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 Marineland 75G tank and I want to use two Penguin 350 filters. The filter doesn't fit on the frame, though, which is odd since I'm using all Marineland products. It doesn't sit all the way down and it makes it lean forward. Any advice?

Asked by: LCLCola
It's definitely a Marineland tank. I bought the LED AQUARIUM 75 & STAND set from PetSmart. I have purchased everything I own for the tank from Marineland except the gravel, driftwood, and the fish themselves (I'd probably get those too if you all sold them). I can see the sticker sticking out a bit but it is obscured by the center brace of the stand. To be more clear, the Penguin 350 will hang on to the frame but the frame on the 75 is a bit thicker than the 29 Gallon I used to have it mounted on, so it doesn't sit completely on the frame. If you sit one on a smaller aquarium and then on the frame of the 75, you'll see what I mean.
Answered by: LCLCola
Date published: 2017-05-19

My bio wheel doesn't turn unless I cover the overflow outlet. I've cleaned all the parts, what else can I do?

Asked by: Jknt
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by covering the overflow outlet, as that should not effect it. If you only used water to clean, soak the impeller in distilled white vinegar, and clean out the bottom of the filter box, specifically the motor well, with vinegar and a paper towel. You may have deposits interfering with the flow rate that only vinegar can remove. Also, make sure your purple bearings are in place at each end of the bio wheel. If you are unable to resolve this, just give us a call at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-16

I bought a Biowheel 350 and from the beginning it is very noisy. Not "splashy", it's a very loud mechanical sound. The aquarium is right in the middle of our house and can be heard from every room. I don't remember this happening the last time I owned one

Asked by: MrsG
We are sorry to hear you are having some noise issues. Remove the intake tube, impeller housing and impeller. Inspect all of them, and clean any debris off that you find. Also, check down in the well of the motor where the impeller resides to make sure there is no grit or sand, any debris in that area. When inspecting the impeller, make sure it was connected to the impeller housing properly. The blades should not rub the underside of the housing, for example. This would definitely cause a mechanical sound. If you cannot resolve this, please call us at 1-800-322-1255. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-04

We have the 350 and it does not work. Any suggestions on what to do?

Asked by: Tolly
Hi Tolly, That depends on what you mean by "it won't work" as well as how old it is at this time. If it is brand new, pull up the intake tube, and remove the impeller housing and impeller, then re-seat them. They could be in the wrong position. Also, prime it by filling it with water, and make sure the water level in the tank is to the top of the tank. If this is an older filter, the same basically applies, except you need to clean the parts, especially the impeller and the well of the motor. Please call us if you cannot resolve it. 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-08

I have a emperor 400b filter both bio wheels were stored with something laying on them they look like new but some of the pleats have a fold in them I can not seem to straighten out I tried soak them in water bending them back could I use a hair dryer

Asked by: Moew
As long as the bio wheels will turn, it doesn't matter what the folds are like. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-05

Purchased a penguin 350 a friend, all parts dirty/nasty. I have been told I don't need to replace the bio wheel, but should sterilize by soaking in bleach/water mix for 30min, rinse, & dry. Is this correct?

Asked by: KJZ1
Hi KJZ1, We would recommend cleaning the plastic parts with a distilled white vinegar and hot water mix then rinsing well with hot water alone. As for the bio wheel, as long as it is intact, and will spin, you should not need to do anything. Everything living on it will dry up and die off. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-02

Right out of the box it isn't working. I followed the directions to the t, but it isn't working. The motor is going but it isn't sucking up the water. I pulled apart the housing for the wheel and it rotates fine.

Asked by: halle
Hi Halle, Make sure the tank is filled to the top, and you have primed the filter with water. Re-seat the impeller, impeller housing and intake tube. If one of these is not seated correctly, it won't prime. If your water level is really low, it won't prime, and if there is no water in the filter, it will not prime. Call us if you continue to have issues, 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-08-19

My Penquin bio wheel 200 filter is not rotating, is it supposed to.

