Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
In a planted tank the difference in bio media is more of an opinion than a fact.
The plants themselves are so much of the bio filters, that the small bacteria population that is needed will grow all over the tank, on the driftwood, rocks, substrate and all the filter media (sponges, floss...) so that it is not so important if you have 'the best' ceramic noodles, or lava rock, or any other bio media.
The most efficient bio media is much more important in a non-planted tank, where the bacteria provide so much more ammonia removal. In such a set up you will indeed be concerned that the media have the right pore size for optimum bacteria growth, and water flow to keep the media clean, and bring the ammonia and oxygen to the bacteria. In this set up, then the test results of the manufacturers or independent labs (if any) may have some value.