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Marineland Emperor BIO-Wheel Powerfilter
Marineland Emperor BIO-Wheel Powerfilter
Marineland Emperor BIO-Wheel Powerfilter
Additional sizes may be available!
Additional sizes may be available!

Please Note: Return of electrical equipment for exchange or store credit is limited to 30 days from the date of purchase. Beyond 30 days, please contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement as covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

Returned products must be unopened and in the original packaging to receive full store credit. Products that have been opened, used, or lightly used, will incur a 15% processing fee. Upon receipt of the returned product, store credit will be applied, minus the processing fee.

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*Hang-on aquarium power filter provides 3-stage filtration for crystal clear water
*Easy change filter cartridges & media containers ease aquarium filter maintenance
*Patented BIO-Wheel technology encourages superior biological filtration

Premuim aquarium power filter combines three filtration styles with power and flexibility. Each Emperor BIO-Wheel filter enhances aquarium water quality through mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration mechanisms to remove debris, water impurities, and dangerous toxins. Patented wet/dry BIO-Wheel uses oxygen from the air - not your aquarium water - for unmatched biological filtration. Distinct filter design also increases gas exchange to provide higher oxygen levels for aquarium inhabitants. Easy change Rite-Size E mechanical/chemical filter cartridge(s) streamlines maintenance for hassle-free 3-stage filtration!

The 400 gph Emperor 400 features two BIO-Wheels and includes two Rite-Size "E" Filter Cartridges and two, 4 ounce filter media containers. For freshwater or marine aquariums. Replacement filter cartridges and replacement parts available.

Features: BIO-Wheel filtration, refillable coarse media containers, and an easy-access, hang-on design with a flip-top hinged cover, plus an adjustable intake system that can simultaneously filter water from both the lower and middle levels of the aquarium for boosted filtration and water circulation. Epoxy-sealed, moisture-proof motor ensures safe operation.

Feature Highlight
Dual strainer/intake system simultaneously filters water from two levels of the aquarium: The lower (where debris, food, and fish waste settle) and the middle (where medications, additives, food particles, and waste float). In addition to cleaning the water, this process also creates greater water circulation. Plus, this improved circulation works to better mix the water and helps regulate water temperature and oxygenation levels, while preventing the "pooling" of toxins and additives within one level or area of the aquarium.

Emperor Size Flow Rate Rite-Size Filter Ideal for
400 16-1/2" w x 6-1/2" d x 10-1/2" h 400 gph 2, "E" Cartridges 30-80 gallon

Tips from our Techs
BIO-Wheels spin fast and steady when they first start up, but will slow and "stumble" as bacteria builds. If your BIO-Wheel stops completely, put some aquarium water in a container, swish BIO-Wheel gently, and place back in filter. During filter maintenance, float BIO-Wheels in your aquarium to keep from drying out.
Additional and In-Depth Features on Emperor BIO-Wheels

Total 3-Stage Filtration Efficiency:

  1. Mechanical Filtration - heavy-duty Emperor Filter Cartridges trap solid debris like dirt, uneaten food, and fish waste. The double-thick polyfiber pad aids in removing large debris particles while permitting the water to pass through for chemical and biological filtration.
  2. Chemical Filtration - black diamond premium activated carbon is packed inside each filter cartridge to remove odor, discoloration, and water impurities. Maximum water-to-carbon contact is obtain via the patented ribbed back of each filter cartridge. Plus, fill the included refillable four ounce media container* (two in the 400) with your favorite course media for added chemical filtration.
  3. Biological Filtration - the most critical kind of aquarium filtration is obtained by the large, patented BIO-Wheel (two in the 400), which encourages the growth of beneficial, oxygen-breathing bacteria. This bacteria helps eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite that accumulate in aquarium water. The bacteria culture biologically changes the ammonia and nitrite into nitrate, which is then removed with monthly partial water changes. The patented BIO-Wheel is the undisputed best power filter when it comes to biological filtration. BIO-Wheel is scientifically proven to be better than frames, foams, fluidized beds, under-gravel filters, and other submerged biomedia.

