Best aquarium bio media for Hang on Back HOB and Canister filters:

No matter what aquarium filter you are using, it has two important functions: mechanical & biological filtration. Chemical filtration is not necessary. For mechanical filtration, foams or sponges can be used. For biological filtration, mostly bio media is used. Foams or sponges can also offer biological filtration because they provide surface for the development of good bacteria. Bio media on the other hand are porous therefore, they allow useful bacteria to spread over the surface, & bacteria grows inside the tiny pores too. Hence, they offer more space for colonizing useful bacteria.

Many types of bio media are available in the market. Some bio media are very porous hence; they are very effective in filtration because of the large surface they offer for the growth of good bacteria. When it comes to choosing bio media for filters, aquarists usually have different requirements. Some aquarists are looking for the best budget bio media while others need premium bio media that are expensive but very efficient in cleaning water. Hence finding the best bio media depends on the requirements of aquarists.

It is important to consider the type of filter you are using for holding bio media. Aquarists use different types of filters such as submersible, hang on back, & canister filters. Submersible filters are located inside aquarium water, & often hobbyists use sponges or foams in this filter for both mechanical & biological filtration. Modern internal filters also contain bio media. Submersible filters take up space inside aquariums so their sizes are usually small therefore these filters usually have smaller baskets for holding bio media compared to external HOB & Canister filters. Large storage of bio media in filters will ensure water is clear because they wipe out heaps of toxic chemicals.

External filters are located outside aquariums. These filters are large because they do not take space inside aquariums. Hang on Back & Canister filters are the best external filters. Best bio media for aquarium filters depends on the filter type & aquarium setup.

Whatever filter you have, Canister or HOB, you will find the top bio media for your filter in this article.


AquaClear 20 BioMax Filter Media:

  • Type of filtration media: Ceramic biological rings
  • Approx. Size: Mesh bag 3.5 (length) x 2.4 (width) x 1.97 (height) inches
  • Best bio media for: Hang on Back filter

AquaClear 20 BioMax bio media are developed for AquaClear 20 HOB filters. Due to the small size of the filter media, they can be easily installed inside small Hang on Back filters. However, if you want to setup this bio media in a large HOB filter, then you can choose from the appropriate sizes suitable for 30, 50, 70, & 110 gallons of fish tank.

Though many hobbyists say that AquaClear 20 BioMax bio media works great when it comes to filtering water but these small size bio media are not suitable for large filters, therefore it is recommended to select bigger sizes for larger HOB filters.

Due to the mesh media bag, it is very simple to handle bio media when cleaning or replacing them because they cause little mess. The rough & porous structure of the media allows heaps of good bacteria to spread over the media therefore; they are very effective in cleaning toxic water.

Best bio media for Canister filter: Seachem Matrix
Best bio media for Canister filter: Seachem Matrix

Seachem Matrix Bio Media:

  • Type of filtration media: pumice stone
  • Approx. Size: Each stone has a diameter of around 0.4 inches
  • Best bio media for: Canister Filter

Seachem Matrix is the best bio media for Canister filters. Matrix can efficiently work in other filters too. Matrix is inert & inorganic, & each piece has a diameter of around 0.4 inches therefore it is suitable for smaller filters as well.

Seachem Matrix is very porous, & it is capable of wiping out ammonia, nitrites & nitrates. Matrix can significantly drop the levels of ammonia in the water, but for removal of nitrates, Matrix must be used in mass amounts for lowering significant levels of nitrates.

Seachem Matrix is natural & inert; therefore, it does not have an effect on water pH.

According to many reviewers, Seachem Matrix can quickly clean aquarium water.

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