Did you know that bio filter material can not effectively remove ammonia and nitrite? That is correct. Bio media is a place for helpful microorganisms to live. These bacteria are responsible for digesting and converting ammonia into less toxic nitrate.

If you’ve arrived at this website, you’re undoubtedly already aware of the significance of aquarium media. However, not just any old media will suffice. You want to choose the best biological filter media to guarantee that the water in your tank is as clean as possible.

I can sympathize as a long-time aquarium owner and fish keeper. In this post, I’ll go through the intricacies of bio filtration and media and my suggestions for the finest bio media.

Best Bio Filter Media

As you have just read, we must provide the finest possible environment for our bacterial buddies. So, without further ado, here are my top selections for the best bio-filter media on the market.

Ultimate Filter Media by Biohome

Biohome Ultimate Filter Media (1 LB)
  • 1 Pound of Biohome Ultimate media, Aquarium & Pond biological Filter Media
  • Please note: Amazon prime does not come with starter Balls
  • Made from Premium quality sintered glass

Biohome Ultimate Filter Media is considered premium media in the aquarium world. It is composed of sintered glass, a mixture of silica sand and recycled glass that is oven burned. This method produces a pellet that is incredibly porous and has minute places for bacteria to grow.

This material is available in 1-pound, 2-pound, and 5-pound bags. It also has a lengthy lifetime, reaching 1-5 years in certain circumstances.

Aerobic bacteria thrive in all mediums, whereas anaerobic bacteria do not. According to Biohome, its media will assist both. Anaerobic bacteria are sought because they are the only bacteria capable of lowering nitrate levels. Without these bacteria, the only method to keep nitrate levels under control is to replace the water often.

The Ultimate Filter Media goes above and beyond biohomes’ other media by including iron and manganese to promote bacterial growth.


  • Large enough even for a canister filter
  • Support nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria
  • Pellets are tiny enough to pass through most filters.
  • Natural and repurposed materials


  • More expensive than other alternatives
  • Water may first discolor.
  • It only serves as a biological filter medium.

Matrix Bio Media by Seachem

Seachem Matrix Bio Media 1 Liter
  • Made in United States
  • Package Dimensions : 3.75 L x 8.0 H x 3.75 W (inches)
  • Package Weight : 2.0 pounds

Seachem is a well-known aquarium manufacturer, and for a good reason. Seachem Matrix Bio Media isn’t simply any old pumice stone, despite what its naysayers claim. Instead, it is a form of pumice that has been carefully chosen for its high porosity, pore size, durability, and inert nature.

The grain size varies, but each piece is around 10 mm (0.4 inches) in diameter. This media provides bacteria with an exterior and inside the surface area on which to flourish. This implies it can host both nitrifying and denitrifying microorganisms. To reap the benefits of denitrifying bacteria, you will require a big volume of the medium.

While this is an excellent bio medium for your fish tank, there appears to be a widespread problem. In addition to pumice, several people report different stones in their media. Obsidian and other darker-colored stones fall into this category. Sometimes it’s only a handful, and other times it’s quite a few.

According to Seachem, this substance is a mined natural product. This indicates that other naturally occurring stones are mingled in. Most non-pumice material is removed by hand, but some are overlooked. So don’t be startled if you discover a few black pebbles in the jar.

Aside from this inconvenient event, I believe this is a fantastic product. It also has a very long life and, with frequent rinses, should potentially last forever.


  • Pumice that has been thoroughly examined and chosen
  • ability to host both nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria
  • Small enough to fit into the majority of filters
  • Extremely long life span
  • Provides a large amount of surface area


  • Non-pumice stones are occasionally mixed in.
  • It does not work with a drip tray system.

Fluval Biomax Bio Rings

Fluval Biomax Bio Rings, Biological Filter Media for Aquariums, 17.63 oz., A1456
  • Biological filter media that provides superior filtration
  • Complex porous design ensures optimal contact time as water passes through
  • Helps reduce and control ammonia and nitrate

Fluval Biomax Filter Media is excellent for maintaining optimum cleanliness. Its entire construction is intended to make the water feel as natural as possible. It makes the creatures in the tank feel at ease.

This bio ring features an intricate pore structure. It maintains a natural habitat within the tank, allowing good microorganisms to thrive. Water flows freely across this medium, ensuring effective biological filtration. It collects detritus to keep the water’s ingredients balanced. It also helps to keep the water clean and fresh.


