Penguin Biowheel 150

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by alink, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Okay, I know this topic has been discussed at great length and I have read several threads about it but before I go get a new filter I want to ask for other possibilities...

    Biowheel stopped moving.. completely.

    Took whole filter off the tank, cleaned all tubes, impeller, impeller housing and walls with a fine toothbrush. Tried replacing the filter cartridge. Tried running it without the filter cartridge. Cant get the wheel to move.

    Wheel is not dry or damaged. It becomes almost completely submerged in the tank water which it wouldnt do if it was dry. Yes the wheel is seated in its grooves correctly and will spin freely with my help, but then it stops and doesnt re-start.

    Any options other than getting a new filter?

  2. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Anyone know if putting the biowheel in the tank and getting a different filter would work to transfer the cycle to the new filter? Really dont want to get another biowheel...

    Kinda in a hurry here for some answers....

    What about adding the biowheel to an Aquaclear 30 HOB for a few weeks?

  3. GeoffWell Known MemberMember

    What if you cut up the biowheel and put it in your new filter? Just as if you were adding ceramic rings or bio balls or some such.

  4. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I just dont want to start the cycle over ya know. If that would work, I can do that!
  5. GeoffWell Known MemberMember

    I don't know for sure. But the wheels are where the bacteria is supposed to attach and grow in those filters, so I assume cutting it up and putting it into a new filter is just like seeding a new filter with media from a cycled filter.
  6. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Isnt that the problem with most biowheels though? Once the biowheel goes bad, you're basically stuck and cant really seed another filter with the media. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  7. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Well now its spinning, very slowly and intermittently, but it is moving. I will keep an eye on it and probably go tomorrow and get a new one. I think cutting the ends of the wheel (plastic part) off an then collapsing the wheel so its flat and put that under the bioballs in the Fluval would work to see the filter after a few weeks, maybe a month to be safe. I could even get a small bottle of Stability to add daily for a week to boost the transfer of bacteria.

    The biowheel isnt bad. I think its the filter thats not pumping enough water through. I could get a new impeller for $15 but then if thats not the problem I just wasted that money. Plus I hate the biowheel filters, this one came with the tank in a kit lol.
  8. GeoffWell Known MemberMember

    I had a penguin 200 on my tank the last time I had it set up and it always stopped spinning. I had to constantly monkey with the cartridge in order to get the right amount of flow in order to get the wheel spinning. Drove me nuts. I swore I'd never buy another biowheel filter again. And I haven't. :)
  9. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Hmm after hearing these bad experiences, I'm just glad I didn't buy an emperor for either of my new tanks...

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  10. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah.. I had a 350 on my 50g and never had a real problem with it but I dislike how big it was and the cartridges weren't the easiest to clean. Gave it to my dad to use and got another fluval 70 lol.

    This 150 I'm talking about is on my moms 20 Tall. I think im going to get a Fluval 30 or 40 for it. Just hope theres no cycle bumps because theres a GBR and 8 Otos in there..
  11. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Wouldn't an AquaClear 30 or even 50 be cheaper? Those Fluval c-series HOBs aren't cheap lol.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  12. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    That would work just fine.

    But unless it is noisy, or you really just want to replace it, I would just leave it. There is bacteria in the tank, in the filter pads, and as long as the wheel has not dried out, there is still bacteria on it.

    Have you checked for ammonia or nitrite? I have removed bio wheels to see how much it would affect the levels in a tank once, and they never got above 0ppm without the wheels. Granted this was a one time thing. And there was nothing scientific about it. But I think that there is enough bacteria in your tank and pads to support the fish in the tank.

    If you still want to give this filter a chance, take it off the tank and clean it. Clean out the impeller and the housing for it. Clean out the intake tube and strainer. It's not like the wheel needs to be moving constantly. Marineland will tell you that they will slow down and may stop and its perfectly normal. As long as the water is touching it and keeping it wet, its working.
  13. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I have cleaned every part of the filter that can be accessed. Theres not enough water flow for the water to touch the wheel and make it spin. Even with the filter cartridge removed, it still doesnt spin, so its not a clogged cartridge (actually its a new one). I have changed out the filter cartridges on this tank a few times and never had a cycle bump, so there cant be much bb on it.
  14. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    The question is how long have you had this filter and is it worth salvaging? I mean money is tight for everyone these days so I'm not gonna be insensitive and just advise you to replace it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  15. Et tuValued MemberMember

    Yes the bio wheel filters are so un-reliable. Try wedging a spacer or? between the filter box & glass so that the filter is tipped forwards , the increased flow may just get that stupid wheel to turn.
  16. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    alink. Sorry, I don't always read everything before I post. I really gotta stop doing that.

    If there hasn't been any ammonia or nitrite, why not just leave it? Just itching to get a new filter :)
  17. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    The kit was purchased and set up sometime in February of this year. So its been about 6 months. Just seems too early for it be having problems. Which is why I am thinking about getting a new filter for it and doing away with the stupid biowheels..

    I've tried that too. There isnt a whole lot of room to tilt it but I did it as much as I could and it spun for a few seconds and stopped again.

    I worry that if its not spinning, its not doing its job, and then ammonia/nitrite will come along and wipe out the fish lol. Mainly the Otos and GBR are the ones that I am most concerned for.

    Currently: It has stopped spinning again. I can spin it with my fingers and after a few seconds it stops again and will not start. I just put the wheel floating loose in the tank near the air stone so theres water moving around it. Maybe that will be enough to convert any ammonia until I can get a new filter cycled in there for my mom. Thanks for the tips guys [and gals if it applies]!
  18. MtnTigerWell Known MemberMember

    I've two 200 bio-wheels that came with tanks and both stopped turning after a couple months. Went with Aqueons as replacement. Cut up the bio-wheel material and place it in the new filters.

    Instant cycling, never skipped a beat.

    One of the bio-wheels pump even dyed so it went in the trash. The other is still running in conjunction with the Aqueon, minus the bio-wheel.

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