Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Driftwood: Might and sounds like it did still have some tannins. Could have contributed some ammonia, but I sort of doubt it. Not out of the question, though.
How to handle a tank with high ammonia:
Boost the population of bacteria. Do not squeeze the filter media. The bacteria cling to surfaces, you are not transferring very many when you simply squeeze out the debris into the new tank. If your other tank(s) can spare some more bacteria, then add some filter media to the new tank. Do not take so much the donor tanks have problems. I have taken up to 25% of the filter media from established tanks to jump start the new tank.
Keep up the water changes. Keep the ammonia < .25 ppm. Keep the NO2 under 1.0 ppm.
Prime itself can lock up ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Read the label for the proper dose for ammonia. The regular dose ought to be enough if you can keep the ammonia under .25 ppm.