Undeniably, cautiously taking into consideration the best aquarium filter media you get for your tank could significantly aid ensure that your fish tank remains in the safest and healthiest condition. Aside from this, you can guarantee that nitrogen cycle is optimal.
For a fact, if you utilize appropriate filtering methods, your aquatic plants, various fish species and other aquatic creatures dwelling in your tank will have better chances of being more vigorous and livelier.
And, there are several forms of filter media that you can employ for your aquarium in order to come up with a friendly and beneficial habitat for the aquatic plants and of course for your most cherished finned buddies that inhabit your tank.
While it is a fact that selecting the suitable type of filter media for your tank could be slightly confounding because there are limitless number of options available on the market these days, with reliable product reviews and buying guides for you to refer to, there is no reason for you to end up buying the unsuitable option for your present needs and style.
If you’re searching for the most outstanding and available filter media options, here are the 12 product reviews that you can delve into.
Table of Contents
- Best Aquarium Filter Media Reviews 2020
- 1. Marineland Black Diamond Media
- 2. Fluval Biomax Filter Media
- 3. Aquaclear Biomax
- 4. Marineland Diamond Blend Activated Carbon
- 5. Biohome Ultimate Filter Media
- 6. Seachem Matrix Bio Media
- 7. Marineland Canister Filter Bio-Balls
- 8. CNZ Aquarium Filter Media Kits
- 9. Aquaneat Bacteria House Ball Bio Filtration Media
- 10. Fluval External Power Filter Pre-Filter Media
- 11. Aquatic Experts Aquarium Filter Pad
- 12. Aqua-Flo Pond & Aquarium Filter Media
- What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Filter Media
- Other Important Factors To Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Aquarium Filter Media Reviews 2020
1. Marineland Black Diamond Media
If you’d like to end up with the best biological filter media for your tank, this brand can satisfy your requirements. It is exceptional at handling multiple tasks and if you frequently encounter various tank issues such as foul odor, various forms of impurities, chemical toxins and discoloration, then this will work best for you.
In line with this, it is regarded as a very reasonably priced choice and it could even function a lot more excellently as compared to similar products out there that are sold in costly price tags. This is economical to buy because it can work just like more costly brands. It comes in the form of tiny pebbles and functions efficiently in filtering out any contaminants found in the water and this is done in a surprisingly speedy approach.
However, you need to take note that this has the potentiality to transform the water slightly gloomy after a few months of use. Luckily, this is just minimal. It is also highly advised to utilize it in powder form in the event that you encounter some problems in using mechanical media.
2. Fluval Biomax Filter Media
It cannot be denied that it could be taxing to look for the best media for canister filter. This is the reason why a thorough research could help in lessening this burden. Fluval has always been regarded as a very trusted brand for most aquarists. And, this Biomax Filter Media is a very popular product that every aquarium owner invests in for their tank.
It comes with absorptive surface that can provide more space for bacteria. And, you can see its center hole which is especially intended for water control. This can do its job superbly because bacteria can rapidly create a foothold.
Moreover, this is a cost-effective option as it comes with good quantity that is already sufficient enough in filling most filter compartments. Please be guided that every ring is created from a static ceramic that won’t in any way change the chemical composition of the water column. It is also available in different sizes at a prudent price range.
On the other hand, there are a couple of minor issues that you need to pay attention to regarding this product and these are its need to be discreetly maintained and also the tendency for it to break down easily than other kinds of ceramic media.
3. Aquaclear Biomax
Aquaclear Biomax is made with very tiny cylindrical shaped pieces of ceramic that comes with a huge surface area that makes it capable of stimulating fast proliferation of good bacteria. Furthermore, it is easy to fit at the rear of the tank that is nearby the wall and this is probably because it is slim. And, what makes it a standout among other similar products is its capability to be customized in filter media.
In the same way, this is very smooth and silent. There is no need to frequently replace them. As a matter of fact, you only have to rinse them in used tank water and you can safely utilize them repeatedly. Without doubt, this is a first rate bio material that you can consider for your filter system. This is ideal for growing medium to eliminate fish toxins from the aquarium.
Nevertheless, take note that this product may be prone to allowing algae to accumulate in the tank. Additionally, this is not the right option for tanks that contain beyond 20 gallons of water. As mentioned earlier, this does wonders in smaller tanks.