* NOTE: Fine media must be placed in a mesh bag inside of the refillable media container to avoid leakage into your aquarium system.

Adjustable Filter Regulators:

  1. Spray Bar Drive - simple, twist-adjust bar regulates BIO-Wheel rotation speed for maximum biological filtration. Controlling the amount of BIO-Wheel spin ensures the beneficial bacteria that grows on each pleat of the BIO-Wheel get adequate contact with both the aquarium water and the surrounding air/atmosphere. It also controls how fast or slow the filter pulls water out of the tank and through the three-stage filtration process.
  2. Intake Tube Extension - designed to easily slip-on to the Intake Tube for the filtering of water from deep within a larger tank. With this extension in place, the filter strainer is located nearer to the gravel line of your tank to pull water ripe with settling debris and fish and food waste. Plus, having water that is pulled from the bottom of the tank, ran through the multi-stage filter, and returned to the top water level of the tank creates the necessary, natural cycling of water beneficial to both your aquarium plants and animals.
  3. Mid-Level Intake Strainer - also designed to easily slip-on to, and act as a coupler between, the Intake Tube and Intake Extension Tube. This mid-level strainer ensures mid and high-level water quality isn't sacrificed when the Strainer is attached to the Intake Extension Tube and set deep in a larger tank. The Mid-Level Strainer features a notched flow-adjustment valve to both regulate intake flow and let water near the top of the tank also enter the multi-stage filter process. Filtering water from the higher levels of the tank - where medications, food particles, and descending debris - is good tank husbandry. Plus, by allowing water from all tank levels access to the multi-stage filtering process at the same time, the BIO-Wheel filter aids in the natural mixing of tank water. This water mixing is essential to good water quality that helps regulate water temperature and oxygenation levels, while also preventing the "pooling" of high toxin levels and chemical tank maintenance additives within one level of the tank.
  4. Media Containers and Filter Cartridge Expansion Slots - pre-formed slots throughout the filter chambers (four in the 400) allow you to add as little or as much mechanical and chemical filtration as needed to suit your specific tank. Plus, each included media container (the 400 includes two; the 280 includes one) holds 4 ounces of your preferred course media to target the removal of specific high-level chemical toxins or nutrients within your tank.

Easy-Access Maintenance and Cleaning:

  1. Hang-on Design - the molded heavy-duty plastic housing rests on the back wall of your tank to meld optimal, multi-stage filtration with easy access for maintenance and cleaning.
  2. Slip-out Spray Bars - sturdy plastic clips on the outside edges of the filter housing allow easy removal of the Spray Bars with minimal contact to and disruption of the BIO-Wheel and/or filter media(s). Included FREE cylindrical cleaning brush is perfectly designed to slip inside each Spray Bar, as well as the Intake Tube, for monthly cleaning.
  3. Hinged Filter Chamber Cover - durable plastic cover features a hinged top design. This allows you to simply and periodically check the BIO-Wheel(s) to ensure proper bacteria growth and function without disrupting the filter process or accidentally bumping the tank when removing a bulky cover. Plus, when cleaning the tank, the snap-on cover also easily removes, permitting full access to the filter chamber, filter cartridge(s), and media.
  4. Tension-Tab Closure Media Containers - the included media container(s) (the 400 includes two) features tension-tab closures that allow you to easily open each container to fill and secure your chosen filter media.

Installing your Emperor BIO-Wheel Power Filter
Prior to installing your Emperor BIO-Wheel Power Filter, remove each component from the box, check for any shipping damage, and familiarize yourself with the Parts List (included with the product or found below).

Install Emperor Rite-Size "E" Filter Cartridge(s)

  1. Thoroughly rinse cartridge(s) under cold water to remove any dust.
  2. Shake cartridge(s) horizontally (blue side up), to evenly distribute carbon over ribbed back.
  3. Slide cartridge(s) into Filter Cartridge Channels (narrow side down, ribbed back facing towards aquarium).
  4. Be sure each cartridge is securely seated in bottom channel.

