Bacterial addenda are somehow controversial in the hobby. The general consensus is that the products are useless since they are not kept refrigerated. However, there are some positive claims wrt biospira.
Ammonia: make sure there is no additional product, i.e., if you shake the bottle, does it foam? If yes, that's not good a product. You need "pure ammonia" (which does not exist as a liquid at our room temperature, but does as ammonium hydroxide). One disadvantage of the hydroxide compound is that it changes the pH, increasing it to caustic values. Ammonium chloride is better since Cl
- does not interact with pH. But anyway, do the cycle with "pure" ammonia, and when the cycle is done, make sure your water turns back to a "normal" pH value, typical of your tap water.