Types of Filter Media for Aquariums Featured

To get the most out of your aquarium filtration system, take the time to learn about the various types of filter media available so you can decide which type is best for your fish tank.

When it comes to maintaining high water quality in your tank, nothing is as important as having a good filtration system in place. In order to achieve good filtration you not only need to think about equipping your tank with a quality filter but you also have to think about what kind of filter media you intend to use. There are many different kinds of filter media available and each of them serves a unique purpose. To get the most out of your filtration system, take the time to learn about the various types of filter media available so you can decide which type is best for your tank.

activated-carbon Activated carbon

Another name for chemical filter media is chemically-active filter media and there are several types which fall into this category. The most common type of filter media that provides chemical filtration is activated carbon. This type of filter media comes in resin or pellet form and it helps to remove dissolved organic compounds and toxins from tank water, helping to improve water quality. Coral sand is another type of chemical filter media and it is most commonly used in saltwater tanks. This type of filter media can provide biological filtration as well as chemical filtration, especially when used with an undergravel filter.

Mechanical Filter Media

This type of filter media serves the purpose of physically removing solid wastes from tank water. The wastes mechanical filter media might remove include uneaten fish food, decaying plant matter, fish feces and other forms of organic debris. The most commonly used kind of mechanical filter media is a sponge. Filter sponges are often made of filter wool which strains out solid substances – the sponge may also act as a container for chemical filter media like activated carbon. In the case of undergravel filters, the gravel in the tank serves the role of providing mechanical filtration as well – it also serves as a biological filter.

Biological Filter Media

EcoBio-Pebbles work great as a filter media. EcoBio-Pebbles work great as a filter media.

This type of filter media is not necessarily something you add to your tank filter – it is simply a surface on which beneficial bacteria can grow. Beneficial bacteria are incredibly important for the health of the freshwater tank because they maintain the nitrogen cycle through which organic wastes are broken down. Though beneficial bacteria are likely to grow on their own in the substrate of your tank, as well as on tank surfaces, there are several types of filter media that can also be used to promote healthy biological filtration. Ceramic tubes, plastic balls and foam sheets are some of the most commonly used types of biological filtration and they can be used in conjunction with various types of filters. Ceramic rings are often used in wet/dry filters and plastic balls can be added to canister filters. A sponge block or insert can be incorporated into almost any type of filter.

In addition to choosing the right filter media for your tank, you might also want to consider adding an EcoBio-Stone to improve water quality. EcoBio-Stones are infused with live beneficial bacteria colonies as well as the nutrients they need to multiply and maintain the nitrogen cycle in your tank. Once the nitrogen cycle has been established, the EcoBio-Stone will work with your aquarium filter to help keep your tank water clean and clear. Another option is to add some EcoBio-Pebbles directly to your filter. If you have a canister filter or an extra compartment in your power filter to add your own filter media, EcoBio-Pebbles are a great option. These pebbles serve the same purpose as EcoBio-Stones, helping to support the nitrogen cycle in your tank.

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