Seachem Matrix Review: Best Bio Filter Media

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seachem matrix bio filter all products

Thinking of buying and raising fish might seem like an easy decision, however, committing to fish-keeping takes quite a bit more than just feeding them. As you might guess, keeping the water clean and safe for your fish is one of the main factors that contribute to fish growth and health. 

Without clean water, your fish can have severe effects from loss of appetite and color to an entire corruption of their immune system. One of the best ways to keep the water clean is through filtering. There are a few things that can make or break a filter, and biomedia is definitely an integral part of it. 

Our team went through a few similar products to then come across the Seachem Matrix, a high porosity bimedia, reviewed professionally by our team with years of experience. Below you’ll find all you need to know for the Seachem Matrix biomedia.

Seachem Matrix Overview

Seachem Matrix is one of the best biological filter media whose main purpose is to remove nitrate ammonia and nitrite. This makes tanks filtered by Seachem Matrix as a substrate, hygienic and conveniently prosperous, where plants and fish can grow without hindrance.

seachem matrix in aquarium

Without any further ado, let us get into a more elaborative description of how this product functions so seamlessly.

Seachem Matrix Carbon

Seachem Matrix Carbon is a distinctive activated carbon in the shape of spherical beads that factor into their design optimization in terms of hydrodynamics. Macroporous binding sites in large density enable paramount flow and contact with the water.

seachem matrix carbon review
Seachem Matrix Carbon
Best carbon media

500 ml

High performance

Stable pH

Cheap

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This product’s low impact on the pH of the environment, even in distilled water, is another honorable mention, and it is indicated as well by the low ash content, so the pH of your waters will never be raised above 7.0.

Out of all the competitors, Seachem Matrix Carbon has the most minimal content of phosphate detectable. This macroporous coal-based bituminous carbon permits the seepage of water due to its size, which is conveniently just large enough to not slip away from filtrating bags.

Seachem Pond Matrix

This Seachem Pond Matrix is used for outdoor ponds and water gardens. It is an aquatic plant substrate that offers great filtration capacity and porosity. The physical features of this product enable high efficiency in removing chemical waste, such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

seachem pond matrix review
Seachem Pond Matrix
Best bio media for pond

100 gallon

Great for plants

Used as substrate

Great for Koi

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Seachem Pond Matrix keeps these aquatic environments safe and healthy for the growth of plants and/or fish.

There is versatility in the use of this filtrating media, as it can be an appropriate substitute for soil in aquariums, making it way easier to keep the water clean and clear. In terms of potency, 1 liter of the Seachem Pond Matrix is capable of treating 100 us gallons of water.

How Does the Seachem Matrix Work?

Typically, biomedia serves as a mini-environment that is appropriate for the growth of bacteria, which help turn ammonia to nitrite then to nitrate. Seachem matrix carbon has earned itself superiority in the category of biofilters, due to its large surface area, providing more space for the aforementioned bacteria to grow.

aquarium nitrogen cycle

Another feature attributed to the Matrix is that it’s capable of breaking nitrate down into nitrogen.

The Seachem Matrix has a porous surface, which makes for little holes where bacteria can grow. The size of these holes creates little to no space for oxygen, and that creates anaerobic conditions.

Benefits of Seachem Matrix

The Seachem Matrix bio media, from a simple glance, seems to be nothing more than just a handful of ceramic pebbles. The difference is the high pore density within these stones, their light but sturdy weight, and their filtrating capacity. But let us talk in more specific terms.

Filtration And Bacteria Growth

With the ultimate combination of high surface area and high porosity, the Matrix has already nailed down perfectly the top 2 most important physical features of a great biofiltration media.

Every liter of the Seachem Matrix Biomedia is equivalent to over 10 gallons or 40 liters of a typical plastic ball media.

seachem matrix bio filter close up review

Material

The small and light Seachem carbon stones are made from chemically inert material that was mined naturally. Despite their lightweight, these little pebble-looking pieces of biomedia are just resistant enough to be able to stay fixed in place regardless of any turbulence in the environment.

Water compatibility

Aquarists of any level are all equally required to know that filtration media are not a one-size-fits-all product. As a caretaker of a tank or pond, you need to be very familiar with what kind of media is suitable for what kind of environment.

However, no matter how keen you may be on this aspect, you will almost never have to worry about how to use Seachem Matrix, as this filtration media is the exception to the rule, and can be used in almost any type of setup.

It is very low maintenance and water safe and since it has little impact on the water around it except for doing its job perfectly, you won’t have to worry about any casualties.

Economic

We just mentioned that the Seachem Matrix is very low maintenance, but what exactly did we mean by that? Well firstly, it doesn’t need to be replaced, ever. Add to that the fact that it is a replacement for aquarium soil, which means not only do you get permanently functional filter media but you get a 2 in 1 soil and filter product.

And the cherry on top is that all you need to do to keep it nice and clean is a simple water rinse. It’s that easy.

seachem matrix bio filter

How to Use Seachem Matrix

The Seachem Matrix is a lot like your typical biological filter media, and yet equally different. A user favorite of this product is definitely how economical it is to use, how easy it is to clean and how versatile it is in functionality.

