Epitaxially grown bismuth-substituted iron garnet films of composition R3-xBixFe5-yMyO12with (R=Y,Gd,Lu,Yb and M = Al,Ga,Si) are considered with respect to the temperature and concentration dependence of their magnetic and magneto-optical properties. In particular, the magnetization, Curie temperature, uniaxial anisotropy, optical absorption and Faraday rotation reveal pronounced changes with increasing bismuth content. Special attention is paid to the control of the uniaxial growth-induced anisotropy caused by the ordering of the bismuth ions via the site preference mechanism. This ordering process is characterized by a strong dependence on the growth conditions such as the melt composition and the supercooling allowing the variation of in the range Jm-3. The magneto-optical properties exhibit a linear increase with increasing bismuth content.