Help! Marineland Penguin 150 Biowheel Not Spinning

cgittelm1

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My Marineland Penguin 150 biowheel is not spinning & now my tank looks like ****. I followed the instructions to a tee - not sure what I'm doing wrong! Any suggestions would be great!
 
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cgittelm1

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Thunder_o_b said:
Are the filter pads clogged to the point there is not enough flow? I have 6 Marineland Bio wheels.

I use silicone lube on the pins. This helps a lot.
I just cleaned it out to make sure that wasn't the problem. It's still not spinning. I will try the silicone lube. Thank you
 

finnipper59

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cgittelm1 said:
I just cleaned it out to make sure that wasn't the problem. It's still not spinning. I will try the silicone lube. Thank you
I used biowheels about 20 year ago and I love them. I just use 2 types of other filtration now. One problem I had was a leaf from a house plant fell in one and stopped it until the top dried out making it light while the bottom was soaked making it heavy. Once I got it moving again it was turning kind of uneven and wobbly for awhile. If yours are half soaked, try just dropping them in the water until they're evenly soaked and see if they turn better when you replace them.
 

Fashooga

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I wouldn’t worry about it. I have a 350 and one doesn’t spin. As long as the media in the housing itself has good water flow I could care less about the spinning wheels.
 
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cgittelm1

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So I figured out that my media wasn't positioned correctly - apparently this filter is extremely sensitive. I raised the media up just a little bit and the bio wheel is spinning normally now. I hope this helps anyone else that's having issues!
 

finnipper59

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cgittelm1 said:
My Marineland Penguin 150 biowheel is not spinning & now my tank looks like ****. I followed the instructions to a tee - not sure what I'm doing wrong! Any suggestions would be great!
Usually the biowheels won't turn if they are not getting enough water flow...usually full filter cartridges slowing the water down. Another post suggested using silicone lubricant an the little ends where they spin. Another problem if if the bottom of the wheel is soaking wet...it's heavey and the drier top is light, so the water would have to push really hard to make them spin. I suggest you take the biowheels out of the filter and completely soak the entire wheels in the tank water to equalize the weight for at least an hour and reinstall them. The equal weight throughout the entire wheels may help them turn better.
 

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cgittelm1 said:
So I figured out that my media wasn't positioned correctly - apparently this filter is extremely sensitive. I raised the media up just a little bit and the bio wheel is spinning normally now. I hope this helps anyone else that's having issues!
Yep, I have to raise mine up sometimes too.
 

finnipper59

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OneLittleBubble said:
Mine doesn't spin
Soak the entire wheels in the tank water for an hour and then immediately replace the with your filter pads pulled out. They should then spin. Once they start spinning, put your pads back in the filter. If they stop, you will know you don't get enough water flow.
 

OneLittleBubble

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Hmmm, how fast exactly? Mine sometimes likes to spin, but not fast or normal. It spins super slow and not consistent
 

finnipper59

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When you 1st install brand new biowheels, they spin quickly, but as the get soaked with water a covered with the beneficial bacteria, they become heavier. As long as they spin, even slowly, they are doing their job. When a certain section is underwater, it gets coated with water that contains ammonia and nitrites. When that same section comes out of the water, the bacteria get exposed to extra oxygen quickly before going back under the water and relealing nitrates. As long as the wheels are turning, they are working.
OneLittleBubble said:
Hmmm, how fast exactly? Mine sometimes likes to spin, but not fast or normal. It spins super slow and not consistent
 

bizaliz3

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The wheel is useless. I don't even have the wheel on a few of my bio-wheel filters. Their supposed purpose is to allow you to change your cartridges without losing your cycle. The theory is that this little wheel holds onto enough BB to maintain your cycle if you remove and replace the cartridge. But that is simply false! If you remove all your media, the wheel will NOT keep your cycle in tact as the majority of your BB is on the cartridge. So what purpose does the wheel have anyway???? NONE!

The thing is useless. The cartridges last forever and as I said, they hold the majority of your BB. You just need to scrub them in tank water every couple weeks to keep your flow good. If one does start to fall apart, you can shove a new one behind it for a few weeks before throwing the old one away. Or better yet, shove a bag of bioballs behind the cartridge.

In closing. The wheel is pointless, it doesn't matter if it is even on the filter, let alone spinning. So don't lose any sleep over it. ALSO, I would push your media back down. Having it raised just allows more crud back into the tank without being caught by the cartridge.