4. Marineland Diamond Blend Activated Carbon
Are you planning to purchase a reliable and effective fish tank filter media? This product from Marineland can provide practical uses and benefits for anyone keeping a pond or a freshwater aquarium. This is unmatched when it comes to taking in all the hazardous chemical toxins and pollutants present in tank water.
In like manner, this is available in distinct sizes, which means you can get the one that can definitely suit your aquarium needs and your preference of course. Such product like this from this brand is well-known for being top-drawer water polisher that significantly assists in clearing away various forms of impurities, ammonia and other water contaminants that may endanger the lives of your aquatic pets and plants.
The carbon and ammonia neutralizing crystals present in this product are what makes it capable of keeping your tank water fresh, clear and a safe environment for your finned buddies and aquatic plants to thrive. What sets it apart from other available options on the market are its being activated by heat and its bituminous coal-based action feature.
Notwithstanding, it is very critical to keep in mind that this product must be used with utmost caution. The reason behind this is because it can be hazardous if inhaled and it may also irritate the eyes. So, you better use face mask and something to protect your eyes from getting irritated. And, this necessitates frequent water replacements.
5. Biohome Ultimate Filter Media
If you still can’t figure out which appropriate aquarium filtration media to use for your tank, then why not give Biohome Ultimate Filter Media prove its effectiveness to you?
This filter media won’t harm your fish tank occupants since they are designed to be toxic-free. Likewise, it is interchangeable which conveys that you can safely utilize it in marine of freshwater tanks. It is absorptive that it provides healthy bacteria the opportunity to have a solid foothold.
It also comes with nooks and crannies that serve very vital role when it comes to building habitat for bacteria and for these bacteria to swiftly stabilize their colony- the good thing about this is that this can’t be easily washed away.
Many aquarium keepers prefer this brand because it is a reliable and unparalleled mechanical filtering system that makes it already stunning in that aspect. You can also employ it in several ways such as in any kind of drip system, can be carried out inside filters as media; it can be utilized in tiny sponge filters and as an aquarium substrate as well.
Howbeit, this brand is a little pricey as compared to similar products but its effectiveness s dependable. And, it does not come with starter bacteria which simply implies that there is a need to purchase them separately.
6. Seachem Matrix Bio Media
Shopping for top quality and long-lasting aquarium filter material can be challenging. The delighting news is that with Seachem Matrix Bio Media, you can determinately say goodbye to the hassle of searching for the best brand that can match your needs and style.
It is worth observing that the macropores contained in this bio media filter are fairly huge for nitrifying as well as denitrifying bacteria to come inside. As compared to other options, this feature enables the bacteria to get rid of nitrate, ammonia and nitrite altogether.
Be reminded that it is important to utilize one jar that contains 250 ml for tanks that contain 25 US gallons. This is to ensure ultimate performance. While this is specifically ideal for all types of aquariums, this is highly beneficial for eliminating high nitrate levels.
For all that, this bio media may call for the need to utilize a much bigger pond matrix when considering drip tray system. Apart from this, the packaging does not contain tamper-proof seal located below the lid.
7. Marineland Canister Filter Bio-Balls
This exquisite canister filter media is made with a 5-gallon curved glass tank. And, once purchased, a bio-foam, 3-stage concealed filtration that is equipped with right size cartridge and easy to adjust flow filter pump are already contained in the kit.
By the same token, in order to have easy access to the aquarium, this is purposely designed with blue and white power-efficient LED Light. It is good to know that the white LEDs are capable of forming glistening light in the tank water that replicate underwater sunlight effect, meanwhile, the blue LEDs are designed to generate a soothing moonshine glow.
When you get this kit, you can also have a distinctive glass canopy and base that is especially built to slide to the rear section of the tank to allow water care dosing and easy feeding. It is no sweat to set up and you’ll love it for being impressively designed and uncomplicated to maintain.
Regardless of the sterling features of this canister filter bio-balls, it is not advised to rinse it with unconditioned tap water. And, you only need to carefully wash it off with water from an established tank in case of extreme accumulation. Do not use abrasives and soaps when cleaning it.
8. CNZ Aquarium Filter Media Kits
This bio media for aquarium filter utilizes all the 3 types of methods and provides aquarium keepers certified clear water inside the tank. To boot, it comes with activated carbon that is especially intended to aid combat high ammonia levels, various kinds of impurities and this does a great job at clarifying the water.
