Filtration Facts

Biohome Media for Full-Cycle Filtration

The most efficient biological filter media that supports aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that clears your water of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate that would harm your marine life.

Healthier Water. Happier Fish!

What is Biohome® Media?

Biohome Media is a biological filter media made of sintered glass, where recycled glass iw combined in a thick slurry that is extruded or otherwise shaped and then fired in an oven to fuse the fine particles together. This process leaves minute spaces between the particles forming an extremely porous and durable media with a fantastic surface area that supports rapid bacterial growth on and near the surface, but does not support the formation of a heavy biofilm that plugs most other biological media. The center portion of the media sees very little oxygen and therefore supports denitrifying bacteria that reduce nitrate .  Nitrate reduction requires more media than ammonia or nitrite elimination because the denitrifying bacteria grow more slowly than the aerobic bacteria that deal with ammonia and nitrite.

The Importance of an Adequate Filter and Clean Water

Your filtration system will make or break your aquatic habitat. It’s the guts of your aquarium or pond and its purpose is to remove fish waste, excess food, free-floating particulate, dangerous chemicals, and decaying plant matter.  Marine life, like humans, require a balanced environment where they can survive and thrive safely and comfortably.

As fish swim around their habitat, they get rid of their waste constantly.  Without an adequate filtration system, the fish end up poisoning themselves with the toxins from their excretions.  This is called ammonia stress when seen in its earliest stages and ammonia poisoning when it’s fatal!

Adequate Filtration Requires 2 Distinct Stages

Mechanical Stage: 

Adequate mechanical filtration is required to remove any visible debris from your tank. They take many forms, settlement chambers, socks, filter floss and porous foam.

It is critical this stage be located before your biological stage to prevent debris from plugging the small pores of your biological stage. Mechanical filters should never be placed after the biological stage as this causes any debris that might still be in the stream to back up into the biological media.

By it’s nature the mechanical stage will require regular maintenance. The maintenance period will depend on the type of livestock, the load and amount of food used. We recommend starting off by cleaning once a month. If it still appears to be relatively clean at that time, try cleaning after two months, and so on until you’ve establish an effective schedule.

GreatWave recommends and sells Poret Foam manufactured by a leading German filter manufacturer. Generally we suggest a stack of Coarse, Medium and Fine Foam

Biological Stage:

This stage houses the beneficial bacteria that break down ammonia and nitrite. The media simply provides a home for these bacteria.

There are a couple of features important to providing a good home for bacteria. Surface area is perhaps the most important. The more surface area you can provide the more bacteria can thrive in your filter.

Next is a natural surface, compatible with bacteria growth. Bacteria will grow on almost any surface, but on plastic and other man made surfaces they must lay down a heavy biofilm to survive. This restricts the amount of space they have to grow and will eventually plug the media.

The natural silica surface of Biohome is extremely compatible with bacteria. You won’t even be able to see the Biofilm and the trace elements in many varieties provides elements the bacteria need to thrive.

However, it takes time for the bacteria to develop a large enough colony to eliminate the harmful elements. My experience this will take 3 to 4 weeks.


Almost every filter comes with an activated carbon pad. GreatWave does not recommend these. They have been implicated in several fish health problems. Carbon works by absorption and when it’s full it must be replaced. The trick is to know when it’s full and this cycle gets to be very expensive very fast. Bacteria work for free and never get full.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of chemical additives claiming to solve your water problems. Be very careful when considering these, check reviews and get as much advice as possible. We suggest you never add a product that will remove or bind ammonia or nitrite as these work against the bacteria by depriving them of the ammonia and nitrite they need to survive.

If you have a new tank with a filter that has not yet been properly cycled and you wish to have fish safely immediately, we offer Ammonia Block by RP Aquatics. This product removes ammonia by absorption. It is placed after the biological media so does not interfere with the normal cycle, but does remove any ammonia present keeping your fish safe until the cycle is complete.

If you cycle your filter properly and if it is of proper size for you tank, do not overfeed or overstock, you should never see ammonia or nitrite.