Power Filter Question -Bio Wheel VS Bio Bag?

What is the different between bio-wheel and bio-bag? Do they have the same function which keep the good bacteria? Is Tetra Whisper Power Filter is the best choice?
Answers:
Okay. Let's keep this simple. bacteria grows on the surface of the Wheel, Bag etc. (Whatever host material). Therefore, the BEST material to use is one with the BIGGEST Surface area. This will provide MORE bacteria to live on it. Thus, choose one with the largest surface area. Simple?
Power filter (Or whatever filter) is good only if it can turn around enough water. This means have the water in the tank going thruogh the filter. U need to have at least 3x the water tank capacity in order to have a good filter system. U can go up to 5x the water capacity, provide your fish is okay with the water current flow.
I am not familiar with a "Bio-Bag", but if what you mean is a Canister Filter (like a Fluval) then the answer to your question is yes - they both retain the good bacteria, but in a much different way.

I use Marineland's Emperor 400 (have 2 of them on my 90g All-Glass Aquarium, and I keep native tanks - meaning game fish). I wouldn't use anything else on a setup like mine that is not in need of live plants. The Biowheel retains all the good beneficial bacteria that is needed to maintain a healthy ecosystem inside the water, and the filters make great bacteria beds (do not change them out every 2 or 4 weeks as recommended. I keep mine in for up to 4 months at a time).

With a Canister Filter there are multiple way to have you water filtered before it goes back into the aquarium. Probably the best example of this from a Fluval piece of equipment is Hagen's Fluval FX5. I am actually preparing to replace my to Emperor's with this, but not because it is better, but because I am going to be going with a full blown JPJ CO2 system, and Biowheels will gas out a CO2 setup faster than an intern would go down on Clinton!

For the money - and simplicity of setup and maintenance - you cannot beat Biowheels, but if you are looking for multilayer filtering of your water (and something that will not create surface agitation) then the Fluval is an excellent piece of equipment as well.

They are completely different mechanical and biological filters though - very hard to compare them (it's like talking Apples and Oranges).
I've used both. The Whisper is nice, has the bio bag and sponge. But they couldn't handle the Florida power surges, and kept breaking on me. Only problem with the bio wheels, wheels usually end up stop working, at least mine have. Basically the same concept for the bacteria. You can make your own bio bag, they sell them or just use one of those filter sponges and stick it in the filter. Just be sure to NOT rinse it in tap water when doing water changes.
technically, marineland's biowheel has a LOT more surface area for good bacteria than the tetra whisper biobag. Tetra calls their replacement filter pad a "biobag." Marineland also has a filter pad. So you could say their penguin filter also has the biobag. AND the biowheel.

That said, I've never gotten those biowheels to work right for me. It seems like they're always stopped and they get unsightly very quickly. I have a tetra whisper filter on my fish tank and I like it very much. My water is always perfect. On my turtle tank, I have a fluval 304. I put in the ceramic rings, sponges, floss, and charcoal. The ceramic rings definitely increased the surface area available for bacteria to grow, so if that is something you need more of, I highly recommend a fluval cannister filter. But my tank with the whisper is a 30 gallon and as I said, the water is perfect. They've not been sick for years.
I think it is a personal preference. I have used both and they are about the same in respect to the bio part. I like to 'crowd' my tanks so I use two filters,one under-gravel and one hang-on. right now I am using the tetra whisper and it is good. Very quiet and easy to keep clean, but I think the bio bags are a bit expensive. Talk to the folks who sold you the aquarium, they should be very knowledgeable.

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