Differences between Seachem Matrix VS Lava Rock: Which Filter Bio Media is Better?

Both Seachem Matrix & Lava Rocks are bio media used for biologically cleaning aquarium or pond water. Check out the Comparison of Seachem Matrix VS Lava Rocks:

Filter Bio Media: Lava Rocks VS Seachem Matrix

  1. Seachem Matrix is more air than glass while Volcanic Rock is more rock than air. Seachem Matrix is more air because it holds more aerobic bacteria that wipes out ammonia & nitrates from the water. Seachem Matrix is a dense frame as opposed to a solid object because it provides more surface area for the growth of beneficial bacteria. However, Lava Rock contains heaps of pores, it is like a rock & more like a pock marked surface than a network of passages.
  2. Seachem Matrix offers internal areas where water movement is very less. The bacteria that grows over the surface consumes oxygen so inside the holes, anaerobic bacteria lives that filters water biologically by wiping out nitrates. Like Seachem Matrix, Lava Rocks can also wipe out nitrates due to its porous nature. However, Seachem Matrix is highly effective in filtration as it provides more surface area than any other bio media. The main advantage of Matrix is that it provides more internal surface area per litre that is very efficient for the removal of nitrates.
  3. Lava Rock is cheaper as compared to Seachem Matrix. However, Seachem Matrix provides more surface area than Lava Rock so it is more effective in filtering water than Lava Rock.
  4. Unlike Seachem Matrix, Lava Rock offers both biological & mechanical filtration. Half inch to three by four inch, Lava Rock is best for coarse mechanical filtration. You can place Lava Rocks directly at the bed of the fish tank or bowl. If water flow is higher in the region where you have placed Lava Rocks, then water will be efficiently filtered.
  5. One of the problems with Lava Rock is that it could scratch your fish if you add it directly to the fish tank instead of adding it to the filter. If you have delicate fins or barbells like Betta or Cory Catfish, then it is recommended to place Lava Rock out of the way or partially cover the Lava Rock with something smoother.

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