75 Gallon Tank How To Store Biowheel While Waiting For Filter Repair?

Fishie Mom

New Member
Member
Messages
18
I have a Marineland Emperor 400 filter and the water flow to the biowheels stopped. I've taken it apart and cleaned it, but it may be old and just not diverting enough water to the biowheels any longer. Otherwise, water flows correctly through the filters. The edges of the impeller look a little ragged so I think it's worn in a way that is preventing the water from making it into the little tubes that feed the sprayer arms. So I ordered a new system (because I should have a backup anyway). It will take about a week to get here.

In the mean time, I have the two biowheels just floating in the tank. Is that the best way to "store" them? I was away for several weeks and I don't know how long it's been since they stopped spinning (could be up to a month) but they were still damp when I cleaned the tank today and found the problem. Should I leave them in their normal position (out of the water with no water flowing over them but still damp) or let them float in the tank?

Thanks!
 

Cichlidude

Well Known
Member
Messages
3,087
Bio Wheels produce Nitrates.

Bio wheels run in a high oxygen environment that encourages fast aerobic nitrification, but little else. This allows for copious amounts of nitrates to be generated in a short amount of time. This type of environment does not keep a stable bacterial colony to respond to sudden changes in bio load either.

With this environment, there is also no chance for a de-nitrifying environment to establish in filters that employ bio wheels. It is noteworthy that these negative attributes are multiplied in the Emperor HOB Filter with spray bars running the bio wheels.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,722
Are you running an airstone or a sponge filter in your tank? If so you could situate the bio-wheels where the bubble will go through them and that should help preserve the bacteria. If not, if your HOB is still working, just not well enough to turn the wheels you could somehow attach the wheel so the water from the output is running through or over the wheel. Water movement should preserve the bacteria.
 

bizaliz3

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
15,443
The wheels hold very little BB. The majority is in the cartridges themselves. The wheels are essentially pointless. I don't even have the wheels on several of mine. And I would never change cartridges and trust the wheel to preserve my cycle. Your filter is fine even if the wheels don't spin.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,722
bizaliz3 said:
The wheels hold very little BB. The majority is in the cartridges themselves. The wheels are essentially pointless. I don't even have the wheels on several of mine. And I would never change cartridges and trust the wheel to preserve my cycle. Your filter is fine even if the wheels don't spin.
Thank you biz. I didn't know this but will file it away. I've never had a filter that uses them so didn't know they were just another gimmick to give us one more item that gives us a false sense security..
 

bizaliz3

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
15,443
mattgirl said:
Thank you biz. I didn't know this but will file it away. I've never had a filter that uses them so didn't know they were just another gimmick to give us one more item that gives us a false sense security..
It's really unfortunate. I cringe knowing how many people just trust that wheel. But yes you are correct. It's a gimmick providing false sense of security so that people will spend more money on cartridges.

Fishie Mom just go ahead and run both filters. Its always good to have more than one running at once. But in the future, don't put much thought into those pointless wheels.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
F

Fishie Mom

New Member
Member
Messages
18
mattgirl said:
Are you running an airstone or a sponge filter in your tank?.
I do have an airstone, and can try to trap the biowheels in that part of the tank. Thank you for the suggestion.

Cichlidude said:
You might want to read here on bio wheel filters....
Thank you for the information and links. I am no expert but have figured out the cycle and have a reasonable handle on this tank, but am always willing to learn.

bizaliz3 said:
The wheels hold very little BB. The majority is in the cartridges themselves. The wheels are essentially pointless. I don't even have the wheels on several of mine. And I would never change cartridges and trust the wheel to preserve my cycle. Your filter is fine even if the wheels don't spin.
I wouldn't trust that either. I don't change the cartridges very often, and when I do, I don't change both at once.
 

bizaliz3

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
15,443
Fishie Mom said:
I wouldn't trust that either. I don't change the cartridges very often, and when I do, I don't change both at once.
Then throw away the wheels. :) Or at least don't concern yourself with them.

I guess I'm confused why you are so concerned about these wheels if you are already aware that your BB is in the cartridges anyway?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
F

Fishie Mom

New Member
Member
Messages
18
bizaliz3 said:
I guess I'm confused why you are so concerned about these wheels if you are already aware that your BB is in the cartridges anyway?
Risk management dictates that you incorporate a number of mitigations rather than relying on a single mitigation to prevent of risk from occurring. If the biowheels do anything at all, they are but one mitigation in this tank, along with the cartridges, media, etc. So I'd like to maintain whatever usefulness they provide until I have a fully-functioning filter back on this tank.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
OP
F

Fishie Mom

New Member
Member
Messages
18
Cichlidude said:
You might want to read here on bio wheel filters..
Thank you I've spent some time reading there and elsewhere, and think adding a sponge filter to the HOB would be a good way to diversify biofiltering in my tank. I like the idea that it will continue to work after a power failure recovery, when the HOB sometimes has issues overcoming the air that gets in the system when the power goes off. I think that might be what caused damage to the impeller I'm seeing now. Thanks for your kind help.

Chaory said:
I would just leave them in the tank. I have Marineland HOB’s also. I took out my bio wheels and put in ceramic rings in bag into the filter instead.
Thanks for the feedback. They are just floating around and I'm not going to get worried about them. I'm going to increase biofiltering in other ways to avoid relying on something that may not be providing a significant return.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,722
Fishie Mom said:
I like the idea that it will continue to work after a power failure recovery, when the HOB sometimes has issues overcoming the air that gets in the system when the power goes off. I think that might be what caused damage to the impeller I'm seeing now. Thanks for your kind help.
I have found that keeping the water level in the tank up to and even a tiny bit above the bottom of the out flow of my HOB's will keep power outages from draining too much water out of the filter thus preventing it from starting back up. I am not sure it will work the same with all HOB's though. The only ones I have used are PennPlax Cascade 300's and AquaTech's

Running a sponge filter or two is always a good idea. I do that instead of airstones. Since I keep my water level so high my HOB's don't disturb the surface of the water so depend on the surface disruption supplied with my sponge filters. I run 2 dual sponge filters in my 55 along with 2 HOB's.

Another good thing about running sponge filters.....you always have seeded media that can be used to cycle another tank.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
OP
F

Fishie Mom

New Member
Member
Messages
18
I had ordered a new magnetic impeller for the HOB and it arrived this week. It appears that was the problem, and now the water flow is working for both the filter itself and to drive the biowheels. The edges of the old impeller were a little nicked. It didn't look like it was enough to really mess up the water flow, but apparently it was.

The biowheels floated in the tank all week and are back running. I also added a sponge filter to replace an existing airstone to diversify the bio filtering in the tank. I had no ammonia spikes, although the nitrates are still high from our long leave, so I continue to do water changes to work that back down.

Thanks all for the help.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,722
I love hearing that a problem has been resolved. You wouldn't think just a nick would matter in an impeller but as you see it does.

Sand got in one of mine and scratched it. I couldn't quieten it down because of it. All you can do is replace one once it has any amount of damage.
 

New Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
240
Guests online
2,959
Total visitors
3,199

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom