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Biowheel filter in a planted tank? Is it really that bad?

6675 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  gpodio
Basically the mina argument against biowheels is that it allows the Co2 to escape from the water. However, if you arent injecting Co2, does this matter? What kind of filter would be reccomended then?
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I moved the topic to the equipment forum.

I know many people that use the Bio-Wheel filter on planted tank. I suppose it would degas the water of CO2 a little bit but I don't think it would be material. If you have it, give it a try and see.

What most people recommend for filtration are canister filters. They are used underneath the aquarium and therefore keep a lot of the ugly equipment out of sight. They also provide plenty of space for mechanical and biological filtration.

In a heavily planted aquarium, I don't think you need biological filtration in the first place. However, it does provide a buffer for the fish if the heavily stocked with fish and the risk of ammonia or nitrite spike is high.

I've only used Fluvals and Eheims in the past. Fluvals are cheaper but are noising for my taste. Eheims are built extremely well and silent. Of course, the Eheims are imports so they are priced accordingly.

I currently combined my CO2 reactor with the biological filter. Please see the thread I posted in this forum that has more details about it.

If you spared no expense, you could purchase the ADA Lily Pipes for the intake and return to the canister filter as well as their stainless steel canister filter that will last a lifetime. :D
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Thanks for the info! Wouldn't water agitation, with no(additional) Co2, add Co2 to the water?
In my case i had a biowheel on my 10g planted tank and my plants grew nicely. But since that ive taken off the biowheel and my plants just havent been growing well. But obviously this is just coinicidence not that the biowheel was my key to sucess.

noname - no i dont think that actually adds C02 to the water and if so its only a minimal amount it wont make much of a difference.

nonamethefish said:
Thanks for the info! Wouldn't water agitation, with no(additional) Co2, add Co2 to the water?
In certain instances this could be true. If plants were stripping all the CO2 from the tank, increasing water circulation and surface agitation could help equilibrate CO2 and restore levels to or near equilibrium again. At any rate bio-wheels aren't in any way detrimental to planted tanks, they do sometimes pose a problem with trying to maintain injected CO2 levels when using DIY yeast injection.

For small tanks (20 gallon or less) I like using AquaClear HOB filters. For tanks over 20 gallon I prefer using a canister filter, though most times a run both a canister and an AC filter for redundancy.

The main complaint with most bio-wheel filters are those ripoff and basically horrible little filter cartridge inserts you have to buy and buy and buy.
nonamethefish said:
Thanks for the info! Wouldn't water agitation, with no(additional) Co2, add Co2 to the water?
That's possible but not always the case. If you have too much lighting for a non-CO2 tank then yes. In most correctly balanced low light tanks, I have found that reduced gas exchange can help maintain higher CO2 levels than atmospheric balance. This is because your fish and other processes in the tank also produce CO2, therefore if your plants are consuming less CO2 than what is being produced by the tank, reducing gas exchange will actually help maintain a higher CO2 level than atmospheric. It's something that is unique to every tank, can't really generalize on this, if you increase gas exchange rate and find your PH rises then you were better off before, otherwise you will see a drop in PH indicating more CO2 in the water compared to before.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
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