Brian s. 2008-09-20 23:06:04
I see that the Emperor 400 is almost twice the price as the Penguin 330. I
figure that I most likely will get a larger tank in the future so I will buy
the bigger filter for my current 29 US gallon aquarium.
Anyone have any preference to these two filters and what are your
The drunken lo 2008-09-20 23:06:07
With the Emperor you can adjust the flow–which you might need to do
with a 29 gallon tank–that is, you might have to turn it down on low.
I don’t know what other differences there are. I’d imagine there’s
more difference than just that though.
The biowheel is not just a gimmick though. I don’t know why anybody
would buy any other kind of power filter.
The drunken lo 2008-09-20 23:06:08
You can download the manuals and read all about these filters.
You might be just fine like you are–or you can do what that other guy
suggested–but the biowheel is not just some gimmick. For all I know,
it might be overkill, but a tank will most definitely cycle faster in
the beginning with a biowheel. Anything else seems to take FOREVER.
Frankrkay 2008-09-20 23:06:09
There is not much difference between the two, but for the money, I would not
think twice about getting two Penguins. ……..
Brian s. 2008-09-20 23:06:10
But two of those sized Penguins most likely would be a very tight fit on the
tank. Wouldn’t see why you would want two of them anyways to be honest…
Good thought though.
Marazul 2008-09-20 23:06:17
They’re essentially the same filter, IMO… I run the penguin and have had
The Blood Parrot Forum
D*** 2008-09-20 23:06:21
I have two 330 filters on a 75 gallon tank. If you buy one 330 now
for your 29 gallon tank, you can add two or more for the larger tank
in the future.
You can also consider not buying additional cartridges. I have
removed the filter and charcoal and use only the skeleton of the
cartridges to support a filter pad. I see no reason to pay for the
new cartridges when I can get all the filtering I want from much
cheaper bulk filter pads. Forget charcoal.
Frankrkay 2008-09-20 23:06:22
Did not you say you were going to upgrade to a larger tank sometime down the
road? If not, if it was not for the single bio-wheel on the 170, one of them
for a 29gal. tank would be enough, but – can not beat the surface of two
Gene heitman 2008-09-20 23:06:24
I looked at getting the Pengiun BIO-Wheel 330 and the Emperor 280 for my 30
gallon freshwater tank that is moderately planted. I wanted to replace the
Tetratec PF 150 filter I had in the tank because it became a prolem to keep
the filter adjusted properly for the wave action to occur. I decided to get
the Penguin over the Emperor because it was cheaper and it used the same
filter cartridges as the Penguin BIO-Wheel 170 that I have on another tank.
I have been very happy with my choice. You can adjust the flow on the
Penguin 330 by moving the intake tube up and down.
I highly recommend using Seachem’s Matrix biological media
(http://www.seachem.com/products/product_pages/Matrix.html) to fill the
media baskets in your filter and I have recently started using the new
SuperCartridges (http://www.magnavore.com/bioforever.html) in place of the
Marineland ‘C’ cartridges.
Brian s. 2008-09-20 23:06:28
I agree Frank.
But, I believe that the Penguin Bio-Wheel 170 has two bio-wheels in it
Brian s. 2008-09-20 23:06:28
I know that Whisper makes those cartridge kits where you have one frame and
3-6 of the actual fiber. They are cheaper this way.
Brian s. 2008-09-20 23:06:29
So you can adjust the flow on the Penguin too?
Wonder why the Emperor models are twice the price then.
Thanks for the responses. I will go with the Penguin.
The drunken lo 2008-09-20 23:06:40
He says you can adjust it by moving the intake up and down. That
means you have two settings, and there probably isn’t that much
difference between the two.
I don’t know what you should get, but if you’ve ever had two much flow
in an aquarium–it can look like a windstorm.
And that’s a small tank you’ve got for that filter.
Rich 2008-09-20 23:06:48
My 330 has several bumps on the intake pipe that allowed about 10 positions
for flow control. The bio-wheels are great and the 330 will make your take
look somewhat like a jetted tub. But no doubt you’ll want to be moving to
larger tank someday.
I purchased some reusable cartridges that I just load my own filter
materials in. So I use the baskets for carbon (on occasion), peat or what
ever else. I put the white floss in the cartridge. I cut it from sheets so
it is extremely economical. (I get about 12 filters from $1.99).
I put my 29 in the bathroom when I moved to a 50 I use a Penguin 170 in
This link will take you to the blank cartridge at Mail Order Pet Supplies
D*** 2008-09-20 23:06:52
The 330 cartridge has a frame inside. I just cut away the filter
material and cut filter material the same, or slightly larger, size.
