Bio-Wheel Biological Filtering System
The Bio-wheel turns into the air where the oxygen that aerobic bacteria need to remove ammonia and nitrites is much more abundant than in water. Unfortunately oxygen is not the only requirement for nitrifying bio bacteria; you also need usable surface area. Bio wheels generally do not have as much useable surface area as other aerobic bacteria bio surfaces such as Sponge media or suspended (fluidized) sand media. You also need nutrients, and often the bacteria in bio wheels are not exposed to enough nutrients. It is also noteworthy that a dissolved oxygen level of 5-7 ppm that a properly circulated / aerated tank should have, is ample oxygen for nitrifying bacteria.
To get the cycle started you need an ammonia source. You can use fish food ,raw shrimp ,or pure ammonia if you can find it. Using a bio wheel is a good filter to have because the good bacteria live on it, and its this bacteria that remove the ammonia and nitrites which are toxic to fish. Bio wheels never need to be replaced. If it ever stops turning because of build up on it rinse it off with tank water. Don't use tap water because this will kill the bacteria.
Having a bio wheel won't speed up the nitrogen cycle though. Nothing will except a product called Bio Spira. It is hard to find, and is kind of expensive, around $15 for one ounce and will treat 30 gallons. Bio Spira claims you can add fish as soon as you add it and that it will take 3 to 7 days for the cycle to complete versus the 2 weeks to 2 months it takes otherwise.
The only way to know if the cycle has completed is to test your water.
Make sure you treat the new water with a conditioner to remove the chlorine. Chlorine will kill the bacteria. All tanks will cycle weather you add fish right away or wait until the cycle has finished. If you add fish right away there is a good chance they will die and introduce disease into your tank.
The Bio - media should never be scrubbed totally clean so the beneficial bacteria can continue to do their job.
When choosing a filter, select one that provides mechanical and biological filtration.
Test the water.
Bio-Wheel Filtration System for Live Bait Tanks