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Re: Biowheel Filters

Ed Smith wrote:

>Will biowheels cause problems with a planted tank?
>I realize that biowheels that have a spray bar will cause
>problems due to a loss of CO2, but if you just have a
>biowheel that sits on the surface, will it cause problems?

I think the question should be "Will a planted tank cause problems
with biowheels?"  Answer: yes.  Especially if you have snails.  The
snails will tend to collect near the axle of  the biowheel, eventually
stopping it from turning.  I have abandoned my biowheel filter for
this reason and also, because it uses those floss/activated carbon
cartridges.  There is no way to avoid the carbon without actually
slitting open the floss with a utility knife and emptying the cartridge.

If you must use a hang on the tank power filter, the best one that I've
found is the one that I use now on my 20 gallon long.  This is the
Supreme Aquamaster.  I like its thin design and above all, the fact
that you can snap open the cartridges and change the media.  It was
not designed to be used this way, but then most filters are not
designed with the planted aquarium in mind.  The stock plastic
cartridges come already packed with a floss pad and a separate
carbon impregnated matrix.  The two halves of the plastic cartridge
can be snapped apart and the carbon matrix discarded (or kept as a
template for cutting new floss pads).  I have replaced it with a piece
of thin foam cut from a pond filter sleeve (oddly enough, also made
by Supreme), and I have been using the same piece of foam for
nearly a year now.  At weekly water changes I remove the cartridge,
snap it open and replace the floss with a piece that I cut from a large
pad that I buy at PetSmart.  You know, that blue and white bonded
stuff that Marineland makes.  Remember to replace the cartridge so
that the blue floss is facing the current (i.e. the floss filters the water
before it passes through the foam biological filter).  This set up
works great for me.

Jonathan in Maryland, where we are expecting some thunderstorms
Energetics, Inc
7164 Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
(410) 290-0370

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