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 purchased the marineland penguin 200 from PetSmart and when I got it home the biowheel was not in the box. Was it supposed to come with the biowheel or do you have to purchase it separately?

Asked by: Melissad
It definitely should come with the bio wheel so please call our Care Team at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-03-12

I need a new impeller for 350 modei

Asked by: Clark Saul l
Sure! Here you go - http://www.marineland.com/Products/aquarium-parts/Filtration-Products-and-Skimmers/Penguin-Parts/Impeller-Parts/Impeller-Assembly-Penguin-350B.aspx BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-03-13

Is there a way to lessen the flow rate so it generates less bubbles? 

Asked by: Plii
The power filter does not generate bubbles, unless the water level in the tank is below the filter's spillway. If so, raise the water level. The only way to adjust the flow is to close the mid-level strainer (gray lever). BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-03-12

Hello, I have a 200 and a 150. Both the bio wheels are not spinning. I’ve tride cleaning intake tube I’ve spun the bio wheels both of them. And it’s like they are not intaking enough water I don’t know what to do. I cleane propeller too. and nothing.

Asked by: Alex11111
Clean out the filter box as well, especially the part the impellers sit in and make your water level in the tank is at the top of the tank. Check the purple bio wheel bearings to make sure they are in properly, clean them, and rub a tiny smear of silicone lubricant on them. If the bio wheels are warped, you may need to replace them. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-03-05

When filtered water overflows the Type A filter and streams out bypassing the filter should the filter b changed ?

Asked by: Jim Nasium
Yes, either the cartridge is clogged or the impeller needs to be removed and cleaned. You may also need to clean out the intake tube and the motor region. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-21

A friend gave me a Penguin200 w an established Biowheel for a 27 gal tank. It creates huge current, looks like the 200 is made for much larger tanks. Thinking about switching to 150, but can i use 200 biowheel or would i have to start over?

Asked by: Audlindal
The 200 model is for tanks 20-40 gallons in size, so should be fine for your tank unless you have some pretty small, delicate fish. You would need a different bio wheel for the 150 and would not be able to use the one with the 200, unfortunately. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-20

I have a 100B on my 5G hex tank. It's great, keeps our water clean and I finally got my tank to cycle. However, the outflow is too turbulent, even with a full tank. Can I adjust it or modify it in some way?

Asked by: FireworksMom
Closing the mid-level strainer off may help some, but ideally, you should place some filter floss inside the strainer. This will slow it down or you can put a second cartridge in the filter which will provide more filtration and slow it down. Another option would be to add some other bio media in the main chamber. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-16

I have a Penguin 150 in my Mainland 20 gallon tank. No issues! But I do have a question. Why is there a spillway located to the right of the bio-wheel? That is unfiltered water...right? Seems all water should be filtered. 

Asked by: Jeff1320
Yep...your right! took it apart and cleaned it all up and works perfect now.  Now...I changed about 1/3rd of the water last night. Added ReadiStart and AccuClear as normal. 8 fish dead. Never had this happen before. I’m taking a water sample to the fish store now. Test strip did not indicate any problems. 
Answered by: Jeff1320
Date published: 2018-02-20

I Have a Penguin 350 That I've Been Using For About a Year. I Took My Aquarium Down as I Was Relocating to a New State. Tonight I Set Everything Back Up & My 350 Will Not Take in Water. I've Tried Everything

Asked by: Hoffa
Sorry to hear that Hoffa! So make sure the tank is filled to the top with water, and the filter box is also filled with water. If they are, then I suspect your impeller has separated. It will do this sometimes when kept dry in storage. To inspect it, hold the top and bottom tips between the thumb and index finger of one hand. Take the other hand and flick the blades. The blades should catch the magnet within half a turn and they should rotate together. If not, it is separated. If you need more help, call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-14

Is it helpful to any other filtering media in the housing? Ceramic pellets? Whatever?

Asked by: Bill1222
Yes, of course. It is always helpful to have additional media such as ceramic rings, bio beads, filter floss, phosphate pads, etc. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-13

installed my new penguin bio wheel filter, it seems to be working fine with the exception of the actual wheel which is not turning. any suggestions

Asked by: alandjanice
Make sure your water level in the tank is to the top of the tank. Also, check the purple bearings at each end of the bio wheel. Make sure they are properly in place, and clean. You might want to rub a bit of silicone lube on them. If they are missing, call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-12

I have the canister filter and doing my tank from scratch, so I dont have water from a aquarium to rinse the media with. What to do?????

Asked by: Michelle3251
Rinse it out with tap water. If everything is brand new, it doesn't really matter. It's just if you are cleaning the filter system in an established tank you need to be more careful. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-09

HOW MUCH OF THE PENGUIN 200B FILTER WHEN MOUNTED TO TANK STICKS OFF THE BACK OF TANK (HOW CLOSE TO THE WALL CAN THE TANK BE

Asked by: DAGMARK
3.5" will be on the outside of the tank, so allow about 5" in order to have enough room to insert or remove the filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-06

I have done everything I know to do.. I have the 75 and the wheels will almost stop spinning. I have to pull them off and poor the water out of them everyday..

Asked by: countrygirl1977
As long as they move, that's all they have to do. There is no right or wrong speed. They can stop and start even, as long as they move on their own. To increase their movement, make sure the tank is filled to the top, and the impeller and motor are both very clean. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-05

We bought a 20 gal marineland kit over a month ago. The biowheel moves slowly and stops for a second or 2 and spins again. We just cleaned the intake tubes and tried replacing the filter cartridgue. Is this normal or should the wheel turn continuously

Asked by: Amysue
This is basically normal. It is simulating a wet/dry trickle filter. As long as it spins on its own, it is working properly, there is no recommended speed. Don't forget to clean the impeller and the motor as well since debris affects those the most. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-05

I just got a new Marineland 350 and it wouldn’t take in water, it wouldn’t pump, and it make this gurgling sound every time I plug it in. Yes, I have read the instructions and I have tried all the  technics in there and nothing will fix it.

