Marineland Penguin 350 Review: HOB Filter with Bio-Wheel

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marineland penguin 350 hob filter review

If you are in the market for an affordable, high-quality filter for your aquarium, the Marineland Penguin 350 is well worth a look.

This filter is designed to be used with tanks up to 75 gallons in size, and it can handle a variety of sediment and flow rates. It also includes a number of features that make it easy to use and maintain.

Marineland Penguin 350 hang on back filter has been popular among aquarists for many years and is known for its ability to clean tanks quickly and effectively. But is it really the best choice for your fish tank? Keep reading to find out.

Marineland Penguin Overview

The Marineland Penguin 350 is a hang on back filter with a bio-wheel. The filter attaches easily to the back of the tank and the bio-wheel quickly begins to spin, providing plenty of surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. The Marineland Penguin can be used as either a mechanical or biological filter and includes a carbon insert for chemical filtration.

 Marineland Penguin 350 Marineland Penguin 200Marineland Penguin 150Marineland Penguin 100
TypeHOBHOBHOBHOB
Aquarium capacity50 - 75 Gallons30-50 Gallons20-30 GallonsUp to 20 Gallons
Filter circulation350 GPH200 GPH150 GPH100 GPH
Bio-wheel2x rotating bio-wheel2x rotating bio-wheel1x rotating bio-wheel1x rotating bio-wheel
Dimensions15.25 x 6.12 x 8 inches9.5 x 6.2 x 8 inches8.2 x 6 x 7.4 inches5.5 x 5.5 x 8 inches

This HOB filter doesn’t exactly qualify for the greatest best option in the market. However, it offers incredible value for money and gives you all you need at a good price and a neat package.

There are quite a few features elaborated below to give you a better idea if this is the filter for you.

What is in the Box?

When you first unpack, you’ll notice that everything is neat and collected in a single product that comes out easily from the box. When you take the rubber band together with the lid off, you’ll see all the Marineland Penguin 350 parts that you’re going to need. First, you’ll see two cartridges. They have some thin filter floss, activated carbon, and a plastic piece.

marineland penguin 350 hang on back filter unboxing

Then you’ll see the parts for the intake, a slip for directions, and a piece of paper that tells you there’s more room for cartridges. That’s pretty much what you get and the filter itself that contains 2 of the Penguin bio wheel 350.

Marineland Penguin 350 Setup

The Marineland Penguin 350 is easy to set up and use. The filter is also quiet, making it perfect for use in any room of the house. Everything is ready to be put to work right away and the instructions make everything easy to understand.

marineland penguin hang on back filter

Before you do anything, make sure to rinse off the activated carbon just so your tank doesn’t get cloudy. After you unbox everything else, all that’s left is to put the pieces together according to the Marineland Penguin 350 manual that’s in the box, and then you’re ready to go and enjoy your filter.

Other Versions: Marineland Penguin 200, 150 and 100

If a filter like Marineland Penguin 350 sounds good but not exactly what you’d want, there are 3 other options of this same version available. Although they essentially share the same features, they each come with their specifications in power.

The main difference, though would be the size of the aquarium they support and their difference with the Marineland Penguin 350 flow adjustment.

Marineland Penguin 200

The difference between the Marineland Penguin 350 and Marineland Penguin 200 consists in the flow rate, which as the name suggests, goes up to 200 gallons/hour. Some other things worth mentioning are the vented cover which is two-pieced for a quiet operation and filter cartridge access, meaning you won’t have to turn off the device to replace them.

marineland penguin 200 hob filter review
Marineland Penguin 200 Power Filter
Best HOB filter for 50 gallons tanks

2x bio-wheel

200 GPH

30-50 gallons

Medium size

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Unlike its counterpart, this comes with only two cartridge slots and with only one Rite-Size CC filter cartridge. The setup can take some time; however, at the price point, its functionality completely justifies it. Marineland Penguin 200 can handle 30 to 50 gallons tanks.

