You sure got taken in by the stone thing.
A properly cycled tank does not need anything like that. The claims made seem out of line with other research by Ph D. scientists.
The properly identified nitrifying bacteria are in the genus Nitrospiros
, and they do not enter any sort of dormant phase that allows them to dry out. Incorporating these species in a composite rock is not going to work. There are other species that actually are identified as taking part in cycling the tank, too. The specie claimed in the web site is not the correct specie that you are trying to grow when you are cycling the tank.http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/Library_P ... apers.html
Skip the item about sea salt, and scroll down to the 2 articles about ammonia and nitrite in the aquarium. The bacteria researched in these articles are not any of the bacteria that had been used in any cycling product before. They were hard to grow in the lab in a way that they could be identified.
I would remove the stone and try to get your money back. Maybe it is releasing white bits into your water.
Do enough water changes during cycling to keep the ammonia under .25 ppm, the nitrite under 1 ppm and when the nitrate shows up keep it under 20 ppm for sure, and lower is better.
Part of the treatment for Ich includes lots of water changes, emphasizing gravel vacs, so it should be easy to help the fish through the last bit of cycling.
26 tanks, over 3000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.
Happy fish keeping!