When setting up a home aquarium, the essential factor to look out for is the water’s cleanliness. The accumulation of dirt, bio waste, and unwanted by-products in the water can lead to risks of infection and other complications in the fish.
Integrating the best bio-filter media for your aquarium is thus a potent requirement. However, since bio-filter media is such a crucial part of an aquarium, they are available in abundance in the market. More and more brands are coming out with different types and designs.
In such cases, choosing the best option can be confusing. This article explores the best bio-filter media for your aquarium in 2022.
Significance Of Bio Filter Media
If you are a beginner aquarist with limited knowledge, knowing the basics help. Like any other living creature on this planet, even fish excrete their biowaste. However, since they live in an enclosed aquarium, the waste usually accumulates. Hence, installing bio-filter media is crucial to keep the water clean and healthy.
The significance of bio-filter media is to maintain the health of the aquarium water. Unlike mechanical and chemical filters, bio-media doesn’t filter nitrite and ammonia. Instead, it is responsible for maintaining the balance of good bacteria in the water.
Doing so keeps the risks of infection in check. The biofilter media promotes the good bacteria to consume and then convert the ammonia present in the water. This way, the water is a lot healthier than if an aquarium doesn’t have a biofilter.
The biological filter media have a porous texture. They are often made of different materials, including pumice, glass, ceramic, etc. The primary function of the bio-filter media is to offer a home to these flourishing bacteria colonies.
Instead of increasing bacteria throughout the tank, the media controls their growth, actions, etc. The water from the aquarium generally passes through the filter, allowing the bacteria to do their job.
The best bio-filter media ensures that the water is clean and healthy for the fish species living in it.
5 Best Bio Filter Media (Our Picks)
As we said before, hundreds of bio-filter media are available in the market. Some options are affordable, and then you have the expensive choices. Each of them serves its primary purpose in the tank.
To make our reader’s choice a lot easier, we have sorted out our top 5 picks.
The first pick on the list has to include Biohome Ultimate Filter Media. This is a premium quality and easily accessible media that aquarists recommend. Besides the immaculate functions, the media is entirely eco-friendly and sustainable.
The filter media is made with sintered glass. It combines the staple silica sand and oven-fired recycled glass. The filter is highly porous, making them ideal for the bacteria to thrive in them. Also, the good thing is that they are available in up to 5-pound bags. So, you can buy them in bulk and forget about your worries.
Biohome is also one of the few brands that make big claims and live by it. The filter media supports the life of both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, which is quite rare. While it is easy to find ones for aerobic bacteria, the options for anaerobic bacteria filter is rare.
Also, your tank needs anaerobic bacteria to maintain and regulate nitrate levels. This way, the fish doesn’t experience untimely death due to dirty water. This filter media also contains manganese and iron in its formula. This contributes to better bacterial growth as well.
Lastly, the product promotes clearing the water and keeps odor to a minimum. Depending on the tank requirements, you can also find them in different varieties.
- Supports aerobic and anaerobic bacterial growth
- Cleans water and reduces odor
- Made with sintered glass material
- Affordable pricing
- Highly porous
- It doesn’t work the best with nitrates
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Coming in at #2, we have the Reefing Art Ceramic Bio Filter Media. This one is another Amazon bestseller with 4.5 stars. Each box of this filter media contains 24 pieces, which will easily last you for quite some time.
The product has a highly porous structure with a rectangular shape for easy fit inside the aquarium. The vast surface area of the filter media traps in all the necessary bacteria, so it thrives. Also, the product actively gets rid of ammonia and nitrate.
This is a versatile product that fits well with freshwater, saltwater, and marine fish tanks. The filter features non-metallic ceramic and thrives well without disturbing the water. Check the kind of bacterial growth your tank needs filter introducing this.
- Highly porous
- Affordably priced
- Feature non-metallic ceramic material
- Vast surface area
- Ideal for every aquarium type
- It doesn’t support anaerobic bacterial growth
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The Hygger 6.2-Inch Aquarium Filter Media is the following product worth mentioning. This one is a dual-purpose bio media filter. It serves as your staple biofilter and mechanical filter. So, not only does it promote bacterial growth, it clears the fine particles out of the water.
The filter features ceramic material with a vast surface area. The availability of thousands of porous holes on the filter enables superior bacterial culture. It helps in keeping the tank water sparkling clean as well.
The aquarium media block design of this filter actively absorbs the waste. It also filters out the debris, dirt, and odor that comes from the tanks once in a while. The crystal-clear water helps the fish thrive in your aquarium.
Each box of these media comes with 40 pieces, which will last you quite a while. All of them approximately weigh in around 7.9 lbs, which is permissible. The media is versatile and works great in different aquarium settings.
