A filter is an indispensable device in every aquarium. This device helps you maintain a clean and healthy living environment for the organisms in the aquarium.
And playing an important role in that process is the best filter media. You will have to change the filter media after a while to make sure the jar works best and does not cause any pollution.
There are many types of media filters available today and you may be completely out of luck. So we have compiled a list of the best products on the market (according to our objective assessment).
This article will include a list of the best filter media for freshwater, along with some other information.
- What Are The Common Types of Filter Media?
- Top 7 Best Filter Media For Freshwater Aquarium Review 2020
- #1 Biohome Ultimate Filter Media (Best Quality)
- #2 Fluval External Power Filter Pre-Filter Media (Best Rated)
- #3 Seachem Matrix Biological Media (Best Effect)
- #4 Aquatic Experts Aquarium Filter Pad (Best Budget)
- #5 BrightWater Bio Media Ceramic Sphere (Best Features)
- #6 Aqua-Flo 12″ Pond & Aquarium Filter Media
- #7 CNZ Aquarium Filter Media Kits
- How Often Should I Replace Freshwater Aquarium Filter Media?
- Final Verdict
What Are The Common Types of Filter Media?
Just like a filter has many different types, the filter media is as diverse. Therefore, you should know the most common types of filter media so you can choose the ones that fit your filter.
Here are the three most common types of media filters available today.
#1 Mechanical media
The mechanical media is often the first stage in the aquarium filtration process. This phase will remove debris, solid waste. These will be retained while the water will pass through the next filtration stage.
The mechanical media is usually a piece of mesh or any material that can serve as a barrier to debris. The main task of this media filter is to ensure that the debris cannot pass to the subsequent filtering stage.
This is also the filter media that many people buy the most because it is a basic stage and indispensable in every filter. It is usually cheap and can be purchased easily. Many people can even make their own mechanical filters.
#2 Chemical media
This is the phase of eliminating chemicals and odors that you don’t see like ammonia. Without this stage, the water in the aquarium will become very polluted quickly and the fish may get sick.
The activated carbon is the most commonly used media. It has the ability to effectively remove odors and is also an economical option.
#3 Biological media
This is the most special type of media filter of all. It is responsible for providing beneficial bacteria to the aquarium, helping to prevent the damage caused by certain substances.
Biological media ensures a healthy living environment with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria are involved in the removal of nitrates in the water, blocking the dangers that this substance may pose to the plants in the tank.
Many people are very interested in this media filer and they always want to provide good bacteria for their aquarium. And that’s why biological media is the one with the most products.
Top 7 Best Filter Media For Freshwater Aquarium Review 2020
#1 Biohome Ultimate Filter Media (Best Quality)
Opening this list is a biological media from Biohome. This is one of the most comprehensive media filters we have found. And you can trust the quality of this product.
You can use this product freely for 20 to 30 gallons of water. If you have a small aquarium, it is great that you can use this filter for a long time.
It can work with any filter, from canister, HOB to sump filters. So you don’t have to worry about choosing and researching a product that works well with your freshwater aquarium.
This filter media maximizes the growth of beneficial bacteria. So it contributes to creating a healthy and clean living environment for the tank creatures.
It also effectively removes ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
#2 Fluval External Power Filter Pre-Filter Media (Best Rated)
We cannot miss Fluval on any aquarium-related list. And this filter media from Fuval will definitely not disappoint us. This is one of the highest rated media filters on the market. And in particular, it can be reused after cleaning.
Unlike other media filters, this product has a unique hexagon. This shape will create a solid structure like a fence wall to prevent debris. Solid waste cannot break through this wall either.
These hexagonal blocks are also the ideal hiding place for beneficial bacteria. It will nourish and maintain these beneficial bacteria to supply the aquarium. And this product can also remove ammonia and nitrite.
#3 Seachem Matrix Biological Media (Best Effect)
Seachem always knows how to satisfy customers with quality products and extremely effective. Not only is this manufacturer well known for the water clarifier, this biological media is also highly appreciated.
This product comes with a 2L bottle, enough for 20 gallons of water for your freshwater aquarium. In particular, it comes with a detailed dosage guide from the manufacturer so you can use the right dose for your aquarium size.
This biological filter supports denitrifying bacteria thrive. It ensures the organisms in the aquarium live in a healthier and cleaner environment. It also does not affect the pH of the water or contain any harmful chemicals.
It may change shape or color after a period of use as it is organic. However, this small change will not affect its performance.
