Power Filter Question - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 28 Old 10-10-2007, 03:19 PM
mHeinitz57's Avatar
just a side note, the new penguins allow a second slot so you can actually put two cartridges in there as well. I havn'st seen them make an additional "basket" like the emporers have but a second cartridge is still pretty cool and staggering the times you change them allow for a lot of bacteria to remain in the tank at all times.

Mike H
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post #22 of 28 Old 10-10-2007, 03:44 PM
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My new Penguin 150B has 2 slots for cartridges and they also have a basket like area in the back where you could easily put in bio balls if you wanted.
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post #23 of 28 Old 10-11-2007, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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FYI, I think I found a solution to my problem based on what mHeinitz was saying. I looked through all the filter cartridges and found one for Fluval filters. It is a foam pad that is for biological and mechanical filtration. It came with 2 pads for $6, I just cut one pad in 1/2 and then put it in front of my cartridge. Easy solution for the time being.

I will probably be buying a new filter for this tank as I plan to over-stock it a bit and need a filter that can handle the bio-load. I am undecided as to which filter I will choose, but the penguin 200 with the biowheel seems nice.

Anyways, here is a picture of the solution:

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post #24 of 28 Old 10-11-2007, 09:13 PM
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I like it! Basically you just made yourself a Whisper filter, lol. Make sure you keep the bio-bags clean though so that your new "bio-sponges" will remain clean as well. Penguins are awesome and as others have pointed out, aquaclears are nice as well. Here are some pros and cons to each (others please feel free to chime in)


1) Biowheel is an awesome way to keep a good colony of bacteria alive in your tank.
2) The way it is designed, you can remove the filter cartridge without removing or disturbing the biowheel
3) new penguin design allows for a second filter cartridge to be inserted which gives more debris pickup, more carbon, and allows you to stagger the times you change them to keep as much bacteria as possible at once.
4) most people experience very little mechanical problems if maintained correctly.
5) cartridges are simple and easy to replace.

1) cartridges don't hold a lot of carbon
2) overtime the biowheel can collect "sludge" or uneven bacteria buildup which causes it to stop or have irregular turning which can damage bacteria not being exposes to the water.
3) no versatility (though versatility isn't really needed in HOB filters.)

Aqua Clear

1) generally larger volume and I think more gph than penguins but I could be wrong.
2) more versatility and generally more media (sponge, carbon and bio-media) allowed.
3) just like penguins, very little mechanical problems.
4) Biomedia allows for a lot of surface area (I use it in my canister filter)
5) The media is not in cartridges so you can change sponges and carbon at seperate times.
6) sponges are sturdy and often only need to be rinsed instead of replaced.

1) biomedia must be removed in order to change carbon and sponge. This means you could potentially lose bacteria during filter maintenance.
2) biomedia will collect more debris than a biowheel will.
3) generally a bulkier design than other HOB filters.
4) carbon and sponge being seperate means purchasing media seperately and requires a little more work than a cartridge.

Anyways, those are just things to think about but honestly you will be happy with any of those two decisions. Your other option is canister filters if you have the $$$

Mike H
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post #25 of 28 Old 10-11-2007, 09:16 PM
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Looks like an easy to maintain biofilter that you have created. There was a question about shutting off the filter at night but that does not make any sense. The biofiltration would be harmed and even my large canister filter only uses about 20W of power. A high efficiency light bulb, one of the spiral things, uses 23 watts if it is rated to replace a 100W bulb. The little HOB filters are usually rated at closer to 10 watts. You will not be able to detect that on your electrical bill but if you are trying to grow plants with intense lighting, that will show up. The 75 or 100W heater for your tank will only be noticable if your rooms are kept quite cool because they won't be on all that much otherwise.
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post #26 of 28 Old 10-11-2007, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mHeinitz57

2) overtime the biowheel can collect "sludge" or uneven bacteria buildup which causes it to stop or have irregular turning which can damage bacteria not being exposes to the water.
Just a thought, ive talked to marineland, and even in there instructions, it says that quote "Irregular motion, including brief pauses is normal." that being said they do need to be cleaned everyonce and a while.
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post #27 of 28 Old 10-11-2007, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GregV
Just a thought, ive talked to marineland, and even in there instructions, it says that quote "Irregular motion, including brief pauses is normal." that being said they do need to be cleaned everyonce and a while.
Well the only way to clean that off would be to scrub them which will remove bacteria. Irregular motion isn;t really bad as long as it is spinning but some people have experienced a full stop of the wheel or maybe it will spin at an incredibly slow rate. If that happens, bacteria will only thrive in the parts of the wheel exposed to water, which wont be much. Sometimes the part of the filter the wheel sits in just needs to be cleaned but instead of cleaning the wheel I suggest replacing it alltogether if that happens. There are two ways of doing this that will keep bacteria alive.

1) take the plastic parts of the old wheel off and flatten the fiber gently and slide it into your filter. Then put a new wheel on and the bacteria should transfer over to the new wheel since it will provide the best environment.


2) place the old wheel into the tank and allow it to float or sink (whichever it does, lol) and put a new wheel on. Again, the bacteria should transfer to the newer and better environment. I suggest the first method though.

Bacteria supplements can be added during this transfer time and water tests should be done to ensure bacteria is staying alive. This sounds like a pain in the butt but it doesn't happen often. I've had biowheels with no problems at all because I rinsed and replaced my cartridges regularly so that waste does not work its way through and cause any irregular buildup on the wheel. Also, the biomedia in AquaClears will have to be cleaned more regularly since it remains still and therefore can collect more debris passing through. To clean the AquaClear biomedia: take a small container of your tank water and put the media in it. Gently swish the media back and forth to remove debris...and I stress the "gently" part. Then put media back in filter. Some people rinse the biomedia in the sink but that can easily kill/remove established bacteria.

Mike H
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post #28 of 28 Old 10-12-2007, 12:14 PM
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I just strapped a penguin 200 to the back of my 29 gallon tank and I have to say its a pretty mean machine so far. Like i said in another thread given the choice id spend the extra 10 bucks on the emperor, but the penguin has some nice stuff too. the extra chamber between the cartridge and the biowheel, the attachement in-line in the pickup tube that allows it to skim stuff near the surface of the water, and it moves a hell of a lot of water. for real, i stuck my arm in the tank the other day... the filter pulled me in, beat the living hell out of me and took my wallet.

to do it again id get the emperor, but I dont regret getting the penguin.

Dedicated, converted, lowes / home depot bulb buyer!
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