Best Aquarium Biological Filter Media

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While you don’t actually place beneficial bacteria into a filter, you do need to provide it with a place to grow. Usually, this is accomplished through introducing the best aquarium biological filter media.

They come in form of biorings and Ceramic rings work. Beneficial bacteria should grow naturally and love places that are porous with a lot of surface area.

They thrive on the nitrate in the water and remove it to prevent any harmful effects to fish and plants.

The best aquarium biological filter media is not just right for the support of life in the aquaria, but it will also help your aquatic friends attain fresh water that will let the animals live freely and live bigger.

Identifying the best boilogical filter media that will give the appropriate solutions and remarkably handle the affairs of the water in the tank is very important for you.

However, being able to do this can sometimes feel like achieving a milestone. This is because it can be confusing to choose from the majority of brands that promises to offer the best services for your aquarium.

You need not to worry about knowing how to choose the best biological filter media, after going through this article you will be able to make the right choice for your aquarium tanks.

Choosing the best filter media for your aquarium tanks

There are set guidelines that you should consider when selecting the best filter media for your aquarium tanks.

Brand: it is essential to check the brand of the product you are buying because there are brands that have a reputation for quality in the market.

Reviews: what other consumers of the product are saying can really steer your decision making when buying your filter media.

Quality: you should have a specific want and need regarding quality and functions you want from the type of filter you are getting.

Having known this, you should look out for these qualities when buying your product.

Top 15 Best Aquarium Biological Filter Media in 2020 (review)

1) EHEIM Substrat Pro Biological Filter Media


EHEIM Substrat Pro Biological filter media is specially shaped to create a better water through flow to provide longer intervals between required maintenance. It is considered one of the best biological filter media in the market.

Its open structure for enhanced water penetration provides better bacterial colonization.

The filter media is made of highly porous artifiical sintered glass material With unbeatable surface area structure of 1800 sq ft per gallon.

It Can be reused by lightly rinsing with aquarium water every 1 to 3 months and replaced every 3 to 6 months. The media Provides longer intervals between required maintenance.

It is for use in all EHEIM filters including classic, Ecco, Pro 3, Pro 3e.


2) Fluval G-Nodes Biological Filtration Media – 1.25L


This filter media is designed specially for Fluval G Series Filters, Fluval Ceramic G-Nodes have a complex pore system where beneficial bacteria will thrive.

With more capacity and a special shape that enables them to be compacted tightly inside Fluval G filter baskets.

The G-Nodes enhance biological nitrification and help reduce ammonia and nitrite.

Fluval G-Nodes Biological Filtration Media.The fluval g-nodes filter media helps reduce ammonia and nitrate levels


3) Fluval Biomax Bio Rings – 500 grams/17.63 ounces

BioMax filter media are inert ceramic rings that are capable of supporting large populations of water purifying bacteria.

Composed of a variety of channels and tunnels, the multitude of tiny pores can support these colonies of beneficial bacteria.

BioMax is an ideal biological filter media that will make the most of any filter system due to its huge capacity to support the organisms responsible for metabolizing ammonia and nitrite.

Fluval BIOMAX bio rings have a complex pore system creating an optimal environment where beneficial bacteria can thrive.

BIOMAX bio rings have more capacity than most biological filter media and allow ideal water movement throughout the media to ensure optimal contact time for efficient biological filtration.

The media is good for both freshwater and marine environments.

• Provides superior bilogical filtration
• Replenish only half at one time to allow proper seeding
• Will not affect water characteristics

4) Fluval External Power Filter Pre-Filter Media, 750 g


Fluval Pre-Filter is designed to capture solid waste before they reach other media. This prevents premature clogging of finer filters and extends their life, reducing media replacements frequency.

Fluval Pre-Filter consists of inert, solid ceramic rings used to trap large and medium solid particles before they clog the finer sieves of the modules above.

The diversified water flow allows establishment of biological activity on the surface of the rings, adding to the overall biological action on ammonia and nitrite.

• Captures solid waste
• Works to prevent filter clogging
• Helps reduce the replacement of filter media

5) Aquapapa 6 lbs Premier Bio Ceramic Rings Aquarium Filter Media in 6 Free Mesh Bags

These Bio Ceramic Rings in Bag are for Aquarium Fish Pond Reef Canister Filters. The surface area and tiny pores make it an ideal home for the cycle bacteria that you want in the filter.

Its cylindrical and hollow shape allows water flow through and less likely to get clogged.

• Biological filtration media that helps remove harmful ammonia and nitrite in the water
• Ready to use bags, convenient use for all types of filters. Good to use in both fresh and saltwater tank
• The ceramic material that the ceramic rings is made of is porous. The tiny pores make it an ideal home for beneficial bacteria to grow.

• Ceramic rings size: 1/2″x 1/2″. Mesh bag size: 8″x 5.5″. The zipper-designed bag is reusable. Package includes: 6 lbs premier bio ceramic rings in 6 mesh bags.