Asked by: RAM3423
Make sure your water level in the tank is to the top of the tank. Then pull the intake tube, impeller housing and impeller out of the filter box, and re-seat them. Call 1-800-322-1266 if you need additional help. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-08

I have the penguin bio wheel 200 filter. And inside looks to have spots for 2 filters. Not counting the bio wheel. Do I need to put 2 filters in? Or just one? 

Asked by: ijenn84
You only need one filter at a time. I add a second when the flow gets too low because the first filter is getting clogged. After two days i remove the first filter becaise the bacteria have populated the new one,
Answered by: Grad
Date published: 2018-02-03

I have a 3gal tank with original bio-wheel. Last Monday I set it up and let it run, with out any fish, for 24 hrs. After which I added 1 Betta. Everything was fine until this evening (Thursday). There are now large bubbles in the water. Is this ok?

Asked by: Luvbettas
If you are seeing these bubbles on the surface, this could mean you are over feeding, and have a protein build up in the water. A betta should be fed 1-2 pieces of food, twice a day, and that is it. They do not need a lot of food, and over feeding is extremely bad for them. We would recommend changing about 10-20% of the water and putting some fresh water into the tank. This should be done about once a week with a tank of this size in any case. Add AquaSafe Plus and SafeStart Plus with the new water. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-02

When I going to clean the filter what do I do with the bio-wheel? I don't want it to get dry or lose the good bacteria. I thought perhaps put it in the tank? 

Asked by: plemme
You just set it to the side. It doesn't take long to clean the system, certainly not long enough to dry out so it will be fine. If you are particularly worried about it, place it in a clean, plastic cup with water. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-02-01

Good morning - I have a Penguin Power Filter #75. The bio wheel is not spinning. We have set it up the same way as the video with come differences, our model does not have the two piece filter cover and we had to put the wheel together ourselves.

Asked by: DDBird
The Penguin 75 should have a one piece cover, not a two piece one. The bracket and bearings you do have to install yourself, and then you rest the bio wheel down into them. Make sure the water level in the tank is to the top of the tank, and that the filter cartridge is not clogged, etc. How well the bio wheel spins is dependent on the flow rate of the water through the filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-31

How many watts does 350b and 400e use ?

Asked by: Sukhdeep
The Penguin 350 uses 20.4 watts, the Emperor 400 uses 19.2 watts. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-29

The tube that takes water in is too tall for my tank

Asked by: Kennedy15
Then use only the intake tube and the bottom strainer, taking out the two middle pieces. Or you can use the middle pieces, but cut some portion of the strainer off, to make it fit. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-29

Do I need a separate air pump with this filter? It seems to be blowing bubbles pretty well.

Asked by: Stone24
You would only need additional aeration if your tank is really overstocked or under maintained. Air pumps to provide twice as much oxygen as most filters. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-25

my bio wheel spins unbalanced do I need to replace it

Asked by: fishy D
If it is able to spin on its own, no. Check your purple bearings and make sure they are installed properly and are clean. Also, you may want to take the filter apart and clean it as the flow rate of the filter is dependent on how clean the system is, and this directly affects the bio wheel. You especially want to clean the impeller and the filter box. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-24

What position should the “door” (grey switch) be in? There aren’t directions or any explanation for how it works. 

Asked by: Lbucklin10
You are referring to the mid-level strainer. This part allows more circulation of the water when it is in the open position. Unless you have small fry or tend to feed heavily and don't want the food removed, leave it in the open position. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-23

What is the red hanger that hold the bio wheel in the filter called? And can you get a new one?

Asked by: neenee
If you have the Penguin 75, that is the bracket. It is item ML90713. If your local fish store does not have it, give us a call at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-05-23

on the tube going into the water, what position should the grey cap be on over the holes? There are no instructions.

Asked by: plemme
That depends on your particular tank and situation. Open increases your flow rate, closed slows it somewhat, and prevents food from being pulled in. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-31

15 gallon cube nano tank, 2 seahorses, 9 snails. All of my water levels are off the chart. Bio-Wheel Penguin 100 Filter. Is that filter to small? How often can I change the cartridges to get my water back to normal. I do weekly water changes.

Asked by: Seahorses
Instead of just using cartridges, try adding some bio media, such as bio balls, bio beads, ceramic rings, etc. The cartridges should be changed weekly when used in a salt water tank. Also, most nano tanks use a lot of live rock, which you didn't mention. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-20

I have 55 gallon what size filter should I get

Asked by: Blainer11
We would recommend the Penguin 350 for that size tank as it is rated for up to 75 gallons. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-09

I have a Penquin Biowheel Mini hang on filter and I lost the biowheel assembly. Is this part available? This filter is like the EverReady Bunny. Just restarted a 5 gallon hex and would like this filter to be complete if possible.

Asked by: RKTraut
If you have the mini or the hex 5, this would be the bio wheel: http://www.marineland.com/Products/aquarium-parts/Filtration-Products-and-Skimmers/Penguin-Parts/BIO-Wheel-Parts-for-Penguins/BIO-Wheel-Assembly-for-Penguin-PF99B-Eclipse-Systems-2-3-Hex-5-Corner-5.aspx BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2018-01-08
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