Let me start off by saying that I have a already established tank that I I have taken some media from, it is a 75 Gallon.

I placed two large sponge filters in this tank prior to setting the new tank up which is a 180 with 40 sump, 200 total volume estimate. I did not hook up any air to the sponges. I also added 2 bottles of Tetra Safestart Plus ( have never used this before )

I dosed the new tank to 4 ppm using 10% ammonia solution. Over the next couple days, nothing changed. I then added my other sponge from the 75 which has been running
for almost a year in there so I know it is seeded versus the other one which may not have had the time to colonize.

Ammonia started dropping but I was still not seeing nitrite and had very little nitrates, roughly 10 ppm. I thought that may have been my tap water which is on a well, so I tested it, it comes back at 0 ppm. I redosed to 3 ppm

As a final idea, I hung one of the AC110's on the sump of the 180 to get some some more bacteria in the system ( don't worry, the 75 still has a Eheim 2217 and a AC110 on it, so it's in no danger of crashing. )

This morning I tested, and my ammonia is roughly 1 or 2 ppm, nitrite 0 and nitrate about 30-40 ppm.

I've never had a cycle like this, so it's kind of confusing. I do have a couple Amazon swords in there also. Should I just continue the way I'm going and keep dosing until my ammonia processes to 0 over 24 hours and ignore the nitrite reading, maybe it is processing before I can test ? Should I do water change ? If so how much is recommended.

Thanks Guys