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Re: Cycling a new tank

Daniel Wellwood wrote:
<Can plants be harmed or stunted by a tank that is new and cycling
withabout four fish in a 50 gallon tank?  Does <the Ammonia or Nitrites
have any undesirable effects?

Ammonia is called ammonium in water with a PH less than 7. In this state it
is food for plants and tanks that have plants make this cycling stage safe
for fish. The stem and other fast growing plants are more efficient in
extracting ammonium directly from the water column and are the ideal
starting plants for this reason. If there are not enough of these fast
growers then the end product in the water is nitrate which is food for
algae as the higher plants absorb nitrate through their roots better than
from the water directly. Some floating type plants such as riccia can take
in nitrate directly but most don't. When you start getting nitrate readings
on your test kit, start doing small daily partial water changes until the
nitrate readings are almost 0. At that point you can start adding new fish
gradually if you wish to.

Susan Romano