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.) 

Is there a way to purchase the rubber washers at the ends of the rod that holds the impeller? Mine have started to wear down over the last few years and don't fit properly in their receivers.

Asked by: Ivey
Thank you for your question! No, the rubber grommets are not available separately. You would need to purchase a new impeller. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-25

What size filter cartridge is supposed to fit in the additional media slot for the penguin 200? It seems the rite size C cartridge is slightly too big for that slot.

Asked by: Aquamanshane
You can use the Rite Size C, or buy a media container and customize it to suit the tank's needs. The C cartridge fits it, but sometimes may have extra floss on the sides you need to trim off. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-18

Hello I have the emperor 400. I don’t know if it did it before since I just added my fish from my old tank until today but the rear lid keeps popping up and when you lift it up the filters float up. Is there something I might be missing to stop this?

Asked by: Ericw6311
Well, that's odd, indeed. We have never had anyone report that issue, that I am aware of. Make sure the cartridges are in the slot in back, and the blue is facing the front of the tank. You can place the media containers in front of the cartridges, filled with carbon or bio beads, etc. If you happen to have an air stone near the filter, shut it off for a while, and see if the cartridges still pop up. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-18

While medicating a tank with chemicals that harm neither plants nor snails, do I remove the bio wheel, or just the carbon?

Asked by: ArmyWife
Thank you for contacting us, ArmyWife, and for your and your husband's service to this country! You would only need to take out the carbon, not the bio wheel. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-18

Hi... I have a penguin with the two bio wheels. I cleaned out and emptied the tank to sell.. but after a few months decided to keep the tank. Should I buy new biowheels or am I ok to continue with the ones I have even though they have been dry for a bit?

Asked by: Brittneyadams
You can definitely use the old ones as long as they are not damaged or warped. They will build a bio load again after a few week, as if they were brand new. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-14

How wide does the tank cover opening need to be for the 100 or the 150?

Asked by: DrewM
The 100 needs 5.5" in length and at least 2" in width. The 150 needs 8" in length, and close to 3" for the width. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-12

I just picked up a Marineland Bio-Wheel Penguin Power Filter, Size 200 and I was wondering if there was a way to adjust the water flow? I want to slow the flow down

Asked by: Steve519
You can close off the mid-level strainer, and this will effect the flow somewhat, but not a lot. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-12

My Bio-Wheel is not turning and I followed every step and instructions you mentioned.

Asked by: ABUELA
Then at that point, you call in to talk to a technician to make sure you've done everything possible and done it correctly. If so, you may have warranty if you have your receipt as these filters have a 3 year warranty. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-09-12

a put athank you new bio-wheel 200 in and the motor is noisy. ill it quiet?

Asked by: jay s
Hello, jay s! We're sorry to hear the motor is noisy. That indicates an issue with the impeller. We suggest turning the filter off, removing the intake tube then cleaning the impeller and impeller well. For troubleshooting help please call Marineland at 1-800-322-1266.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2018-09-06

I bought a new bio wheel penguin 200 power filter today to replace a loud top fin filter, it worked for a little then I unplugged it as I was putting sand in my tank. Then I plugged it back in it made a sound and will not work. Please help 

Asked by: Raepets
We're sorry your filter isn't working, Raepets! We suggest turning off the filter, removing the intake tube and inspecting the impeller well. It is likely that sand got into the filter clogging it up. For help call Marineland at 1-800-322-1266. We are happy to help!
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2018-09-06

I have a 40 gallon turtle tank, that opens half way so that the filter is resting halfway also. Would any of your filters fit a tank that opens halfway? About 9 inches of water.

Asked by: julieb63
Thanks for asking, julieb63. The hang on back filters are meant to be used with a completely filled tank. For a turtle tank set-up like you described you may wanted to consider a Magniflow Canister filter. For personalized product suggestions please call Marineland at 1-800-322-1266.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2018-09-06

What is the replacement filter for what was included with the 5 gallon escape kit? Thanks!

