Best Aquarium Filter Bags Reviewed

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Image result for filter bags for fish tankQuickly, can you name a piece of aquarium equipment!

I’m 99.9% certain you didn’t say filter media bag.

My point is that this is likely a product that you won’t even give a passing thought to.

That is unless you have ever had to clean Purigen or activated carbon out of your aquarium because your media bag broke.

These bags keep dirt from activated carbon dirt and impurities away from water during filtration.

Yep, choosing a high-quality media bag is important.

Luckily for you, we tested the most popular media bags on the market, so you don’t have to.

If you want to know everything there is about this boring but useful product, then you need to keep reading!

Top 7 Best Aquarium Filter Bags Reviewed (2020)

Below is the list of the Best Aquarium Filter Bags Reviewed. It shows the best in the market for easy filtration of water in the fish tank.

1) MarineLand Premium Activated Carbon Bags, for Chemical Filtration in Aquariums


Marineland Premium Activated Carbon Bags work in all Marineland C-Series and Magniflow Canister Filters to remove discoloration, odors and water impurities.

With Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon inside, these easy-to-use bags use chemical filtration for sparkling clear aquarium water because carbon deactivates with use, for best results, change the carbon bags every 3 weeks.

The amount of filtration needed to maintain an aquarium depends on a number of variables because Clean, sparkling water is the mark of a healthy, thriving aquarium for advanced filtration.

2) Fluval Carbon Nylon Bags , 3×100 grams

The fluval carbon filter bags is one of the Best Aquarium Filter Bags Reviewed as is in the market today.

This filter bag Improves water clarity and color, while also removing odors. It also Effectively removes heavy metals, odors, discolorations

The filter bag is to be removed when medication is being administered in aquarium water; Use carefully when keeping live plants

3) Tetra Whisper Bio-Bag Disposable Filter Cartridges 3 Count, For aquariums, Medium

Tetra Whisper Bio-Bag Replacement Cartridges are disposable filter cartridges that work to keep your water crystal clear while also removing odors and discoloration.

These medium cartridges are easy to use and fit PF101 Power Filter, 10i Internal and Reptofilter 90 GPH. Each cartridge is ready to use, easy to assemble and easy to replace.

The ultra activated carbon removes waste particles, odors and discoloration from your aquarium water. Keep a tank that is clean and clear and thriving with proper filtration.

Clear aquarium water creates a beautiful tank environment that becomes the focal point of any room.

4) Boyd Enterprises ABE16720 2-Pack Chemi-Bags with Ties for Aquarium

This Triple stitched, chemibags offer hands-on aquarists an easy-to-use, hi quality, filter bag to pack their own media.
It Works great for peat and leaves in freshwater aquariums and aragonite, ferric oxide, and other media in marine systems.

It is also easy to use with any filter media

5) Aquaclear Activated Carbon Insert

AquaClear 50 Activated Carbon Filter Insert improves water clarity for freshwater and marine aquariums.

AquaClear 50 Activated Carbon Filter Insert provides superior adsorption qualities which eliminate odors, discoloration and impurities.

It is designed to fit the AquaClear 50 Power Filter.

This carbon filter bags is one of the Best Aquarium Filter Bags Reviewed as is in the market today.

6) Seachem The Bag Filter Media Bag

The Bag is an innovative, welded filter bag with a durable non-stitched seam. It has a 180 micron mesh, is resistant to bleach, caustics, and acids, and comes with a convenient reseal able locking closure.

It is available in a convenient 5 x 10 size. It is ideal for all filtration products and has an exceptionally long life.

Unlike stitched seams, welded seams are not subject to degradation from exposure to bleach, caustics, acids, or other harsh environmental exposure likely to take place during regeneration of filter media.

7) Tetra Whisper Bio-Bag Disposable Filter Cartridges, For aquariums

This replacement carbon filter bag helps to Keep aquarium water crystal clear – removes odors and discoloration

It catches debris Dense dual-sided mesh filters debris and fish waste

This filter bag fits TETRA WHISPER WATER FILTERS and it is  Color coded to make it simple to remember which replacement cartridge size to purchase

It is recommended that you replace your Whisper Bio-Bag when water begins to overflow excessively from the Wonder Tube chamber, or once per month.


Filter media bag with ceramic rings

What is a filter media bag?

Filter media refers to anything you place in your filter that changes the quality of the water flowing through it.

Examples of filter media include:

  • Activated carbon – removes bad smells from the water
  • Zeolite – naturally removes ammonia water
  • Bio balls – remove ammonia and nitrites from the water through biological filtration

If you pour any of these media into your filter, it would soon flow through your aquarium and gunk up your tank.

The problem? These media are made up of small pieces, like this activated carbon…

Activated carbon used in a chemical filtration system

Due to the small size and light weight, each individual piece can be lifted up and carried by the water that is flowing through your filter – ending up in your aquarium.

