Ceramic Rings: Affordable and Effective Bio Media

There are multiple ways to ensure your aquarium is ready and up and running properly. One way is by placing in effective filters, one of which can be ceramic rings. For that reason, we have produced this article in order to help you find out what ceramic rings are, and why you should consider having them in your aquarium.

It is quite easy to recognize ceramic rings, and we are sure you’ve already seen plenty of them. They basically come in four different colors; white, cream, gray or brown. When fired ceramic is unglazed, they are known as ceramic rings, and can also be described as bio rings.

The ring aspect means that there is a whole in the middle of the ceramic, which allows for the water to run through the material. On top of that, the texture of these rings are very porous, which also lets water run through them internally. This helps significantly when it comes to the filtration within your aquarium. When clustered together, ceramic rings are also referred to as ceramic noodles, which can be understood better if you take a closer look at the picture above.

Why Are Ceramic Rings Good For Your Aquarium?

The nitrogen cycle in any water ecology is what helps it thrive. If you can set up a proper nitrogen cycle, you will be able to make sure that both plants and fish can sustain each other within your aquarium, of course with the help of the filter. 

With the constant cycle of breaking down ammonia into nitrites, you need to ensure that they are then broken down into nitrates, which are ultimately not only helpful, but necessary for the growth of an underwater ecosystem. You will require the helpful bacteria (necessary for this breakdown) to be present in the water in the optimal level. This is where the bio media filter comes in, and with that, ceramic rings.

The porous aspect of the ceramic rings we have explained previously, becomes very impactful in this case. With an increased surface area from most other filter media, ceramic rings allow for the highest amount of this helpful bacteria to remain in your water, by clinging on to the surface of the ceramic rings. These microscopic porous holes play a vital role in this process, and make ceramic rings a great choice for bio media filters.

If you’re getting into the idea of using ceramic rings as your filter media, it is essential that you know that they do not filter your water. As aforementioned, they provide a surface area for the helpful bacteria which helps in denitrifying your aquarium. The bacteria require and thrive in environments with minimal to no oxygen present.

Ceramic Rings: How To Add and How Many To Add

Ceramic rings are quite easy to add to your filter. How? Just add them into your aquarium’s filter. It really is that simple. 

As for where to find them, some filters come with ceramic rings already within the kit. However, if yours doesn’t, you can easily acquire some from your trusted fish store or an online site. They are also quite cheap and affordable. You’ll see that some come with their own media filter bag, while others are found to be loose. Neither make a difference when it comes to how they work. However, finding them in a bag does make it much easier when the process of removal comes into play. 

Before that, let’s run through a step by step process of how you add them in:

  1. Anything that goes into your aquarium must be cleaned. The ceramic rings might have accumulated some dust or debris from being in the packaging. Thus, use some dechlorinated water to ensure that the ceramic rings are completely clean.

  2. Once they are clean, you will add them into your filter. Where you place them is quite important. Be sure to place your ceramic rings after the mechanical filtration. The mechanical filtration will hold back any debris that is large, so that the ceramic rings come into minimal contact with them.

  3. If you use chemical filtration, they should be placed right after the ceramic rings, which include activated carbon and others. 

Now that you know how to place the ceramic rings in, how many should you place in at a time?

It’s always best to make sure you have as many as you can when it comes to ceramic rings. Their job is to hold the helpful bacteria in, so just place as many of them as you can into your filter. There is no set number when it comes to ceramic rings.

On that note, you also need to remember that too many ceramic rings can be bad for your aquarium. This comes into play especially when you have been using some ceramic rings for quite a while. As they become older, they can start to collect the other debris coming into the filter, which can be detrimental for the helpful bacteria that live on the ceramic rings.

However, just because the ceramic rings have been used for a while, they are not rendered useless. It is quite easy to clean them. You can add them into a bucket of water siphoned out of the tank, and move them around to get out all the excess gunk. This process is not to make your ceramic rings as good as new, but only to get out all the debris that they accumulated.

When you are trying to clean your ceramic rings, make sure to not use any external stimulus, as this will kill the bacteria you are trying to preserve. If they are, then the tank itself will need to go through the whole cycling process again.


How often do I replace my ceramic rings?

A: This is a debate that has different answers based on who you ask. We suggest that you keep the replacement period to be within a few months (approximately 3-4 months). The rest of your decision falls upon when you feel the ceramic rings have worn out.

Do ceramic rings have replacements?

A: With proper research, you’ll find that ceramic rings have quite a few replacements, a couple of them being lava rocks and bio balls.

Can ceramic rings be used in saltwater aquariums?

A: Ceramic rings can be used in saltwater aquariums. However, there are better options out there to help in denitrifying the water.

The Takeaway

Ceramic rings are a very highly recommended form of bio filter media, and we also agree! They are very affordable, and provide a great form of filtration to any freshwater aquarium. You’ll also find them to be quite easily available. And if you find them within bags, the process of placing them in your filter and taking them out, becomes much easier! If you were thinking of getting some ceramic rings, we highly suggest you try them out!

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