Marineland Penguin 150

Marineland Penguin 150 has a flow rate of 150 gallons/hour, although smaller than the previous versions, still can do a lot of work with minimal water agitation. It can work for tanks 20 to 30 gallons. Just like the Marineland Penguin 200; it has two cartridges that can be used simultaneously.

marineland penguin 100 hob filter review
Marineland Penguin 150 Power Filter
Best HOB filter for 30 gallons tanks

1x bio-wheel

150 GPH

20-30 gallons

Small size

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It’s not recommended to use tanks under 20 gallons, and the maintenance can be a hassle. However, replacement parts are easy to come by, and the setup is as easy as a breeze.

Marineland Penguin 100

This last version, Marineland Penguin 100 can support tanks below 20 gallons and has a 100 gallons/hour flow rate. Although the smallest of the bunch, it’s just as effective and offers that same 3 stage filtration.

marineland penguin 150 hob filter review
Marineland Penguin 100 Power Filter
Best HOB filter for 20 gallons tanks

1x bio-wheel

100 GPH

20 gallons

Small size

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The water flow is also adjustable, and the replacement of parts has never been easier. When it comes to maintenance, it would be ideal for replacing the cartridges once a month to keep everything neat and clean.

The Marineland Penguin 100 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable, yet high quality HOB filter for their nano aquariums.

Features Of Marineland Penguin 350

Marineland Penguin 350 offers a staggering amount of features that aren’t just marketing gimmicks. Before getting into them, keep in mind that although this filter is recommended to use responsibly with lightly stocked tanks, it also performs amazingly on even heavier loads.

Marineland bio wheel it’s versatile by also allowing you to add extra biofiltration. The flow rate doesn’t seem to budge regardless of accumulated waste as well as it doesn’t get louder with a harder task. It’s genuinely a great filter and without further ado, let’s get into the features.

Reduce a Variety of Impurities

As we mentioned earlier, the Marineland Penguin 350 is a 3 stage filtration system, and that by itself does a great job in reducing a variety of impurities. The first stage is the mechanical filtration which catches all the big pieces of debris as well as dirt.

marineland penguin hob filter bio wheel

The second one is the chemical filtration which gets rid of the smaller particles through chemical interaction. The third one is where bacterial colonies are cultivated producing biological filtration that’s responsible for breaking down harmful toxins making water safe to breathe.

Penguin 350 filter can reduce several types of chemicals from the water, such as mercury, chlorine, copper, and so on, which make up a considerable amount of the impurities of aquatic environments. These chemicals, if and when consumed, are responsible for several health problems. Getting rid of them is important in keeping your fish healthy.

Keeps the Water Smelling and Tasting Natural

One of the best features of the Marineland Penguin 350 filter is how it keeps the water smelling and tasting natural. This might not seem like a big deal, but if you’ve ever had an aquarium with a bad filter it’s something to truly appreciate.

All those nasty smells and tastes can quickly spoil your fish tank experience, so this is one of the most important features to look out for.

As a bio wheel filter, it can provide additional filtration by cultivating colonies of bacteria that convert nitrogenous waste products into less harmful substances.

Chemicals that this filter aids in reducing (particularly chlorine and copper) alter the taste and the odor of the water. Water that tastes bad will make your fish very unhappy and, of course, is a sign of an unhealthy environment.

If the water smells bad, you will be bothered too, especially if your tank is placed in an area to provide comfort and relaxation. Shortly, reducing the number of harmful components in the tank water helps to keep your fish healthy.

It Is Sturdy And Will Not Take Damage Easy

The Marineland Penguin 350 is a very sturdy filter and will not take damage easily. This is important because let’s face it, aquarium filters can be pretty expensive and the last thing you want is for your filter to break and have to replace it.

marineland penguin power filter review

Some types of fish can be very messy during specific times of the day, such as when being fed. Take Oscars, for example, a type of fish that is known to be quite messy all around, especially when eating.

This fish habit can be quite problematic, as it can impact the quality and purity of the water. However, the penguin bio wheel 350 is sturdy enough to handle even the messiest of fish without taking any damage and yet, maintain the cleanliness of the water.

Not only is the filter sturdy, but it’s also very easy to install. You don’t need any tools and it doesn’t take long to set up. So if you’re someone who’s not very handy or just doesn’t have the time, this filter is definitely for you.

