All I used was the Safe-T-Sorb, 40 pound bag.
The only additive was the pond fertilizer tablets, and they were pretty beat up. The granules went under the substrate.
The filters have an assortment of sponges, floss and ceramic bio-noodles. No chemical media.
Since then I have been adding ammonia for the bacteria, and fertilizers (macros and micros) for the plants.
The bacteria are removing about 1 ppm ammonia each day, so I add enough to bring it up to 3 ppm, about every other day. It got down to 1 ppm this evening. Nitrite is high. (I have a hard time telling the difference in the colors on the strips, and my API NO2 test is so old it no longer reacts)
KH is coming back down, and the pH is a bit lower. I think there was something in the fertilizer tablets. But what is making the KH drop so fast? The bacteria can't be growing THAT fast! They do use carbonates, but this is way more of a drop than that!