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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I need to replace my marineland penguin and was thinking of getting a marineland emperor.
But first I want any suggestions for a good type of power filter before I decide, I want something that is quiet and possibly have the bio-wheel or something as good/better than the bio-wheel.
 

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The only way that I would recommend an Emperor (I have owned 3-4 of them and liked them) over an Aquaclear (what I now use almost exclusively) is if you need a big, cheap filter for a fish only tank with 'messy' fish (goldfish or Oscars primarily).

Otherwise the Aquaclear filters are superior. They make far less noise than the Emperor (even if you don't count the annoying squeaky bio-wheel sound), they have flow control (to turn down the flow during feeding or for other reasons), they let you configure the media trays in a flexible fashion and if you are using chemical filtration (carbon, zeolite, purigen, etc.) then they allow you do so more easily and for less money (by using filter media bags and buying the chemical media in bulk). They also easily take sponge pre-filters which are a requirement if you have fish or shrimp fry in the tank.
 

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Unless you go with the largest models the AQ filters aren't going to pump as much water volume as the Emperors but in most cases that is actually a good thing. The Emperor 400 is sort of like having a water fountain in the house.
 

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I am using the Marineland Emperor 400. My tank is in the living room. Noise is not an issue. The flow is pretty fast and a lot. The filter is rate for a 80g tank I believe. I have a 40g. I used a plastic sheet to diverge the water flow to flow downward, instead of to the front of the tank. This method works so well that I was having problems with bio-film on the water surface. I decided to cut couple of slot openings on the plastic to let some water to flow to the front of the tank. I love the bio wheels, still turning after 2 months. I don't use any medias. Just adding filter floss inside the media trays. Another thing I like about it is that, at night, I don't even need to add an air stone in the tank, when my CO2 is off. It has been this way for 2 months now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The only way that I would recommend an Emperor (I have owned 3-4 of them and liked them) over an Aquaclear (what I now use almost exclusively) is if you need a big, cheap filter for a fish only tank with 'messy' fish (goldfish or Oscars primarily).

Otherwise the Aquaclear filters are superior. They make far less noise than the Emperor (even if you don't count the annoying squeaky bio-wheel sound), they have flow control (to turn down the flow during feeding or for other reasons), they let you configure the media trays in a flexible fashion and if you are using chemical filtration (carbon, zeolite, purigen, etc.) then they allow you do so more easily and for less money (by using filter media bags and buying the chemical media in bulk). They also easily take sponge pre-filters which are a requirement if you have fish or shrimp fry in the tank.
sounds like a great filter, shame it looks like one of those cheap filters, but from your description and a couple of videos I've seen I'll definately put it on my list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am using the Marineland Emperor 400. My tank is in the living room. Noise is not an issue. The flow is pretty fast and a lot. The filter is rate for a 80g tank I believe. I have a 40g. I used a plastic sheet to diverge the water flow to flow downward, instead of to the front of the tank. This method works so well that I was having problems with bio-film on the water surface. I decided to cut couple of slot openings on the plastic to let some water to flow to the front of the tank. I love the bio wheels, still turning after 2 months. I don't use any medias. Just adding filter floss inside the media trays. Another thing I like about it is that, at night, I don't even need to add an air stone in the tank, when my CO2 is off. It has been this way for 2 months now.
So you don't have a problem with any noise?
 

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Aquaclears are about top of the line as far as HOB's go. You can never be sure a filter will be as quiet as people claim, but most have had good results with an AC. I have three running - a 20 on a 10g, 50 on a 20g, and 70 on a 25g.

I know you want a bio-wheel, but there's not a whole lot to suggest a bio-wheel HOB is superior to a HOB without one. All it does is create more surface area for bacteria. Without a bio-wheel, there will still be the same total amount of bacteria in the tank - they'll just be hanging out in other places.
 

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So you don't have a problem with any noise?

The noise isn't bad. The noise is more like the sound you hear when you shake a bottle of "rice" in it. You can hear the subtle "clack" sound. The bio-wheels do not make noise at all because there aren't any metal moving parts. It uses two spray bars to help the wheels to rotate. If there are air trapped inside, the spray bars would make some squeaking sound. The best way to cultivate the bacteria is through wet/dry method. You never have to worry about destroying the bacteria when you clean the filter. They are all on the wheels. I think the filter has enough gas exchange to avoid using an air pump at night. It isn't so much exchange that you need to pump a lot of CO2 during the day.
 

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I've got several larger used Marineland filters I'm getting ready top sell at a Club auction. The 1st thing I do is to remove and toss the filter cartridges and that silly wheel in the trash. i do like the size of the filter box, large intakes and the pumps.

I retro fit them for a large 10PPI foam and build an internal riser to use a bag of carbon if it may be needed to remove excess tannins. The foam I use will basically fill the filter. It cam be further modified to add a fine "polish" filter in the 45PPI range but I feel that is not needed. I can also make a sponge prefiler to go over the intake if someone has shrimp or fry in the Aquarium.

This is type of foam* I use: http://www.swisstropicals.com/Poret Filter Foam.html

I've used only this type of FOAM for years, from breeder tank corner filters to wet/dry sumps. It lasts forever, maint is simple squeeze it clean in a pail of old tank water during a waterchange.

* I use that type but, not from this distributer.
 

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i recently bought a marina slim, super sleek and cool looking filter, and water level is not an issue because the pump is right above the intake tube.
the filter is dead silent. this is not my picture, i pulled it off google

 

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I have quite a few of the Marineland BioWheel filters, both Penguin and Emperor models, and I have had no problems with them at all in terms of function. I prefer the Emperor models because they come with an extra media cart that you can fill with whatever you like, and the extra space for the second cart in the filter housing can be used for floss and misc. bagged media. While I do not think that these are very noisy, I did have one that was actually quite loud. Out of 12 HOB filters from this company, this is the only one that I have ever had any issues with. As far as AquaClear, many users here swear by them; I swear at them. I have had two of their filters fail in the last 12 months. I still have one AquaClear 20 HOB, but that is only because I cannot fit a Marineland HOB into the cover for my Fluval Edge.
 
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