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 purchased a penguin bio wheel 75. As soon as a plus it in, it makes a loud humming sound, but is clearly receiving power. It will not suck up water though. I have taken it apart & put it back together. Am I doing something wrong or is it bad?

Asked by: MereR
Hi Mere! I'm sorry to hear it's not working. I suggest removing the filter cartridge, bio-wheel and other media first. Then fill the back of the filter to prime it. Plug it back in and continue to fill it with water from your take. It may take a minute, but the water should start pumping through normally. If it doesn't, try removing the impeller, cleaning it, then replacing it. We're happy to walk you through this over the phone at 1-800-526-0650.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2017-07-13

in need of replacement bio-wheels for my penguin 400

Asked by: scary cherri
We do not make a Penguin 400, we do make an Emperor 400. Here are all of the bio wheels we sell direct: http://www.marineland.com/search.aspx?q=bio%20wheel#/?filter.brand=Marineland BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-07-07

My 6 month old bio wheel stopped working, I have to penguin 200 for my 55 gal my community makes up 25 because of my 2 day old fry babies. I took the damaged wheel and put in the one that worked it didn't turn if I replace the unit will my frys die

Asked by: Mixcommunity
Purchase a new bio wheel and float it in the tank for a week, try to keep the old one in the filter system, even though it is not turning, there will be some bacteria on the portion that is in the water. Also, your biological filter is throughout the tank, so you should be fine, but monitor the water quality. If you start getting a spike in ammonia, do a small partial water change and add Marineland Freshwater Bio Spira or Tetra SafeStart Plus. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-07-07

I bought my Penquin 150 a few months ago and recently took it apart and cleaned the intake flushed out everything except I didn't use vinegar. I keep live plants in my freshwater aquarium, the intake clogs real easy will this stop bio wheel from turning?

Asked by: FancyLady
Yes, it definitely will, as well a dirty impeller. Remove the impeller housing and impeller also, clean them, and use a paper towel or q tip down in the well of the motor. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-07-28

I'm starting a new tank with my old emperor filter I bought a while ago. Should I throw out the bio-wheel or should I wash it?

Asked by: Pøøh Bear
Neither, if it is in good shape and will turn. Otherwise, buy a new one. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-07-28

Is there a warranty on my mainland bio wheel filter? I have had it for under a year and it stopped working and is very hot. My old one that is over 10 years is working fine but I need 2. Thank you

Asked by: Gail G
It has a warranty of three years. However, hot means it is still working. Most likely the impeller is clogged and needs to be removed for maintenance. Take the filter off of the tank, remove this part and clean it, and the motor itself. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-28

I currently am using an AquaClear 50 in a 30 gallon tank. The filter is over 15 years old and fails to restart after a power outage. Am looking to buy a Penguin 200 as a replacement. Do these have the same issue of not restarting after loss of power?

Asked by: JBS from PA
Filters typically only have this issue when they need some cleaning or the impeller has become worn out. The Penguins will restart as long as they are not clogged with sludge, algae or other debris. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-28

Was the impeller housing already installed with the 200 model. I did not get those pieces if not. And my biowheel turned for maybe a couple of hours and then stopped 

Asked by: Rosario
Hi Rosario, Yes, we install the impeller and impeller housing here on the production line. Remove them from the right hand side of the filter box, and re-seat them in case they were pushed out of position during shipping. Also, your water level must be to the top of the tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-28

What is the electrical rating (voltage and watts) of the Marineland Bio-Wheel Penguin 75 Power Filter? 

Asked by: amigorick
4 watts, 120 v, .12 a BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-28

How many inches away from a wall should I place my aquarium if I choose a Penguin 200?

Asked by: Ilovemanatees
At least 4-5 inches. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-23

my penguin 75 will not suck up water to allow the wheel to turn what should i do?

