- Updated Apr 20, 2020
- Writen by Editorial Staff
- Table of Contents
10 Best Filter Media 2020 – Chemical, Biological, Mechanical
- Updated Mar 17, 2020
- Writen by Editorial Staff
- Table of Contents
Whether it is the mechanical, chemical or biological, you can only keep the aquarium water in the best quality if you have installed the best filter media.
Technically, your filter needs all three medias to ensure optimal filtration. They all are meant to do their dedicated work differently.
If mechanical prevent large particles then chemical is responsible to remove ammonia and biological is for restoring the healthy bacteria that can keep the water a healthy environment for fish to thrive.
Well, this review will give you options in all three medias. Without further ado, let’s get to business.
- 10 Best Filter Media – Reviews
- 1. CNZ CNZCBR – Best Overall Filter Media Kit
- 2. Marineland PA0392 – Value of Money Filter Media
- 3. Fluval A1456 – Highly Efficient Biological Filter Media
- 4. Marinaland PA0373 – Most-Compatible Filter Media
- 5. Aquaneat BH-A804 – Filter Media in High Capacity
- 6. Biohome Ultimate Filter Media – Best Saltwater Aquarium Filter Media
- 7. Aqua-Flo 6X72EPG – Standard Filter Media
- 8. Aquatic Experts Filter Media – Dual Density Media Roll
- 9. AquaClear Biomax Filter Media – Filter Media with High Water Treating Capacity
- 10. Seachem 116011709 – High Porous Filter Media
- How to Buy the Best Filter Media
10 Best Filter Media – Reviews
1. CNZ CNZCBR (Best Overall Filter Media Kit)
2. Marineland PA0392 (Value of Money Filter Media)
3. Fluval A1456 (Highly Efficient Biological Filter Media)
4. Marinaland PA0373 (Most-Compatible Filter Media)
5. Aquaneat BH-A804 (Filter Media in High Capacity)
6. Biohome Ultimate Filter Media (Best Saltwater Aquarium Filter Media)
7. Aqua-Flo 6X72EPG (Standard Filter Media)
8. Aquatic Experts Filter Media (Dual Density Media Roll)
9. AquaClear Biomax Filter Media (Filter Media with High Water Treating Capacity)
10. Seachem 116011709 (High Porous Filter Media)
1. CNZ CNZCBR
(Best Overall Filter Media Kit)
2. Marineland PA0392
(Value of Money Filter Media)
3. Fluval A1456
(Highly Efficient Biological Filter Media)
4. Marinaland PA0373
(Most-Compatible Filter Media)
5. Aquaneat BH-A804
(Filter Media in High Capacity)
6. Biohome Ultimate Filter Media
(Best Saltwater Aquarium Filter Media)
7. Aqua-Flo 6X72EPG
(Standard Filter Media)
8. Aquatic Experts Filter Media
(Dual Density Media Roll)
9. AquaClear Biomax Filter Media
(Filter Media with High Water Treating Capacity)
10. Seachem 116011709
(High Porous Filter Media)
1. CNZ CNZCBR – Best Overall Filter Media Kit
- Type: Chemical, Biological
- Package: 16 ounces, 17 ounces, 50 pieces
So, the CNZCBR is a media kit that consist of 16-ounces of activated carbon, 17-ounces of ceramic rings, and 50-pieces bio-balls. This is a perfect product available on a very decent price that helps with chemical and biological filtration process.
The components are great in removing odor, color, and organic pollutants. You can also expect efficient elimination of toxic compounds and medications from the water.
The ceramic rings are extremely porous and withdraws the substantial dirt from the water. The components also help in increasing dissolved oxygen levels.
Lastly, the bio-balls are very effective in storing the good bacterial inside the pool that helps in thriving of the fishes. It is one of the best aquarium filter media kit that you can consider for purchase.
The only bump in the road is that the activated carbon needs some washing before you can place it inside the filter.
2. Marineland PA0392 – Value of Money Filter Media
- Type: Chemical
- Package: 50 ounces
This product is certainly the best value of money as it is available in high capacity of 50-ounces and available at the most affordable price.
The chemical filter media is primarily formulated with Clinoptilolite Zeolite and black diamond premium activated carbon. The black diamond carbon is actually a heat-treated bituminous coal-based carbon.
It very efficiently eliminates ammonia in the water. It also removed organic waste and odor. There are neutralizing crystals which makes it a dedicated product for freshwater aquariums. This is one of the best freshwater aquarium filters media that you can find online.
It should not be inhaled at any cost so you might have to take measures for that.
