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Re: removing biowheels

Neil wrote:
"Now here is my question:  My tank is currently set up
with a Magnum 350 filter with the two bio-wheels and
I'm using DIY yeast bottles for CO2 production.  After
reading several posts stating that the bio-wheels gas
a lot of CO2 off, I've been thinking about removing
them.  I am concerned about the impact on my
biological filtration as my tank is stocked too
heavily.  Should I try a gradual removal, by slowing
the flow of the water to the bio-wheels, then using
only 1 for a while, before finally removing them both?
 Or should I just rip the suckers off?"

First off all, I believe that you said that your tank and the plants are
currently doing well, right? If it is, you are obviously doing something
right. The Magnum 350 is primarily a mechanical filter as it is usually set
up - are you using carbon in it or just the micron cartridge? The 2
biowheels are designed to provide biofiltration and they do a very good job
of it because of their design. But the bacteria responsible for
biofiltration live on ALL surfaces within the tank, not only on the
biowheels. Many people here have discovered that in a heavily planted,
lightly stocked aquarium, the extra filter capacity is not really necessary.
With enough plants, they can absorb the  wastes from the fish and uneaten
fish food. However, you say that your tank is heavily stocked, so your
mileage may vary from what others have experienced. Your tank may actually
NEED the two biowheels. If your plants are growing well, I wouldn't be
overly concerned with the outgassing of CO2 caused by the biowheels - George
Booth showed years ago that trickle filtration is not incompatible with good
plant growth.

If you want to TRY it, why not disconnect ONE of the biowheels and see how
the tank does after a month? If you like the results, you could then decide
to leave things as they are or either slow down or remove the other one.
Either way, you should make any changes slowly and give both yourself and
your tank time to settle into a new equilibrium point. Make changes ONE at a
time and wait long enough for any reaction to the change to become visible
(if indeed it ever does).

Regardless, I would recommend that you continue to use the mechanical
filtration provided by the Magnum 350.

Good luck,

James Purchase