Choosing the best aquarium filter media can be a little headache for novice aquarists. You have a choice to make between different types, shapes, specializations, and brands. But there’s more to choosing the filter media than just grabbing something that has a brand-specific score.
Without the ideal types – that is, the ones that really work in your type of aquarium – you will see a build-up of things like algae and other nasties. And if these things grow, you can start to lose plants and fish.
We’ve handpicked the 10 best filter media for the aquarium, taking criteria such as the type of filtration, form, quantity/volume, and purposes into account. We’ll start by quickly introducing all the products to you below. The SunSun Sun CBR Canister Filter Media Set made it to the top.
Best for: all SUNSUN and aqua top canister filters; filtering water; promoting gas exchange; beneficial bacteria growth; increasing dissolved oxygen levels
The SunSun Sun CBR product is a canister filter media type. The pack includes 40 pieces of bio balls. The particularity of these organic balls is that they are exceptionally porous, which will increase their efficiency. The pack also includes one pound of ceramic rings and one pound of activated carbon. This media helps to reduce the levels of ammonia and nitrate in the water, as well as filters water, promotes gas exchange and beneficial bacteria growth, making your aquarium a favorable place for fish.
Plus, it’s the right product for marine, freshwater, and reef aquariums. Now another quality of the product is that it is extracted naturally and does not contain any harsh chemicals that could impact the development or health of your fish.
Best for: biological filtration in freshwater environments and reducing ammonia and nitrate in a marine tank; beneficial bacteria growth; maintaining healthy nitrogen cycle
Fluval BioMax Bio Rings feeds your aquarium using a surface level for the filtration of any aquarium. While allowing the movement of water flow through the media during contact time, they have more capabilities than most filtering media.
Porous rings can also be very helpful in catching debris and helping to balance ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates to remove them from your aquarium water. They’re inexpensive and really work in most types of aquariums.
When it comes to absorbing most of the chemical pollutants and toxins in the tank water, this is truly unmatched. Likewise, it comes in a different style which means you can find the one that suits your aquarium needs.
It’s ideal for freshwater and saltwater. The product helps prevent types of ammonia, impurities, and other water contaminants that could endanger the life of plants and pets.
The ammonia and carbon crystals provide a safe atmosphere for plants and fish to thrive and make it efficient in maintaining your tank water. What defines it is heat actuated and its bituminous activity function.
It is essential to remember that this element should be used with caution. The reason for this is that it can be toxic if inhaled and can irritate the eyes. So you need a face mask to protect your eyes.
This item is compatible with almost any version of filter that you may have on your aquarium. It is not difficult to install.
It comes in three 3.5-ounce bags, so more will be left over than other products. Another fantastic thing about the item is that it is compatible with fresh water in addition to saltwater.
The media not only removes ammonia but is also great at removing odors and discoloration from water. It’s a science-grade chemical filter resin packed in nylon bags.
The CerMedia MarinePure is one of the best saltwater aquarium filter media products as it nitrifies aerobic germs and denitrifies anaerobic germs to grow efficiently.
Unlike many other biological media which do not alter the characteristics of water, this one also helps control ammonia and keep ordinary water nitrate levels on the proper account.
This helps in preventing the discoloration of the water and making it rancid. It facilitates the development of beneficial bacteria which in turn maintains the beneficial aquatic environment for your fish.
Best for: soft water aquariums; reefs and planted aquariums; removing organics and particulates in the sub-micron range; controlling ammonia, nitrates, and phosphates
The Renew aquarium filter media is a phosphate-free carbon substitute. The Seachem product measures one gallon or four liters and is best for aquariums with soft water. It is also ideal for reef and planted aquariums. The product helps remove particulates and organics within the sub-micron range.
You can use it to control nitrate, ammonia, and phosphates. The filter media is less aggressive than carbon-activated filter media. But this makes it suitable for reefs and planted aquariums.
The media filter will filter out micro and macro plant supplements. It’s a great alternative to carbon filter media. There is no leaching and it removes bad stuff from water.
Safe and easy to use, this item is one of the best aquarium biological filter media because it is what every aquarium hobbyist can use.
Whether you currently maintain a marine or freshwater tank, this can be used in all types of water. It comes equipped with a tote, which makes it much simpler to maintain.
This bio-tech filter would be your best value for money. The balls are absorbent, which makes them useful for harboring good germs. The fantastic thing is that it is cheap.
However, there are a few drawbacks that if you have chosen to purchase this item you will need to anticipate. It requires careful and long rinsing because it is extremely dusty before using it. And another issue is that the balls are going to leave crumbs at the bottom of the aquarium.
If you use a Fluval filter you are in luck. This biological filter media technology will be a good fit for it. Fluval Foam Filter Block is among the best choices available on the market for filter media. It combines biological and mechanical filters while you work with your aquarium.
It also provides the bacteria in the filter with a large area for growth, which means more beneficial bacteria.
And, technically a disadvantage and an advantage, the Fluval Bio-Foam is tailor-made for Fluval filters. For those who use 404 to 407 filters, this is a wonderful fit.
The brick system from Brightwell Aquatics is for those who want the best bio-filtration system. Designed to support thriving populations of large aquatic bacteria, the dimpled brick allows bacteria to spread through the media and detoxify water in your aquarium.
It works for salt and freshwater aquariums. It is also incredibly long-lasting and effective. It is one of, if not the best, bio-media systems of its type available in the industry!
