The ammonia removing media is the wrong direction to have gone. The foundation of the nitrifying bacteria in a tank is ammonia. The ammonia oxidizing bacteria reproduce by dividing and if and how often they reproduce depends upon ammonia levels. When these increase beyond the needs of the ammonia bacteria currently present, they reproduce, On the other hand when the ammonia levels decline, they stop reproducing and their natural death rate results in a shrinkage of the colony. This works for the nitrite ones as well.
So, the more ammonia removing products used the more ammonia that is removed from the water, and thus, the less bacteria you will have over time. What you should have done, should it have been necessary, would be to add more viable bacteria to the tank in the form of either Dr. Tim's One and Only or Tetra's Safe Start. The next best thing to do would be to add live plants. They use ammonia faster than bacteria and do not make nitrite or nitrate. You can float most stem plants which are great nutrient users. If you font want a planted tank longer term, you can start to remove the plants when things are OK in the tank. Remove about 1/4 of them at a time over about 10 days. This allows the bacteria present to reproduce to handle the newly available ammonia.
You gave no readings on any of your parameters, so I am curious how high ammonia got before you decided you needed to take the steps which you did. Please include the pH and temp. of the tank at the time of the ammonia reading as these two parameters determine the potential toxicity of any ammonia reading taken with a kit that reads Total Ammonia. Most, hobby kits do this.
BTW- I breed plecos, and all the tanks (breeding or grow out) are usually overstocked because they always are filling up with new ones. I do not loose fish and I raise and send out healthy fish. My pleco tanks are not planted and they get one big water change weekly.