Asked by: jen1992
We would recommend taking it apart to clean it. The impeller, down in the bottom on the right hand side, is probably clogged. Pull out the intake tube, then the impeller housing to access the impeller. Be sure to clean the bottom of the filter box as well. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-22

Do I need to replace my Bio Wheel? Both of them stop spinning at times and I've noticed that there is a tear between 2 pleats on each of them. I've cleaned the filter as instructed and they are spinning slower than they used to.

Asked by: DebbieD
Spinning slower or stopping and starting are both okay, as long as they do turn on their own. There is nor right or wrong speed. However, if the tears are pretty large, we would recommend replacing them. Try to buy new ones, and float them for a week or so, then swap them with the old ones, in order to not disrupt your biological filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-22

Our model 75 filter has stopped working completely, and the water around it is hot. What should we do to get it running again?

Asked by: TheApexPred
You need to remove the intake tube, impeller and impeller housing. Clean them, as well as the bottom of the filter box on the right hand side, where the impeller resides. If you have hard water, use distilled vinegar. Call 1-800-322-1266 if you need additional help. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-22

I have the Marineland Penguin 350, I did thee above & it is still not working. The bio wheel spins if I move it but it seems like the water isn't flowing as hard as it use to & there is no water pushing my Bio wheels yet the filter is filled. Help! :(

Asked by: Char93
I just had to maintenance my Biowheel 100. Here is what I found. The impeller wasn't spinning and when I took the impeller shaft out and tried to spin it I found that there was much resistance to where it wasn't spinning freely at all. I took the rubber boots off the ends and using pliers, carefully pulled the plastic end off of one end to free the shaft. I took it loose and found the antennae of one of my dead ghost shrimp between the shaft and the plastic housing! I couldn't believe it but that kind of thing happens to me all the time. As soon as I put it back together it ran freely again and works perfectly. I hope that is of some use to you. If the impeller spins slowly, the volume of water will decrease in turn.
Answered by: BigKev
Date published: 2017-06-22

I just purchase a penguin 200. The bio wheel doesn't spin. Is there a way to increase the flow? Not sure if there's an adjustment I'm not seeing!

Asked by: Horselady1
No, the flow is not adjustable. Your water level needs to be to the top of the tank, and the purple bearings should be in place at each end of the bio wheel. Make sure they are installed properly. If you are unable to resolve this issue, you may have a warped bio wheel so please give us a call at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-20

We turned our aquarium off for a quick clean. When I turned it back on our power supply where bio wheel is would not work. We use Penguin 75. It's only 1 year old. What are my options?

Asked by: Jenia
Hi Jenia, You need to take the filter off of the tank, take it apart, and clean it, especially the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller assembly as well as the well of the motor where the impeller resides. All of this is on the right hand side of the filter. If you need assistance with this please call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-19

I recently started a tank with two clownfish and the 350 seems to have a strong current on them. Is there any fix or adjustment for current?

Asked by: Benbagbag
The outlet diffuser has two flaps in the middle of it that allow you to adjust the flow somewhat. You can also turn the diffuser to alter the direction of the flow. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-04

I purchased one of your Penquin 200 Filters and noticed some comments on Amazon.com about needing an air pump with this filter. Is that true?

Asked by: VickyPar
No, not at all. It provides oxygen by moving the water. You only need an air pump if the tank is heavily stocked or poorly maintained. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-13

is this sill available? and can I get a description

Asked by: Bob54
Yes, our entire line of Penguin filters are very much available. http://www.marineland.com/Products/aquarium-filters-and-protein-skimmers/penguin-bio-wheel-filter-saltwater-filter-freshwater-filter.aspx BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-13

Hello I purchased the penguin 200 for my 39 gallon tank last Thursday. I have been seeing comments that I can add a second filter cartridge inside. Is this true? if so could I add now that fish are in the tank? Also which way does the blue part face?

Asked by: rashida
Yes, you can place two filter cartridges inside the filter, and yes, they can be removed or added, after the filter is installed on the tank. It doesn't bother the fish. The blue floss faces towards the back of the filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-08

My 38 gallon bow front Marineland has two Penguin 200B filters. The intakes only reach a little below the center of the tank. What is the ideal location off the bottom of the substrate for the intakes?

