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.) 

my biowheel 200(13 weeks) on my saltwater tank (37 gallons), has stopped completely and wont work , theres no water damage ive done only filter change and tube cleaning ,, I need this filter to work , I set up temp diy one with your maxijet 900 and a 2l

Asked by: joshbridges
As it is a marine tank, you need to remove your impeller and impeller housing every month and soak the impeller in distilled white vinegar to keep it free of salt crud. Also, clean out the well of the motor by soaking a paper towel and packing it into the motor for a few moments, then twisting it around, and pulling it out. Rinse everything very well with hot water. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-12-08

How wide is a 200 filter

Asked by: KevinM
The dimensions are 9.5 X 6 X 7.5 BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-12-09

I took my 350 filter apart and cleaned. Since I have reinstalled one of the bio wheels is flying fast and the other is normal. Water speed is much faster on this side. I have adjusted intake. Please advise.

Asked by: twelcker
That's not an issue, but apparently you either have something partially blogging the filter on the slower side or the bio wheel is damaged or clogged. To clean a bio wheel, take it out, and use a plain q tip with out any chemicals or detergents, and swab between the folds. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-12-04

We just got a penguin 150 to use for a turtle tank but we can't have the tank that full of water will this work for us or not

Asked by: Lee t
The tank should be 3/4 of the way full for an aquatic turtle, and this will not be high enough for this filter, so no, it would not work for you. We would recommend the Magniflow 160 instead. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-30

What is the mid-level intake on the filter tube for? In what position should the lever be in? Does it make any difference?

Asked by: jmac
It increases and decrease the flow rate. Open increases it, closed decreases it. I leave it open all the time in my tanks, but it depends on your tank, and its needs. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-12-17

Which way is the lever on the filter tube supposed to be? Up, down or in the middle for ultimate suction? Lost the instructions.

Asked by: BobT
That is personal preference. It increases the flow rate when open, and decreases it when closed. I simply remove mine so it is fully open all the time, some people close it when feeding. Every tank and tank owner has different needs, there is no right or wrong. Instructions are available on the product page on our site. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-29

I have 2 Fish Tanks. 1 is a 5 Gallon and the other a 10 Gallon. The smaller 5 Gallon tanks filter cartridge was a rusty red color. What is that and is it dangerous ? Even after rinsing it under sink water it's still kinda red.

Asked by: Jay1973
Could mean you have iron in the water, but I would expect both tank filters to appear red. So it may be that you are over feeding the 5 gallon tank. Feed one piece of food per inch of fish, twice a day. Another possibility, but not likely is cyanobacteria. That usually grows throughout the tank though. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-21

I was just given a 30 gal tank with a penguin 200 that's been sitting in a garage for 2 years. Do I need to replace the bio wheel? Other than rinsing out the filter, is there anything else I should take apart to clean?

Asked by: Faithsa
We would recommend taking the entire filter apart and cleaning it with hot water and a bit of white vinegar. The bio wheels should be fine, as long as they will spin once you have it installed. If not, then you will need new ones, or are missing the bearings. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-20

I have a penguin 150. Why are there slots for 2 filter cartridges and when would I need two?

Asked by: Karen M
So you can customize your filter to meet your needs. All of our filters have this option. It allows you to replace one cartridge at a time, leaving more beneficial bacteria in the filter and also, if you are having water clarity issues, you have space to add another cartridge or some other form of media to help out temporarily. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-15

What is the water level supposed to be ?

Asked by: Happy
It should be to the bottom of the top frame of the tank, or at the very least an inch or so above the mid-level strainer. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-13

I have a brand new 38gallon Marineland tank and the filter stopped working..I went and got a replacement and same thing, stopped working. What could be the problem?

Asked by: Mosheree
Have you checked either impeller to see if something got caught in it? This is the #1 cause of a filter stopping. Pull our your intake tube, impeller housing and impeller, inspect the parts and clean out the well of the motor at the bottom of the filter box too. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-12-24

led fish lights and my bio wheels, good or bad?

Asked by: cheezhead96
Doesn't matter at all. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-13

Are my LED fish lights shining on my exposed bio wheel good or bad?

Asked by: cheezhead96
Neither, they won't affect the bio wheel. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-13

If I extend the lift tube on my 350, will it still pull the water up?

Asked by: Chiplite
Yes just make sure that you have it above your substrate
Answered by: Treeman
Date published: 2017-11-11

I have the 100 series, I just unplugged it to change the filter, and clean the tube, now it won't work absolutely nothing. What could be wrong?