Asked by: Unhappy fish
That tank takes Rite Size Z replacement cartridge. The filter system is not sold separately, you would simply remove the intake tube and impeller housing to open the pump. This allows you to take out the impeller and clean it and the pump to keep it running. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-30

I have a new Marineland 60-gal aquarium setup for goldfish ... I have a Bio-Wheel 350 on one side and a 200 on the other. The issue is that the 350 runs amazing, but the 200 needs a new cartridge every 2 weeks or water spills markedly out the overflow.

Asked by: Sir Lucky
Which side do you feed the fish on? If you are feeding on the same end as the 200, this could be a contributing factor. However, the 200 is rated for tanks up to 50 gallons so you are over-maxing it a bit, which could also be a factor. And finally, have you checked the impeller and the motor region for debris? It could be partially clogged, which will also cause the issue. You can certainly rinse the cartridge and replace it just once a month, rather than switch it out so soon. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-29

Our goldfish has outgrown it's 20gal, moving it to a 75gal. Filter space is only 15". What model would fit there and keep up? We're going to add more fish down the road, and he's pretty messy.

Asked by: smendell
Great question! If he is a comet or shubunkin, he will grow to 14", and you will have room for only one more goldfish. Because they are so messy, and your space is limited, we would recommend the Magniflow 360 Canister. If you had glass canopies on the 75, it would have a backstrip you could cut, and then we would recommend the Emperor 400, possibly one at each end, for even filtration and plenty of space for additional media. Good luck with your new tank! BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-28

I recently purchased my Penguin 350 filter and just installed it.  I rinsed off my filters, install filter tube and turn on. Nothing. No power. Come to find out my impeller is also missing. What should I do? I no longer have the receipt. 

Asked by: Joeyk911
Sorry to hear this happened! We would recommend contacting the store for a receipt reprint or if you bought it online, of course you can go to your account and reprint it from there (Amazon, Petsmart, Chewy, etc.). If you purchased it through a Petsmart or Petco store, you can get reprints via your online account. Once you have your receipt, please call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-28

Got Bio-Wheel Penguin 100 for my 10 gal. I set the tank up then put the filter in but found that the intake goes into the gravel, set it to the mid-level. Poured water into it, inserted bio-wheel and filter, plugged it in and...nothing. Return it or...?

Asked by: Bethany
When using the Penguin 100 on a 10 gallon tank, you do not use the mid level strainer nor the extension. Connect the bottom strainer to the intake tube. Pull the impeller and impeller housing out of the box and re-seat them, then re-insert the intake tube. Call 1-800-322-1266 if it still will not operate. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-24

How does tank water level affect bio-wheel filter flow since the intake sits much deeper inside the tank?

Asked by: Bennette
The impeller in the bottom of the filter box, directly under the intake tube, is what is responsible for the flow, not the intake tube. It drives water upwards, which has to hit the middle of the back of the bio wheel for it to turn properly. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-21

Are impellers covered by the warranty?? I had had my penguin 200 for about 6 months and the impeller is already weared and its making alo of noise? i been cleaning it monthly like the manual says.

Asked by: Mario1992
Yes, they are covered for manufacturer's defects. If they are worn due to sand or something along those lines, that would not be a defect. Sand requires a foam accessory to be placed over the intake tube of any filter to prevent wearing of the impeller. Call 1-800-322-1266 to find out what your options may be. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-21

Is it okay for some water to spillover to the side of the bio wheel?

Asked by: Rivercat333
I assume you mean you have water coming down around the intake tube. This is called the overflow channel, and typically, water will only come through here when the filter cartridge is clogged or the filter system itself has enough sludge, algae, or other debris interfering with the impeller. Basically, unplug it, remove it from the tank, and take it apart to clean the entire system. Once you put it back together, it should stop overflowing. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-20

I have a 7.5" opening in my the lid of my tank for the filter would the 200B fit in that space?

Asked by: ccbart450r
No, as it is 9.5". The 150 is 8". Only the 100, at 7.5", would fit it. If possible, we would recommend expanding the opening or buying a glass canopy. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-16

I have a Marineland bio wheel part number cbw-1 and it’s for a commercial 100 gal tank set up and I’m trying to buy a replacement wheel for my tank and I am unable to buy the right part what would be the new part number or a correct size to buy. 

