Why are Plastic Bio Balls Better than Ceramic Rings? Benefits / Pros & Cons of bio Balls VS Ceramic Rings?

Open structure pattern of a plastic bio ball let's colonize beneficial bacteria on its surface.

Upon splitting of a plastic bio ball, you will find a sponge that can increase the surface area so more good bacteria will cling to it.

We know that sponge filters are popular filter media for cleaning toxic chemicals in the water. There is no biological media inside the sponge filters but still they can perform efficient biological filtration. Good bacteria need a surface for growth & sponges offer lots of surface area. Another use of sponge filters is that they also trap physical waste particles & other debris in the water.

Benefits of Bio Balls VS Ceramic Rings:

Bio balls can only hold nitrifying bacteria so it can only consume ammonia & nitrites while leaving nitrates. Ceramic rings hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria. So ceramic rings can consume nitrates too. It makes it obvious that ceramic rings are better than plastic bio balls but bio balls have a few advantages over ceramic rings such as their open structure pattern & a sponge inside the ball increases the surface area for holding more good bacteria, so they clean dirty water quickly & efficiently than ceramic rings.

Another advantage of plastic bio balls over ceramic rings is that you can clean them. Just open the plastic bio ball & rinse the sponge with aquarium water. So, plastic bio balls do not need replacement & can work for a lifetime but ceramic rings over time need replacement. Ceramic rings have many little holes that hold good bacteria, but little particles can stick in the holes & can permanently clog them.


Pros of Bio Balls:

  1. Holds heaps of good bacteria which makes them efficient in biological filtration
  2. Easy to clean
  3. Do not need replacement


Cons of Bio Balls:

  1. Can only hold nitrifying bacteria
  2. Usually large in size so they can fit in large filters
  3. Need regular maintenance to protect them from dirt or waste particles


Pros of Ceramic Rings:

  1. Can hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria
  2. Efficient in cleaning of all types of impurities
  3. Large surface area will let more bacteria to cling to it
  4. Small in size so they can be installed in small filters as well as large filters


Cons of Ceramic Rings:

  1. Dirt or waste particles clog ceramic rings
  2. As the holes get clogged, then they will affect biological filtration
  3. Overtime needs replacement

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