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Marineland - Penguin Power Filters
I have used a Penguin Mini for my 10 gallon tank for about a year and honestly it does the job perfectly. The only thing is the annoying noise from the rotating wheel if your water level gets too low, but it also reminds me to change the water once in a while. Another drawback for using the Penguin Mini in a small aquarium is the fact that it creates a little stream in the tank. Fishes love it - my corys and neon tetras like to play in the water stream - but I find it hard to keep my Amazon swords in the area right under the filter. Other than that, I've been quite pleased with this filter and I would recommend it to any beginner who doesn't want to invest too much at the beginning of this hobby. The filters - not too costly - can be bought in packs of four or more, and should to be changed every month with regular water changes. This way I kept my water almost crystal clear. :)
I have had a biowheel for about 3 months in a community tank that is 46 Gallons. I think it's the 330 model (double bio wheels). This has been my ONLY constant filtration system and it works great. First of all the power is amazing. It sucks up the mess, but does not produce enough power to suck up fish, a problem with some filters. It's also extremely quiet, as long as your water level is high. Another think I like about this filter is that you never have to throw out the biowheels, just clean them off with tap water and put them back in. The filter cartridges themselves last about a month and a half and technically, you can rinse those off too and put them back in for another week or so, depending how clear your water is. I don't think I will need another filter system, as long as this one keeps running the way it is running.
I am currently running a Penguin mini and an Aquaclear mini in my 20 gallon African tank. I found that the Penguin does a far better job than the Aquaclear. It has been fun watching my Penguin out class my Aquaclear. I have been using both filters for about 6 months now and would not replace my Penguin for any other filter out there. As far as noise, I found that my Penguin can get a little noisy when the water level is down but that is a small price to pay for great water quality.
I have a penguin 330 and 170 on my 55 gallon tank, and a penguin 125 on my 20 gallon tank. I've had this hobby for about 15 years and love these filters. I have no problems with the biowheels not spinning and no problems with water noise. The smaller penguins have no flow adjustment, which is no big deal as long as you don't over feed. If you follow the directions you won't have any problems with the biowheels not spinning. Also, if you plan on cleaning the flossy side of your cartridge over and over again, that's not a good idea because the carbon loses its chemical cleaning effect after about 30 days or so.
Contrary to what I read in other commentary on the Penguin filters, I have had a Penguin 170 on a 10-gallon tank for about 3 years, and the biowheel has never stalled once. When the filter pad gets dirty, the sump chamber backs up, and unfiltered water will flow back into the tank near the intake tube, but this is the way the filter was designed - so the sump chamber cannot overflow onto the floor, and the biowheel won't stop. Keep the plastic ends of the biowheel clean, and the bottom of the water path under the wheel clean, and you won't have problems with this filter.
This filter is a wonderful main filter system. I use it for my 55 gallon tank with only one other circulation pump in the tank. This filter does present problems with cleaning but with good maintenance, it does not needed cleaning much except the impeller. I would encourage you to consider the filter media that the filter you choose uses. The only draw back I have had with this filter is that the filter cartridges get expensive! Especially in the 330 gph model because it takes two of the largest filters at a time. So I caution you to look at alternatives for filter systems.