Penguin Biowheel

Biglog

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I have a penguin biowheel 200 in my 29 gallon tank. Does anyone know how effective the wheel is in breeding bacteria (will my tank cycle again when I change out the inserts)? On a similar note, what does the carbon chemical filtration do (if anything)?
 

Circus

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The only real purpose of carbon is to remove chemicals (like medication). I only put carbon in when I am done medicating a tank. I just fill the cavity in my filters with various density sponges. I rinse them in the used tank water (or dechlorinated tap) when I do my weekly water changes.
When you change out those little carbon filled inserts every month, or however long, you are removing some of the beneficial bacteria.
 

AbbeysDad

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When spinning, the bio-wheel is an effective platform for beneficial bacteria. Not unlike drip systems, the exposure to increased air (oxygen) makes for a great place for the bacteria to colonize. However, in time, beneficial bacteria will colonize on any surface in the aquarium, ESPECIALLY in the substrate. Contrary to hobby lore, beneficial bacteria doesn't just live in filters! By the time your bio-wheel needs replacing, you should have plenty of BB throughout your tank so no worries.
Activated carbon adsorbs impurities from water and has been used in water purification systems forever and a day. However, for the aquarium, it is generally considered nearly pointless or counter productive. It has a very short 'use life' and if you have plants it will remove 'impurities' (aka nutrients) that the plants would otherwise use to grow.
Here is some information you may find valuable:
 

kribensis12

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I have a the same model of Penguin filter.

I am actually regretting purchasing it. The filters pads that come with it clog very easily, which prevents good flow (and stops the wheel from spinning). I much prefer the AquaClear filters. You can customize how you like and carbon is not involved.

I am considering place the aquaclear sponges in the penguin but I'm not sure if that'll disrupt the flow.
 

Slaphppy7

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I have a the same model of Penguin filter.

I am actually regretting purchasing it. The filters pads that come with it clog very easily, which prevents good flow (and stops the wheel from spinning). I much prefer the AquaClear filters. You can customize how you like and carbon is not involved.

I am considering place the aquaclear sponges in the penguin but I'm not sure if that'll disrupt the flow.
+1 to this, I've always heard negative things about those "wheel" filters, regardless of brand, but I do like the AquaClears very much, have 6 of them on various tanks...
 
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Biglog

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Just to clarify I am not planning on replacing the wheel, just the inserts with the foam and carbon. I am just trying to figure out the “ratio” of BB on the wheel vs the sponge part.
 

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