Filter Starter Balls

(21 customer reviews)


649 in stock


Package Size: 2″x3″, since the balls vary in size considerably from batch to batch and even within a batch. An order is now a full bag, the number of balls may vary.

Filter Starter Balls kick start your filter by releasing a steady stream of beneficial bacteria that goes to work consuming ammonia and nitrite. These gel balls were originally designed for use in moving bed filters, but are really effective in all styles of filters.

They can be used to start up a new filter or to help keep the levels of ammonia and nitrite under control in heavily loaded tanks. We recommend a quarter bag of of balls for 40 gallons of water. They are effective in both freshwater and marine systems.

When using the Filter Starter Balls, I’d suggest you place under the media so they won’t float away and leave the filter. If you are not confident you can retain the Balls in the filter, then I’d suggest you place them in a media bag.

Additional information

Weight .05 lbs
Dimensions 2.5 × 1.5 × .5 in

21 reviews for Filter Starter Balls

  1. John Heer (verified owner)

    I bought a new filter, a fluval aqua clear 50 two weeks ago and added the starter balls to my media sack. After water changes every other day to keep my toxins down, my water test levals are 0 ! For two days. Amazing product. Thanks great wave, starter balls rule!!

  2. Stephanie Wagner (verified owner)

    I love this product. I got a pouch of Filter Starter Balls when I ordered Biohome Ultimate Media. They are both excellent products. My tanks have never been better! Thank you!

  3. Don

    This AWESOME product is a must have for every “newbie” to jump start and establish the aquarium nitrogen cycle with beneficial bacteria for safe fish keeping and enjoyment. Thanks to Richard and Don in making these fine products available in the US!

  4. Shane Tauzin (verified owner)

    Like others have stated in reviews… this is great stuff!
    In the past I have spent lots of $$ on bottled bacteria from lots of different vendors and only to have them sometimes fail due to the bacteria being dead because of the bottle being outdated/expired.
    Not at all the case with these bacteria balls… Arrive live everytime! I like the fact that they take time to melt and release the bacteria into the filter and tank over time. This way the bacteria can fully seed the tank and filters properly.
    I now put this in all of my new aquariums to cycle them, even with the use of seeded media from my established tanks. Works well in canister filters as well. Highly recommend these to everyone wanting to cycle their new aquariums fast!

  5. Julio

    I have tried almost every bacteria boosting supplement in the market, including several that many pet shop owners and experienced fellow aquarists have never heard about. I have found that these New Wave Engineering Bacteria Balls are the very best!!! My fish look a lot happier and a lot more active. When the fish are happy that makes me happy. Also, when, I do water changes and vacuum the bottom of the tank, there’s a lot less gunk to pick up and even the filter pads look a lot less dirty. These bacteria are doing a VERY complete nitrogen cycle job, indeed! Thank you for such a GREAT product!!

  6. Victor

    How many of these filter starter balls should I use in an established tank but I’m changing the filter and all the media but I also have another hang on back filter where I’m putting the old media into so my tank won’t crash question is how many balls should I put in my eheim Pro 4 + 600 canister filter

    • newfish

      We recommend 1 ball per 6 gallons. Good luck with your upgrade. I think your plan is a good one.
      Happy Fish Keeping!

  7. David Lee

    I have been reef tank aquarist for more than 10 years and I always thought my water was clear. But I was absolutely amazed how much clearer my water improved in 2 weeks time. The water absolutely crystal clear and all my corals so much happier for it. Even able to now grow SPS coral which was difficult without biohome ultimate. 110% satisfied with the product.

    • newfish

      Thanks for the great feedback. You mentioned your water clarity and coral growth and filed this comment under Filter Starter Balls, but then only mentioned the media, which I see was Ultimate Marine. It sounds like you really like the media. I’m just curious if you attribute any of this improvement to the Filter Starter Balls.

      At any rate, thanks, and…
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  8. David Lee

    Yea i meant to put it for the biohome ultimate marine media. Please place my review there

  9. Isis Cousins

    I got a samole of these filter balls in a My Aquarium box and there amazing. I put 3 into a glo fish tank I was having problems cycling and with in 3 days fully cycled

    • newfish

      Glad to hear that. Thanks for the feedback. I hope you’re able to use the Biohome media as well. Happy Fish Keeping!