3. Fluval A1456 – Highly Efficient Biological Filter Media
- Type: Biological
- Package: 17.63 ounces
This biological media is a highly efficient product and comes in the form of ceramic rings that have more capacity and allow optimal water movement throughout the media. It does not change the characteristics of the water but only store the healthy bacteria.
The product is available on a highly affordable price, making it one of the cheapest aquarium filter medias that will not rip you off your money.
The best thing about this product is that the media is very durable. It does not need frequent changing and you will only have to take it out after few months and wash it. This way, the media will last for a long time.
The product is suitable for freshwater and marine environments. Because it keeps the healthy bacteria, the quality of water remains decent. However, it does make the water a bit cloudy.
4. Marinaland PA0373 – Most-Compatible Filter Media
- Type: Chemical
- Package: 40 ounces
The best thing about this product is that it is compatible with any filter model that you might have in your aquarium. It is easy to install.
It is available in high capacity of 40 ounces which means that it will stick around longer than other products.
Another good thing about this product is that it is compatible with freshwater as well as saltwater.
The media don’t just eliminate ammonia but it is also great in removing discoloration and odor from the water.
It is formulated with Black Diamond media premium activated carbon that is basically heat-treated carbon that helps in maintaining water crystal clean.
There is a drawback of this product that the carbon falls down on the bottom of the tank. You will have to clean the aquarium periodically.
5. Aquaneat BH-A804 – Filter Media in High Capacity
- Type: Biological
- Package: 500 pieces
So, this biological filter media is available in high capacity of 500 pieces. You can expect to use it for long time.
Another good thing about this product is that it is highly versatile. It is suitable to be used for freshwater and saltwater. It is compatible with canister filter and HOB filter.
It is a highly porous product and will store the good bacteria in a highly efficient way. Also, this product is rich in tourmaline that emits FAR infrared rays to help in quick dissolving of oxygen in the water.
It comes in a reusable bag where you can store the bio balls for future usage. The downside is that this product is a bit on pricier side.
6. Biohome Ultimate Filter Media – Best Saltwater Aquarium Filter Media
- Type: Biological
- Package: 16 ounces
From Biohome, this is the best saltwater aquarium filter media as it is a dedicated product. It is It nitrify aerobic and denitrify anaerobic bacteria to grow effectively.
Unlike many other biological medias that don’t change the characteristics of water, this one also helps in controlling ammonia and keep the nitrate levels of water on a decent count.
This product is helpful in preventing discoloration of water and make it completely odorless. Of course, it helps the growth of beneficial bacteria that in return keep the water environment healthy for the fishes.
If you are worried that whether or not the media will be compatible with your filter then don’t be because this particular media is suitable for canister, HOB, and sump filters. You may have any filter model installed in the aquarium; this product will be highly suitable.
Now, the problem falls on the high cost of the product as it is the most expensive product on the list.
7. Aqua-Flo 6X72EPG – Standard Filter Media
- Type: Mechanical
If your requirements from a filter media are meagre then you can consider this mechanical product to capture large components and small particles from the water.
This product is made of 100% polyester and has white side in coarse construction while the green side has finer making that restrict the small particles to the best of its capability.
While the media is firm, you can still cut it with scissors and fit according to the size of your filter. There are no chemicals used in the construction of this product so it is completely safe to use inside the water.
Also, this product is equally suitable for saltwater and freshwater aquariums. It is a decent product however the durability of this material is a bit questionable.
8. Aquatic Experts Filter Media – Dual Density Media Roll
- Type: Mechanical
This product from Aquatic Experts is a highly dependable mechanical media that comes with dual density. The dual action polyfilter pad has an open weave side which helps in trapping the uneaten food, detritus, decaying plants, and other large particles.
The fine side is great for capturing organic particles in the water. The filter floss pad is made of durable polyester fibres that are bonded with special resins to increase the overall strength of the product. The media can be used for superior filtration.
It is environment friendly and will not hamper the health of your fishes. Also, this product is suitable for saltwater and freshwater aquariums.
While the foam is pretty rigid, you can still cut to fit it to size. You might find it difficult to cut. Also, the product is more on expensive side than other mechanical products like the Aqua-Flo 6X72EPG filter media.
9. AquaClear Biomax Filter Media – Filter Media with High Water Treating Capacity
- Type: Biological
- Package: 13.8 ounces
Well, the 13.8-ounces package is able to treat 110-gallons of water which perfectly defines the high water treating capacity of this product. Not just the performance but price of this product is also decent.
The biological media is able to reduce the ammonia and nitrate levels of water. The product is installed inside the filter and rest of the work is handled by the media.
Although, it does cloud the water a little bit and the balls are not highly porous.
10. Seachem 116011709 – High Porous Filter Media
- Type: Biological
- Package: 3.5 ounces
The quality of these biological balls is that they are highly porous which will increase the efficiency of the product. This media will help in reducing the nitrate and ammonia levels in the water.
