Aquarium Filter Media & Accessories

Keeping fish happy and healthy is a tricky business. Many things can go wrong in a tank, and in such a small ecosystem there is little margin for error. A small increase in algae or a bacterial bloom could make you fish sick. Worse, such problems often spiral, degrading the whole tank’s health. This is why a water filter is essential for keeping your tank full of life in the long run. Most aquarium filters work on a five-layer system. Whether your filter is internal or external, has an integrated pump or relies on a separate unit, it most likely filters your water in this order: coarse mechanical, fine mechanical, simple chemical, specific chemical, biological.

Coarse Mechanical Filter Media for Aquariums

Coarse mechanical media is the first filter layer, and works by removing large particulates from the water. Filter pads or foam blocks are generally used as coarse mechanical filters. In simpler filters or smaller tanks, this may be the only mechanical filter layer.

Fine Mechanical Filter Media for Aquariums

Fine mechanical media removes the smaller particles that might slip through the coarse filter. Filter floss is the most common fine mechanical media. After passing through both mechanical filters, the water may appear visually clean and clear after the use ofaquarium cleaning supplies and maintenance equipment. You must remove and clean both mechanical filters regularly, as they are where detritus and junk builds up.

Simple Chemical Filter Media for Aquariums

Simple chemical filters are usually made of carbon. Small spheres act as chemical filters, absorbing a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals from your water. Unlike mechanical filters, other filter types will need to be contained in a filter bag, a simple pocket of neutral fibre. This holds the filter medium in place and allows it to be easily removed and replaced if necessary.

Specific Chemical Filter Media for Aquariums

Many types of specific chemical filters exist. This filters are aimed at removing particular harmful chemicals from your fish tank. Some focus on ammonia and nitrates, and some on phosphorus or other harmful biological byproducts.

Biological Filter Media for Aquariums

Biological filter media are usually small ceramic noodles or spheres that act as hosting places for beneficial bacteria. This bacteria finish the filtering process by consuming and breaking down remaining nitrate products.