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Re: Trickle filters
> The benefits you mention are gained similarly with far
> less labor by using Marineland's BioWheel filters.
I'm aware of that, but they do have problems for planted tanks, just as the
UFL system I mentioned in a response to Harry, earlier, has some problems.
> They do work very well for me. No, I don't work for
> Marineland but I used to :-) Dr. Tim Hovanec does a
> fantastic work and he heads their R&D. It really
> cracks me up when Karen Randall and company spout
> about how these filters are lousy for plant tanks
> since they "drive off" CO2. According to Tim Hovanec
> and results in my own tanks (never measured CO2, just
> have incredible plant growth) that is hogwash (not Dr.
> Hovanec's words).
Those of us who do CO2 injection into planted tanks have pretty sensitive
ways to know where our nutrients, including CO2, are going.
Karen's comments have been accurate, to my knowledge. If the heavily-planted
tank is actively photosynthesizing, the oxygen in the water is far above the
8 ppm equilibrium with air that the filter can provide, at its very best. We
get over 10 ppm when the plants are actively pearling.
> The energy of the biowheel is not
> sufficient to liberate gases. Its benefits are solely
> an increase in oxygen content due to the
> bio-media only being wet by a thin film of water that
> is replenished by the wheel's turning. I have to
> wonder about Karen's other statements when she is
> advising people based on such flimsy ideas. Sorry to
> rant, I just hate to see "experts" published in
> magazines that beginners rely on, spouting statements
> with no basis in fact what-so-ever.
If you know your KH, and it is mostly from CO3-, then a simple pH reading
tells you exactly how much CO2 you have in the water. Karen makes that
determination, frequently, and knows whereof she speaks.
> If the filter is
> run properly there is no splashing, and the water
> exiting the filter runs down a plate into the tank
> further minimizing the amount of energy that could
> potentially liberate CO2.
CO2 goes away for many reasons, but simple surface area increase can reduce
it toward atmospheric equilibrium. That's *way* too low for active
photosynthesis by well-lit underwater plants.
> I like them better than
> trickle filters because they are quieter, but it seems
> that they would do well for tanks you mention that
> need more O2.
I agree, and have an ancient Penguin 160 on a 55G in my living room as we
speak. If I start injecting CO2 into that tank, I'd probably change it, tho.
Great filter, but mine hasn't been able to truly turn the wheel for years,
now. It stays wet, so does *most* of what it is supposed to, anyway. I'm not
happy with something that needs parts replaced every few months, which is my
only problem with the biowheels. Otherwise they are great and do a wonderful
> I wanted to post to the list, but I cant
> send from the address I am subscribed to. I got a
> little off track there but my basic point was that if
> you are seeking a way to increase O2 then you might
> like trying a biowheel.
> Scott McLaughlin
> P.S. If you think this might interest the list feel
> free to post it or any parts.
I agree that the biowheel concept is a good one for *fish* tanks. It does a
lot of what Henri's rain-gutter system does, but is way easier for bigger
I tend to agree with Karen Randall on their questionable value for high-tech
planted tanks, though. Their ability to add oxygen is totally defeated,
there. The best the biowheel can do is *reduce* the oxygen to atmospheric
equilibrium levels. That's why I'm messing around with Lew Heifner's UFL
concept, as covered in the earlier note. We'll just have to see on that one.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 wright at killi dot net
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