- Highly porous structure
- Features ceramic design
- Actively absorbs dirt and debris
- Versatile for every aquarium setup
- Keeps the aquarium water clean
- Slightly overpriced
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Are you mainly looking for biofilter media under $25? The ALEGI Aquarium Ceramic Bio-Filter serves its purpose. Unlike most others, this one is available in small, circular-shaped balls. They come in ready-to-use bags and are perfect for every aquarium setup.
This filter bio-balls clean the water promote bacterial growth and oxygenation too. They also promote the gas exchange process in the aquarium. This, in turn, promotes a thriving ecosystem of fish species in your aquarium.
The product comes in reusable media bags that you can keep in handy. Also, you get around 6lbs of the biofilter media, which is more than enough to go around. The media proactively absorbs the dirt and debris from the aquarium.
Besides clearing up the water, the biofilter also reduces odor in the tank. Also, this is a versatile filter and works amazingly for freshwater and saltwater aquarium.
- Comes in small, circular balls
- Promotes oxygenation in the aquarium
- Absorbs dirt and debris
- Promotes crystal clear water
- Reduces tank odor
- It doesn’t have much surface area for bacterial growth.
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Last on the list is the Aquapapa Aquarium Biological Bacteria. This is a ready-to-use product and is very affordable and high-quality. These work proactively to get rid of every kind of dirt and biological waste in the tank.
Moreover, the ready-to-use bags allow you to pick one out and throw it in the tank. They work amazingly well for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. They are shaped like rings and made with ceramic material with higher porosity.
The hollow shape of the biofilter media promotes quicker filtrate and enough space for bacterial growth. The product is available in 6 mesh bags, each weighing around 6lbs. All of the bags are reusable, which promotes functionality too.
The zipper mesh bag is made of plastic. However, you can reuse it any number of times that you want, making them sustainable choices.
- Ring-like shape for better filtration
- It comes in ready to use bags
- Promotes clearing of dirt and debris
- Reusable bags
- Hollow and high porosity
- Slightly overpriced
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Types of Bio Filter Media
There are a few different types available when it comes to biofilter media. However, plastic, sintered glass, and ceramic make the most common choices.
These are also shaped in different forms. Some are available in small, circular balls. Some of them are shaped like hollow logs and even rings to enhance the porosity.
Whatever the material is, choosing one with high porosity is critical. This ensures that the bacteria attach themselves to the media and reproduce sporadically. Having the correct type of bio-filter media aligns well with aquarium water health. If your media isolates and regulates the bacterial colony, the water will become high in ammonia and nitrate.
Where Should I Put The Bio Media In My Filter?
Whenever you buy biofilters, keep in mind that you can’t directly scatter them in the aquarium. That isn’t how they work. Instead, you need to put them inside a hang-on back or canister filter for optimum functions.
For ceramic biofilter media, the hang-on back filters work the best.
Also, when you are filling in the biofilter media, avoid stuffing it all in. This is where most beginner aquarists go wrong. You want to keep a little open space to allow optimal water filtration. If it is packed tightly, the water won’t get to flow in and out of the filter freely.
Also, the biological media is typically placed after the mechanical media. Since the biofilter media will regulate the bacterial colonies, you don’t want it to become too clogged. Excess stuffing will prevent optimal oxygenation too.
Cleaning And Replacing Bio Media
Knowing and placing the biofilter media inside the aquarium filter isn’t enough. You need to be mindful about the cleaning and replacement too.
“Do I even need to clean the biofilter media?”
This is a question that skirts around in several beginner aquarists’ minds. And, to answer your question – Yes, you need to clean and replace those filters.
So, to better give you an idea about the cleaning and maintenance, let us break them down.
How often should you clean your biofilter media?
You should clean your biofilter media every 4-6 weeks. If you find the mechanical filter getting clogged, do it sooner.
How should you clean the biofilter media?
Once you have poured in all the filter media, being confused about the cleaning process is normal. You aren’t the only person struggling.
Ideally, the easiest cleaning method would be to rub and squish it in some old tank water. If you have dirt and debris stuck on the impeller or body of the media, use a brush. You need to be gentle with the cleaning process. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing on it too roughly.
The ceramic biofilter media is the easiest to clean. You can put them in the bucket of siphoned tank water while cleaning the tank. Swish them around and clean them with a brush to get the excess gunk out.
How often should you change the biofilter media?
Although cleaning should be done every 4-6 weeks, you need to change the biofilter media every 3-6 months. The frequency depends on the aquarium setup, the fish species, and the accumulated dirt in the filter.
If you find the biofilter media clogging the mechanical and chemical filter media, you must change the biofilter immediately. However, a 3-6 months period is ideally standard.
The biofilter media plays a crucial role in your aquarium. Not only for the fish’s health, but they also promote a better aquatic ecosystem in the tank. However, if you aren’t paying attention to the bio media and not adding good quality media, it will eventually catch up with the water’s health. We hope this article guides you in finding the best biofilter media that attunes best with your aquarium needs.
For further queries, leave us a comment down below, and we’d be happy to help you out.