6) Fluval SPEC Biomax – 2.1 ounces

The fluval spec biomax is specifically designed for Fluval Spec Aquariums.

This filter media provides critical stage three biological filtration. It also has a large surface area that provides optimal colonization of beneficial bacteria, which enhances the elimination of fish wastes, resulting in a healthier aquarium environment.

The Fluval Spec BioMax has more capacity than most biological filter media and allows ideal water movement throughout the media, to ensure optimal contact time for efficient biological filtration.

7) CNZ Aquarium Filter Media Kits

CNZ aquarium filter media helps remove odor, colors, organic pollutants, toxic compounds, medications. This filter has extremely porous ceramic media for efficient biological filtration.

It helps clarify your water naturally and cultivate beneficial bacteria with these polypropylene bio-balls and Increase dissolved oxygen levels.

Each Package includes: 1 lb. active carbon in one mesh media bag x 3, 50 pieces of bio balls in one media bag x 3, 500 g of ceramic ring in 1 filter media bag x 3, diameter of bio ball: 1 inch size of ceramic ring: 1/2inch, x 1/2inch, size of filter media bag: 8 x 5.5 inch.

8) MarineLand PA11484 Canister Filter Ceramic Rings, 140-Count

The marineland filter media Provide Porous Surface Area for Support of Biological Filtration. Bio-rings do not require replacement unless damaged or destroyed.

In the event of excessive buildup, you may gently rinse with water from an established aquarium.

You are advised not to clean with soaps or abrasives and never rinse with unconditioned tap water.

9)Aquaneat 1 Gallon (2000g) Bacteria House Ball Bio Filtration Media for Aquarium Sump Canister Filter Bakki Showers • Trickle Filter • Aquaculture • Koi Ponds

Thia aquaneat bio filter media has a highly porous structure which allows beneficial bacteria to develop quickly and Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater filters.

The bacteria house is rich in tourmaline, which emits FAR infrared rays allowing more oxygen to be dissolved in the water.

Another main material this bacteria house is natural clay, used for supplementing rich minerals and microelements which will be slowly resolved under certain conditions and be utilized by the fish.

It comes with free reusable media bag for easy handling.

10) boxtech Bio Balls Filter Media, Aquarium Filter Bio Ball – Biological Filtration Rings with Media Bags for Aquarium Fish Tanks

This biological ceramic rings media for all types of fresh or saltwater fish tanks filters. It weighs 500g that are packaged in mesh filter bags allowing easy cleaning when inside your filter.

The ceramic material that the ceramic rings is made of is porous. There is a hollow in the middle of the biological column filtering medium.

It can provide an anaerobic environment, reducing the content of nitrates in water, and promote more healthy water quality.
The Ceramic rings size: 1/2″x 1/2″, Mesh bag size: 8″x 5.5″.

The breathing biological Ceramic Column may be recharged by cleaning monthly. After cleaning be sure to re-colonize the Biological Ceramic Rings by soaking in nitrifying bacteria for immediate nitrification.

For best results change the rings every 4-6 months, Place at the final stage of filtration direct into your pond and use 0.5~1 kg for up to 150 gallons of pond water.

11) CerMedia MarinePure 1.5-Inch Sphere Bio-Filter Media for Marine and Freshwater Aquariums, 2-Quart

CerMedia MarinePure 1.5-Inch Sphere Bio-Filter Media for Marine and Freshwater Aquariums, 2-Quart


Ceramic Bio-Filter Media with Vast Surface Area & Open-Flow Porosity. For ammonia & nitrite removal in fresh & marine aquariums.

One MarinePure Sphere has the same surface area as 1,350 plastic bio-balls. Use in wet/dry filters, sumps or canister filters.

• Ceramic Bio-filter Media with Vast Surface Area AND Open-Flow Porosity
• Ammonia and Nitrite Removal
• Nitrate Reduction
• Inert Ceramic
• For SaltWater and FreshWater Aquariums

12) BrightWater Aquarium Filter Media, Ceramic Filter Ring, Ceramic Ring Fish Filter for Aquarium, Bio Media, Bio Media Ceramic Ring, B-Series

Brightwater bio-media rings are low dust and solves the issue of flaking as with similar ceramic bio -media.

The circular ring design has an optimum pore structure which allows water to flow easily over and around the ring allowing beneficial bacteria to flourish.

It Suitable for use in freshwater and marine water. This product also can be used in biochemical and mechanical filtration system.

• Forged at high temperatures to reduce flaking and erosion
• Encourages growth of biological colonies and holds large amounts of good bacteria
• Ideal for both freshwater and saltwater, fits most filters, and tanks
• Reduces ammonia and nitrate levels

13) BrightWater Bio Media Ceramic Sphere, 99% Dust Free, Aquarium Filter Plus Ion Exchange

From reviews customers attest that this product is 99% dust free and non flaking. The new high-performance design is revolutionary and manufactured with the world’s aquatic enthusiasts and hobbyists in mind.