Alternatives

Although Penguin power filters are one of the best filters available for any aquarium, there are still better alternatives that you could buy. Some of them are even cheaper than this particular filter while some others provide additional benefits.

We’ve selected the best options in the market, and our team reviewed them to help you find the best filter for your aquarium.

AquaClear HOB Filter

The AquaClear HOB Filter is a great option if you’re looking for something that’s both affordable and efficient. It comes with a variety of features, such as five different filter media trays, adjustable water flow, and a unique nozzle system that allows you to customize the filter to your needs.

aquaclear hang on back filter review
AquaClear HOB Filter
Best budget hang on back filter

Waterfall design

Affordable

5 different sizes

Patented refiltration

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Plus, it’s very easy to install and doesn’t take a great deal of space. It also comes with a bio-foam filter that helps make it easier for bacteria to grow and maintain the level of cleanliness in your tank water.

The filters can be cleaned without having to remove the entire unit, adding another reason why it’s one of the most convenient options out there. A motor in the filter can filter 250 gallons of water every hour. The engine is kept outside the tank.

If you’re someone who prefers something easy to install, this is an option you don’t want to miss out on. Overall, it’s a powerful filter that delivers on all fronts.

Fluval C4 HOB Filter

The Fluval C4 HOB Filter is one of the best HOB filters out there. It’s efficient, affordable and easy to maintain. Plus, it helps keep the water in your tank clean without having to worry about replacing all the filter media too often.

fluval c4 hang on back filter filter
Fluval C4 HOB Filter
Best silent HOB filter

Cleaning indicator

2x mechanical stages

Media included

Chemical stage

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The Fluval C4 comes with two mechanical stages and both biological and mechanical filtration. There’s a cleaning indicator that warns you whenever the polyfoam should be rinsed. This filter could potentially replace the Marineland Penguin 350 because it’s significantly less noisy.

The water flow can be adjusted quickly by opening or closing three different valves that are built into the system. The intake tube at the bottom of this filter has a unique design which ensures that no other objects are sucked in with it too, including fish claws!

This is definitely an improvement over most other filters available on the market today, making it one of the best alternatives to Marineland Penguin 350 for sure.

Fluval 407 External and Canister Filter

Definitely not a HOB filter, The Fluval 407 external and canister filter is one of the best canister filters that you can buy for your aquarium. It comes with a range of features, such as an adjustable water flow, an AquaStop valve that allows you to stop the water flow without having to remove the entire filter, and a primer system that makes it easy to get the filter started up.

fluval 407 external and canister filter review
Fluval 407
Best external and canister filter

Powerful output

Ultra quiet operation

Aquastop valve

Energy efficient

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This one has bioFoam, which delivers double the biological filtration of any other filter on the market. It’s a high-performance filter that outperforms the vast majority of filters.

Because it’s an external filter, it can simply fit on your aquarium cabinet, and, thanks to the rubber feet, it won’t move an inch, reducing vibration noise. It’s a great alternative, sure to please even the pickiest of enthusiasts.

Plus, it’s also very affordable when compared to some of the other options out there. This particular filter is perfect for larger tanks as it has a capacity of up to 100 gallons. It’s also very easy to maintain, making it a great option if you’re not very good at maintaining aquariums.

Conclusion

The Marineland Penguin 350 is one of the best filtration systems in the market and is a great choice for anyone who wants to have an aquarium at home. If ease of use or affordability are important factors in your decision making process, then Marineland Penguin 350 might be worth trying out.

Marineland Penguin 350 can be slightly noisy, so for a less noisy choice, we would recommend the Fluval C4 HOB Filter or the Fluval 407 external and canister filter However, if you want something more powerful and efficient, AquaClear HOB Filter is likely going to be your go-to option.

Whichever filter you choose though, you’ll have plenty of options to pick from today! In the end, it all depends on your point of view, and with our years of expertise to help in your research, you can’t exactly go wrong now that you’ve finished reading.

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I am Mario, a expert aquarist who is sharing his knowledge with everyone.

Keeping innocent fish and aquatic plants safe and healthy is my daily routine. With my experience and my passion for aquatic life, I will advise you through the long run of keeping an aquarium.

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