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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a new 75g tank with a couple penguin 350 HOB power filters. I'm getting a lot of micro bubbles in the aquarium. Eventually I'd like to do something about this once the tank is done cycling.

From the reading I've done so far it seems the bio-wheels are likely making this worse than it would be otherwise. I'm considering a couple options down the road:

1) Purchase the media baskets for the penguins. Add some sort of media to those baskets. Remove the bio-wheels.
2) Go with a fluval 307 or 407 filter. Remove the bio wheels from the penguin filters and possibly remove one of the penguin filters completely.

Option 2 has the added benefit of overall quieter operation with a slight risk of leaks from hoses and couplers.

Input? I know there is a process you can follow to completely convert the penguins into bio-filters without the wheels. I'm sure that may work OK. That option requires a bit more modification with check valves and air pumps. Plus I'm not sure if I'd end up with the same issue (bubbles) due to pushing air through the media in those baskets right before the outflow.
 

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How high is the water level in your tank? I usually only see tiny bubbles in the tank when the output from the filter 'falls' onto the water surface when the water level in the tank is low.
 

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Not sure just how much bio-filtration the Bio-Wheels actually perform, but I like those things! Back in the day... The bio-wheels on my own Penguin and a couple of Emperor 400's I owned never caused any micro-bubbles. Keeping the water consistently 'in the black' (plastic rim on glass tank) provided a smooth, splash-free discharge flow into the aquarium.
However, the use of a powerhead, wavemaker or other such current producing thing? Those are notorious for creating micro-bubbles!
 

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I only get micro-bubbles when I do a big water change...especially when I fill a new tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My tank is full of micro bubbles constantly. If I turn off the filters they of course disappear. But are the filters really the cause? I’m not 100% sure. They could be exposing some other issue. I’ve even heard that stress coat can encourage bubble formation too.

Not sure yet what my next step will be
 

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@Riptide Micro bubbles are normally in the water column but if you are seeing small bubbles on the water surface it may be due to something else.

How are you cycling the tank? Are you using ammonia, bacteria in a bottle or something else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Its pretty extreme though. If go look at youtube vids of planted tanks with a couple sponge filters they have almost zero bubbles in the column whereas mine is teeming with the stuff.

Fish waste and excess food produce ammonia to cycle the tank. It may be done cycling now but I am still watching levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Trying the cheaper option to resolve this first I got some media baskets for the penguin 350 and some bio media to fill them with. The plan is to get those in the flow and eventually start phasing out the bio-wheels completely.

If that doesn't resolve the massive cloud of micro bubbles then next step is the nuclear option. Going with a canister filter and keeping the output nozzle completely submerged.
 

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Any chance you can post a pic or video of the tank with the micro bubbles?

Are the Penguin 350 filters new or used? Did you try to remove the bio-wheels temporarily to see if the micro bubbles go away?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bio-wheels removed and the issue is is reduced by 75-80%.

They are back in now (new tank) and I have media baskets in the penguins filled with material to establish nitrifying bacteria in that location. After a couple weeks the plan is to start phasing out the bio-wheels one at a time until all four are out.

A lot of the media I got was way too big for the media baskets in the penguins so I held onto it. May eventually get a canister filter some day and if I do then I have plenty of media to cram in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've basically proven the bio-wheels are causing this issue after removing them for about ten minutes. Water was much clearer. This is in-line with the things I've read on the internet about bio-wheels frequently causing or aggravating micro bubble issues in the water.

I have a plan now and am going to convert over to media that is in the media baskets instead of using bio-wheels. If I had to do this whole thing over I would've just gone with a single penguin 350 with bio-media in baskets and no wheels. And then had a canister filter as the second filter.

I'm still kinda tempted to add a small canister like a fluval 207 to the tank and completely remove the second penguin but I think it would probably just be a waste of money.
 

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Hmmmmm.....
I'm still kinda tempted to add a small canister like a fluval 207 to the tank and completely remove the second penguin but I think it would probably just be a waste of money.
Oh no, that's NOT true at all!
With the new canister,
  • Redundancy. You'll have a backup Penguin 350 placed in layup/standby mode if needed, due to problems or something breaking.
  • Quarantine. Dunno about you, but a single, biologically established- Penguin 350 on a 10 or 20 gallon tank, would offer some pretty nice capability to have in a quarantine tank.
  • Visual Upgrade. Get an inline, electric heater to mount onto the discharge hose of the Fluval canister. Heating works much more efficiently with in-line heating, and it removes yet another piece of unwanted, 'Visual Tech' out of the natural look of the inside of your aquarium.
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The media for the unused Penguin 350 could be utilized in the new canister. At first, that would be to help start it up biologically. Later, just to keep it established. The current electric heater could be placed in layup/standby also for later use ISO the Quarantine tank. The Quarantine tank could be kept dry, until needed for use.
A nice boost in filtration capability, with a visual upgrade for your show tank to boot? What's not to like about that?!! :unsure:
 

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ALWAYS go with the filter that has sufficient capacity to 'go-it-alone' temporarily if needed, in the event that the companion HOB fails....
Definitely, go with the Fluval 307 Canister! :)
 

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It should. But, if you're not sure, you could probably get the dimensions of that canister from the web site. Maybe a phone number or some other type of contact info will get you some sizing info. I'm guessing you are purchasing that canister filter online?
 
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