How to build the best DIY bio media for your aquarium filter using cheap homemade stuff?

To wipe out fish poop, leftover food, & other debris, you should consider setting up a filter for your aquarium. Aquarium filters have two important roles, first it removes physical impurities such as fish waste, uneaten food, dead plant leaves etc. Second, it removes all the toxic chemicals released from the waste.

For mechanical filter media, you can use pads, sponges & foams that trap the waste & only allow water to flow through them. However, toxins inside the water can flow through the mechanical filter media. In order to remove these soluble impurities, you will need bio media that reacts with the toxins & wipes them out, & only allow clean water to flow back to the aquarium.

Bio media only offers a surface for good bacteria to develop. Good bacteria is produced through a natural process known as nitrogen cycle. Once you cycle your aquarium, you will find good bacteria growing everywhere & it grows in abundance especially over bio media inside aquarium filters. Bio media offers lots of surface area where colonies of beneficial bacteria grow.

For the removal of toxic chemicals from the aquarium water, you will need bio media inside your filter. The higher the surface area of the bio media, the more beneficial bacteria it allows to colonize over its surface. One of the best bio media that provide the highest surface area at a cheapest price is pot scrubber.

How to build best DIY bio media for aquarium filter
How to build best DIY bio media for aquarium filter?

Almost anything can be used as DIY bio media. However, my recommendation is to use Pot scrubbers as your DIY bio media because they offer large surface area & are very inexpensive. The large surface area of the Pot scrubbers house colonies of good bacteria. Good bacteria is used for breaking down toxins into less toxic forms. The product of the nitrogen cycle is nitrates. Nitrates are comparatively less toxic than nitrites & ammonia. Fish can live with nitrates in the aquarium water. However, too much nitrates are still toxic for fish. Pot scrubbers are very effective at breaking down ammonia into nitrates therefore you can use Pot scrubbers as your DIY bio filtration media. They allow heaps of aerobic bacteria to spread over the large surface of the media. Aerobic bacteria use oxygen to break down toxins.

For removal of nitrates, anaerobic bacteria is required. For growth of anaerobic bacteria, you will need a surface where oxygen is not present. Expensive bio media have heaps of tiny little pores where air can’t enter & in this area oxygen is not available. When water enters the bio media, the aerobic bacteria breaks down ammonia into nitrates. While the anaerobic bacteria present inside the pores, converts nitrates into nitrogen that evaporates.

Pot scrubbies are long lasting. They do not break apart & deteriorate. They do not clog easily & if they have accumulated heaps of detritus, then you can simply clean them with tank water. They can efficiently work for a lifetime. 

If you are looking forward to building the best DIY bio media for your aquarium filter then my recommendation is to use Pot Scrubbers. Add a large collection of pot scrubbers to fill the baskets of the canister filter. Pot scrubbers can be used for both mechanical,and biological filtration. If you want to use them only for biological filtration, then you can use foam or sponge for mechanical filtration. Pot scrubbers can be installed in any filter. You can use them in Internal, Hang on back, Canister filters etc.

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