ammonium chloride zero overnight?

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JDJP

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Stepping up one of my tanks from a nano cube 24 to a redsea reefer 170. Added live sand, Dr Tim's one and only micrbacter 7 and a little microbacter clean because I had them. And a couple rocks that have been soaking a long time.
Added a drop of ammonium chloride per gallon, waited a couple weeks and I was still reading about .5-1ppm ammonia.
So I thought maybe a bag of activated carbon with so much surface area might hold a lot of bacteria, it had been in the back of the nano cube for months. Added the bag yesterday also the rest of the bottle of Dr Tim's and today 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.

What happened? I've read activated carbon doesn't absorb ammonia, but can it absorb ammonium chloride? Or could the bacteria in that bag have cycled the tank overnight?

20210521_170827.jpg
 
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