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.) 

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

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
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