Asked by: SteveTrustworthy
Hi Steve, It is recommended to place the strainer halfway to three quarters of the way down the back of the tank. Sounds like yours is in the ideal spot. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-07

Hello there!  I have a Marineland Penguin BioWheel 100.  Everything I have read or seen on YouTube says I won't have to replace...but will I ever have to replace the BioWheel?

Asked by: Justin M
Hi Justin M, No, not unless it becomes damaged somehow. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-06

I purchased a new 20 gallon starter kit with a 150 filter. I put everything together and plugged in the filter while the intake was properly submerged and with water in the reservoir. All it does is make noise and blow bubbles insise the unit. Help! 

Asked by: masimons47
The water level in the tank must be to the top of the tank. If it is, then pull up the intake tube and impeller housing, and re-seat them as they may not be properly installed. If you are unable to resolve this issue yourself, please call us at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-05

I just purchased a 10 gal tank and came with a 75 biowheel. Will the tanks be ok using a penguin 100?

Asked by: Kim85
Yes, the Penguin 100 is rated for tanks from 10-20 gallons. Make sure you only use the intake tube and the bottom strainer. The two middle pieces will only work if you have a 20 gallon tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-01

I'm curious if my marineland penguin 200 is defective? On random days & times it stops filtering/pushing water through the bio wheel. I have to lift covers off, (still water inside) lift the impeller housing a little, then it starts working again.

Asked by: Emilio
Hi Emilio, Do you have sand in the aquarium or an air stone near the intake tube? This issue usually happens when sand or bubbles get pulled up into the filter system. Move the air stone further away if that is the case. If it is sand, take the filter completely apart, and thoroughly clean it, then place filter floss inside the bottom strainer, or you can buy a sponge accessory at Petsmart to put over the strainer. If you have neither, then take the unit apart, and clean out the motor and the impeller as something may be interfering with it. Call us at 1-800-322-1266 if you are unable to resolve this on your own. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-06-01

I just bought the 10 gal aquarium starter kit and the 75 penguin was quiet but not good enough so I switch out to a 100 penguin and this one is louder than ever. I need help on any advice to get rid of the rattling sound please.

Asked by: Kkim85
Rattling is usually due to one of a couple of things: - air bubbles trapped around the impeller - pull the intake tube up and re-seat it several times to work the bubbles out - impeller, impeller housing or intake tube not seated properly - remove all of these, inspect them, and re-seat them - air stone near the intake tube - move it - hood pressing against the filter - check to make sure everything is fitting correctly Please call us for further assistance. 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-31

The 10 gallon starter kit came with a heater but it does not fit inside the lid. Maybe I didn't do it correctly but the water like ok the heater and the water level on the top of my aquarium do not match the heater is basically fully submerged into mytank

Asked by: Kkim85
All of our heaters require being fully submerged. They can be vertical or horizontal, and should be under water at all times. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-31

I run twin 350's hob filters on my 125gl aquarium. One of them bought from amazon doesnt sit on the tank correctly and now the bio wheels wont turn. It has been cleaned. Any suggestions out of the norm?

Asked by: Crp0069
The frame on the tank is probably too wide for this filter. However, you might check the stand off. This is a plastic piece on the filter body that holds it level against the tank. You will need to remove the filter from the tank to check on this part and make sure it is there and/or not damaged. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-31

Are bio wheels made of carbon?

Asked by: Koi56
Great question! The bio wheel is not made of carbon. The BIO-Wheel filter forms a large three-dimensional area for cultivating aerobic bacteria which work to eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite from aquarium water. Read more about filtration here: http://www.marineland.com/Guides/Advanced-Filtration-Infographic.aspx.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2017-05-31

How many filters does the Bio Wheel Penguin 200 pump need? Thank you.

Asked by: Miss Laverne
Hi Miss Laverne, It needs at least one, but can hold two, depending on your tank's needs. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-23
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