Penguin 350 BioWheel
For those of you with Penguin 350 filters what do you like to put in the extra media slots? I don't really want to put more of the carbon filters there. Is there a sponge or pad sold to fit in that slot or can I cut something to fit? What's the best surface for the bacteria to grow on but won't impede the flow too much?
I'm a big fan of ceramic rings for biological filtration.
But sure, you can buy filter floss that you can cut yourself, or sponge, or you can put other types of biological filtration in there.
I'm running a 350 on my 55 gallon, and I actually just leave the second slot empty. The biowheels provide the biological filtration and the carbon filters do both mechanical and chemical filtration.
I have heard, though, that the bacteria can die off in the biowheels quite quickly if the wheels have to be stopped or removed for any reason, so it may actually be a good idea to add a sponge or floss to ensure a continued biological establishment. Plus, if you ever want to start another tank, just pop one of the extra sponges into your new filter.
I chuck a bunch of bioballs behind the media. I prefer Emperors in any case. The spraybar keeps the biowheel turning better, and they come with U-fill-it baskets that I either fill with cut foam or with biological media (or even peat). I really don't care for the marineland pre-packed filter cartridges.
i have the next size smaller penguin on my 30 gallon now, and behind the filter i stuck the sponge biomedia pad from the old filter in there. im just going to leave it there, thats extra media to help me along on my next tank!
you could also put something like bioballs, like tophat suggested. I have an old tetra biobag filter as secondary filtration along with my ehiem ecco 2236 on my 110, the big mamma with the 2 outputs, i dumped the carbon out of the filter bags and filled each filter bag with eheim substrat pro, same with the smaller tetra bio bag filter on my 30 gallon. so far so good :)
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