  10. Brandon Nishimoto (verified owner)

    I added this with my order of Biohome Ultimate and I also used it to seed my other biological media. I can tell you that this product along with Biohome Ultimate is the main reason that my tanks have GREAT and STABLE water parameters.
    My water parameters are………

    Ammonia- 0
    Nitrite- 0
    Nitrate- 10 my nitrate would fluctuate between 10-20ppm but ever since I started to use Biohome Ultimate along with the bacteria balls my Nitrate has been a stable 10ppm.

    I would recommend this and Biohome Ultimate to anyone who wants a biological media that will take care of your tank!

    Thank you Don!


    • newfish

      Thank you Brandon,
      For the great review and feedback. I’m extremely glad to hear how well your tank is performing. I hope it keeps up for many years.
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  11. Ban (verified owner)

    Awesome service! I ordered the starter balls and the mechanical filter yesterday and I received it today at my hotel. Called twice to asked about the biohome ultimate arrival date and how soon can I receive the shipment, Don was patience to answer all my queries. Thank you Great Wave!
    Lastly, would like to know what temperature should I store the filter starter balls? Thanks!

    • newfish

      I’m glad it got there so quickly. Once I figured out you traveling I made a special trip to the post office to get your box out, but didn’t expect it there the next morning. Great job USPS!

      We talked about the Starter Balls. No special treatment should be required as long as you keep them sealed up. Happy Fish Keeping where ever you’re headed.

  12. Kimberly Tellechea (verified owner)

    Awesome products, was having a hard time keeping my tanks ammonia and nitrite levels stable within less than three weeks using your filter pads, Filter starter balls and and the bio home ultimate media the levels started to stabilize rapidly and have remained perfect for over two months now my fish and I thank you for your help ?❤

    • newfish

      That’s great news. Thanks for the feedback. Glad we were able to help, and…
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  13. Christina

    I ordered these balls along with media to do some spring maintenance on my pond filter earlier this year. The water usually clears up after the spring algae bloom dies down and after spring cleaning, but this year it was faster than I’m used to. A couple of different friends have commented on how clear my pond is, saying it’s even clearer than usual. I have a few koi and they’re all healthy and happy, with water quality remaining perfect. Thanks for making these great products!

    • Don Chamberlain

      Thanks for the feedback. Wish I could take credit for making these products, but I only sell em. I’m glad to hear they are making you koi happy!

  14. DiamondGirl860

    LOVE THESE FILTER STARTER BALLS! Previously, I used the pet shop bottled stuff, and the water kept turning a light green or pale pink. I kept doing big water changes as well as updated the lamps, and it still didn’t do the trick. So, I saw a YouTube fish guy promoting these balls and the ceramic filter media. Bought and installed them….and overnight, the water became crystal clear and have stayed that way ever since. THANK YOU!!! 🙂

    • Don Chamberlain

      That’s great to hear. We have quite a few people ordering Filter Starter Balls and I’m assuming they are using them for routine maintenance, but haven’t heard that much about how well they work. I’m glad they’re doing a great job for you.
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  15. E James (verified owner)

    I’m loss for words for these filter starter balls and the ultimate media. I’ve decided to get back in fish keeping after 22 years after quitting because it was just to much work and very expensive. After seeing how far this hobby advance with the new technology such as canisters and many other things, I’m glad to be back in the hobby again. As for the filter stater balls and the ultimate bio media, not one dead fish and crystal clear water one and a half months into starting back. I was not patient to cycle my tank the proper way and put fish in my tank right after setting it up. I hav an API master test kit and test my water everyday with perfect results. I must admit that I live in the Virgin Islands and we collect rain water which is pure and chlorine free. I would not hesitate to buy these product.

    • Don Chamberlain

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad it’s working for you. Sounds like you’ve got some great water to start with. Enjoy the summer, and…
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  16. nicholasfelsoci

    Great Product from a great company! It really works!!

