AquaClear vs. Marineland BioWheel

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by s2c2, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. s2c2Valued MemberMember

    I currently have a 10 gallon freshwater tank but I'm looking to upgrade to a 29 gallon freshwater tank within the year. I want to get a new filter and want to buy one with the upcoming 29 gallon tank in mind. The two filters that I've heard good things about are the AquaClear 50 and the Marineland BioWheel 200. Any recommendations over which one is better and why? OR if you would recommend something completely different. I'd like to stay under $50.

    Also, just to make sure... will either of these filters be too much for the 10 gallon? Thank you!!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  2. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I highly recommend the AquaClears, I had the 30 and 50 in the past for various tanks and am currently running a 70 on my 29 gallon. These filters come with customizable filter media chambers so you can put whatever you want. I have heard bad experiences about the BioWheels getting stuck and not working properly, alink and Geoff can elaborate more on this as I have never owned one personally.

  3. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I would hold off on getting a filter like you mentioned until you have the larger tank, because they likely wont fit in a 10 gallon and the GPH they cycle will be too much for the 10 gallon inhabitants.

    That being said, you can certainly watch the sales to get a good price on your equipment ahead of time. Its not uncommon to save $100 or more doing this way.

    As for the filters you mentioned, I will tell you the pros and cons of both

    AquaClear 50
    Customizable filter media
    No cartridges to buy and replace
    Sponge can last well over a year before it has to be replaced (with proper maintenance and cleaning)
    biomedia never has to be replaced
    Carbon (optional) can be purchased in bulk to save money

    150 GPH which is on the low end of what I would suggest for a 29 gallon, at 5 cycles per hour. It is enough, I personally like to overkill on filtration.

    Marineland Penguin 200
    Biowheel should never have to be replaced unless it gets damaged.
    200 GPH is better filtration than the AquaClear 50
    Cartridges are easy to change when needed. You wont lose much bacteria when you do change them.
    Cartridges are easily cleaned and "restored" for longer use than suggested.

    You have to buy the cartridges separately. You will end up changing them every 1-3 months, depending on your tank and how you maintain them.
    The wheels on these tanks are notorious for having rotation problems. Being that this is where your bacteria colony lives, it needs to have contact with the water in order to do its job. If its not turning, theres no contact with the water.
    The impellers on these filters are known to have a short lifespan and cost about $15 to replace. This would have to be yearly.

    I think I got most of the pros and cons I can think of. That being said, I would recommend to anyone the Fluval (AquaClear) style filters over cartridge filters. The cost savings on cartridges is substantial and you dont have to deal with that stupid wheel! Plus I like the customization of the Fluval filters, you can add extra biomedia, purigen, matrix, or whatever. It is almost a canister in that respect.

  4. s2c2Valued MemberMember

    Thank you both so much!

    alink, when you say the "Fluval style filters," are you referring to the Fluval C series power filters? Thanks again!

  5. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Idk where you are from, but where I live, the brand AquaClear is called Fluval. The box says "formerly known as AquaClear".
  6. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Well, in the US they still sell them as AquaClear and they're cheaper than the Fluval C-series...
  7. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I live in the midwest, Wisconsin to be exact. All we see is "Fluval, formally known as AquaClear" lol. I have 2 of the 70s and one 40. They are not the C series.

    Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  8. thefishdude277Well Known MemberMember

  9. NCE12940Well Known MemberMember

    I have both on my 45g tank - Penguin 350 bio-wheel, and AquaClear 50. With an overload of baby BNs (that are slowly making their way to the LFS) I find the AquaClear needs cleaning more often than the Penguin. I have to clean the AquaClear at least every week; cleaning the Penguin intake every week is usually sufficient for 2-3 weeks before I have to clean the whole thing.
  10. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Yea, the AquaClears are the 10,20, 30,50, 70, 110... The Fluvals come C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4 etc.
  11. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    This what I see and why I call them Fluval. This is the box mine came in.

    Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app

    Attached Files:

  12. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I have the box that comes like this...

  13. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Same thing, different packaging. But I was just showing it so you understand why I always call them Fluval and not AquaClear. To be fair... the packaging that mine comes in says Fluval and has AquaClear after it. like this...  
  14. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Yes but there is a separate line of power filters made by Fluval called the C-series so I guess you could say they have two different lines now.
  15. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Yes. I am aware of that as well. The C-series was their HOB line before they acquired AquaClear brand, at least thats how I understand it.
  16. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Yea, but the C-series was more expensive than the AquaClear counterparts, if you compare $/GPH or GPH/$ etc.
  17. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    I can't comment on the aquaclear but i have had success with my biowheel penguin 200. However, the biowheel does add to the noise. And once the water line dips a bit the noise will increase dramatically.

    It's been running nonstop for 2 months and i have cleaned the filter once.
  18. JswinWell Known MemberMember

    I have an aquaclear 70 it worked fantastically on my 40b planted community tank before I got a canister filter. I like that I could put a sponge, fine filter floss, seachem purigen, and the biomedia instead of a premade filter cartridge. That filter will be back in action in my 55 when I get ready to get it started.
  19. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    2 months is a short time. When you got a filter you want it to run for a few years at least to get your money out of it. When you gotta keep shoving money into it (cartridges, impellers, biowheels) it defeats the purpose when theres alternatives. Call me a fanboy if you want, but I am on the Fluval/AquaClear bandwagon til the thing breaks down and I gotta walk home lol.
  20. s2c2Valued MemberMember

    Thank you all so much!

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice