09-19-2009, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Teammuir1
here is a thought I had...
if I were to put in all the live plants I have..
would that help bring the AMMONIA level down
Yes. Plants must have ammonium to grow, and ammonium comes from ammonia. In a tank with an acidic pH (below 7.0) the ammonia produced by the fish basically changes to ammonium and the plants use it. The nitrosomonas bacteria take what's left, but according to my research the plants are quicker at grabbing most of it. In tanks with a basic/alkaline pH (7.0 and higher) ammonia remains ammonia but plants have the capability of converting ammonia to ammonium internally, so they still grab the ammonia.
In your case, as you have ammonia in your tap water, I would still recommend using a good conditioner like Prime. I am not a biologist, so I do not know the precise rate at which plants (or bacteria for that matter) can use the ammonia that is suddenly thrust into the tank during a 40% partial water change. So to be safe, use Prime or a comparable conditioner. The plants will have enough ammonia from the fish once they are in the tank. And besides, Prime does not "remove" the ammonia, it detoxifies it. So the plants and bacteria can still use it. I believe Prime actually does this by converting the ammonia to ammonium (some such products do), so there is certainly no harm in using it.