Asked by: Mama
Hi Pesche, Yes, the bio wheel should turn on its own. It may stop and start, that is fine, but it should not stay stopped. Here are some things to check: - make sure the purple tabs are in place at each end of the bio wheel, and are seated properly and clean - pull out the intake tube, impeller housing, and impeller, clean the impeller and filter box, flow is important - check the cover and make sure it is not pressing down too hard on the bio wheel, it may need a minor adjustment Let us know if you need any additional assistance. We are here to help! BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-27

What's the best way to do a filter change without Losing benifical bacteria on a penguin 350??? Do I place new filters in back, or do I put old ones In back and new ones in front?

Asked by: Donnie123
You would put new ones in back, old ones up front. Rotate them two at a time. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-05-09

I need to replace the biowheel because it is damaged. Is there anything special I need to do or just take the old one off and put the new one on? Should it be soaked in the tank first? Is there a way to move the bacteria from the old one to the new one?

Asked by: bhava324
If possible, you should float the new one for a few days before taking the old one out. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-24

my dad got the family a fish tank, he and I put it together successfully, but we are wondering what the grey lever does/ is for on the Bio-Wheel filter for our tank. please help.

Asked by: little tom tom
The gray lever allows you to pull water in from the middle of the tank, and not just from the bottom of the tank. This increases circulation, and allows for more water movement, especially in taller tanks. Whether you leave the lever open or closed is totally up to you and does not effect the filter. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-24

I recently bought marineland 20G tank comes with penguin power filter, after a week running the filter I started to notice significant amount of micro bubbles all over my tank. Is this due to the filter?

Asked by: sarors
Most likely it is due to a low water level in the tank. The water level should be to the bottom of the top frame, otherwise, water spilling down from any filter will create more bubbles. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-19

Do I need to replace the bio wheel after using kordon rapid cure Ich treatment? 

Asked by: Dooley
No, just boost your biological filter with Marineland Bio Spira for Freshwater Aquariums. http://www.marineland.com/Products/Food-and-Water-Care/Aquarium-Bacteria.aspx. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-18

I purchased a Marineland tank from someone. The person I purchased the tank from said her fish passed due to an illness. I am concerned whatever made her fish ill may have infected the bio. Should I replace it before introducing my fish to this tank?

Asked by: vNocturnalAngelv
No, you do not need to replace the bio wheel. As it has presumably dried out, whatever disease was present is no more. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-18

I purchased my Marineland tank from someone without a box or instructions. It seems to be about a four gallon tank, bowed front and a hinged hood with filter and light. I looked on the outside for a model number but couldn't find one. Any insight?

Asked by: vNocturnalAngelv
We would need to see a picture of it to be sure what it is, but it could be a Pillar or an Eclipse. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-18

Can the penguin power filters be run without the carbon? I would like to use the filter for a saltwater QT tank and do not want to use carbon filtration in case I need to medicate a fish/coral.

Asked by: Dale64
Yes, it can be operated with other media if you prefer, as long as you do not overfill it. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-17

I want to one filter off my freshwater tank to my saltwater tank do I need to replace bio-wheels or just clean

Asked by: Thedoc
Just clean the everything but the bio wheels. The bio wheels will not need cleaning at all. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-12

I bought a 350 through Amazon and have had it running about 4 weeks and the power went out. It has not worked well when the power came back on. I removed the impeller and it seems to turn free and easy. It does not work at all now. Very disappointed. Help

Asked by: Headbum
If you are not hearing any noise at all, not even some vibration, the motor was probably damaged during a power surge. If it is still making noise, has vibration or magnetic pull, clean both the impeller and the well of the motor with white vinegar, very thoroughly, and rinse well. If you cannot resolve this issue, please call us at 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-11

My bio wheels are squeaking when they rotate; is this typical and is there a solution to stop the squeaking? Thank you for any help! 