Trust me when I say this:

Scooping out media that has escaped your filter is a pain in the butt!

That’s where a filter media bag comes in.

In canister filters, media bags are used to separate each filter media. For example, by using three separate bags, you could layer ceramic noodles, activated carbon and Purigen in the same filter without them mixing together.

Pretty simple, huh?

You can also buy filter media in pre-packaged bags. The problem? They are sewn shut. So once you need to replace the media, you need to dispose of the entire bag.

It is for this reason that I recommend buying media bags separately. It might cost more initially but will eventually save you money – buying filter media by the bottle is much cheaper in the long run.

What are the different types of filter media bags?

Not all filter media bags are created equally. Below are two things to be mindful of when choosing the right media bag for your filter.

1. Mesh and bag size

Mesh size of a fine and coarse filter media bag close-up

A filter media bag should be large enough to fit in the cavity of your filter.

Remember, the purpose of filter media is for water to flow through it. If the media bag is too small, water will be able to flow around the bag, rendering the media useless.

I recommend buying a filter media bag that is just bigger than the cavity of your filter.

But it’s not just the size of the bag that you have to worry about, but also the size of the mesh.

You see, there are many different types and brands of filter media. Some are big and chunky, like ceramic rings, while others are frustratingly fine, like Purigen.

Seriously, check it out…

Close-up on Seachem Purigen filter media

It’s this fine filter media that’s the problem. If the holes in the mesh are too large, the media will escape the bag and flow into your aquarium, making a mess that needs to be cleaned up.

The fine filter media bags I recommend later this guide are all capable of holding Seachem Purigen!

But a fine mesh has its drawbacks. For one, the smaller holes reduce the amount of water that flows over the filter media. You may also find that these bags gunk up or clog quicker. It is for this reason that you should choose a coarser mesh for larger filter media.

2. How it closes


Filter media bag with zip opening

Zippers are great. Outside of the water, that is. All the media bags I tested that were “designed for aquarium use” had metal zippers.

The problem? Rust and corrosion.

Every media bag I tested that featured a zipper would eventually rust… Even the ones that were coated with paint. A tiny scratch or chip on this paint was a one-way ticket to rust city.

It is for this reason that I recommend…


Filter media bag with drawstring opening

Ugly but functional. I found the all-plastic design to be the best closing mechanism when it came to filter media bags.

Toss your media in the bag, pull the drawstring closed, and you are done. Simple.


Filter media bag with Velcro opening

Velcro was another strong performer. However, I found that over time, pieces of sand and fine filter media would get stuck in the Velcro strip.

Velcro closures on media bags were much less common. In fact, while looking for filter media bags to review, I only came across two brands.

How do you use a filter media bag?

Using a filter media bag is darn simple. Let’s walk you through the steps…

Step 1: Measure your filter

Measuring the opening of canister filter to determine filter media size

The first thing you want to do is measure the opening of your filter – both the length and width of where you will place your filter media.

Write down the measurements so that you don’t forget them!

Step 2: Find an appropriately sized media bag

Measuring a coarse mesh filter media bag to determine its size

Next, you want to take your measurements and find the closest-sized media bag.

Given the wide range of filter sizes, it is unlikely that you will find a media bag that perfectly fits your measurements.

So, what you want to do is find the nearest size, without going under your measurements.

Step 3: Fill your media bag

Filling a filter media bag with bio balls for aquarium

Before you fill your media bag for the first time, wash it in fresh water and don’t forget to treat it with water conditioner!

This will remove any dust and chemicals that were left over from manufacturing – you don’t want any of this stuff in your tank.

Once dry, fill your bag with your filter media. In this case, I am using bio balls.

Step 4: Place your media bag into your filter

Inserting full media bag into canister filter

Turn off your filter and open it. You should see a media tray. It’s here that you want to carefully place your media bag.

Give your media bag a light shake back and forth so that the media evenly spreads throughout the bag.

You want to position your bag so that the water flows through your media without any gaps.

Now, because it’s very likely the media bag you used is larger than your filter, carefully fold or scrunch the edges of your media bag to keep things neat.

That’s really all there is to it. You can now close your filter and turn it back on. See, I told you it was simple!



Okay, so filter media bags are definitely not a product that you will give much thought to.

But if you plan on using lose media in your filter, then this simple mesh bag is going to make your life much easier.

And if you haven’t made the switch to loose media yet, what are you waiting for? You will save money in the long run!

What media bag do you use in your filter? Let me know in the comments below!


Other Related Articles:

Best Aquarium Biological Filter Media

Best Ammonia Remover Filter Media For Aquarium

Best Filter For Goldfish Aquarium Tanks

Best Filter For A Betta Fish Tank

Best Filter For A Turtle Tank

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