Fill and Install Optional Media Container(s)

  1. Open each container by exerting pressure on one side of the Tension-Tab Closure.
  2. Lift Top Panel of container away from bottom.
  3. Fill entire Bottom Panel with 4 ounces of your preferred course media, ensuring all media is spread throughout each of the individual filter chambers within each cartridge. DO NOT OVERFILL MEDIA CONTAINERS.
    • NOTE: Fine media must be placed in a mesh bag inside of the refillable media container to avoid leakage into your aquarium system.
  4. Re-attach Top and Bottom Panels together, ensuring the container is securely closed.
  5. Rinse container and media under fresh, cold water to remove any dust.
  6. Slide container(s) into a Media Container Channel.
    • NOTE: For optimal mechanical filtration, Emperor Rite-Size "E" Filter Cartridge(s) and Media Container(s) should always be positioned with the Filter Cartridge(s) in front of the Media Container(s). As an alternative, additional Emperor Rite-Size "E" Filter Cartridge(s) may be used in place of Media Container(s).
  7. Be sure each container(s) is securely seated in bottom channel.

Install BIO-Wheel(s)

  1. Carefully remove the paper sleeve from the BIO-Wheel(s).
  2. Hold the BIO-Wheel(s) horizontally and insert into the front of the filter chamber.
  3. Ensure each side's Wheel Tab rests securely in the BIO-Wheel Bearing.

Install Filter Box

  1. Hang the Filter Box in a desired location on the back wall of your aquarium.

Assemble and Install Intake Tube and Strainer

  1. Slip Intake Strainer onto the long end of the Intake Tube.
    • NOTE: In larger aquariums - or for better water filtration - the Intake Tube may be lengthened using the Intake Tube Extension and Mid-Level Intake Strainer. Both of these components easily slip onto each other and the Intake Tube when use is required or desired.
  2. Slide the Intake Tube into the Flow Manifold Housing, by guiding the Intake Tube Guides on either side of the Intake Tube into the Tube Slots of the Flow Manifold Housing. This holds the Intake Tube securely in place.
    • NOTE: Be sure that the Tube fits securely in the Housing Collar. Once in place, the Tube should not wobble. If Intake Tube is not properly seated, filter will not operate.

Add Water and Replace Cover

  • Pour aquarium water into the Filter Box until it spills into the aquarium. NEVER allow the Emperor System to operate without water at any time.
  • Replace Filter Cover.

Start your Emperor System

  1. Creating a drip loop, plug the cord into a standard receptacle.
    • NOTE: Filter will make a bubbling sound as air is evacuated from Intake Tube. Once air is removed (approximately 40 seconds), filter will fill and water will begin to flow back into the aquarium. Water flow through the Spray Bar(s) will initiate rotation of the BIO-Wheel(s).
  2. Adjust BIO-Wheel Rotation by turning the Spray Bar Adjustment Knob(s) up or down to change the angle of water flow. Do not attempt to force Spray Bar(s) past the range allowed by the bar lock(s).
    • NOTE: Adjust the Spray Bar(s) to rotate slowly. Faster rotation does not enhance performance. Periodically check the BIO-Wheel rotation by lifting the hinged cover.

Emperor BIO-Wheel Use in New and Existing Tanks
Break in your BIO-Wheel like any other biological filter.

  1. In a new tank:
    • Dechlorinate the water.
    • Allow your Emperor BIO-Wheel to operate for at least 24 hours.
    • Add 2-3 fish per every 10 gallons of water.
    • Gradually add more fish over a 4-6 week period.
  2. In an established tank:
    • Do not shut down or remove the existing biological filter until after the BIO-Wheel has had time to develop its bioculture of beneficial bacteria (at least 4-6 weeks).

Cleaning, Maintaining, and Troubleshooting your Emperor BIO-Wheel
Always unplug from the power source before inspecting or disassembling the Emperor BIO-Wheel Power Filter for any reason.


