I have (2) emporer Filters on my 55 gallon tank and I took the bio wheels off when I found out they were the source for the nitrates in my tank... But Only take 1 wheel off every 2 weeks, you want to have your tank be able to handle the bio-load once the wheels are off the emporer. My filter does fine now
Here is the issue. If you plan to have a reef tank then bio wheels are not the best because they create nitrates. Now nitrates are not that bad for fish only tanks.
If you want to have corals and make it a reef tank they don't like high levels of nitrates.
Most poeple have live rock in the tank which takes the place of bio wheels. Live rock will not create nitrates like bio wheel will.
Since bio wheels are now part of your biological system and is taking care of your filtering, in other words breaking down ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates, you need to remove them slowly so your live rock can take over the nitrifying of the bacteria.
Do you have live rock?
Take a look at the links on this thread that I will give you. Lots of good information for you.
I have about 20# of seeded base rock and no actual live rock yet. I am planning on getting some in the near future. I live about an hour away from Inland aquatics that the only place ive gotten anything from because I have no way to cure rock if I got some online. I have a qt tank but its occupied at the moment. I really dont have room for another tank to cycle rock in. Thanks for the info you guys are great!!
biowheels do not create nitrate. the breaking down of nitrite creates nitrate. nitrate must be broken down in your tank. Regardless of if it breaks down in sand or rock, or a biowheel it will still produce nitrate. There is no reason that your tank wouldnt break down nitrate regardless of where it is formed.
biowheels dont techniclly create the nitrate, BUT the way they work is to allow the bacteria that breaks down nitrites to work in overtime. so much nitrites that your tank can not break it down quick enough.