Let’s quickly do a recap of all we have discussed so far.

  • You will need about 250 mL of media for every 100 us gallons of water, which is enough to keep your aquatic environment clean and healthy for several months.
  • There will be almost no need to worry about the type of setup you’re working with when using the Seachem bio media as it is easily compatible with most types of setups.
  • It comes ready to use as it is simply a type of product you’ll need to measure and throw into the tank or pond and the process is basically over.
  • In terms of cleaning, all that’s needed is a quick water rinse which can last up to months until you will have to do it again. Given that the media itself lasts practically a lifetime, you won’t have to spend too much time, energy, or even money on replacements or maintenance.

Seachem Matrix as Substrate

Upon receiving your first order of the Seachem Matrix, you must have noticed how similar the little porous pebbles resemble fish tank substrate. However, used as a substrate, you wouldn’t exactly end up with the results you expect.

Nothing negative is to happen unless you end up burying it under another substrate. Since this media needs a good amount of maintenance to keep the biofiltration working well, you’re going to have to remove the other substrate to take care of the Seachem Matrix, thus just making everything harder.

However, you won’t see anything positive coming out of it exactly. It may help with nitrate and good bacteria growth, but there are better ways to do that so we don’t see any big benefit that comes with this. However, some people swear by this method, so you can run it for a test trial and keep it up if it’s the thing for you and your fish.

Alternatives

If the Seachem Matrix hasn’t yet checked all your boxes, there are a few other options in the market that are safe to try out and just as effective as the Seachem Matrix. 

Fluval Biomax vs Seachem Matrix

Fluval Biomax is definitely an adequate alternative to the Seachem Matrix as a biological filtration media. The product allows the maximum surface area to maintain a healthy nitrogen cycle, while also promoting bioactivity.

The Best Biological Filter Media Options: Fluval Biomax Filter Media
Fluval Biomax
Best budget bio filter media

Highly effective

500 g

Max surface area

Great price

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This highly efficient biological filter media enables the colonization of beneficial bacteria in an environment where they can thrive while also reducing and controlling ammonia and nitrite in the water. The media is ideal for freshwater and marine environments.

Where the Seachem Matrix falls short is in terms of its price point – it’s a little more expensive than other similar products on the market. Otherwise, they are both high quality products that will do wonders for your tank or pond filtration system.

Biohome Media vs Seachem Matrix

Biohome Media is another alternative to Seachem Matrix. Biohome comes in two different types; Ultimate and Superior, both of which are highly porous ceramic filter media for biological filtration.

biohome media review
Biohome Media
Best bio filter for fresh and saltwater

Great quality

450 g

Recycled glass

Unique color

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The highest quality reaction site possible is created by the unique composition of these products – one that cannot be replicated with other similar products on the market today.

Seachem Matrix falls short when compared to this product as it has visibly less surface area than Biohome’s products, rendering Seachem Matrix not as effective (in theory).

Biohome Media is mainly ideal for industrial-grade saltwater aquariums, which ensures that this filter media will endure the test of time. It would still serve its purpose on home aquariums. But If you’re looking for a high end biofilter system then we recommend trying out some Biohome instead of Seachem Matrix.

Conclusion

Seachem Matrix is a high quality biofilter media that will help you to manage nitrate, ammonia, and nitrite in your aquarium. This nitrate removing filter media has proven successful for both freshwater and saltwater systems and can be used in any size tank or pond.

The Seachem Matrix is one of the best biological filter media for fish tanks on the market today – it’s easy to use, long lasting, effective at removing toxins from water, and affordable. Seachem Matrix is a biofilter that can be used in any size tank – large or small.

Fluval Biomax and Biohome Media are two high quality alternatives to Seachem Matrix. If you are looking for a budget alternative then go for Fluval Biomax, but if you are looking for a high end biofilter then Biohome Media is the way to go.

FAQs

By learning about the Seachem Matrix biofilter you can create a healthy environment for your plants and fish. If you still have questions about this biofilter, consider the frequently asked questions and answers ahead.

Q: Does Seachem Matrix raise pH?

No, Seachem Matrix does not raise pH levels in aquarium water.

Q: Can you use Matrix and Purigen together?

Yes, Seachem Matrix and Seachem Purigen can be used together in an aquarium filtration system. Seachem Matrix is a biofilter media that helps to remove nitrate, ammonia, and nitrite from aquarium water while Seachem Purigen is a polishing filter media that removes organic compounds and color from the water.

Q: Can you use too much Seachem Matrix?

No, you cannot use too much Seachem Matrix in an aquarium because it is a biofilter media and will only help to improve the water quality.

However, if you are using Seachem Matrix in conjunction with another filtration product, be sure not to overload the system as this could cause problems.

Q: Does Seachem Matrix need to be replaced?

No, Seachem Matrix does not need to be replaced. It is a long lasting biofilter media that will last for years with proper care.

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I am Mario, a expert aquarist who is sharing his knowledge with everyone.

Keeping innocent fish and aquatic plants safe and healthy is my daily routine. With my experience and my passion for aquatic life, I will advise you through the long run of keeping an aquarium.

Disclosure: EpicAquarium.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.