12-05-2011, 07:59 AM
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+1 on AquaClear - I have two AC 70's on my 60g. and they're great, allowing me to decide what filter media in what order. One is full of Seachem Matrix, the other is sponge, (now) Seachem Purigen and filter floss.
The filters you mention are cartridge filters. Although somewhat convenient, cartridge filters are like razors and razor blades (they practically give you the razor cause the real money is in blades!) - compared to sponge and floss, the cost of somewhat less effective cartridges can add up over time. Cartiridges typically have carbon inside and the usefulness of activated carbon is very short lived.
I'm also not sure, after pondering some, that I buy into the true effectiveness of the bio-wheel. Maybe it's a fun biological Ferris wheel carnival ride, but I think water passing through a sponge is a better platform for a beneficial bacteria colony.