Best Aquarium Filter Media of 2022
Choosing the right media for the right job can alleviate a wide variety of common ailments. This includes the removal of foul odors, colorants, organic waste, heavy metals, medications, and a variety of chemical contaminants that may pollute the aquarium water. In addition, bio-media specifically will support a healthy biological foundation and bacterial balance.
For our Best of 2022 list, we evaluated customer reviews and chose the top-selling filter media across the most popular categories including carbon, GFO, biological, and specialty media. Every single selection has proven to be effective by our customers and is safe for use in saltwater reef aquariums so you can be confident your making the right choice for your tank.
Brightwell Aquatics Xport
Brightwell Aquatics Xport media is a one-of-a-kind biological filtration media that provides an extremely large amount of surface area. In fact, it is the most efficient bio-media on the market providing the best colonizable surface area to volume ratio.
The special material goes through a unique process that creates an incredibly complex system of pores. The media is lightweight but will not break down over time and never requires replacement. It can be placed anywhere in your filtration system where water is allowed to flow through the media and will help rapidly improve the nitrification process.
There are three different types of Xport media available, all of which provide that incredible surface area for efficient bio-filtration. The Xport-NO3 is enriched with sulfur to help with denitrification and the Xport-PO4 contains granular ferric oxide to absorb phosphate.
BRS Bulk Aquarium Carbon
Of course, we couldn't make a list of the best filter media without tooting our own horn. Even if we put our own bias aside, BRS Bulk Carbon is consistently among the best-selling SKUs on our website.
Why BRS Carbon? We take pride in sourcing the highest quality material at the best possible price and then pass those savings along to you. This means we can offer the best value without compromising performance.
Boyd Enterprises Chemi-Pure Blue
What makes Chemi-Pure special is the mixture of premium activated carbon and ion-exchange resins that will ultimately provide the most broad-spectrum absorption capabilities including phosphates and silicates! The high absorption rate of the media means you do not need to use a fluidized filter media reactor either, simply place the nylon media bag into any area of high flow.
Chemi-Pure Blue specifically is the most effective formula in the Chemi-Pure lineup of mixed media. It contains 0.8mm pelletized carbon which provides up to 30% more surface area and rinses clean very quickly. There are also two different organic scavenger resins that specifically target organic waste. Clarity and purity in a single media!
Purigen was one of the first synthetic resin media to be marketed to aquarists and provides a few benefits over traditional activated carbon.
- High organic removal capacity
- Helps control ammonia/nitrite/nitrate
- Color changes as it exhausts
- Does not require a fluidized media reactor
The resin regenerates with a 24-hour soak in a 1:1 solution of bleach and water. It can effectively be used over and over again without compromising its removal capacity ultimately saving you money. Purigen is designed to target nitrogenous organics and will not have a significant impact on metals or trace elements. This allows the media to absorb odors and yellowing colorants longer without becoming exhausted.
BRS Bulk GFO Granular Ferric Oxide
Excess phosphates in a saltwater aquarium are attributed to nuisance algae growth and can actually inhibit calcification and the growth of your corals. BRS Bulk GFO is granular ferric oxide granules used to remove and control excess phosphate. You can choose from two different types depending on the level of control your particular tank requires. Like all of our bulk media and additives, you get the best possible value without compromising quality.
- BRS Bulk GFO: The best value GFO on the market.
- BRS High-Capacity GFO: Holds twice as much phosphate compared to standard GFO.
GFO is best used inside of a fluidized media reactor which helps maximize contact time with the media. Phosphate levels need to be monitored closely and the GFO media does become exhausted over time so an accurate phosphate test kit is also highly recommended.
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