In my fish tank filters I only use 2 things, normal foams to catch excrement and waste and JBL Micromec balls. These JBL Micromec balls may be relatively expensive however they only need to be replaced every 6-12 months (if that!) and will filter out nitrates NO3, nitrites NO2 and ammonia NH4. They are made of High-quality sintered glass balls designed to give you crystal-clear water in your fish tank aquarium.
The JBL Micromec filter media have a 1500m2/l colonisation surface for millions of beneficial bacteria and make 1 box the equivalent of 8 boxes of normal JBL ceramic filter media. Made from sintered glass, JBL Micromec is a highly porous bio filter material which allows the efficient breakdown of pollutants you are looking for in a filter media.
JBL Micromec filter media has conical pores which allows the outer layers to break down ammonia and nitrite whilst the inner layers can moderate the nitrate levels making this media massively effective even in small filters.
I have been using this method of filtration and media for years now and never had any water condition problems. Always remember to run 2 or more filters on any tank though in case one of them breaks down as a filter requires the flow of water through the media to work properly.