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RE:Cycling a new planted aquarium

Well, I understand the theory about the plants using the ammonia being
produced by fish and also nitrite, nitrate, and numerous other things that
we don't test for but which probably exist in the tanks environment upon
startup or shortly thereafter. The question I have is on the types of
plants being used during the initial setup. I can see that stem plants and
especially floating plants would adapt to a new environment relatively fast
so they would not be in much of a transfer shock, if any, for very long.
They would then resume their normal function of removing the toxic
substances from the water very quickly and provide the kind of
"anti-cycling" protection we want. On the other hand, rooted plants and
others that don't tolerate rapid environmental change may be of little use
in providing this protection. It is my understanding that, if disturbed or
transplanted, rooted plants stop photosynthesis and concentrate on using
their internal stores of energy to produce roots and gain a fixed position
in the new environment. Some of them also discard their existing leaves if
the leaves are not suited to functioning in the new environment. These
activities take time and are necessary prerequisites before the plant can
resume photosynthesizing. Meanwhile, since they are not photosynthesizing,
the nutrients they would normally consume during this period are building
up in the tank causing the spikes characteristic of the cycle. Whether the
plants resume enough photosynthetic activity in time to overcome the
potential harmful effects of an ammonia or nitrite spike depends on several
factors including the volume of animal waste being produced, the number and
type of plants present, the volume of water, and the amount of any
bacteriological matter introduced at startup.

--- Eric