-21

model 350 water is over flowing over and around the fiter

Asked by: Jennypeters
That is a sign that you have a clogged filter system that requires cleaning. Remove the filter and completely take it apart, removing all media, the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller assembly. Clean the parts well with hot water and white vinegar, then re-install everything and place the filter back into use. For further assistance, call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-18

Will the intake tube from a 350 fit a 200 as an extension? I need to make my tube longer but can not find one for the 200 but I can find the 350. Plz help.

Asked by: Beaver
Good morning, Thank you for your inquiry. The extension tube for the Penguin 350 and Penguin 200 are the same and therefore can be used interchangably. MINI
Answered by: MINI
Date published: 2016-07-15

I have an established 10G with Penguin 75, with 5 Neon Tetras. I plan to add 4 Pygmy Cory and 1 Dwarf Gourami. Will my current filter suffice?If not should i upgrade to penguin 100 and how do i go about this?

Asked by: Prakash257
Good morning, Thank you for your inquiry. Yes, this filter is more than appropriate for your tank. Please make sure that you are monitoring the feeding and don't overfeed and are performing water changes at least once a month 30% of the water level in your tank to maintain a healthy aquarium. MINI
Answered by: MINI
Date published: 2016-07-13

The Marineland Biowheel I have installed in my fish tank starts slowing down then stops completely. I have to manually go in and restart it. Is there something I can do to fix this?

Asked by: Melony
Good afternoon, We are very sorry for the delay in response and will be emailing you directly for more information. MINI
Answered by: MINI
Date published: 2017-01-27

What's the impeller housing

Asked by: Spiffy
Good afternoon, Thank you for your inquriy. The impeller housing is the black plastic holder that holds both the intake tube in place and underneath of it, the impeller to stabilize the rotation of the impeller to pull the correct amount of water into the filter housing. If you remove the intake tube, there will be a round hole where it was sitting. Place your fingers inside of the hole and lift up, this is a cover piece and will release. This is the impeller housing and at the bottom of the tube that you just pulled out, will be the magnetic impeller assembly with fan blades. MINI
Answered by: MINI
Date published: 2016-07-12

I have a 29 gallon aquarium. I need a new filter. I want a Penguin filter that is right for my tank and uses the C cartridge. What model should I buy?

Asked by: Papa K
I would recommend the Penguin 200 which is for tanks up to 40 gallons. It will give you plenty of filtration, and it uses the Rite Size C cartridge. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-08

Can the bio wheel of penguin 75 be used in a penguin 100?

Asked by: Prakash257
Here's a link: BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-08

Marineland 150 won't turn on. Was running, unplugged and moved tank to a new location. Cleaned and reinstalled, now nothing. The motor isn't coming on at all. I've checked the power outlet and it's fine.

Asked by: Carlie84
Remove the impeller assembly and soak it in white vinegar. Swab out the motor with a q tip and vinegar as well, then try it again. If it still will not work, please give us a call at 1-800-526-0650. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-07

If the power goes out & then come on. Will the filter start on its own again ? Penguin 100 power filter. Does hte filter need priming ?

Asked by: Michelle 638
It will indeed, as long as it has been properly maintained. If it is never taken apart and thoroughly cleaned, especially the impeller assembly, then no, it won't. It can't pull the power like it should if it is clogged. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-07

I just bought a Marineland emperor 280 filter, i assembled it just as the manual says to, I filled it with water from my full tank and plugged it in, but no matter what I do, this this thing will not work, help!

Asked by: Tatum
Remove the flow manifold housing and impeller assembly. Once they are out, inspect them for issues, then re-seat them. They may have gotten jammed in so that the impeller cannot turn. If you are unable to get it to operate, please call us at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-07

Also note that if the biowheel isn't turning, another reason could be that you have put the cartridge in too far down...I just figured that one out myself.

Asked by: Cindy73
The position of the cartridge should make no difference to the turning of the bio wheel. The bio wheel is affected by flow rate. The water has to hit the middle of the back of the bio wheel strongly enough to cause it to turn. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-07

What is the current rating of this pump? Penguin power filter model 100. 

Asked by: Chris4321
Thanks. What is the current ? 12 Amps? 
Answered by: Chris4321
Date published: 2016-07-08

i have a number of the penguin bio filters ranging in sizes they all seem to be working fine until yesterday when the 200b model that is on my cichlid tank started making a horrible grinding noise from the impeler please help

Asked by: Ryan79
Grinding is usually an indication of something interfering with the impeller. If you are using sand for example, that is most likely the culprit. Whatever it is, we would recommend you remove the impeller to clean it, and clean down in the bottom of the filter box as well, where the impeller resides. Use a q tip or toothpick to clean out the reservoir. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-06

Can the penguin 350 power filter be used outdoors? In a small prefab 75 gallon water feature.

Asked by: Chub
It is not rated for outdoor use, no. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-07-06

One of my rescue goldfish has ick while the other looks ok. Both are not acting different but the one has little white spots on its gills. With the BioWheel what is an effective and safe treatment to cure ick?

Asked by: skmyers6
Ick usually presents as individual white spots on the tail and fins first, then moves to the body. It does not present on gills. All medications will harm some bacteria, but if the tank is well-kept and healthy, there will not be an issue. You would treat with the bio wheel running. We recommend Marineland Ick Remedy, but I am not sure that your fish has ick. Does it flash or rub against objects? If not, it probably does not have any parasite or protozoa. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2016-06-29

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: skmyers6
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: 2017-01-27

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 75 Power 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: 2017-01-27
  • y_2018, m_1, d_17, h_7CST
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvqa, vn_bulk_2.0.6
  • cp_10, bvpage2n
  • co_hasquestionsanswers, tq_572
  • loc_en_US, sid_PF0100B, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=LAST_APPROVED_ANSWER_SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_marineland