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Hello again everyone; so I'm having an issue with a new 25 gal. I set it up a month ago and used the bio-sponges from my fluval 406 to seed it, the thing is, I seeded ALOT!!! I mean I stuck that sponge in there and squeezed and shook until nothing else would come out!! That tank looked NASTY for a few hours, the filter sponge is from a heavily planted (low-tech) 55 gal., as I have seeded many tanks w/this exact method, they were all larger (55+) and the tank is well established. I added 3 full grown Mollies to start feeding the bacteria immediately, after 2 wks. of constant testing 0 amm., 0 trites., I started to notice that foul odor that sometimes comes w/cycling, so I changed out my carbon from my filter. The next day, bacterial bloom, completely clouded over.:-( and yes the carbon was well rinsed in dechlorinated water. So I added a Bio-sponge filter (air-driven) as a supplement. Right away started seeing ammonia spike to 1-2 ppm, then drop to 0 while the trites. spiked to around .5-1 ppm. then drop to 0 as well. Nitrates went up as expected, did a 50% water change. The past 2 wks. all has been well. Still that foul odor, and now again an ammonia spike 1-2ppm. 0 trites.:-? I started w/ aged dechlorinated water, WC with same. WHATS GOIN ON HERE!!! First time seeding a tank this small, did I over-do it? My PH has remained stable at 8.2, KH 6DKH, GH 250ppm, temp. 80F. Have been detoxifying w/Amquel Plus daily (don't want fishies to suffer b/c my screw-up). I realize now the water change probably was not the best idea (YAY for hind-site). But I didn't vac. the gravel or wipe any surfaces. My filter is an AquaClear 70 w/ALOT of bio-max rings and carbon pack, a medium size air-bio-sponge, 100 watt heater. Substrate is CichlidSand (dont remember brand) mixed w/crushed coral. several lava rocks stacked as caves, this will be for a mated pair of Red-banded Moorii cichlids. Any info or advice will be greatly appreciated!!! SORRY about the size of post BTW. Thanks Everyone......
 

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Hmm. I don't think it's possible to "over seed" a tank, and that def. wouldn't be causing these issues.
Water changes are fine and are your best friend right now. You gotta keep up with the changes to remove the ammonia instead of just relying on chemicals.
I'm thinking what happened is that squeezing water from old media over new media doesn't really transfer bacteria. The bacteria colonize within the sponge and not really the water, which is why large water changes won't kill a cycle.
 
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