10 Best Bio Filter Media for Your Aquarium in 2024

The secret ingredient of maintaining a home aquarium is the water’s cleanliness. The accumulation of dirt, bio waste, and unwanted by-products in the water can cause infection and disease in your fish.

Choosing the best bio-filter media for your aquarium is vital. Thankfully, since bio-filter media is such a crucial part of an aquarium, many types are available. 

However, choosing the best option can be confusing. Let’s explore the best bio-filter media for your aquarium.

Significance Of Bio Filter Media

Best Bio Filter Media for Your Aquarium

Whether you are an experienced or beginner aquarist, one thing remains true: fish make poop. Their urine, fecal matter, and skin sheddings or scales accumulate in the tank if a filter with appropriate filtration media doesn’t remove it. A bio-media filter is perfect for removing all the nasties that can contaminate your tank water. 

The number one function of bio-filter media is to keep your aquarium healthy. While a filter usually has mechanical and chemical media to remove nitrite and micro-particles, it’s up to the bio-media to create a healthy environment for good bacteria to establish colonies. These nitrifying bacteria create a living filter that changes ammonia to nitrates, which your tank plants can use as fertilizer.  

The full filtration spectrum of most tanks includes mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. By using a filter you can purify water and reduce the risk of infection by filtering out bad bacteria, reducing the ammonia levels in the water, and raising pH if the water is exposed to good bacteria. With a biofilter, your aquarium water remains much cleaner, the water is clearer, and your fish are healthier—and less smelly too. 

Biological filter media have a porous texture. While manufacturers use different materials, like pumice, glass, ceramic, and more, to make a biological filter, the function remains the development of healthy bacteria colonies. 

By concentrating the good bacteria in the filter, all the tank water will pass through and be filtered for the best filter action. Using the best bio-filter media ensures the water is clean and healthy for the fish species.

10 Best Bio Filter Media (Our Picks)

As we said before, hundreds of bio-filter media products are available. Some options are affordable, and then you have the expensive choices. Each of these media options helps to clean the tank.

To make your choice a lot easier, here are our top 10 picks.

1. Biohome Ultimate Filter Media

Biohome Ultimate Filter Media

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 giving you immaculate water, 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 material is highly porous, making it ideal for the bacteria to thrive on it. Also, the good thing is that Biohome filter media are available in up to 5-pound bags. So, you can buy it in bulk.

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. While it is easy to find filter media for aerobic bacteria, the anaerobic bacteria filter material options are rare.

Also, your tank needs anaerobic bacteria to maintain and regulate nitrate levels. This way, the fish won’t die due to dirty water. This filter media also contains manganese and iron in its formula, which contributes to better bacterial growth.

Lastly, the product promotes clear water and keeps odor to a minimum. Depending on the tank requirements, you can also find this filter media 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

– – –

2. Reefing Art Ceramic Bio Filter Media

Reefing Art Ceramic Bio Filter Media

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

– – –

3. Hygger 6.2-Inch Aquarium Filter Media

Hygger 6.2-Inch Aquarium Filter Media

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

– – –

4. ALEGI Aquarium Ceramic Bio Filter

ALEGI Aquarium Ceramic Bio Filter

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 Biotope Aquascaping Style 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.

– – –

5. Aquapapa Aquarium Biological Bacteria Media

Aquapapa Aquarium Biological Bacteria Media

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

– – –

6. Fluval BioMax Biological Material Remover

Fluval BioMax Biological Material Remover

Fluval is a highly recommended brand in aquatic care. Their bio-media beads are ideal for external filters. The structure promotes a larger surface area for nitrifying bacteria to grow, creating colonies of good bacteria to help nitrify ammonia. 

Choose this premium-grade material for biological filters to ensure excellent water clarity and optimal nitrogen exchange. The bead shapes easily fit into most external and even larger internal filters. Simply fill the filter chamber with the beads and add a starter bacteria to begin nitrifying the ammonia in your tank’s water. 

