Aquarium Filter Media

The single most important factor in successful fish keeping is water quality. Fish and other livestock, including invertebrates and plants, are captives in a tank environment so it is imperative that keepers accept the responsibility to ensure that that environment is clean, healthy and free of disease and disease-causing situations. Most new keepers, and some seasoned keepers as well, are unaware of how quickly ammonia can pollute an entire tank and kill fish within hours. Everything can look great but within a short span of time, everything is dead. This is why aquarium filter media is so important. Some of the most common types of aquarium filter media are carbon, ceramic media, biological media rings, and resins.

With the wealth of information, equipment and products available today, fish keeping should be easier and more successful than ever, but, unfortunately, too often keepers ignore the basic rules and face problems. Equipment and products may come and go, but the science of maintaining a clean, disease-free environment never changes.

 Filtration is critical to water quality. A filter is a compact unit packed full of high surface area media where millions of beneficial organisms flourish. As the aquarium water, filled with fish waste and other debris, passes through the filter these organisms ‘consume’ the wastes, thus eliminating the pollutants that could eventually kill the fish. The market is saturated with filters of all types and choosing which type is right for you is an important decision. The first rule of fish keeping is – understand the Nitrogen Cycle. The second rule is – buy the best filter you can afford. Every single time your tank has water quality problems, the solutions are associated with these two rules.

Media Filtration Types

There are a variety of different filter types, but only three different types of filtration. Chemical, mechanical, and biological all do a singular job of leading to an aquarium with clean water. However, combining different types of filtration allows for a more effective water treatment, leading to clean, healthy water for your fish and plant in habitants.

-Chemical filtration is a process by which additives remove dissolved wastes from the water. The most common method for chemical filtration uses activated carbon. Carbon absorbs harmful chemicals, organic compounds, metals and proteins, while leaving water sparkling clean without odors or unnatural colors. Carbon is a great choice for your aquarium filter media that would be a great accompaniment to your aquarium filter. Chemical Filtration also allows space to accommodate other carbon, resins, phosphate removers, etc.

-Mechanical filtration utilizes a piece of machinery that removes solid particles from the aquarium water by circulating it and straining. Purchasing a box or canister filtration can help you with your water filtration, but mechanical filtration on its own is not sufficient as it does not remove or convert ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite in the water. Combining it with a filter media material will allow free-floating waste to be removed before it decays while also breaking down contaminants in the water.

-Biological Filtration has active surfaces for reducing ammonia and nitrite, is easy to clean, and economical to use. For the beneficial and helpful bacteria to thrive, oxygen-rich water is needed, as well as a surface that bacteria can attach to, such as rocks or sand. Biological filtration is the process where beneficial bacteria (nitrifying) break down ammonia and nitrite and transform them into compound nitrate, which is much less toxic. All aquariums should have a form of biological filtration, such as pumice rock or media rings, and with very small fish populations, this would be sufficient for a healthy aquarium. However, in most aquariums, biological filtration will be just one method that is combined with others.

Filter Media Bulk Options

There is a range of filter media that you can purchase for your aquarium filter. Some of the most common types of filter media are carbon, ceramic media, biological media rings, and resins. Carbon allows some organic and inorganic materials to stick to its microscopic spores and removes many harmful elements from your aquarium. Aquarium filter media comes in different forms and can be purchased for different stages of filtration. Purchasing filtration media in bulk allows for filtration to always be on hand instead of having to buy it more frequently. It is also a good idea to purchase filtration media in bulk as a more economical option.

Researching the best filter for your aquarium as well as the best media for it will result in a clear and clean water and a healthy environment for your fish and/or shrimp. We offer various types of media, from pumice to filter sponges to carbon and seeded media rings, as well as a wide variety of filters such as canister filters (internal and external), box filters, corner filters, and sponge filters, as well as media bags to place your media in and put inside of your filter.