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Re: Recommended Filtraton System -- Working with Penguins

H.P. Lovecraft <nyarlothep at lycos_com> asked:

> Newbie here,
> I am interested in starting a planted tank, but I'm a little
> perplexed at which typed of filter to use.  Right now I've got a
> Penguin Bio-wheel.

My Experience is that with a biowheel you will use many times more CO2
to achieve the same levels as without the biowheel.  The biowheel is
the equivalent of high surface turbulence.  I tried wrapping the wheel
boxes but it made no significant improvement.

If you are serious about CO2, then seriously consider bagging the

>  My plans are to inject CO2 into the filter box to
> allow the gas to slowly dissolve and mix into the tank water.  I
> guess, my main concern is about charcoal.  Ist it recommended in a
> planted tank?

It shouldn't be necessary in a healthy tank and it can remove dissolved
organics that are good for the plants -- but he experts will correct or
corroborate that point.

You can pull (rip) the stuffing out of the plastic frame of the filter
cartridge and restuff it with ordinary floss if you want to stick with
the Penguin filter.  Then just reuse the cartrdige frame, skipping the
charcoal.  Or you can stuff a right-sized piece of sponge in the
Penguin (technnically a piece of poly-urethane reticulated foam) in
place of the cartridge.  Only change them when they are so loaded that
filter performance noticeably degrades.

>  The Penguin filter cartridges contain activated
> charcoal in them, which would prove difficult to remove if need be.

It's easier than you might think.

Good Luck,
Scott H.

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