Hi all !

I am somewhat new here. I used to be a member, got frustrated, left and now am back with a 20 gallon long FW tank. I had a betta who died and I kept for sometime. I tank was just a gallon and unfiltered. I am guessing it just eventually cycled itself I "seeded" my new tank with ceramic media from the betta tank and my parameters are nitrites 0, nitrates 20 and ammonia 0.25 I just dumped a small amount of ammonia in this morning to see what the AquaClear filter would accomplish. The sponge in that filter has a rusty orange color to it. I dont know if that is good bacteria, algae or crud or what it is. It is also on the tip of my filter suction tube. I have a few live plants and carbon in the filter now. Any help is appreciated.