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 have a Penguin 200 Biowheel Power Filter. I have a Saltwater tank. What do you suggest using to help keep sand out of the impeller?

Asked by: TiffanyW1
There are foam or sponge-like accessories sold separately for this purpose or you can use loose filter floss to stuff the bottom strainer. Some people use the toe of a nylon stocking tied over the strainer. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12

I have a 38Gal Marineland bow front tank kit that came with the Penguin 200. I would like to increase filtration. What filter would you recommend or add, and is it necessary or good idea?

Asked by: JTInc
The more filtration, the better in most cases, but it is not exactly necessary, per se. That particular tank has a center brace, which means any filter you decide to use cannot be longer than 14". We do not have a larger power filter that will fit that space. You could go with a canister filter such as the Magniflow 220. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-09-19

Hi! I have a 10 gallon tank that is currently dealing with a power outage. The filter and biowheel stopped and dried out for 3 days now. Should I get a new biowheel once the power starts up again? I'm worried about starting from scratch.

Asked by: arianaa94
No, just do small partial water changes of the tank each day, like around a gallon or two. This will keep providing fresh oxygen to the tank and keep the biological filter alive until you have power again. Feed the fish very, very little, once a day. Float the bio wheel if you want to, but it will re-develop bacteria once it is going again. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-09-13

What is this maximum edge thickness the 200gph filter will hang off of. We are planning to use a plastic tub and the edges are thick so would it be able to fit and hang off of it?

Asked by: just1question
The area under the spillway of the filter is approximately 2.5" wide. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-09-25

I recently bought a used aquarium with a CBW-1 system. it has been used with fresh and salt water previously. should I consider replacing the bio-wheel before I start it?

Asked by: JScott
Hi JScott. We're not familiar with that system. If the bio-wheels are intact and there is no history of disease in the tanks it was used in there is no reason to replace it though.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2017-09-08

My last bio whell system have a spray bar for bio wheel. I just bought a new aquarium and have the penguin 200 but don't see a spray bar,Also how do you adjust flow rate?

Asked by: Paul62
The Penguin line does not come with spray bars, the Emperor 400 is the only one that does. You can close off the mid-level strainer to adjust it somewhat, but it will not reduce it greatly. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-30

Hi! I have a brand new Marineland 29 gallon tank that has been set up for about a week and a half. Everything was working fine but all of a sudden the bio-wheel will not turn. It hasn't even been 12 days. Help!

Asked by: NewFishMom
Make sure your water level is to the top of the tank and has not evaporated down. Lift the intake tube and re-seat it in case some debris has become lodged in it or in the impeller, and as a last resort, remove the intake tube, impeller housing and impeller, in case something got pulled in and is caught, reducing the flow rate of the filter. Please call us with questions or if you cannot resolve this. 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-30

On this unit, can I add an additional media container? My Marineland filter has one and I need to replace it. Its about 10 years old and the impeller assembly is shot.

Asked by: shankshot9
The Penguin 100 does not take a media container, no. It has room for two cartridges. Only the Penguins 200 and 350 take the media containers. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-29

Just got the penguin 200 won't suck water running and bubbling in the top of filter

Asked by: Joel B
Make sure your water level in the tank is all the way up to the top. Also, pull the intake tube and impeller housing out then re-seat them back into the filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-23

I have penguin bio wheel 200. After the electric went off in the whole house for like three seconds it won't turn on again. It is plugged into a good power strip. Is there a reset button somewhere powerstrip works for the rest plugged into it. Thanks!

Asked by: Robinleigh
No, you simply need to take it apart and clean your impeller and the inside of the motor. Most likely it is clogged or overdue for a cleaning, which is why it did not re-prime on its own. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-23

can it be possible to replace just the motor of a 150 penguin filter ( the part with the cord)

Asked by: nani
No, this is not available separately. However, the impeller is in case that is the actual issue, which is usually the case. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-21

I have the 350, and my didn't come with a Spray bar and the chemical filter parts ? 

Asked by: Ramon14
The Penguin 350 does not come with those parts, the Emperor 400 does. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-21

I had a tank with a really bad ich infestation, will they linger in the biowheel?

Asked by: C_willie
No. If you just finished dosing though, it is a good idea to come back 7 days later and do one dose to make sure you killed all of the larvae. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-17

How do I order the bio-wheel assembly. part PRBW150B AND PRBW2350B

Asked by: wwtwo523
Thanks for asking, wwtwo523. You can order those directly from our website! Just type the item numbers in the search bar, add to your cart, and check out.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2017-08-08

I just got the biowheel 100 yesterday. Today I noticed it had too much suction. I adjusted the light gray piece on the filter. SNAP. Then... for an hour I tried to get the filter to work. The biowheel doesn't spin now. What is the problem?!

Asked by: Feisty_Unicorn
Well, first, there is no such thing as too much suction. When you closed the lever, you either slowed it down so much it can't pull enough water to turn the bio wheel correctly or you moved the intake tube slightly out of position so it is not operating properly now. Pull the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller out of the filter box and inspect them. Re-insert them, and make sure the water in the tank is to the top. Call us if you are unable to resolve. 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-01

Can I change a Bio wheel 350 from a saltwater filter after being stored for years to a freshwater filter?

Asked by: kidfish
You should be able to by cleaning the parts with white vinegar and rinsing them well. You may need to replace the bio wheels. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-07-28

I am selling my current tank and including the Marineland filter with it. The tank may be in storage for a while. Can the bio-wheel on the filter be stored, or should I just throw it away?

Asked by: SlyLilHuntress
It can be stored, yes. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-07-27

I am upgrading my filter to a marineland emperor 400. Since I will now have two brand new bio wheels how can I expect that to effect my tank? Will there be adverse effects to having new bio wheels over my seasoned one?

Asked by: Angela71
Hi Angela71. To help prevent displacing your beneficial bacteria I suggest running the two filters at the same time or floating the seasoned bio-wheels in the water while the new filter runs. Either option should give the new filter a chance to season.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2017-07-28

I have Penguin 150 - I recently start to hear the motor noise was getting a bit loud. The filter seems to be working fine. I cleaned all the parts and the air stones are far from intake tubes. It is common to have some bit noise from the filter/motor?

Asked by: Question Lady
Noise occurs for a number of reasons. If this filter is a few years old, the impeller could be wearing out. If you only used water to clean it, try soaking the impeller in distilled white vinegar to remove deposits water cannot remove. Also, take a q tip and vinegar and swab the motor out thoroughly. Make sure there is no sand in the motor or up under the magnet. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-07-18

My bio wheel still isn't turning . I took the impeller out and cleaned everything  The tank is full as well. It only worked for maybe 2 hours and I've had it for 2 weeks now.

Asked by: Rosario
We're sorry to hear the suggested troubleshooting hasn't helped, Rosario. Please give us a call at 1-800-526-0650 for more help.
Answered by: Customer Service
Date published: 2017-07-13

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
  • y_2018, m_4, d_24, h_4CST
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvqa, vn_bulk_2.0.8
  • cp_5, bvpage2n
  • co_hasquestionsanswers, tq_624
  • loc_en_US, sid_PF0100B, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=LAST_APPROVED_ANSWER_SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_marineland