It offers strong durability and long lasting life. This media has an optimum pore structure which allows water to flow easily over and beneficial bacteria to flourish.

It is Suitable for use in freshwater and marine water. They are believed to produce biochemical reactions that alleviate inactivity and boost energy which will lead to bigger, brighter color and improve breeding.

To use rinse new high-performance BrightWater media under clean water, place the high-performance BrightWater media in a high water flow area, sump or filter.

14)Fluval Zeo-Carb, 150 Gram, 3-Pack Nylon Bags

Fluval Zeo-Carb is a premium blend of research grade Fluval Carbon and Fluval Ammonia Remover.

Working together, these highly effective media eliminate liquefied impurities, odors and discoloration, while simultaneously removing toxic ammonia, for a clean, healthy aquarium.

Combining two products into one frees up space inside the filter for other types of media.

• Helps protect the aquarium from toxic build-ups of ammonia
• Adsorbs liquefied wastes, dyes and medications from the water
• No phosphates released into water
• For freshwater use only
• Replace once a month

15) Biohome Ultimate Aquarium Biological Filter Media, Aquarium bio Filter Media

Biohome Aquarium filter media offers the a good environment for bacterial colonization and is capable of supporting aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in a wide variety of filters and varied flow rates.

It supports the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, and ensures that natural processing of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate can be achieved.

Biohome Aquarium filter media allows both nitrifying (aerobic) and denitrifying (anaerobic) bacteria to grow on and through its unique structure.

Direction for use: 2 Pound of Biohome Ultimate Filter Media, recommended 2-4 lb for 30 gallons or larger

16) Hygger 6.2-Inch Long Large Aquarium Filter Media, Ceramic Bio Media Blocks for Sump Tank Pond Fish Tank Media 7.9lbs/15.8lbs

This aquarium filter media serves mechanical filtration to catch fine particles and biological filtration for raising good stuff

It has premium ceramic media covered with thousands of porous tiny holes provides large surface area for bio filtration as well as filter out sparkling clear water.

This Aquarium media block effectively and absorbs fish waste and debris, providing crystal clear water for fish to thrive.

This media can be cracked into pieces to any size needed. It is great for used in freshwater aquariums, planted aquariums, sumps and ponds and not suitable for saltwater aquarium.

• Replenish only ⅓ at one time
• We recommend to replace partial media blocks every 3 months.
• Rinse these ceramic blocks thoroughly before use in aquarium water not tap water.


Biological media creates a source of “good bacteria” that is a good element for your tank. These media come in different types but all have the same basic functions.

It is like a home for bacteria colonies to grow and prosper.
Depending on the type of filter that you have.

you will need to choose the appropriate biological media to insert inside your filter to provide a space for these good bacteria to live in.

Some filters are sold with the media and others are not.
Make sure you know what you are bringing home.

Some filters will also require that you not change the media or if the need arises, you need to purchase the same one so that your filter continues to work properly.

Others will be more versatile and be capable to accommodate different types. Research your filter and make sure that you provide the best media for it.

The most common types of media are:

Porous rocks like lava or zeolite are used in biological filters and provide a good breeding ground for bacteria to make home.

These are plastic and are designed to create turbulence allowing a good mix of water and air that is needed to create good conditions for the bacteria to grow and prevent clogging.

This is very porous ceramic cubes that are cut to fit the space in the filter and is an excellent way to provide biological filtration.

These have a great surface area structure and are quite common nowadays.

Different Kinds Of Aquarium Filter Media

There are multiple ways to set up an aquarium filter to get the best results. That said, the most effective filtration systems use three different kinds of media.

1. Mechanical Media
This is usually the first phase that the water passes through because it removes large, visible pieces of debris. This can be everything from uneaten food to detritus to pieces of leaves.

Mechanical media can be dense mesh or even ceramic rings that form a barrier in your filter.

Basically, it’s material that allows water to flow through while keeping the debris from recirculating into your tank.

2. Chemical Media
Chemical media removes the things from your tank that you can’t see, like ammonia. There are several different kinds of chemical media but the most common are activated carbon and zeolite.

3. Biological Media
While you don’t actually place beneficial bacteria into a filter, you do need to provide it with a place to grow. Usually, this is accomplished through introducing biorings. Ceramic rings work, too.

Beneficial bacteria should grow naturally and love places that are porous with a lot of surface area.

They thrive on the nitrate in the water and remove it to prevent any harmful effects to fish and plants.

The functions of each filter media differ by their brand and capabilities, and it is of importance that you have it in mind that several new products are being pumped into the market every day.

Making the right choice should be your priority and with the above set guidelines, you can be sure not to have a difficult time in selecting the best biological filter media market when planning to get your filter media.


Important Articles:

Best Replacement Foam Filter Pads For Aquarium

Best Ammonia Remover Filter Media For Aquarium

Best Aquarium Filter Pads

Best Hang On Back Filter

Best Airstone For Aquarium

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