Also, it is a suitable product for freshwater, marine and reef aquaria. Therefore, you can confidently install it to your filter.
Now, another quality of this product is that it is naturally mined and does not have any harsh chemicals in it that can affect the growth or health of your fishes.
With everything else fine with this product, the small package of 3.5-ounces is definitely a kink in the road. Also, as compared to the quantity, this product is priced higher.
How to Buy the Best Filter Media
The aquarium’s filtration process largely depends on the quality of filter media being used. This section of filter media review will cover all the essential points of evaluation criteria.
1. Type of Filter Media
Other than just being the types, these varieties also make a hierarchy of medias used in the filter to provide maximum effectiveness.
As a user, you need to know that a filter requires all the three varieties of filter media. For replacement or installation purpose, these are the different types that you can purchase online.
Mechanical Filter Media
Our goal is not just to tell you about the different types but also the way these medias are installed in a filter.
From the side where water enters the filter, first it come in contact with the mechanical media. Most of these products comprise of two layers.
There is a coarse layer where all the substantial dirt like leaves of aquatic plants, food waste, and fish waste is collected. The openings of this layer are wider than the other layer and it sets a trap for the floating substantial dirt.
The second layer is finer and it captures the particles, the smaller ones that runs through the first mechanical layer.
The coarse side of mechanical media is towards the side from where water rushes inside the filter. The water goes through coarse layer first and then make contact with the finer media.
These medias are available in different porosities. Your task is to find a suitable media that does not let any substantial dirt and particles flow through it.
Also, this layer traps the particles and it need frequent cleaning and changing. These are usually made of polyester fibres.
Chemical Filter Media
The purpose of an aquarium isn’t just to capture the bigger particles but the water becomes contaminated as the ammonia level increases. You need to make sure that water is cleansed effectively and be a fitting environment for fish to live.
This is where chemical filter media comes in use. It is the second media installed between mechanical and biological media.
The task is to lower the ammonic level of water. Some of the most common examples of chemical filter media is activated carbon and other varieties of absorbents.
One of the best chemical filter media you can find online is the Marinaland PA0373 filter media as it is made with heat-activated bituminous coal-based carbon.
Biological Filter Media
This is basically the inner-most media installed in a filter. This media deals with the cleanest water so it last for the longest time, without needing to be changed frequently.
The media is basically used to restore the good bacteria. Every time when the water rushes through the filter, all the healthy bacteria is saved in this layer.
It oxidizes the water and helps in neutralizing the ammonia levels. Also, it makes sure that the pH level of water remains unchanged.
Since the purpose of these medias is different, you need to recognize your motive of the purchase of best aquarium filtration media to make resourceful purchase.
You need to catch substantial and large particles, go with mechanical media. You want to maintain the pH level of water and remove ammonia then select the chemical media. Finally, if you want to retain good bacteria in water for healthy growth of fishes then choose biological media.
2. Aquarium Capacity
Well, one thing is for sure that quantity that works for a 15-gallons tank cannot serve a 50-gallons tank, is it?
You surely need to pay attention to the aquarium capacity while selecting media. With all the products, you get information on how much water a particular media will be able to clean.
For example, the AquaClear Biomax filter media is available in 13.8-ounce of package quantity and it is able to clear 110-gallons of aquarium water.
With respect to the capacity of your aquarium, you should pick a product so that the results are effective.
3. Easy to Use
Whether you have to install the media or take it out for cleaning, one thing that every user will appreciate is easy to use. Make sure that the usage of media is simple and you won’t have to check hundreds of videos, finding your way through it.
Without a doubt, the mechanical media is high in maintenance because it captures the bigger elements floating in the water. The mechanical media has to be cleaned frequently.
The other two medias, chemical and biological are least demanding. However, you might have to clean the best biological filter media once in a while with dechlorinated water.
The efficiency of a media filter is very important because otherwise, it will not be worth your money. For the mechanical media, you can ensure efficiency with the high-quality fine layer.
Identically, the biological media that is more porous is better in efficiency. Plus, as far as the chemical media is concerned, if it is heat-treated carbon then you can expect some good results from it.
There are a lot of specifics to find the best filter media and you should be watchful about all the details.
So, the one product that is fulfilling in all types is the CNZ CNZCBR filter media because it is not just a single product but a complete kit that consist of chemical and biological media. It is amazing in quality and available on very decent price, considering the quantity of each bag.
If you want a product that is compatible with any or every filter is the Marineland PA0373 filter media as it can fit any filter that you may have for fish aquarium.
That said, the product here specializes in something or the else. Make sure to read the specifics and shop smartly.