The bead structure helps water flow, while the porous material absorbs maximum water during filtration to effectively process water at the microscopic level. These bio beads are suitable for freshwater and saltwater tanks. 

When changing the media for fresh material, only replace some of the material. Instead, replace half the material, which allows the new beads to foster bacterial growth from the remaining beads, instead of starting from scratch. 


  • Ideal size package (at 17.63 ounces) per pack for refilling filters and media changes
  • Excellent filtration capabilities and water absorption
  • The porous design creates crystal-clear water for healthy fish
  • Affordably priced
  • Made from quality sintered glass


  • Large filters may require more than one pack to start

– – –

7. SimiAqua Biological Filter Media

SimiAqua Biological Filter Media

Variety isn’t only the spice of life; it’s also an excellent choice for your tank’s biofilter media. The SimiAqua bio media material includes 12 different filter materials, ranging from ceramic rings to bio balls, coral sand, volcanic rock to maifan stone, and nano-bacterial rings (to name a few). 

Each pack includes 1.1 pounds of filter material and a zippered mesh bag to make cleaning easier. The 12-in-one material composition covers all aspects of biological filtration and produces excellent water clarity and hygiene. 

Grow crops of good bacteria to nitrify ammonia, filter water for contaminants, and further boost your fish’s overall health. Purify your tank water and increase oxygen production with this unique product’s wide range of biological filter materials. Suitable for saltwater and freshwater tanks. 


  • Excellent water clarification and purity 
  • Substantial growth of good bacteria colonies 
  • Porous nature and diverse structures help clean water more effectively
  • Remove odors and impurities 
  • Affordably priced


  • Some pieces of this product are too large for smaller filters

– – –

8. CerMedia MarinePure 1.5-Inch Sphere Bio-Filter Media

CerMedia MarinePure 1.5-Inch Sphere Bio-Filter Media

Go for a different biofilter media with these bio balls that are made from porous inert ceramic. The pores create larger surface areas for nitrifying bacteria to grow, which helps filtrate tank water for greater clarity and nitrification of ammonia. 

Each sphere has an impressive 240 feet of surface area, which makes for outstanding biological filtration and excellent contact with the tank water during the filtration process. One of these spheres has the equivalent surface area of 1,350 plastic balls. 

Ideal for sumps, filters, and canisters or external filters in saltwater and freshwater tanks.

Note the size of each sphere at 1.5 inches, as this affects the suitability of your filter chamber size. If your filter chamber can’t accommodate this filter media size, you should opt for a smaller material.


  • Excellent surface area to increase good bacteria growth and filtration surface
  • Highly porous material 
  • Long-lasting 
  • Great customer satisfaction rating 


  • Slightly more expensive than the competition

– – –

9. Aqua Clear AquaClear 20 BioMax

Aqua Clear AquaClear 20 BioMax

The Aqua Clear 20 BioMax is perfect for smaller tanks to increase your bio media filtration rate by 30%. Tank clarity and hygiene will improve without negatively affecting the pH or water parameters when using these bio bags. 

Simply place a bio bag in your filter chamber to begin your good bacteria colonies. Enjoy nature hard at work to correct the ammonia balance and produce quality nitrates for your plants. 

Each bag is suitable for filters serving up to 20-gallon tanks. You can also use more than one bag in larger tanks or if your filter is larger and can accommodate more than one bag.

Since the media is bagged, it’s super easy to clean once a month and replace every three months. 


  • Affordably priced 
  • Bead design allows optimal water flow
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • The bio beads are small in size, which can help you fit them into smaller filters


  • The smaller bead size decreases surface area compared to other products

– – –

10. SOYEAHZ Aquarium Filter Media

SOYEAHZ Aquarium Filter Media

These bio balls are made from quality ceramic, and each color fulfills specific functions. Blue bio balls create beneficial bacterial colonies, while white balls help to stabilize the tank water’s pH. Gray balls absorb impurities, while yellow optimizes the tank water’s purity. 