  • reputable and well-known brand
  • Design of a porous hollow cylinder
  • Ceramic is a low-cost material.


  • 6-month life span is insufficient for little filters.
  • It takes up a substantial quantity of space.

Bio-Filter Balls from Marineland

Marineland Bio-Filter Balls, Supports Biological aquarium Filtration, Fits All C-Series Canister...
  • BIO-FILTER BALLS: Provide a larger, multi-faceted area for the growth of beneficial Bio-Spira bacteria.
  • FOR BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION: An important component of maintaining a clean and healthy aquatic environment.
  • COMPATIBILITY: Fits all Marineland C-Series Canister Filters – Rite-Size S and T.

Marineland Bio-Filter Balls are not like conventional filtration technologies. Each Marineland PA11486 bundle contains 90 balls. These balls have a broad filtering surface that aids in developing BIO-Spira bacteria. These bacteria eat the dirt that is floating about in the tank water.

What Marineland PA11486 excels at is clearing the water. Their filtering method purifies the water. And it is effective for an extended period.

The quantity required for filtration is determined by factors like tank population, size, habitat, and so forth. This filter media’s concept is relatively basic, yet it is effective.


  • Unlike other media, it is not dusty.
  • Very long life span and is simple to clean
  • Affordable
  • It is suitable for all types of aquariums and is simple to operate.
  • a large surface area


  • Not as absorbent as other mediums
  • Small in size and easily lost in the water
  • Many filters are incompatible with it.

Biological Filter Media EHEIM Substrat Pro

EHEIM Substrat Pro Biological Filter Media (Sintered Pearl-Shaped Glass) 2L
  • Made of highly porous artifiical sintered glass material
  • Unbeatable surface area structure of 1800 sq ft per gallon
  • Can be reused by lightly rinsing with aquarium water every 1 to 3 months and replaced every 3 to 6 months

Because of their great porosity, sintered glass media are regarded as the best bio media forms. This is especially true with the biological filter medium Eheim Substrat Pro. The surface area of these little (14″ or 6-10mm) pearl-shaped sintered glass beads per gallon of medium is 1800 sq ft. This will feed an army of denitrifying bacteria, which will keep your water clean.

According to Eheim, this medium should be updated every 3-6 months. This assertion is most likely manufactured only to sell more media. You should be able to gently clean and reuse this media several times with a little care.

Substrat Pro is more expensive than other solutions since it is a premium, high-performance medium. This is especially true if you stick to their 3-6 month replacement period.

However, Eheim is a well-known brand that produces high-quality goods, so you get what you paid for in the end.


  • A very porous structure supports a large number of germs.
  • crafted from sintered glass
  • Eheim is well-known for its high quality.
  • Most filters may be used with it because it is small.
  • The bio medium is simple to clean due to its artificial nature.


  • More pricey than other alternatives
  • After 3 to 6 months, it must be replaced regularly.

FilterPlus for Aquatic Arts Aquarium Filter with Bio-Media

Aquatic Arts FilterPlus | Bio Media for Aquarium Canister Filter | 1000g Bulk Supply of Tank...
  • Professional grade Bio Media for home aquariums; used in all of our holding tanks at Aquatic Arts
  • Completely natural; contains no chemicals or artificial materials; will not alter PH or hardness
  • Never needs to be replaced; instant and significant upgrade to almost any aquarium filter

Aquatic Arts FilterPlus Bio-Media is one of the most popular types of bio-media in the aquarium market. This aquarium media is not only 100 percent natural but also devoid of poisonous compounds, hazardous chemicals, and pollutants. It does not have any negative impact on aquarium water.

FilterPlus’s ultra-porous surface area is the secret to its superior Bio-Filtration capabilities.

Compared to standard Bio-Balls or ceramic rings, this provides a much higher surface area for each unit of volume.

It also outperforms traditional filter choices such as bio-balls and ceramic rings by a wide margin.

It may also sustain anaerobic bacteria, which is necessary for water quality control. Therefore, it will never need to be replaced. Consequently, these Bio-Filters save you from headaches while saving you a lot of money.

