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firefly

Replacing A Biowheel

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I have a 29 gallon tank with a whisper quiet filter (with bio wheel) that has been running for about 3 years. The fish in the tank are amost 5 years old.

My Bio wheel is starting to show signs of age with small tears and rips.

I THINK I need to replace it, but what does that to do the "system" in the tank. the wheel has all of the growh on it that I know is neccessary for a balanced tank. If I remove it and put a new one in, what does that do to my tank.

I have considered, on the next water change to replace the wheel, but keep the dirty filter pad in. I do not know if that will help the situation or not.

My wheel is going to need replacing some time soon, and I am not sure how to do it without messing up the banance of the tank.

Thanks for the help.

Chris

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You will be fine removing it. I actually don't have any of the bio wheels in my bio filters. As long as you leave the filter pads, there should be more than enough bb in them to hold the cycle. But don't forget to test your water to watch for a potential bump.

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If it messes up your aquarium's cycle, I would recommend a biological supplement, like the kind you use when you start cycling a tank. I used Nutrafin Cycle, and immediately introduced my fish into a new tank; my Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites have stayed at 0ppm for the past 4 days without a water change. That said, I would imagine it would work in an aquarium with an impaired biological filter.

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I think this is a prime case where multiple filters would be very handy. Personally I have 4 running in my main tank just for this reason. I can completely clean two of my filters inside and out and be more than fine with the cycle because of the extra filters containing the bio bugs. I am a big proponent of lots of filters, and there being no such thing as over filtering. If you had even just one more biowheel filter you could easily just replace the old wheel and not have to worry about a cycle crash or bump :).

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I have and experiment. The bio wheel is a single sheet of fabric that is pleated. It just comes out. If you remove it you could try to place it over the new one for a couple months. So there is two fabrics in the same wheel. If it will not spin you could just place the old fabric without the wheel in the filter for a couple months. It seems to me that it takes a couple months to get a healthy layer of BBs on the bio wheel.

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oopps Filter is an Emperor 280 with bio wheel -- if that makes a difference.

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I personally would be cautious to remove a biowheel, especially if it's your only filter. I myself have a penguin 350 & an emperor 400. I tried seeding a QT tank using some media I had stuffed in the filter (when I only had the 350 on a smaller tank), and it did not work at all. This gives me the impression that most of the bb's are on the biowheel. After all, it's made specifically to hold bb's and provide them oxygen as the wheel turns, so I wouldn't be surprised that it's preferred.

If I were you, I'd get a new wheel and put it on the filter, but I would still keep the old one in the tank somehow. Either tie it up in panty hose and let it float in the tank (my fish tried to eat the wheel when I floated it once), or figure out a way to put the wheel in the filter box itself (maybe cut the material off the wheel, and stuff it in). The idea is that hopefully some of the bb's will relocate to the new wheel, and eventually you'll be able to remove the old one. Or, you could just leave it in there, I don't think it would cause any harm. Hope this helps!

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Don't some people believe the BBs are found throughout the tank and that the gravel holds the most BBs? In my limited goldfish-keeping experience, I got a cycle bump from removing gravel, but I've changed my filter inserts or cleaned them with no problems.

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I absolutely agree that bb's are found throughout the entire tank, and especially in the gravel. That is why many members here suggest taking gravel out very slowly, so as not to completely disrupt the cycle. It is lucky that you were able to remove/clean your filter inserts without a problem, but I think that when dealing with a 3-year-old established biowheel, one must be more cautious. Just my opinion.

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Do you have the extra gray cartridge? If so what's in it?

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I absolutely agree that bb's are found throughout the entire tank, and especially in the gravel. That is why many members here suggest taking gravel out very slowly, so as not to completely disrupt the cycle. It is lucky that you were able to remove/clean your filter inserts without a problem, but I think that when dealing with a 3-year-old established biowheel, one must be more cautious. Just my opinion.

When I used to keep goldfish, I didn't even have a biowheel on my filter, I just used gravel, and I never had issues with Ammonia. So I agree.

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Ok.

I have this filter right now running on the Guppy tank, it was on the goldfish tank.

When it was on the goldfish tank, the bio wheels stopped running right cause my floor in the house isnt even, so they didnt spin right. I took them off and just packed the filter with floss. I made sure that when I took them off, I hadnt changed any of the filter floss or cartridges in the filter. This way when I did take them off the cycle didnt bump as hard. :) You can if you only use one of the filter cartridges, put a bag of balls for the BB's and filter floss in the filter it self. This will work just as well as the wheels being on there :thumb:

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IF you have the gray cartridges you can jump start the filter by putting other cycled media in it like tubes or gravel.

This is how I did mine.

000_0007.jpg

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Oh yeah Thanks Chris, I forgot about those. Those are great to have too, you can put anything in them :thumb:

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