I did a big tank cleaning a few days ago and found, to my absolute delight, that once I replaced the Penguin 350 biowheel filter it made a horrid grinding noise. I spent a lot of time taking it apart, cleaning it, messing with the impeller and the rubber gaskets (which looked straight to me) and I finally settled on dabbing a bit of vaseline on the impeller and spoke per a YouTube video I found. I knew this was temporary fix but it was better than nothing.
This morning, as I’m alone downstairs making my early morning social media rounds, the filter suddenly begins the horrible grinding noise. I ended up unplugging it so it wouldn’t wake the household (fail: I just heard Marlin get up 😦 ).
It turns out this is a known manufacturing issue with Marineland biowheel filters. On the one hand, I only got the filter for $26, on the other hand, it’s still annoying as crap to have to replace a filter. On the other, other hand, if this had happened with the $75 Emperor 400 biowheel the pet store originally sold me I would be VERY pissed, and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t have happened eventually since this is an issue across the product line.
I’ve emailed Marineland to request a replacement impeller, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up investing in a canister eventually.