Fish become more energetic and healthy once tank water is filtered with bio balls. One ball equals 58 meters of surface area, creating a thriving bacterial colony. 

The balls are reusable, simply rinse when the bacterial media becomes too sludgy. Apply the balls to tank sumps, canister filters, hang-on filters, and more. The spheres are dust-free, helping to avoid white particles in the tank water. 


  • No slag formation with these hard-wearing spheres
  • It is easier to place the spheres in your filter than the sticks or beads
  • A fast water absorption rate allows optimal filtration 
  • Excellent filtration of nitrates thanks to the bacterial colonies


  • Quite costly compared to other media that offer larger quantities of media

– – –

Types of Bio Filter Media

There are a few different bio-filter media types available. However, plastic, sintered glass, and ceramic are the most common choices.

These materials are also shaped in different forms. Some are available in small, circular balls. Others are shaped like hollow logs and even rings or beads to increase the surface area for good bacteria to establish colonies.

Whatever the biomaterial you choose, it should have high porosity. Using porous materials ensures the bacteria attach to the surface and reproduce to form colonies. Having the correct type of bio-filter media will increase your aquarium water health. If your media allows the good bacterial colony to thrive, it will remove ammonia and nitrates, which create clean and clear water.

Where Should I Put The Bio Media In My Filter?

Whenever you buy biofilters, remember that you can’t simply throw them in the aquarium. That isn’t how they work. Instead, install them inside a hang-on back or canister filter where the aquarium’s water filters over the surface area, allowing filtration.

Also, when adding biofilter media to the filter chamber, avoid over-stuffing it. This is where most beginner aquarists go wrong. You want to allow enough open space to let water circulate freely around the filtration beads or balls. If the filter chamber is tightly packed, the water won’t flow in and out of the filter freely, causing blockages.

Remember, the biological media is typically placed in sequence after the mechanical media. Since the biofilter media will regulate the bacterial colonies, you don’t want it to become too clogged with larger particles. Cramming filter media into the chamber will further block the surface area of the bio media, which causes the good bacteria to die.

Cleaning And Replacing Bio Media

Knowing about biofilter media and sticking some inside the aquarium filter isn’t enough. You’ll have to take care of the basic cleaning and watch when it’s time to replace the bio media. 

So, to give you an idea about cleaning and maintenance, here’s a breakdown.

“Do I Even Need to Clean the Biofilter Media?”

Many beginner aquarists have this question, and the basic answer is “Yes.” Over time, the bio media will become clogged with larger particles and overpopulated with good bacteria. If there’s been a disease in the aquarium, you must also clean out the filter to remove any disease particles or bacteria.

How Often Should You Clean Your Biofilter Media?

You should clean your biofilter media every 4-6 weeks. If you find the mechanical filter is getting clogged, do it even more often. 

How Should You Clean the Biofilter Media?

Ideally, the easiest cleaning method would be to rub and swirl it in some old tank water. Use a soft brush if you have dirt and debris stuck on the media. You need to be gentle with the cleaning process. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing roughly on the balls, rods, beads, and tubes.

The ceramic biofilter media is the easiest to clean. You can put this in a bucket of siphoned tank water while cleaning your tank. Move these around in the water and clean them with a brush to get the excess gunk out—but don’t over-scrub.

How Often Should You Change the Biofilter Media?

Although you should clean 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 volume of accumulated dirt in the filter.

If you find the biofilter media are clogging up the mechanical and chemical filter media, you must change the biofilter immediately. However, a 3-6 month period is the usual standard.


The biofilter media plays a crucial role in your aquarium’s health—to maintain the fish’s health and promote a better aquatic ecosystem in the tank. However, if you aren’t regularly cleaning out the bio media and not choosing good quality media, you will see a drop in water quality. 

Now that you know what biofilter media to choose, we hope your tank will remain crystal clear and healthy thanks to those amazing colonies of good bacteria you’ll be cultivating. After all, nobody keeps an aquarium if they can’t enjoy the excellent viewing pleasure of a clean tank.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.