EDIT: I just want to add....that if your tank "looks like ****" as you said....it has nothing to do with whether your wheel is spinning or not.....
 

OneLittleBubble

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Ok, cool, but it's been spinning slowly since the beginning. Like you said it's doing its job, so that's fine then.
 

Lchi87

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The wheels aren’t necessary imo. There’s better ways of preserving your cycle that were already mentioned. Personally I think its a way for Marineland to suck more money out of people.

But hey, whatever floats your boat. If spinning wheels were needed, every filter would have one.
 

finnipper59

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Yes. If there spinning at all, they're working. But the post about having your filter cartridge all the way down to make sure all the water passes through the cartridge first is correct. If your biowheels stop when the cartridge is all the way down, then you may be getting clogged cartridges. Take a bucket or large bowl of fresh water with chlorine remover added and shake your cartridges vigorously under the water and even squish the sides a couple of times. This will clear out some debris and allow the water to flow through better without losing your beneficial bacteria.
OneLittleBubble said:
Ok, cool, but it's been spinning slowly since the beginning. Like you said it's doing its job, so that's fine then.
 

finnipper59

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finnipper59 said:
Yes. If there spinning at all, they're working. But the post about having your filter cartridge all the way down to make sure all the water passes through the cartridge first is correct. If your biowheels stop when the cartridge is all the way down, then you may be getting clogged cartridges. Take a bucket or large bowl of fresh water with chlorine remover added and shake your cartridges vigorously under the water and even squish the sides a couple of times. This will clear out some debris and allow the water to flow through better without losing your beneficial bacteria.
I'm completely aware that some people think the biowheels are useless, and that's ok. The invention and use of the biowheels were tested in laboratories and found to be more effective than the same filters without the biowheels. The whole purpose was to try to imitate on a miniature scale the same effect as a wet/dry filtration system. I personally like them and as long as they spin...even slowly, they're doing what they were invented to do.
 

bizaliz3

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finnipper59 said:
I'm completely aware that some people think the biowheels are useless, and that's ok. The invention and use of the biowheels were tested in laboratories and found to be more effective than the same filters without the biowheels. The whole purpose was to try to imitate on a miniature scale the same effect as a wet/dry filtration system. I personally like them and as long as they spin...even slowly, they're doing what they were invented to do.
I hear you!! But they are still unreliable if you remove EVERYTHING from the inside of the filter at one time. You are almost guaranteed a temporary spike as the BB catches back up to the stock in the tank. You won't be starting ALL OVER again, but there will likely be a brief hiccup because as I said before, a majority of the BB is inside the filter on the cartridges. Not on the wheel.

I just caution people to NOT remove everything from inside the filter at once and rely solely on that wheel. Its dangerous!! That is why I keep other forms of bio-media behind my cartridges. I have like 15 biowheel filters throughout all my tanks and have been using them for 6 years. I have a lot of experience with their performance!
 

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You know, I have a Penquin 350 with bio wheels and I also have an Aqua Clear 70. They are both highly recommended. Both keep my tanks clean but both have their disappointments too. The bio wheel has spinning problems at times and the Aqua Clear always has problems getting re-primed after cleaning or doing water changes. I always have to jiggle the intake piece just right back into the hole to get it started. Baffles me because I didn't touch it to begin with. Again, once they get going, they do a nice job but I didn't expect to have such issues with such highly rated filter systems.
 

finnipper59

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Goldiemom said:
You know, I have a Penquin 350 with bio wheels and I also have an Aqua Clear 70. They are both highly recommended. Both keep my tanks clean but both have their disappointments too. The bio wheel has spinning problems at times and the Aqua Clear always has problems getting re-primed after cleaning or doing water changes. I always have to jiggle the intake piece just right back into the hole to get it started. Baffles me because I didn't touch it to begin with. Again, once they get going, they do a nice job but I didn't expect to have such issues with such highly rated filter systems.
I've been an aquarium hobbyist for 35 years. I've used hob filters, undergravel filters, wet/dry filters, biowheels, and canister filters. I promise you that through all that time and usage, I have never found a filter or combination of filters that don't have some kind of flaw. As critter keepers, we are required to learn so much more information including biology than for keeping a car or dog. I still love it after all these years. And believe me, what's available today to help with aquarium keeping is a lot more helpful than what was available 35 years ago.
 
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