Additionally, there are bio balls that work adeptly in enabling good bacteria to proliferate and eliminate nitrates more effectively. This product is also equipped with ceramic rings that assist in mechanical filtration by means of sucking in the impurities in tank water. This is helpful in stimulating the growth of bacteria in order to purify the water.
Still and all, this filter media kit comes with very dusty carbon that tends to create black mess inside the tank. And, because of this, the tank water appears to be duskier particularly when you first use it. This makes cleaning a bit laborious to deal with.
9. Aquaneat Bacteria House Ball Bio Filtration Media
The delighting news is that it is unnecessary to spend lavishly for an efficient and reliable bio filter media. This product is a foolproof choice in that it comes with lots of perks that every aquarium hobbyist can benefit from.
Whether you are currently keeping a freshwater or marine tank, this can be used for both. It is not intricate to set up and use; in point of fact, it is equipped with reusable media bag that makes it a lot easier to handle. It allows healthy bacteria to multiply by means of its outstandingly made porous structure. Isn’t it a great purchase for a budget-friendly price tag?
You can also use it in sumps. This will work practically in a number of canister filters as well as various projects. Without question, this is the perfect option if you would like to ensure a considerable bacteria growth.
Withal, there are a few downsides that you need to expect if you decided to buy this product. First, it necessitates a long and careful rinsing before using because it is very dusty. And, the other one is the reality that it tends to leave numerous crumbs at the base of the aquarium.
10. Fluval External Power Filter Pre-Filter Media
This bio media for canister filter is capable of keeping huge particulates from clogging up bio media and pads that extends the period between cleanings. It is superb when it comes to disintegrating fish wastes and helps in preventing the possibility of sponges to be clogged instantly. This box is sufficient enough to handle 2 canister filters.
In the same way, it can be cleaned effortlessly through agitation and thorough rinsing and the reason that makes it a very cost-effective option is its reusable feature. In fact, this can be used for many years with proper care and maintenance. You can place it in any media basket in any type of canister since it comes loose in a plastic bag. Assuredly, this is one great means to keep your water smelling clean and fresh.
Even so, as compared to other brands, this product doesn’t seem to be so porous and may actually appear as sleek as a tile. Besides, the package seems to be not properly sealed. These are just two of the minor defects that you need to inspect if you’re planning to buy this product.
11. Aquatic Experts Aquarium Filter Pad
This filter pad comes with dependable and consistent design that can guarantee exceptional filtration performance. It is ideal for eliminating fine residues. And, this won’t in any way bring about any harm to the environment. It is harmless for all fish species and other forms of aquatic creatures. It does not contain dye.
Likewise, the above portion of this filter pad is made up of durable polyester fibers; on the other hand, the lower portion is made up of flexible fibers. It is essential to note that the fibers located at the above section are not fixed but purposely made to be loose in order to come up with a thick pad. The lower fibers are created to intertwine the fibers into a solid layer.
Fundamentally, these come with dual-density layer wherein the layers found on the above section are meant to strain bigger particulates. Meanwhile, the thick layer found on the lower portion is intended to catch fine particulates. Note that the benefit of this is that it could be cut into distinct size and can be utilized as a pre-filter and a lot more.
Nonetheless, this filter pad may necessitate putting new filters more often and it tends to slow down tank water flow a bit. Fortunately, these are not serious matters for you to be upset about.
12. Aqua-Flo Pond & Aquarium Filter Media
This aquarium filter media is a lot easier to utilize for aquarium filters rather than pre-made carbon cartridges. There is no need to have second thoughts whether this is a good buy or not because it is 100% safe for all tanks, marine and freshwater fish tanks and ponds. You can rest assured that it does not have chemical components that could endanger the health of your aquatic pets.
In like manner, you can cut this into any size of your choice or as needed. Since this is proudly an American product, it does not come with many flaws that would disappoint you in the end. It does a wonderful job at keeping various sorts of impurities at bay. It is undemanding to use and maintenance is a breeze. And, you need not spend extravagantly to purchase this item as well.
Anyhow, this filter media for freshwater aquarium, ponds and marine tanks appear to be made with too thin and flimsy material. And, if ever you decided to return it to the manufacturer, the return policy process is quite stressing to manage.