The Seachem Purigen is a 100ml synthetic absorbent filter media with a high organic removal capacity. The filter media helps control ammonia and nitrate in water. And when it wears off the color changes.
The filter media has a macro-porous synthetic polymer. Overall, it weighs 4.97 ounces. It is recommended for freshwater and marine aquariums.
The macropores are huge for denitrifying bacteria to come inside in addition to nitrification. Compared to other possibilities, this function allows bacteria to eliminate nitrites, ammonia, and nitrates.
All aquariums will need to be cleaned and the water in the tank will need to be filtered. The point is, there are some elements that you cannot remove in a traditional strategy.
It is a necessity to get a filter media if you are maintaining an aquarium. This helps to remove particles, chemicals, and chemicals that exist in the tank and can hamper the health, growth, and even kill the raised organisms in your aquarium.
The types of filter media help combat high levels of nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate. They help create a base for bacteria to thrive as you know they are invaluable in maintaining a cleaner center for aquarium plants and pets.
These are simple to use. They are inexpensive and the majority of them are safe to use. Since they are meant to be reused, many models do not need to be replaced. And, since they’re safer to use, it usually means they’re environmentally friendly because they don’t contain any substances.
There are generally three types of filter media. These include:
This is beneficial because it allows good bacteria to thrive in the atmosphere of the tank. It is important to understand that these germs are responsible for controlling the amount of ammonia present.
Changing it during the entire life of the tank is not advised. It is better to purchase filter media such as those made from beads or biological materials. These can be placed from the aquarium filter sump, which has the potential to help keep the water free and pristine of any level of toxic ammonia.
Additionally, there are a few aquarists who prefer to use absorbent ocean rocks that are supposed to serve as the basis for a brand-new tank. Rock works by maintaining the nitrogen cycle at the right conditions.
This can be effective for different filter functions. It is offered in a selection. The filtration system removes particles with the help of other forms of adsorbents, activated carbon, and resins. This procedure helps to maintain the quality of the water.
Well-known compound media are activated carbon and resins. On the other hand, electrons with protein and ozone skimming are just a few types of chemical filters.
One of the models using a chemical filter is the Fluval ClearMax.
This type of filter media includes elements that indicate that they will do nothing to interfere with the chemistry of the water in the container.
This type removes particles such as sludge, uneaten food, fish blossoms, or dirt. And to avoid build-up, the filter media should be cleaned. Be warned! As soon as the media release the dirt they contain, a replacement is necessary.
This type of filter media is offered in many porosities which limit the size. The larger the pores of the power media, the larger the particles must be to be siphoned off by the filter.
Filters are essential for the well-being of the aquarium. By maintaining the nitrogen cycle, they work and play a role in keeping fish and aquarium cultures more alive and in good condition.
There is a filter media placed in a tank filter which is meant to be changed. There are different types of filter media and all of them consist of filtration but work differently.
The filtration of the aquarium water can be four types: mechanical filtration, biological filtration, chemical filtration, and sterilization.
The first two are “mandatory” in any aquarium, in the sense that, without them, the quality of the water would be so bad that life in the aquarium could not be maintained without practically daily water changes.
Chemical filtration and sterilization, meanwhile, are used only at specific times, to remove certain specific substances. Sterilization is not even going to be discussed in this article, because it is more focused on the world of marine aquariums.
Mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration occurs mainly (although not exclusively) inside the aquarium filter, thanks to the aquarium filter materials that are layered inside the device.
For the aquarium filtration to be efficient, we must choose the aquarium filter well (looking carefully at characteristics such as flow, power, etc., the size of our fish tank, the amount and type of fish).
Without filter media, there is no filtration. With poor quality filter material, there is poor and inefficient filtration. So before setting up a planted aquarium, you have to know what types and quantities of aquarium filter material you have to buy.
The function of filtration is to remove harmful chemicals and compounds from the aquarium, as well as to clean the water of suspended particles that would otherwise cloud the water and affect the aesthetics of the aquarium and the photosynthesis of aquatic plants.
While in rivers, lakes, and natural swamps, the water is continually renewed and filtration is “automatic”, in an aquarium, the water is stagnant inside an urn without natural renewal. Hence, you must simulate it with an artificial filtration system.
Know that the artificial filtration system of an aquarium is composed of:
What sequence should you set the filter media in the filter? Your system manual will guide you to the perfect layout and you should focus on their recommendations. Placing the media in the wrong place in your filter can cause functionality issues, depending on the type of filter you are using.
Using a nice water-based polishing pad in the very first stage of some filters, for example, can cause them to clog and force the water to restart another phase or be turned back into your tank. Course clamps and free-standing media work best for your very first phase of debris filtration. Here are some tips to follow:
Rated 9.9 out of 10, the SunSun Sun Canister Filter Media is our Editor’s Choice. The pack includes 40 pieces of bio balls, as well as ceramic rigs and activated carbon. The particularity of the organic balls is that they are exceptionally porous, which will increase their efficiency. It is our choice of the best all-in-one aquarium filter media.
The Fluval Biomax Bio Rings, rated 9.7/10, is our option for the best biological filter media. The Bio Rings feed your aquarium using a surface level for the filtration of any aquarium. While allowing the movement of water flow through the media during contact time, they have more capabilities than most filtering media.
The best carbon filter media is the AquaClear 110. With a rating of 9.5, it is ideal for freshwater and saltwater aquariums, helping to prevent ammonia, impurities, and other water contaminants. It works great for aquariums of up to 110 gallons. Plus, it absorbs odors and impurities.