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I know that bio-wheels are supposed to slow down after a while, but mine will stop for about 5 minutes, then move a little and stop for another 5 minutes. Should it be doing that?
In my experience, I'd say it shouldn't stop for five minutes. When mine have done that either the water level was too low (I keep it low in my snail tank), or more frequently, there was a wad of java moss or something in the uptake. It can also be your filter cartridge is too full of gunk for the water to flow right. If that's the case, rinse it out in used tank water and put it back in and it should run fine. Sometimes there's also a build up in the brackets the bio wheel sits in that can be cleaned out with a qtip.
biowheels will still work even if they aren't spinning properly. Try cleaning the filter out, clean the impeller and intake hose...make sure there is nothing stopping water flow. Also clean the area where the wheel rests in. If it is still doing that then chances are you have an imbalanced wheel, meaning that more bacteria and other stuff has built up on one side of the wheel, causing it to not spin well. YOu can replace the wheel but if you do then take the old wheel, rip off the plastic ends, fold the wheel gently and stuff it in the filter. The new wheel will be a better environment for the bacteria and bacteria should transfer or recolonize there. You can do all of this quickly while the filter is running to minimize the time the old wheel is out of the water. You may want to use a bacterial supplement too to help replace anything that is lost.
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