What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Filter Media
There are numerous brands and kinds of filters that are sold on the market these days that somehow make it less painful to find the suitable one that satisfies your requirements and preference.
Besides the price tag, there are other factors that you need to think through before making the final decision.
Take into consideration that which brand to purchase will highly depend on your preference of water climate and fish to keep; for instance, you may mull over the kind of tank you own: marine or freshwater.
Aside from these, you also need to ponder on the size of the tank you are keeping, the number of fish dwelling in your aquarium, and many more.
Highly recommended filter media generally contain 2 of the basic forms of filtration. And chemical filtration is not often required.
Other Important Factors To Consider
What is an aquarium filter media? How does it work?
Filters are quite indispensable for aquarium health. These work by keeping the nitrogen cycle going and they execute very significant function when it comes to keeping aquarium fish and plants livelier and in good condition.
A filter media is generally positioned in a tank’s filter that is meant to alter the quality of tank water that flows through it. And, since there are different types of filter media, there are certain kinds that you can get so you could possibly come up with the best possible habitat for your aquarium dwellers.
In addition, there are 3 forms of filter media and these consist of chemical, biological and mechanical filtration.
What are the different types of filter media for aquarium?
There are three types of filter media and these comprise of:
Chemical Filter Media. This is not frequently utilized as compared to the other types of filter media. However, this could be efficient for different filtering purposes. It is available in a broad range of materials that could get rid of one or more impurities.
Essentially, this filtration approach eliminates dissolved particles from the tank through the aid of resins, activated carbons and other sorts of adsorbents. This method assists in sustaining water quality since undesired dissolved matter sticks to it.
The most renowned chemical media are resins and activated carbon. On the other hand, oxidation with ozone and protein foam skimming are just a few of the other types of chemical filtration.
Biological Filter Media. This is especially useful in that it enables good bacteria to thrive in the tank environment. It is significant to know that these bacteria are accountable for regulating the levels of ammonia present in the tank by disintegrating it in a natural approach.
Basically, it is crucial to let the bio media execute its job and changing it isn’t advised during the tank’s lifespan. To put simply, all you need to do is to make it a habit of cleaning it in a regular basis.
It is fine to invest in commercially available bio filter media products like those made up of rocky substances or bio balls. These could be safely positioned in the aquarium’s filter’s sump and this could aid in keeping the water pristine clear and free of any hazardous ammonia levels.
Plus, there are some aquarists who prefer the use of absorptive live ocean rock that is meant to serve as the foundation for a new tank – note that these are usually used in marine tanks. In essence, rock serves as bio filter in keeping the nitrogen cycle in the most appropriate conditions.
Mechanical Filter Media. This kind of filter media contains inert components which imply that they won’t do anything to hamper the tank water’s chemistry. In other words, it physically or mechanically filters solids from water that pass through it. Take in mind that this is very valuable for the effectiveness of your bio media.
This approach eliminates hideous particulates such as sludge, unconsumed food, fish feces or dirt. And, to ward off accumulation, the filter media must be periodically cleaned. Be reminded that replacement is merely necessary when the media could no longer discharge the filth that it holds.
This type of filter media is available in a number of distinct porosities that restrict the size of the particle they could siphon. The bigger the pores in the mechanical media, the bigger the particles must be so that the filter could siphon it.
It is interesting to note that coarse media is uncomplicated to clean and reuse as compared to finer media. While it is true that the finest media can clear the tank, this could congest quite rapidly and may become not reusable anymore.
Why do you need a fish tank filter media? (Benefits)
Needless to say, all aquariums need to be thoroughly cleaned and the tank water seriously needs to be strained regularly. However, the truth is there are specific aspects that you can’t eliminate in a conventional approach.
Due to this, it becomes a necessity to own a filter media if you are keeping an aquarium. This helps get rid of the hazardous particulates, chemicals and other substances that are present in the tank and could potentially bring about illnesses and may even cause the death of your fish tank occupants.
Various forms of filter media also help combat high levels of nitrate, ammonia and nitrite in the tank. They usually help create foothold for good bacteria to thrive – as you know, these are beneficial in keeping a cleaner, safer and fresher hub for your aquarium pets and plants.
In reality, you can’t alleviate chemical in tank water if you do it a manual mode, and it is impossible to build bacteria colonies inside the tank on your own. This is where the importance of owning filter media comes in. This is one sure way of removing bad chemicals from the tank.
