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What’s the difference between EHEIM Substrat Pro and Seachem Matrix?

If you are looking to add biological media to your filter, then two of the most popular products currently available are the Substrat Pro and Seachem Matrix.

You can check out this comparison guide from Aquarium Blueprints to see what are the major differences between these EHEIM and Seachem medias.

Quick Summary

The Seachem Matrix Bio Media offers more surface area when compared to the EHEIM Substrat Pro Biological Filter Media. Therefore, the Matrix should be more effective when it comes to reducing ammonia and nitrite levels in your tank water.

Furthermore, the Seachem product also features tiny microscopic chambers to grow beneficial bacteria that consume nitrates. The Substrat Pro, on the other hand, is only good for removing ammonia and nitrites.

Overall, the Seachem Matrix is better than the EHEIM Substrat Pro due to having more surface area to grow the beneficial bacteria colonies that consume the ammonia and nitrites in your tank. The Matrix is also the only one out of these two products to support nitrate reduction as well.


You can take a look at the current price tags for the Substrat Pro and Matrix on Amazon with the following links:

Packaging Sizes

You can check out the available packaging sizes for these biological filter media products below:

EHEIM Substrat Pro:

  • 180 g
  • 720 g
  • 1440 g
  • 3600 g

Seachem Matrix:

  • 250 mL
  • 500 mL
  • 1 L
  • 2 L
  • 4 L

Compatible Tank Waters

When it comes to compatible tank waters, both the EHEIM Substrat Pro and Seachem Matrix can be used in freshwater, brackish water and saltwater aquariums.

Ammonia and Nitrites Reduction

For the uninformed, biological filtration is designed to make the nitrogen cycle safe for your fish and other aquatic pets.

The organic wastes from uneaten food or excrements from the living inhabitants in your tank will eventually turn into ammonia. Natural bacteria will convert ammonia to nitrites while a different set of natural bacteria will convert nitrites to nitrates.

Exposing your fish or other aquatic pets to ammonia and nitrites will stress them out and make them sick.

The aforementioned beneficial bacteria colonies that consume ammonia and nitrites grow on all surface areas in your tank. With that said, both the Substrat Pro and Matrix provide more than enough surface areas for bacteria to grow on for most low to medium stocked tank.

If you have a heavy bio load, which occurs when your fish or other aquatic pets are creating a lot of wastes, then we recommend getting the Matrix as it contains a lot more surface area when compared to the competition.

Nitrates Reduction

The end result for most fish tanks, when it comes to the nitrogen cycle, is nitrates. Although there is a set of natural bacteria that will consume nitrate, it can only grow in an environment with little to no oxygen. Otherwise, you need to reduce nitrates by doing occasional water changes.

Although not as toxic as ammonia or nitrites, nitrates can cause long term issues if a high enough concentration is exposed to your fish or other aquatic pets. Ideally, you want to have less than 40 ppm of nitrates in your tank. If you are keeping more sensitive species, such as shrimps, than you need to have less than 20 ppm.

The Matrix features small microscopic chambers that is devoid of oxygen. Therefore, nitrate-consuming bacteria are able to grow on this Seachem biological media.


When it comes to maintenance, we recommend that you regularly rinse EHEIM Substrat Pro and Seachem Matrix.

If these filter medias get clogged up with debris and mulm, then the bacteria living on these surfaces could die off.

For maintenance, we recommend rinsing both medias any time you do a water change. You simply take out these products from your filters and then rinse off any noticeable debris by using the tank water you plan on throwing away.

Water Chemistry

Both the Substrat Pro and Matrix should be inert. As a result, they shouldn’t affect the pH levels or leech anything in your fish tank.


As long as occasionally rinse the EHEIM Substrat Pro and Seachem Matrix, both of these product can last a lifetime. If they somehow start to break apart, however, then we recommend that you replace the broken parts.