Asked by: Liz86
Please contact our Commercial Division. For sales and service: Call 800.576.6277 between the hours of 8am-5pm M-F PST. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13

If you let your bio wheels completely dry out (For instance replacement of the tank) will they work again once they get wet in the new tank? Or do you need to buy new ones?

Asked by: Sms1982
Once they have once again absorbed water, they will begin filtering for you, once more. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-26

I bought a power filter system with a bio wheel for a 40 gallon tank and the bio wheel stops moving we have cleaned the filter, and the impeller and the intake tube no matter what we do it spins for a little bit and then stops we don't want to burn it up

Asked by: Redd
The bio wheel should stop on its own and start back up, every few seconds, once it has built bio load up. If it won't start up, then the flow of the filter is slow because of a clogged impeller (sounds like you ruled that out) or some other part, the bio wheel has become warped or the bearings are damaged or dirty. So besides the impeller and intake tube, make sure you clean out the motor housing as well, where the impeller resides in the bottom right side of the filter. If you tend to have hard water, use white vinegar to clean out this area and to soak the impeller too. Soak for up to 15 minutes (the impeller). Next, check the purple bearings the bio wheel rests in. Clean them with a q tip and some vinegar and make sure they are not damaged and are inserted all the way. Smear a tiny bit of silicone lubricant onto them as well. If none of these tips work, please call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13

I'm curious about the effect on the bacteria on my bio wheel during water changes. The pump is off 45-60 minutes. Will this cause a significant loss of bacteria on the bio wheel? Should I simply let it float in the extracted water until done?

Asked by: Brewster
No, not really, unless the bio wheel dries out during that amount of time. It shouldn't, but if it does, then that would definitely affect your bacteria, killing them off. As long as it is moist, you're good. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13

What are watts used for 200 or 350?

Asked by: KoiLiz
They each use 20.4 watts. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13

Hi, the previous filter which i have is 500l/h. So for now which is the suitable filter from all of this?

Asked by: Nyana
We would recommend the Penguin 150, however, we do not ship/sale our products to Malaysia. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13

My biowheel 350 won’t stop rattling! It is so loud I am having trouble sleeping. I have tried putting stress coat on the impeller and have cleaned it out several times but can’t get it to stop. How do I fix it? 

Asked by: Raelynn
If you happen to have an air stone in the tank or bubble wall, move it away from the filter. If you have sand in the tank, clean it out of the motor and impeller, and place some filter floss in the strainer to keep it from happening again. If it is neither of these issues, call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-19

How many amps does a 340 draw

Asked by: Ray123
A 350 draws .17 amps. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13

My bio wheel (200) has build up of minerals on it (from the hard water?) It spins sporadically rather than constantly. I've changed the filter multiple times and tried both the first filter slot and the second but it doesn't solve the problem.

Asked by: wanadj
If the actual bio wheel has hard water deposits on it, buy a new one and float it for a week or so, in the tank, then swap them out. If the filter system itself has hard water deposits, take it apart and clean everything with white vinegar. This will greatly improve the flow. Also, as long as the bio wheel starts and stops, it does NOT matter if it is sporadic or constant. Sporadic is actually better, really, as it provides wet/dry trickle filtration, which means the bacteria get a lot more oxygen so they work even harder for you. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13

Why is my penguin filter so noisy? Vibration noise everywhere, it is not against wall but it seem comming from the suction tube connection to the machine. The noise stops when i lift the suction tube a bit up but it decreases the suction power.

Asked by: Josh1987
That is probably some type of impeller issue, so the first thing to do is take out the tube and impeller housing so you can inspect the impeller. Check it for any type of damage or debris, then check the bottom of the filter box as well, where the impeller sits. There may be some gravel, grit or other debris down in the motor causing it to not sit correctly. If it continues to vibrate after you have inspected/cleaned these areas/parts, please call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-08-13
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