#4 Aquatic Experts Aquarium Filter Pad (Best Budget)
Aquatic Experts, just as the name always knows, what a freshwater aquarium needs and then they provide great solutions for it. And this product is the best mechanical media we highly recommend for you.
This product has received an absolute rating from users. It provides the ideal filter layer to prevent debris in the water.
It consists of an open fiber layer to prevent large debris, aquatic plants or fish leftovers. And then there’s a denser texture to block the finer particles as they pass through the first layer.
So it is highly appreciated for its ability to minimize solid waste and debris, including the smallest.
The plus point of this product is that it comes with a pad. You can cut it to any size that fits your filter. It will save you more than investing in a separate integrated mechanical media with each type of filter.
#5 BrightWater Bio Media Ceramic Sphere (Best Features)
This is filter media with many good features that will satisfy you. This product also received a lot of reviews on Amazon and you can refer to the reviews from them.
This device is not only capable of removing ammonia, nitrate and other harmful substances but also can exchange ions in water. This ion exchange helps stimulate the appetite of the fish, thereby helping them grow stronger.
Not only that, the ion exchange also helps promote more active fish, helping them become healthier. This is one of the features that few biological filters have.
The design with pores makes it easier for water to flow through while retaining the best filtering effect of the media. They are also made of materials that do not peel easily, so you can use them for a long time.
This material also does not cause any dust in the water in the aquarium. And you can use it for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
#6 Aqua-Flo 12″ Pond & Aquarium Filter Media
This is a mechanical media from an old manufacturer – Aqua Flo. This manufacturer has supplied a lot of aquarium equipment to many households. And this product is also one of the widely used products for a long time.
This product uses safe ingredients to make it, absolutely does not contain any chemicals. Therefore, it does not affect the health of the organisms in the aquarium.
This filter media consists of two layers, one is white and one is green. The white layer plays a role in preventing large debris or solid waste. The green layer prevents the finer particles from entering the next filtration stage.
This product is a big piece, comes with a roll so you can cut it to any shape, as long as it fits your filter. Its structure is also stronger than other mechanical media.
You can use it for freshwater aquariums or any other saltwater or reef aquarium.
#7 CNZ Aquarium Filter Media Kits
This product includes all the media you need for a filter. So it is ideal for those who do not have much experience choosing filter media for aquarium. It is also a safe choice for those who cannot make decisions in a multitude of products on the market.
This product includes activated carbon to eliminate unpleasant odors as well as ammonia in the water. Activated carbon can also filter out other impurities and some dirt.
It also includes ceramic rings for mechanical filtration. These ceramic rings will prevent debris and solid waste and form a solid wall.
Besides, it also has bio balls that serve to provide beneficial bacteria and minimize substances harmful to the health of the organisms in the aquarium.
This product does not use any chemicals to clean the aquarium, so you can be assured when using it. You can use it with any aquarium other than a freshwater aquarium.
How Often Should I Replace Freshwater Aquarium Filter Media?
This is a question that many people want to find the answer for themselves. They are mostly people who don’t have much experience and are out of place for what they need and should do for aquariums.
The ideal time to replace a media filter is every week. And if you have more time, you can change them three times a week. Because they are constantly in contact with waste, dirt and other impurities, it is easy to create harmful bacteria if not cleaned or replaced.
And if these media filter is not replaced or cleaned regularly, it will not work best.
You should also keep in mind that different media filer types will also have different timing and replacement levels. For example, activated carbon needs to be replaced regularly because they cannot be cleaned on their own.
For mechanical media, you can use it longer even if it’s deformed. If you still find it good at filtering out debris, it means you are not too necessary to replace it.
And for biological media, you need to know how to replace it properly. The way to replace this type of media is not the same as the other two so you need to pay a little attention.
Because beneficial organisms exist and grow in biological media, you cannot completely replace them. That means you will take more time to regenerate them.
So the most ideal way to replace a biological media is to only replace part of it. This means that you should only replace half or one-third of that amount at a time. This ensures beneficial bacteria are not completely removed and shortens their regeneration period.
The above is what we can provide for you. According to this review, Fluval External Power Filter Pre-Filter Media is our highest rating. Besides, Aquatic Experts Aquarium Filter Pad is also a good choice.
If you are not happy with the products we have introduced, you can find other products on Amazon. You should also consult reviews from previous customers to be able to choose the best filter media for freshwater aquarium.
Each filter for freshwater aquarium does not necessarily have all three filter media types. The two most basic types should be mechanical media and biological media. If there are three types of filter media, the better the filter quality.