  1. Daily:
    • Check to ensure filter is running.
    • Check to ensure that the Intake Tube, Strainer, and Mid-Level Strainer is not clogged with debris.
    • Check to ensure that the BIO-Wheel(s) is turning.
      • NOTE: The speed at which the BIO-Wheel turns does not matter. As long as the BIO-Wheel(s) is turning - even intermittently - it is functioning properly.
  2. Weekly:
    • Check to ensure debris build-up is not hindering the flow of water through either the Rite-Size "E" Filter Cartridge(s) or optional Media Container(s).
    • Check to ensure an adequate amount of water is entering and leaving the BIO-Wheel Power Filter.
    • Check to ensure BIO-Wheel Bearings are clean and allow the BIO-Wheel to rotate freely. Clean BIO-Wheel Bearings if necessary.
  3. Monthly:
    • Unplug the Emperor BIO-Wheel Power Filter.
    • Remove the Filter Cover.
    • Remove the Intake Tube, with Strainer, optional Intake Extension Tube, and optional Mid-Level Strainer attached.
      • Gently lift up on the Intake Tube by grabbing the Tube near the top and slowly sliding it up and away from the Filter Box.
    • Remove the Spray Bar(s).
      • Locate the Spray Bar Release Clips, between the Spray Bar Adjustment Knob(s) and the Filter Box.
      • With your thumb and index finger, push both sides of the clip(s) down.
      • NOTE: DO NOT squeeze clip(s) sides together. This could cause the clip(s) to break.
      • Grasp the Spray Bar Adjustment Knob(s) and gently pull the Spray Bar(s) out and away from the Filter Box.
    • Clean the Spray Bar(s)
    • Using the included Cleaning Brush, thoroughly clean out the interior chamber of the Spray Bar(s).
    • Lift the Flow Manifold Housing up and away from the Filter Box.
    • NOTE: You must first remove the Spray Bar(s) before attempting to remove the Flow Manifold Housing. Failure to do so will prevent the Flow Manifold Housing from being removed and could bend and/or damage the Spray Bar(s).
    • Clean the Impeller.
    • Clean the Intake Tube, Strainer, optional Intake Extension Tube, and optional Mid-Level Strainer.
    • Replace the Filter Cartridge with a new Rite-Size "E" Filter Cartridge.
    • Rinse and/or replace any optional course filter media.
    • Siphon-clean the gravel bed.
    • Complete a suitable, partial water change.
    • Re-assemble all components and the Emperor BIO-Wheel Filter System.
    • Create a drip loop and plug the Emperor BIO-Wheel Filter back into a standard receptacle.

NOTE: DO NOT CLEAN THE BIO-WHEEL(S)! A discolored surface and slowed - even irregular - wheel rotation due to a heavy wheel is normal and desired to achieve the best biological filtration. In fact, the more discolored the surface of the BIO-Wheel, the more ammonia-fighting bacteria are present and working to remove toxic impurities. Any excessive build-up of algae or debris on the BIO-Wheel can be gently rinsed away with room temperature, aquarium-safe water.

Unless damaged, you should NEVER have to replace the BIO-Wheel(s) on your filter system.

Always unplug from the power source before inspecting or disassembling the Emperor BIO-Wheel Power Filter for any reason.