These media, with or without media bags, may be used with any filter. You may immediately place it into your filter’s media chambers. Its innovative structure allows it to be fitted with practically all types of filters, including hang-on and canister filters. It also functions wonderfully in the Bio-Filtration substrate.

This Biofiltration medium, the finest creation of aquarium arts, benefits about 150 holding tanks and 10,000 aquatic species.


  • In every sense, it is natural, with no additional chemicals.
  • There is no need for a replacement at any moment.
  • This enables more inventory to be carried.


  • Having the potential to get dusty at some time

What Is the Definition of Biological Filter Media?

A biological filter medium is a porous substance that is an inert home for a colony of helpful microorganisms.

Biological filtration is one of the most successful methods of aquatic life treatment because it eliminates hazardous compounds like ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in certain cases. It also aids in keeping the tank clean.

Which Biological Filter Media Is the Best?

All of these media have shown to be effective in thousands of aquariums. Which, however, is the best?

This is a difficult decision, but I’d have to go with the Seachem Matrix Bio Media. Despite my irritation at the rare non-pumice stone that makes its way into the container, it remains my first pick.

Why? Because it is constructed of carefully selected natural pumice, which serves as a habitat for nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. This not only keeps your water cleaner but also minimizes the number of water changes required to reduce nitrate. It’s also a natural product, unlike some of the others I’ve described.

What Is the Importance of Bacteria?

Fish produce waste as they digest the food that is fed to them. Ammonia is the main waste product we are most worried about. Ammonia, at any level, is extremely toxic to fish and other aquatic pets. That is why it must be eliminated from the fish tank water as soon as possible.

Fortunately, nature has supplied us with a method to accomplish this. It’s known as the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle in aquariums refers to the process by which ammonia is converted into nitrate. Nitrate is substantially less toxic than ammonia and is only dangerous at large concentrations. This is what we eliminate when we change the water.

However, certain media can maintain anaerobic bacteria that feed on nitrate. Anaerobic bacteria, as the name indicates, exist in oxygen-free settings. Therefore, we need a microporous bio substrate for these bacteria to survive and grow.

Because of the structure of these media, oxygen cannot enter the inside of the pellet or stone. This gives these unique bacteria with much-needed habitat.

These biological filter media are porous materials such as ceramic, pumice, glass, and others.

As with everything else you put in your aquarium, fully rinse it first. When fresh, biological filter media can be somewhat dusty.

What Is the Purpose of Bio Filter Media?

Have you ever cleaned your fish tank and noticed a slippery, slimy layer on everything?

That is a biofilm, or, more precisely, bacteria. These are our pals that remove ammonia and nitrite from the water.

The issue is that most of the material is gone and disturbed when you clean your tank. There is also limited space for germs to thrive on a flat surface. That is why bio medium is created with a large surface area for growth. It’s similar to folding a flat surface multiple times into a compact area.

We also increase the work these bacteria can accomplish by filtering the medium. Water from the fish tank is regularly cycled through the filter over the medium and microorganisms. This allows the bacteria unfettered access to all of the ammonia and nitrites.

Bio Media Types

Bio media are created from a range of components. These materials include ceramic, sintered glass, pumice stone, and plastic. While they are all different materials, each goal is to give as much surface area for bacteria as feasible.

Buying Guide for Biological Filter Media

Using a haphazard bio-filter medium may impair the condition of your fish tank. Here, I’ll take a quick tour of what to look for and the most important elements to consider when selecting the best biological filter medium.

If you keep these in mind, no salesperson will be able to trick you into buying their things, and you’ll soon become a logical customer.

The Bio-Surface Media’s Area

First, determine how much surface area it covers. More beneficial bacteria will be able to dwell on a larger surface area. However, the surface area is not determined by the size of the medium. It is the surface of the micropores found inside!


Bio-filter media comes in various shapes and sizes, including bio balls, bio stars, sponges, pads, rings, and gravel. What’s more, such materials are also employed in mechanical filter media. As a result, different materials provide varying levels of functionality and filtration.

According to experts, bio-balls, ceramic, and pads are ideal.


As we all know, high-quality things are always more expensive than low-quality products. This is correct, but not for all reasons; what you need is efficiency.

A costly biological filter may provide declining returns compared to the investment, whereas a low-cost solution may provide the greatest outcomes while saving you money.

Always search for quality and specs, then evaluate them against the price to see what you get. In this instance, you must use extreme caution.

