Marineland Penguin 100 Filter Cartridge Options

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by LorenaGR, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. LorenaGRNew MemberMember


    I am cycling a 10G tank with Marineland's Power Penguin 100. I set up the filter yesterday and the carbon cartridge is apparently slowing down the water flow, which does not allow the bio-wheel to spin. When I take out the cartridge, the wheel will spin just fine.

    I am wondering if I NEED that cartridge? What are my options if I want to get rid of it?

    I think building beneficial bacteria in the bio-wheel media is much more important than the bacteria that might grow in the cartridge, but I'm just a beginning and would love to get some advice!
  2. kuhlkid

    kuhlkidValued MemberMember

    Lots of folks run their filters without carbon! It's used for clarifying water, and you can definitely cycle without it in there. That's strange that it would throw the filter off that way, though! Is it worth contacting the manufacturer about a faulty device?

    Also, just curious, are you doing a fishless cycle? How's it going? :)
  3. OP

    LorenaGRNew MemberMember

    I hadn't thought about contacting the manufacturer! Thank you! I honestly think that it's the cartridge, maybe the carbon is so dense that it is obstructing water flow? If I forgo the carbon cartridge, will the bio-wheel be enough? I've read some people have also used sponges but I am not sure if they are meant to be a replacement for the carbon cartridge or a complement.

    I'm doing a fishless cycle! And it is going VERY slow lol but I've been messing around with the filter so much that I'm kind of glad there are no fish in there yet :)

  4. kuhlkid

    kuhlkidValued MemberMember

    I would definitely use the sponge! Sponges are a mechanical filter, and provide lots of surface space for your bacteria to colonize on. Carbon is a chemical filter, for water clarity, and the biowheel is a biological filter, to further encourage bacteria growth. That's a very general breakdown, but I keep as many sponges and floss squares in my tanks as I can :) Bacteria loooove growing into those puppies!
  5. OP

    LorenaGRNew MemberMember

    That breakdown makes a lot of sense, thank you! I will definitely get some sponge and floss squares, then.

    I removed the cartridge for now and the bio-wheel has been spinning properly. I'm hoping that since there is no fish waste in the tank yet, then a mechanical filter (sponge) won't be really necessary right now, right? I could wait a couple of days?
  6. kuhlkid

    kuhlkidValued MemberMember

    Right, as long as there are no fish relying on the filter to clean out their waste for them, you can take your time! And let me make a recommendation for filter floss: this product on Amazon gives you tooons of floss, and you just cut it down to match your own filter as needed! I keep a sheet in both of my community tank's HOBs, and three tiny squares in my betta's filter, between the other media. When it's falling apart a few weeks/months later, you'll have your backup supply all ready to go :)
  7. OP

    LorenaGRNew MemberMember

    Awesome! Thank you very much!
  8. kabellem

    kabellemValued MemberMember

    Hi - jumping in on your thread, because I have had the same question and thought we maybe could help each other out. I have a Marineland 75. So far I just cut the floss open in an X shape on my cartridge and dumped the carbon out. That helped the flow a lot. But I would like to add sponge too - do I put it in the back of the filter where there is space? I am having a hard time determining the order that water would flow through everything.
  9. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Good idea taking the carbon out, you really don't need it unless you are filtering medications out of a tank after medicating. Even with that, you can just do a large water change instead. You can also periodically change these filter cartridges out by placing a new one behind the one that needs to be replaced ( for approximately a week) so that the new one is seeded with bacteria before taking out the old one. If you want to add more sponge material, you can just add some filter floss behind the cartridge. For more biological, can get a nylon bag and put something like Seachem matrix.

    You shouldn't be having a problem with the bio-wheel turning simply because there is a cartridge in the filter casing- something must be wrong with the filter or put together improperly.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2017

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