Aquarium Filtration Media

Filters are essential for the health of your aquarium. They keep the nitrogen cycle going and help keep your tank inhabitants healthy.

Filter media is anything placed in a filter that changes the quality of water flowing through it. With the variety of media available, specific types can be chosen to create the optimum environment in your aquarium. The three types of filter media are:

  • Mechanical
  • Biological
  • Chemical

All three types are recommended, but an aquarium needs to have biological and mechanical filters at minimum. Components of these media types can be incorporated into the same filter.

The three types of filtration utilise three different types of media to perform their functions. Mechanical filter media should be placed first before the biological and chemical filter media. Mechanical media is intended to remove the larger particles, thus eliminating clogging in other areas of the filter. Placing it first in line allows much of the debris to be captured before reaching other filter media. Types of mechanical filtration media include; filter wool or floss, bonded pads, and sponges. While some of these can serve a dual purpose as biological media, it is important to remember that mechanical filter media has to be replaced frequently to be effective.