Nature Bio-Media

The form of the bio-filter medium is quite important. Because of its high bulk density, most users prefer bio-filter media with round, oval, or spherical shapes. Large bio-balls are ideal for large tanks, while little bio-balls are recommended for smaller ones.

How Do I Install Bio Media in a Filter?

This level of filtering is simpler to set up than you would imagine. The first step is to select a filter media that you believe is suitable for your unique aquarium (I will provide the top 5 bio-media later). After that, you may select any of them).

Once you’ve purchased the media, all you have to do is open the filter and set the media where it belongs. Your filter largely determines this.

This is because there are several water filters, including hang-on back filters, canister filters, underwater filters, and others. Simply consult your device’s user manual or conduct a fast web search to locate the appropriate location. You’ll locate it quickly.

But there is one thing you should bear in mind: because bio-media is made up of bacteria colonies, you must ensure that they develop and thrive in your aquarium. Choose a bio-media that allows water to pass readily through it, and the colony will live longer and thrive in the environment.

What Is the Appropriate Amount of Biofilter Media?

Some manufacturers may not include recommendations on how much to use per gallon. One reason is that a single biofilter is often manufactured and marketed for a single filter.

To be honest, there is no hard and fast scientific formula for calculating biofiltration medium.

Every aquarium is unique because of variations in fish, invertebrate size, quantity, and food amount.

The case for nitrate reduction is also the same. If your manufacturer recommends a specific use rate, you should adhere to it. You can add more media later if necessary.

How Should I Use Biological Filter Media?

Place your bio media filter in the cleanest area of your filtering system.

If you do not initially pass the water through your mechanical filter, larger, heavier particles will collect in and on top of your biofilter. Your bio media filter will become clogged due to all the sludge and debris, such as solid fish waste and uneaten fish food.

When this occurs, many nitrite-friendly bacteria take over the bacterium that feeds on nitrate. This is harmful to your fish.

As a result, you should always ensure that the water passes through your mechanical filter first.

You may clean or replace the mechanical filter in this manner without upsetting the healthy bacteria in and on your biofilter.

If I use more than one type of biofilter media, how should I arrange them?

If you use a product that deals with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, you don’t need to use more than one type of bio-filter media. However, if you utilize something that doesn’t affect ammonia, you’ll need to add at least one other kind.

It doesn’t matter what order you set your bio media filter in this scenario……..

Using a canister koi filter, you can combine the loose bio filter material. The same holds for the use of filter bags. Just be cautious when combining two types of biofilter media since some (such as the Fluval)

Some BioMedia Bio Rings must be changed, while others do not. If one of your bio filter media has to be updated, but the other does not, it will be easier for you if you do not mix them.

Bio Media Cleaning and Replacement

The frequency with which you clean and replace your bio medium depends on your unique aquarium setup. Several manufacturers propose an abnormally short replacement interval to complicate matters further to sell more media.

You should only gently clean your bio medium when waste has accumulated on it. If you must rinse, just use water from the fish tank. Those beneficial bacteria will be killed by chlorinated tap water. Leave it alone if there is no obvious trash or buildup on the media.

In terms of replacing the media, this will only be necessary if the media begins to break down or becomes completely clogged with muck.

Don’t do it all at once when you decide to replace your old media. Instead, attempt to replace 13 to 12 percent of your media and wait a week or two before changing the remainder. It takes a little time for germs to colonize the new media. This ensures that there are still enough bacteria to filter your water while the new bacterium establishes itself.

How Often Should I Replace My Bio Filter Media?

Most bio-filter media do not need to be changed or replaced at all. As you can see from the three biofilter media we discussed above, all you have to do is rinse them.

If you use the Fluval BioMedia Bio Rings, you will need to replace part of them every 6 months. You may need to update them more often at times.

You need to update your bio filter media if you’re utilizing sintered glass, such as the EHEIM Substrat Pro. Even then, you should only replace them if the beads begin to break down. In a healthy tank, however, this should never happen.


It is entirely up to you to select the finest. Consider your requirements to choose which material is most suited to your aquarium. After all, what is beneficial for one individual may not be good for another.

However, one thing is certain: all of the bio-media described above have high-quality features that make them excellent in removing biological detritus.

Last update on 2022-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API