Which filter bio media house both nitrifying (aerobic) and denitrifying (anaerobic) bacteria?

Fish poop is very dangerous for aquatic inhabitants as it can cause ammonia spike, which can make your fish ill, & even kill them. Good bacteria also known as nitrifying bacteria is necessary for breaking down ammonia into lower toxic nitrates.

Bio media houses heaps of good bacteria. Nitrifying bacteria is beneficial for aquatic life as it wipes out ammonia & nitrites. Denitrifying bacteria can even remove nitrates from the water. Denitrifying bacteria grows in oxygen less places such as inside the pores of bio media. Nitrates are less dangerous than ammonia & nitrites but they are still harmful for fish. Nitrate spikes can stress your fish & even kill them.

Every bio media houses nitrifying bacteria but some of them can hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria. In this article, I have listed bio media that hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria, & their efficiency of cleaning organic waste.

  • EHEIM Substrat Pro Biological Filter Media
  • Fluval Biomax Bio Rings
  • Seachem Matrix Bio Media
  • Biohome Ultimate Filter Media
  • Hygger Large Aquarium Filter Media
  • Lava Rocks

  • EHEIM Substrat Pro Biological Filter Media:

EHEIM Substrat Pro Biological Filter Media houses both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria. It has a longer life than many other bio media, & it can work in every aquarium filter. However, EHEIM Bio Media is costly.

The porous surface of EHEIM BFM is used for housing both aerobic & anaerobic bacteria. Its porous surface offers more area & makes the best place for both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria.

Alternatively, this bio media lets more water pass through it in comparison to solid-shaped bio media. Hence, it has a higher contact time with toxic water.


  • Fluval Biomax Bio Rings:

Fluval Biomax Bio Rings are useful for housing both aerobic & anaerobic bacteria. The ring shape lets more water flow through it. This bio media works with most of the filters. However, if you leave rings to dry then it can make them crumble.

The porous texture of this media lets heaps of good bacteria spread over it in comparison to other smooth-surface bio media. These pores lock detritus that not just makes water clear but also wipes out ammonia & nitrites, while lowering nitrates in the aquarium water.

Denitrification is important to saving algae spikes, & keeping corals & invertebrates healthy. These ceramic rings are best for reef aquariums.

The ring shape lets water flow through the bio media & make sure they have high contact time with the water. Ceramic rings can be added to canister filters, SUMPS, HOB & other types of aquarium filters. They are good for most of the fish tanks.

Does Seachem Matrix hold denitrifying bacteria?
Does Seachem Matrix hold denitrifying bacteria?

  • Seachem Matrix Bio Media:

The cavities in Seachem Matrix offer more space for colonization of good bacteria. It is very efficient in the removal of nitrates from the water. It can be used in any type of filter.

Seachem Matrix is made of pumice stone, which is expensive. This stone is very porous & cavities offer more space for the growth of good bacteria.

The manufacturer claims that one litre of Seachem Matrix is as efficient as 170 litres of plastic media. It is difficult to verify this claim, but Seachem Matrix is extremely efficient than most other bio media available in the market.

Seachem Matrix can effectively break down ammonia, & it is very efficient in wiping out nitrates.

Does Ceramic Rings hold anaerobic bacteria?
Does Ceramic Rings hold anaerobic bacteria?

  • Biohome Ultimate Filter Media:

Biohome Ultimate Filter Media enhances the growth of both aerobic & anaerobic bacteria. It is used for handling heaps of organic waste. Biohome Ultimate Filter media can work up to ten years.

However, Biohome can tint the water bronze a bit.

It is very efficient in absorbing water. Biohome is used for housing both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria. The unique design of the media is used for growing anaerobic bacteria.

This bio media is not just very efficient but offers fast outcomes. Within only a few hours of operation, it begins cleaning the water. It does not matter if there is a high build-up of poop, this media can easily clean it. Therefore, it is very efficient in cleaning up goldfish waste.


  • Hygger Large Aquarium Filter Media:

Hygger Large Aquarium Filter Media provides a large surface area for colonization of good bacteria. It offers double filtration. It can be reused for simple maintenance.

However, this bio media cannot be used for saltwater tanks.

This bio media is full of holes that allow aerobic bacteria to stick to it in comparison to most of the other bio media. This enhances the contact time of organic waste with the media for very efficient filtration of water.

It also collects solid detritus like mechanical filtration media & enhances the growth of aerobic bacteria.

It can be reused & needs simple maintenance. It requires occasional washing & it can be used again with no problem. Therefore, this bio media can be used for years.

Does Lava Rocks house denitrifying bacteria?
Does Lava Rocks house denitrifying bacteria?

  • Lava Rocks:

Lava rocks are very efficient for aquariums as they promote the growth of useful bacteria over their surface. Most of the hobbyists keep lava rocks in their filters as it increases the contact time of organic waste with the bio media. Lava rocks keep water clean, & hobbyists use them to build structures for their fish tanks. Nevertheless, lava rocks have sharp edges that could hurt your fish if you use them as substrate. Hobbyists use lava rocks as substrate as they assist the growth of aquatic plants.

Lava rocks keep water clean. They are cheaper than other bio media.

Lava rocks hold aerobic & anaerobic bacteria that wipe out ammonia, nitrites & nitrates from the aquarium water.

Hobbyists also use lava rocks to build caves where fish & their fries can hide.

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