  17. Karol (verified owner)

    I added these filter balls to my Biorb 105 (29 Gallon) tank, along with filter media to the bottom of the tank, covered by Biohome substrate. This morning, I awoke to see my Serpea Tetras frolicking happily all over the tank, and they have a beautiful dark reddish tint to them. I haven’t seen them that color since I put them in the tank. Yesterday they were mostly all gray. It could be coincidence, but I can’t help but wonder if the water quality improved that much overnight. I feel great knowing that I have found the media that can make my fish so happy and healthy. Thank you for great products. 🙂

    • Don Chamberlain

      That’s great news. Not often that I hear of such fast results.
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  18. Scott Chester

    After over analysis paralysis of Biological Media set up, I was thoroughly convinced BioHome was the answer. Ordered 2kg for my 46 gal bow, that established media in a Cascade 1000. I added 1kg to the media trays and sprinkled in the bag of balls to aid. It was now that I just read I maybe should not have used the entire bag that came with my BioHome, as it has been stated 1 ball per 6 gallons, and I definitely put in more than 8 balls. Should I be concerned for any reason? Should i break down the canister and remove some balls, is that even possible since the filter has been running for hours? Please advise. Sorry no other water parameter stats to report yet.. still new in the BioHome world.

    • Don Chamberlain

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you on this earlier. I would have said not to worry, that’s impossible to overdose the Filter Starter Balls. I still feel that way, but your more recent comment makes me wonder.

  19. Charles LaBella

    I have just ordered these and don’t even need to experience them to know how well these work and what they will do to my canisters!! I currently run matrix in both my FX6 and changing to biohome so rather than do a complete change over and remove all matrix at once I am going to do one tray at a time per week !! By adding the balls I will quickly establish the new biohome while not losing to much of at all any of my cycle !! Thanks for making these available to us in the US and I have been ranting and raving about these for a while now and no one seems to even know what I am talking about or believes me that these are exactly what you say they are! Pondguru you truly are a guru and thanks for providing the platform for us to learn and educate ourselves with your almighty wisdom young grasshopper hahaha!! I salute you sir well done…-

    • Don Chamberlain

      Hope your upgrade goes smoothly.
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  20. Kiera

    Great product! However, I put the sample into my 75 gallon tank with bio motion. I also left my original media in the filter, and I immediately had a huge bacterial bloom (white cloudy water) I have an fx6 on the tank and not really sure what happened. It’s been a week and still a little cloudy with regular tank maintenance. From all the reviews it seems like a great and it might just be user error. 🙁

    • Don Chamberlain

      Over the five plus years I’ve been selling Biohome TM, I’ve had three or four reports like this. I believe this is the first time the customer correctly diagnosed the problem. Usually they assume the media is falling apart, but I’m sure that’s never happened. We worked with those customers as much as possible and I’m confident in every case it was a bacterial bloom as you reported.
      Unfortunately, I have no idea why this happens sometimes. It may be just a coincidence or it may be the water chemistry is changed just a bit which triggers the bloom.
      I hope it clears up soon. I’d love to hear how it goes and what you think of the media after using it awhile. I was surprised you ordered BioMotion for use in an FX6. It will be interesting to see how it works out. It was really intended for moving bed filter. The Plus should work OK, but I usually recommend Ultimate as it has a coarser structure and is a little bigger so I think it is better suited for a canister.
      Good luck. Thanks for your orders, and…
      Happy Fish Keeping,

  21. Beth Cothern (verified owner)

    I will be receiving my filter starter balls today to add to my Biohome Ultimate Filter Media (love it). I am coming back to fish keeping after 20 years. I am excited to use these groundbreaking products. I am doing a fishless cycle and will add the starter balls to my Aqueon canister as instructed for my 55 gallon tank. At what point after my tank is established with my fish would it be advantageous to add another set of starter balls?

    • Don Chamberlain

      Glad to hear you like the Ultimate. I hope the Starter Balls help your startup go smoothly. I’ve always thought that once the filter was cycled and you had fish in the tank there would probably be adequate bacteria occurring naturally. However, I do add Starter Balls to each of my Koi Pond Filters every month and I have quite a few customers that order a bag or two periodically.

      I’m hoping they are seeing some benefit, but I’ve never really had feedback indicating why they’re adding Starter Balls periodically. I’m going to post this exchange on GreatWave TV to see if we can get any comments.

      The manufacturer recommends adding new ones monthly, but you certainly wouldn’t need to add a full bag that often. If you decided to use them regularly, I’d suggest a quarter bag each month.

      Good luck with your new tank, and…

      Happy Fish Keeping,

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