I don't want to give a low star review because I believe my issue was with shipping. My order was sent out, but ended up delayed in New York for four days. I didn't get the sponge until a week after it was sent. I think the heat and lack of oxygen killed the BB.
NOTE FROM ANGELS PLUS: Heat does not damage the bacteria and oxygen is not a problem even if in transit for more than two weeks. Any problem would have been from something else. If you send an email, with enough questions, we might be able to figure out why it didn't work for you.
My tank was setup for about a week and I was getting impatient with the fishless cycling process.
Ordered 2 of the large sponge filters. I put one in my HOB filter and the other I put in the tank to provide additional filtration.
My tank cycled within a few hours. I added fish the following day and after checking to make sure that everything was pristine added some more a week later. So far everything has remained stable and my fish/plants seem to be doing really well.
I highly recommend this if you're having trouble cycling or like get impatient staring at an empty tank.
2nd time purchasing, Same great results! Tank was cycled in about 2 days (40ppm of ammonia was brought to zero).
I've read several reviews about these that say it still takes 10 days to cycle a tank using these filters. I don't know what those people are talking about or maybe they did something wrong. My tank was fully cycled within 3 days and really it would have been safe for me to add fish after 24 hours. As soon as you get this sponge you should wring it out into your tank and dump all the water in the bag into your tank, it will be full of bacteria. Then either put the sponge into your tank as directed with an air hose or stick it into a sump or canister filter. Give it a day to make sure you are making nitrates and then you're good to go!
Note from Angels Plus: Please do not wring the filter out. This will delay the process. The bacteria attached to the filter should stay attached. It is a very good idea to add all the water in the bag to the tank, but the bacteria does not work unless it's attached to a surface. Bacteria in the water will take awhile to reattach.
I struggled for a couple is months as a newbie with understanding when my tank was actually cycled. After realizing it wasn't, I stumbled upon a blog that mentioned Angel's Plus filters and realized they could solve my problems for only $11 for an active filter. I wish I had known about you guys day 1 because I would have ordered immediately! My 29 gallon was showing nitrates after 4 days and my 16 gallon after a little over a week. And bonus, I have 2 extra filters and I may use them as my main setup from now on since I worry about HOB failure during our frequent power outages. Thank you for solving my problem!!!