Biologically Established Active Sponge Filters

Established Active Sponge Filter

Enter Qty in each box
 15 or 30 ppi Active Sponge Filter  (size is variable: 50-100 cu/in)  $9.75
 50 ppi Active Sponge Filter  (size is variable: 30-60 cu/in) $8.75

We ship when you order, so it's your responsibilty to avoid weekend and holiday delays.  You should try to make sure the carrier you choose will get them from our location (14760) to yours, within 2-3 days.

If you are putting the filter in with new-born fry or a tank that is 5 gallons or less, then the 50ppi is the best choice, otherwise, the 15/30ppi filters are a better deal for a much larger size.

Please watch the active fitler video in the left column of this page. It is also quite important to read below to understand how these work and the hazards of shipping them.

These filters are fully "cycled", containing all the many species of nitrifying bacteria a fully established aquarium needs. Once put into a tank, the tank becomes instantly cycled. From that point you only need to let the bacteria volume grow to handle the waste level of the tank. Nitrifying bacteria will double in population approximately every 24 hrs, Therefore, 3 days after introduction to a new tank, the bacteria can be 8 times the number if the waste level warrants it.

All of our tanks contain snails, so these filter may have small snails and/or their eggs on them. Also, they contain the decomposed waste generated by the plants and animals in our tanks. They will be "dirty". This is not harmful and is what happens in biological filters. The nitrifying bacteria are short-lived and create a large amount of bio-floc as it dies off.  All of this is normal, but if you are  offended by this, please do not order. Filters that are too clean, can be a reason if you are having a difficult time establishing a bio-filter, since cleaning a filter too much harms the bacteria.

There are likely hundreds of species of nitrifying bacteria in a tank that has been "established" for over a year. This is why those commercial "starter" products with a dozen or so species, don't work very well.  Our filters contain all the species in balance and is why they work so much better.

The bacteria survives shipping quite well, but faster is better when deciding on the shipping method during checkout.  If the filter freezes, the bacteria may be killed so pay attention to the weather, here and where you are.  Try to avoid having the package sitting outside after delivery.  It can be risky to order when night-time temps are much below 0 F. We are in a potentially very cold area of the country (zip 14760).  Heat does not bother the bacteria.  In transit, the bacteria goes into a dormant state and reactivates in the presence of ammonia and nitrites.  A percentage of them will survive for quite a long time out of an aquarium, so even with delays and bad weather, they persist and will often still work, though a bit slower.

The filters vary in size and shape within the range listed.  All of our Active filters are the "Internal Weight" filter version.  We have too many filter types to have them all in an "active" version and this type is easy to ship without water leaking from the bag.

These are "established" in our disease-free aquariums.  Read about our process to eliminate diseases here.  This assures that no pathogens are transferred to your fish.  This is safer than using a filter out of your own tanks, since few, if any are disease-free.  These filters have been run for about a month in our super healthy tanks to insure the nitrifying bacteria are well established within the sponge.

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When you receive these, make sure to add any water in the bag to the tank. Do not worry about it being dirty. It is full of nitrifying bacteria and you do not want to throw this out or siphon it out with a water change until the tank is fully established.

Setting Up Filter: Run an airline to the lift tube. Insert the airline into the hole in the top side of the lift tube and thread it to withn 1/2" of the bottom. Then insert the bottom of the lift tube into the hole in the sponge. You can put the filter into any part of the tank. If it floats, genetly squeeze the air out of it.

Some people cut these to fit inside of power filters. That will work if the fit is tight, but if water can travel around the filter instead of through it, then that is what the water will do and it will not be as effective in establishing your aquarium.

We are not fans of "fish-less" cycling. It seems every time a customer is having trouble cycling their tanks with our filters, it's a "fish-less" cycle. It's possible some additive in the ammonia they're adding, is interferring with their test kit readings or is simply doing something to the nitrifying bacteria. Either way, if you add one of our active filters, your tank is ready for fish. Forget about adding ammonia first.