I cleaned the original filters, but would come the day that even after
cleaning, the flow would be impeded. With just filter material, I
have cleaned several times and always got the material clean enough to
return full flow. The charcoal in the commercial cartridge seems to
have been holding material that just would clean out. I have used the
frames from my 330 as well as three Whisper Jr. filters in 10 gallon
Kiokokitheka 2008-09-20 23:10:51
I have been keeping a 30g freshwater tropical tank for the last 3
months. It does not contain much just a couple of gourmaies, tetras
and Platys but now I would like to add a few more fish. I have been
using a UnderGravel filter but would like to move up to a power
filter.I’m doing all this in small town Africa and all the pet shops
that are around don’t sell any of the popular models. I have read very
good things about the Penguin 330 and Emperor 400 and would like to
buy one on the net. I would just like advice on which model i should
buy how many consumables do i need to cover me for a year. Secondly is
there a good way to imporvise/reuse some of the consumables. Your help
will be greatly apprecaiated.
Brian s. 2008-09-20 23:11:04
I just got the Penguin 330 today.
However, if you have a 30 gallon tank, I would probably adivse to go with
the version that is just a step down from the Penguin 330. I was amazed how
large this filter was when I got it today, it must be more than one foot
But, for the price and money, the Penguin 330 is worth it moreso than the
Emperor. Both models seem to be almost exact except the 330 puts out 330
gallons per hour and the 400 puts out 400.. In addition to this, there is a
switch on the emperor that allows you to reduce the water flow and on the
Penguin you just move the intake pipe up.
But, it really depends on how much material you would be using depending
upon how often you change your filter cartridges. The 330 and 400 require
TWO filters each time. So, if you change them once a month (like I do),
then it will require 24 filters a year.
I’ve read where some people say that they bugh a sheet of this cottony-floss
type material and then cut it to their own size. I understand that this is
very cheap to do (get like 6 filters out of a $2 material). My only
concern is I am not sure how they are attaching this to the filter. With
the Whisper systems, you basically have a plastic piece for the filter
support and then you slip one of the refills over it, much like putting on a
sock over your foot. However, the Penguin filters only have the
floss/cotton, whatever… on one side of the cartridge and the back side is
Maybe someone else is best at answering that question.
Rich 2008-09-20 23:11:08
Penguin has a special media cartridge that you just fill with what you need.
I sometimes put charcoal in there but I usually use the baskets for that.
So if you want to use other media than just the standard floss and charcoal
they are great. You can add peat, algone … you name it.
Get the Penguin – it will be less expensive for you in the long run… and
you will have it for when you upgrade to a bigger aquarium.
Kiokokitheka 2008-09-20 23:11:17
Thanks for your pointers. I am now inclined to go with the Penguin
330. However I do have the following questions.
1. How many cartriges does it come with when new?
2. If I ran out of cartriges can i imporvise. if so with what
3. Are there any other consumables that it requies or parts that
breakdown easily that you advice that i buy with the filter.
4. I’m planning to upgrade to a 55g (us) tank sometime in the future.(
it actually belongs to a friend of mine) with this filter be good
5. will the current caused by this filter be too much my tank is a
6. My tank has a small ledge at the top. Its about 1″ will this be a
problem when i’m fitting the filter.
Your help will be highly appreciated since I’m going to order this
filter online and have my sister ship to me in africa so can’t really
afford to go wrong
P.S. Some of my artifical plants have started getting brown stains is
this as a result of poor filtration by my UGF.
Brian s. 2008-09-22 13:09:43
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2004 5:49 AM
Subject: Re: Penguin 330 or Emperor 400?
Comes with two filter cartidges; one for each side of the unit.
You can get some of that cottony-type floss material in sheets and cut it to
size. A little cheaper but of course it doesn’t have activated carbon.
Some people say to not waste time with activated carbon. I don’t really
know what good it does either. But, that is the only other consumable. If
you replace with the actual Penguin filters, they come pre-loaded with the
carbon in the filters however.
Yes, this filter will be perfect. It can be used for up to 70 gallon
aquariums. It provides 330 gallons per hour flow, which equates to 6
complete water cycles in a 55 gallon tank.
I would say that it is going to be a big ‘storm’ in your current tank.
However, you can adjust the filter intake by moving the intake pipe up and
down, so that may work for you.
All aquariums (that I know of) either have a black trim at the top and
bottom of the aquarium, or it also might be like an oak color. This is
typical so it hides the unsightly glass borders and also gives additional
support. No need to worry as the filter will fit.
Kiokokitheka 2008-09-22 13:10:11
Thanks for your help will be ordering for the filter today