Asked by: SullivanL
I think my wheels were squeaking due to the tank not being level; the wheels slowly move to the right side of the filter. The plastic side of the wheel rubs against the side of the wheel housing making the squeaking noise. I plan to perfectly level the tank which should solve the problem. 
Answered by: SullivanL
Date published: 2017-04-11

My bio-wheel 350 won't balance right on the rim of my tank ultimately causing water to come out the back of filter. Is there a part to make it balance again? 

Asked by: Koiman
You should have what is called a stand off on the front of the filter box. If you pull out your Quick Set Up Guide and look at the Penguin 100 in the first box, look at Part 11 which is the filter box. In the middle of it you will see a piece that sticks out. Your 350 has this also, or should, but it is not pictured in the QSUG. This is not sold separately so you would need an entirely new filter or could fold a piece of cardboard to take its place for now. Please call us at 1-800-322-1266 if you need further assistance. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-10

I've had the penguin bio 200 since Jan in a 38ga tank. It was running perfect until about a mth ago it now makes a sputtering sound. Any idea?also filters have been in for over 2 wks and not much debris on them...

Asked by: Juls
It sounds like it needs cleaning, Juls. Most likely it has pulled something into the impeller or motor region. Unplug the unit, remove it from the tank, pour out the water and remove the intake tube, impeller housing, and media. Inspect and clean each piece separately, using hot water, white vinegar, and a soft cloth. Also, make sure the water level in the tank is to the top of the tank, right below the top black frame. Please call us at 1-800-322-1266 if you need additional assistance. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-07

What position is best for intake strainer for maximum water circulation?

Asked by: jackie 01
What position is best for intake strainerfor maximum water circulation
Answered by: Jackie01
Date published: 2017-04-04

Can I add two 150 bio filters to my 20 gallon tank?

Asked by: ProfDomo
That is going to depend on what type of top you have on it, and what type of fish are housed in it. The first affects whether they will fit or not. The latter may or may not be able to handle the flow rate. That's a lot of flow for a 20 gallon tank. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-04-03

How long are these penguin bio filers expected to work?

Asked by: jackie 01
I have some old biowheel 330 filters for about 13 years now. 
Answered by: Brett1
Date published: 2017-04-07

I have the penguin 400, it pumps water through filters, I have cleaned it out. When it starts up water flows out the tubes for biofilters but once it gets going to full water flow the tubes for biofilters stops and they no longer spin??

Asked by: Skeezerk
All the pieces are there, it pumps out the spray bar until the pump get to full capacity, this is when it quits spraying out bars and only through filters. Spray bars are not clogged, worked great until about 2 weeks ago, now biofilters just spin a little here and there do to flow from filters
Answered by: Skeezerk
Date published: 2017-04-11

I have a marineland penguin 350 bio wheel. Have had no issues but my question is this. Is it alright to use four filters at one time?

Asked by: Fishlady47
Yes, indeed, it is! This is the reason for the way the filter box is designed. It allows you to add additional media, in the form of four cartridges, or two cartridges and two media containers (sold separately). BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-27

Will 30 gal filter work on a 40-55 gallon octagon tank whats the possibility that it will

Asked by: tiger1
It will work on it, but will not clean it properly. You would need two of them or need to do water changes more frequently. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-24

I recently set up a 65 gallon freshwater tank, using Marineland power filter 350. How often should I change the filters? How do I clean the wheels?

Asked by: EllenG
Cartridges will last 3-4 weeks. The bio wheels you do not clean unless they stop, which is rare. Then take a q tip and clean between each fold. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-24

How can I replaced my damage bio wheel

Asked by: Courtney W
Bio wheels are sold separately via our website, pet stores, and other vendor's websites like Amazon. If it is new, and came out of the box damaged, please email us at techsupport.marineland@spectrumbrands.com or call 1-800-322-1266. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-22

Is it OK to hang on the side of the tank, instead of the back or the tank? not much room to work with. (Model 150 in 29 Gal tank)

Asked by: bcon66
Yes, it should fit there. It will work the same, just be more noticeable. BREX
Answered by: BREX
Date published: 2017-03-22
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