Shipping Quotes

The shopping cart will enable you to get a shipping quote before paying for an order. Simply add the items to the cart, view the cart by clicking on the "view cart" link in the upper left corner and it will enable you to get a total for the shipping before committing to an item.

Learn more about this product in these articles.

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I was doing a fish-less cyle. I was about 2 weeks in and wondered if actual established media was being sold so did a little searching a found these. I quickly ordered 4 of the 15 or 30 ppi sponges. I chose priority mail for shipping which made it to me in Utah in just 2 day's. Friday evening I put 3 in my HOB filters and ran one with airline. My 75G was cycled by Monday! These absolutely work!
Aaron Vogan, Wed Feb 13, 2019
I contacted Angels Plus on a Thursday wanting to get a couple of active filters on Saturday. Express shipping was a little expensive but it was worth it. They shipped them out immediately and I received them on Saturday and popped them in my tank. My tank is cycled and in great shape. Water test look great! Thanks for a great product!
William, Sat Nov 17, 2018
About to buy more of these for additional tanks. Thank you for providing such a great product at a competitive price! Very pleased.
Chang, Mon Oct 29, 2018
This filter worked for me for about 2 days to bring ammonia down, but after that it appeared ammonia was rising again. After a lot of research and asking around I figured out that my tank pH was too low for these bacteria to really establish a cycle. I tried crush coral and my pH is now at a healthy range. Test your pH before you buy an active filter to make sure the bacteria transfer well!
Breana, Mon Jan 01, 2018
These sponge filters are the best. I've instantly cycled two tanks with these active sponge filters. I will definitely buy these again. Thanks. :)
Ricardo Canedo, Tue Sep 12, 2017
I'm more than happy with this product. I've been struggling to keep the ammonia levels low in my betta tank for about a month and almost every cycling aid hadn't helped me make much progress. Put one of these in my small tank and it's almost completely cycled in about 3 days. I'm very thankful that this type of product is available because it probably saved my fish.
Bailey, Sun Sep 03, 2017
This active sponge filter is the only way to go. Prior to the arrival of my Select Kois, I filled my 37 gallon with distilled water, put a little flake food in the back of my oversized outside filter to seed the water with a bit of ammonia and waited a week. After testing showed a touch of ammonia, I put one of these in and the nitrifying bacteria began dining on the ammonia. Totally satisfied!
David Thomson, Sat Jun 24, 2017
1 active sponge filter, 3 tanks! Best $9 I've ever spent. Each tank cycled in a little over 24 hours. I can't thank you enough for making such a great/easy product and for your patience answering all my questions! Why aren't you the 1rst thing that pops up when searching aquarium cycling? Would have saved me lots of $. I will recommend you to anybody who asks in a heartbeat! THANK YOU!!
Eve, Tue May 30, 2017
Wow, this worked quick. After trying several of those starter cultures in a bottle, with no luck, this had my tank perfect in 2 days.
Doug Schneider, Mon May 29, 2017
The Active Sponge filters work GREAT. This is my third order I purchased. One is 30 ppi and one is 15 ppi nice to have one of each in my 55 gal. tank. My angels love the Angels+ flake I bought. Great price for the amount I ordered 8oz. Will be making another order in the near future. Thank you Steve for a great product.
Tom Koppa, Thu Apr 20, 2017
This is the second time in 3 years I have purchased one of these to save me from my stalled nitrogen cycle. Had to get another due to moving. Within 24 hours of putting it in my Nitrates are half where they were and my nitrites dropped little more than 2/3. I usually run it for 1-2 weeks then remove it and cut out fitted inserts from it for my canister filter to make double sure that it cultivate.
Nathaniel, Thu Feb 09, 2017
These work great. I even have one in a 55 gallon goldfish tank by itself after the hob filter broke and it's keeping up.
Kelly, Sun Feb 05, 2017
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