  1. Filter fails to pump water or has slowed:
    • Ensure the outlet has power and is functioning properly. Unplug the electrical cord momentarily, then reconnect to power source to restart the Impeller.
    • Ensure the Flow Manifold Housing is firmly seated in the Filter Box.
    • Remove Impeller Housing and ensure the Impeller Assembly is free to rotate.
    • Inspect aquarium water level. Maintain this level at 1/2" below top of frame.
    • Clean inside of Intake Tube, Strainer, optional Intake Extension Tube, and optional Mid-Level Strainer with the Cleaning Brush.
  2. Filter makes excessive mechanical noise:
    • Ensure the Flow Manifold Housing is firmly seated in the Filter Box and that the water is at correct level.
    • Remove Impeller Housing and ensure the Impeller Assembly is free to rotate. A particle of carbon or piece of gravel may be interfering.
    • Replace worn or damaged Impeller.
  3. Air does not evacuate from system:
    • Check for cracks in Intake Tube or Intake Tube Extension. Replace if defective.
  4. BIO-Wheel splashes or makes excessive water noise:
    • Adjust Spray Bar(s) to slow BIO-Wheel rotation.
    • Allow 24-48 hours for "breaking in" period. Material in a BIO-Wheel is not fully absorptive when new.
    • Check aquarium water level. Lower than normal levels can result in excessive splash or noise.
  5. BIO-Wheel fails to move or stops:
    • Inspect BIO-Wheel Bearings and axle for dirt or mineral deposits. You may need to clean these areas carefully. NOTE: Irregular rotation, including brief pauses, is normal.
    • Ensure all parts are installed properly and that nothing is blocking the BIO-Wheel from rotating.
    • Examine the Intake Tube, Strainer, optional Intake Tube Extension, and optional Mid-Level Strainer for interference.
    • Perform regular filter maintenance.
  6. BIO-Wheel is discolored or dirty:
    • This is not a problem. Discoloration indicates beneficial bacteria has grown on the pleated fibers of the BIO-Wheel. DO NOT attempt to clean BIO-Wheel pleats.
    • As long as the BIO-Wheel is not damaged, it does not need to be replaced.
    • If excessive build-up has occurred, gently rinse with room temperature, aquarium-safe, dechlorinated water.

Using your Emperor BIO-Wheel Power Filter while medicating your tank
The Emperor BIO-Wheel is perfect for tanks where medication is used. However, if you are adding antibiotic medication(s), you'll want to first remove the BIO-Wheel(s) before adding the medication. This step will protect your bioculture from any damage and/or destruction that could be caused to it by the antibiotic medication. To best ensure proper treatment of your aquarium, while also protecting the beneficial bacteria that has grown on the BIO-Wheel(s) pleats, it is best to keep the BIO-Wheel(s) out of the tank until the medication process is completed and all antibiotics are no longer present. If you do medicate your tank and have removed your BIO-Wheel(s) from the Filter Box, you only need to keep the BIO-Wheel(s) moist and exposed to air until you are able to return the BIO-Wheel(s) to the Filter Box.

Emperor BIO-Wheel Power Filter Product Specifications.
Made of durable, molded plastic in a hang-on design. Features mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration components, a hinged cover, and an epoxy-sealed, moisture-proof motor. Includes an Intake Tube, Intake Extension Tube, Strainer, Mid-Level Strainer, Media Container(s), BIO-Wheel(s), Rite-Size "E" Black Diamond Carbon Filter Cartridge(s), adjustable Spray Bar(s), and a Cleaning Brush. Black color.

Emperor Size Flow Rate Rite-Size Filter Ideal for
400 16-1/2" w x 6-1/2" d x 10-1/2" h 400 gph 2, "E" Cartridges 30-80 gallon

BIO-Wheel 400 Parts List

  • 1 - Plastic Two-Way Hinged Cover
  • 1 - Plastic Flow Manifold Housing*
  • 1 - Plastic/Metal Impeller*
  • 1 - Plastic Flow Manifold Housing Cover*
  • 1 - Plastic Intake Tube (1-1/2" wide x 9-3/4" long)
  • 1 - Plastic Mid-Level Strainer, w/ Notched Flow-Adjustment Valve (1-1/2" wide x 3-1/2" long)
  • 1 - Plastic Intake Extension Tube (1-1/2" wide x 13" long)
  • 1 - Plastic Strainer (2-1/2" wide x 3-3/8" long)
  • 2 - Fiber and Plastic Housing BIO-Wheel (2-5/8" diameter x 5-1/4" long)
  • 2 - Plastic BIO-Wheel Bearing*
  • 2 - Plastic Spray Bar* (1/2" diameter x 6-3/4" long)
  • 4 - Rubber Spray Bar O-Rings*
  • 2 - Plastic Media Container (6-1/4" wide x 9-1/2" long x 1" thick)
  • 2 - Rite-Size "E" Polyfiber and Carbon Filter Cartridge (6-1/4" wide x 1" thick x 9-1/2" long)
  • 1 - Plastic Filter Box (16-1/2" wide x 6-1/2" deep x 10-1/2" high)
  • 1 - Cleaning Brush


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