Biogenic iron oxides have been collected from a water stream and subsequently magnetically modified using water-based magnetic fluid. Both natural and magnetically modified materials have been characterized in detail using wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, X-ray powder diffraction, Mössbauer spectroscopy, electron microscopy and BET surface area measurements. The natural material is composed of 2-line ferrihydrite, forming hollow microtubules - sheaths of Leptothrix ochracea, and detrital components. As a result of the ferrofluid modification, maghemite nanoparticles were identified on the surface of the treated material. The active surface area of the bulk, magnetically-modified sample was 148 m2 g-1. The magnetically modified material was tested as inexpensive magnetically responsive adsorbent for the removal of selected organic xenobiotics, namely organic dyes, from aqueous solutions. The observed maximum adsorption capacities ranged between 34.3 and 97.8 mg of dye per one gram of adsorbent.