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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?

Susan Romano wrote:
Ammonia is called ammonium in water with a PH less than 7. In this state
is food for plants and tanks that have plants make this cycling stage
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
from the water directly. Some floating type plants such as riccia can
in nitrate directly but most don't. When you start getting nitrate
on your test kit, start doing small daily partial water changes until
nitrate readings are almost 0. At that point you can start adding new
gradually if you wish to.

When the pH is above 7 is the ammonium turn to ammonia? And if it turns
to ammonia is this dangerous to plants? I have a friend who just started
his tank about two weeks ago and he planted it right away. His plants
look unhealthy. His set up should be growing the plants with ease, he is
doing the same as I am and I have been successful with the same type of
plants that he is growing. After going round and round with him about
what may be causing his plants to look brownish with thin leaves  the
only conclusion I can come to is that the tank is cycling. Though he
does say that his pH is right at 7?