These are very easy to utilize, they are not that expensive, and most of them are safe to use. Likewise, many options do not require frequent replacements as they are designed to be reused. And, since they are safe to use, this means that they are environment-friendly because they do not contain chemicals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Biological vs. Regular Filter Media: Which one is better?
Biological filter media contains inert components that are the ones responsible for sheltering healthy bacteria that disintegrate dissolved solids in a less harmful approach. It must not be replaced except when it has become congested and ineffective to execute its job.
On the other hand, a regular filter media only concentrates on something that is positioned in a tank’s filter that helps modify the quality of water that flows through it. Thus, when comparing the two, bio filter media is a better option.
How much aquarium filter media do I need?
How big the filter you will require will more likely rely on the current size of the aquarium you are keeping. You will prefer a filter that has the capability to cycle all the water in your tank by 3 by up to 4 times in an hour.
Meanwhile, a tank that contains 50 gallons of water commonly necessitates a filter that can cycle at least 14 times 50 GPH.
How often should filter media be changed?
Carbon media filter must be replaced once every three weeks to ensure its effectiveness. Unfortunately, this can’t be cleaned.
However, a mechanical media filter can be utilized till it breaks down on its own. Since the job of this filter media is to strain bigger pieces of residues, it could still function even if it’s not in ideal shape. Regular inspection is necessary though.
If you are utilizing ceramic rings or bio balls, it matters to change roughly 1/3 at a time and this should solely be done if they start to disintegrate.
How to change filter media in aquarium?
- Leave the old filter in place and run another tiny filter alongside it for approximately 30 days. The reason behind this is because this could provide enough time for the current filter to be settled with good bacteria. But, you need to keep an eye on the flow brought about by the filters.
If these form extreme flow that disrupts your fish, then turn down the filter’s settings or you can hinder the filters using filter pads.
- Place the media from your former filter into the current filter. This is where a plenty of good bacteria dwells. This would only successfully operate if the filter media comes with the same shape and size for both filters. This is not advisable if the filter media is breaking down.
- Position the media from your former filter in the aquarium beside the current filter. This shall enable the current filter to be inhabited by good bacteria. Then, after 30 days or beyond, you can lift off the former filter media.
How to care & store?
Maintaining the filter media is the most substantial thing you can execute to keep the tank in good condition. Harmful levels of nitrate, ammonia and nitrites can instantly accumulate in the tank water if the filter media malfunctions. This could lead to making your aquarium pets and plants become ill or even perish.
So, it is a must to clean the filter media through giving it a thorough rinse using old tank water. You can utilize a tiny sponge, brush, or filter floss to tidy the impeller’s inlets and outlets.
Moreover, it is also practical to examine your tank water on a weekly mode with the use of testing strips. In so doing, you can monitor the different water parameters. And, when you observe some changes in the test results, then that means it is high time to clean the filter.
If the rate of flow slows down, then this may imply that the filter media is being clogged, so it is really necessary to clean it at once.
If not in use, keep it in a box; store it in a cool, dry and safe place for future use.
Where to buy?
By happy chance, aquarium filter media products are not that strenuous to search for. As a matter of fact, these may be available in nearby local pet and fish stores in your town. Or, if you do not prefer to shop by visiting a local store personally, then you don’t even need to leave your home and just shop on the web.
If you like shopping online better, you can find innumerable filter media product options in highly recognized online shopping sites like Amazon, Lowes, eBay, Walmart, Petco, Petsmart and many other sites that are trusted by millions of aquarists all over the globe.
On the whole, if it is your goal to keep your aquarium water clean, safe and fresh; then, you need to take in mind how crucial it is to invest in the best aquarium filter media. Truth is, be it a freshwater or a saltwater tank, sustaining the ideal tank water conditions seriously calls for some insight regarding the distinct forms of filter media utilized for aquariums. Luckily, all these were exhaustively discussed in this article.
And, since there’s a bevy of available choices on the market nowadays, the 12 product reviews discreetly evaluated a while ago will certainly guide you as you select the one that you think and feel will be the best pick for your aquarium needs.
Be reminded that finding the appropriate filter media setup for your aquarium could remarkably aid your finned friends and other aquatic creatures occupying your tank to be at their best.