Asked by: Taylornadine05
Your filter box, the motor and/or the impeller are all dirty/clogged. Take it completely apart to clean it. Call 1-800-322-1266 if you need additional help. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-07

Can this be used with my Marineland 6 gallon pillar tank? Thank you

Asked by: Cinrod28
It will not wire into the tank, but the filter that comes with the Pillar is this one, modified, so it will sit on the back of the tank, yes. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-11-01

Why are there no instructions for the Penguin 75 inside the box or on this website?

Asked by: Hyoung
If you actually read the manual, there are no "instructions" just Trouble Shooting Guidelines and Safety Instructions. I bought one box with the "manual" but no instructions and returned it, bought another one with the "manual" but no instructions. Finally figured out by your online video the blue side faces away from the pump. And you have to prime the pump with water.
Answered by: Hyoung
Date published: 2017-10-30

Will thus pump work for a 30 gallon saltwater tank

Asked by: Bill300zx
No, it is rated for a 10 gallon only, you would need the Penguin 200 along with a protein skimmer. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-30

I just set up 10 gallon tank and the bio-wheel penguin 75 is making a noise, not spashing water & is very annoying- is this normal?  My last pump made no noise at all.

Asked by: Dg1252
No, it should be quiet. Have you removed the intake tube, impeller housing and impeller then re-seated them? I would do this, and inspect the parts to make sure they are not damaged. The impeller may be pushed too far up into the housing so pull it out, and re-insert it too. Call 1-800-322-1266 if you need more help. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-26

Bio Wheel not spinning fast like initially. Water seems to be flowing good. In fact it almost seems the water is backing up. Replaced filter even though it looked clean. Last replaced 6 days ago. Just replaced again and still not spinning.

Asked by: Rickyk
You need to take the filter apart and clean the parts of it. You probably have a dirty impeller or debris in the motor. Or the intake tube has debris in it. The filter is backing up because of this so the flow is not powerful enough to move the bio wheel. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-25

I have a 5 gallon tank, and the filter that came with it wasn't so great. So I upgraded to the 100 ( it was the smaller in the store) I didnt realize there was a 75. Will the 100 be ok or to powerful?

Asked by: Chey80leigh
Depends on the types of fish, but probably too powerful since it can handle a 20 gallon tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-20

will this filter add enough oxygen to the water to eliminate the use of an air stone

Asked by: scottmo24
Yes, unless you are overstocked or do not do water changes regularly. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-18

What is the wattage rateing for the penguin 350. Im trying to calculate how much it cost and how much power im useing per month and per hour.

Asked by: 1234567890
20.4 watts, 120 v, .17 a BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-17

I have a eclipse 1 wet-dry filter system my question is can I replace the impeller of a different size in order to get a better flow across filter media and bio-wheel?

Asked by: joebess
No, the impellers are system specific. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-13

How much power do these use? I have a 200 and a 350. Not sure why it is not listed on the box...

Asked by: Eric C
It is actually listed on the motors of the filters.... They both use 20.4 watts, 120 v, .17 a. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12

When u purchase the bio wheel 200 new dies it come with the bio wheel?

Asked by: KaydenBS
Yes, it comes with the bio wheel and your first cartridge. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12

Got a new 350 filter and with in 3 months, it started making noise and doesn't pump water continuously. It stops pumping in between so frequently. Any idea ?

Asked by: Bharath
It most likely has some debris caught somewhere. Remove it from the tank, take out the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller, and clean each part. Also clean out the well of the motor in the bottom of the filter box. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12

Have my Marineland filter for about 10 years now, when do we need to replace it? Or do I ever need to replace it?

Asked by: Angel M
If it is working well, there is never a need to replace it. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12

My filtration system lessens pretty rapidly due to slimy algae buildup in the tube and impeller. I have to clean it out about once a month. The bio wheel stops turning and develops a white crust. Probably minerals. Is this detrimental to the bio wheel?

Asked by: Tdavis4
Sounds like you need some help with the tank in general. Yes, if it is not spinning, it can be a problem for the bio wheel as a lot of the bacteria could die off, if left out in the air to just dry up. Are you doing monthly water changes? The white crust sounds like hard water or it could be a water mold. We would recommend either switching to bottled natural spring water if the tank is small, or if larger, then you might want to invest in a purifier for the faucet or a RO unit. If so, have a supplement to add minerals/trace elements back into the water when you do water changes. Another option would be adding peat to the filter or a water softener pillow. We could be more specific in our help if we had more info on the tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12

I would like to construct a lift tube extension for my Penguin 100 filter (This is the round lift tube, like the old 75, not the rectangular style). What tubing dimensions will I need to slip-over the OEM lift tube?

Asked by: DJ Saberniak Jr
We have not made a round intake tube in 20+ years and do not have specs for such. The Penguin 100 has always had a square tube, but our old Mini and 99 had rounded ones. We recommend taking the intake tube with you to a DIY hardware store and matching up the tubing with it. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-10-12
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