Marineland's Emperor vs Penguin

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dvc_r

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I would like to change out my original Topfin HOB filters with one with a biowheel. Can anyone tell me the difference between the Emperor and the Penguin (besides the spraybar)? Dr Foster & Smith have them on sale so now would be a nice time to make my decision. The difference in price is around $20 each and since I would want to change three tanks, is it worth getting the "better" one??? I asked the LFS but they didn't know the difference. Has anyone out there has/had both to compare?
 

Regal

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I have not had the Emperor. (ya so right off the bat why am I commenting huh? I know I know lol) I went with the Penguins because as far as I can tell, aside from the spray bar, the only difference is the price. I don't get the point in the spray bar anyway. The water turns the bio wheel so what do you need the spray bar for? I assumed the spray bar would be noisy too.

One thing to keep in mind though, is people do have trouble with the bio wheels not spinning and I guess the spray bar would fix that. Personally I have never had any problems with any of my Penguin bio wheels. They have all worked absolutely perfectly.
 
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dvc_r

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Thanks for the input, every bit of info helps when making a decision. I just got back from petsmart to see if I could get any answers. I gat the same thing... spray bar...

The only other difference is they sell them for 49.99 and 69.99!

I don't know what to do.

I'm sooo confused!
 

Regal

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If you print out the web page and take it to the store Petsmart will match their web price. I used to get Penguins really cheap that way but they have raised the prices.
 

ray_sj

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I have both an Emperor 280 and a small Penguin 100 for more than 6 months.

Both are good filters, but I've had much less trouble with the Penguin. For some reason, the Emperor periodically decides it's going to be noisy and vibrate. Then it suddenly decides to be quiet again. Then the intake strainer broke off while I was cleaning it. Marineland was very supportive, sending me replacement parts within a week under warranty, no questions asked.

However, just get a Penguin. For me, it was cheaper, and works better even! The only real difference is the spray bar. In any case, I've never had a problem with the biowheels on either unit. Just keep the bushings clean, and they'll be fine.
 

harpua2002

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I've used both Emperors and Penguins, and both are loud to me compared to the Aquaclears. The spray bar on the Emperor nearly eliminate the stopped Biowheel issue, as long as you keep the spray bars clean (a brush is included for cleaning). I've had some of the Emperors for over 5 years with no problems (other than the noise), but I've had issues with every Penguin I've owned. IMO the quality of the Emperor is much better than the Penguin.
 
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dvc_r

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qquake2k

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I've used both Emperors and Penguins. While they all filtered fine for me, I found that the Penguins are much more loud. For some reason they produce a lot of splashing noise, no matter what the level of the water in the tank is. Other than that, they're both fine filters in my opinion. I never had a problem with the Biowheel in the Emperor spinning, as long as the spray bar is kept clean.
 
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dvc_r

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Thanks for the help.
 
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