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I would just wait a little until the plants start growing again. If you bought immersed grown plants, then they will really melt back, but just leave them in their. They will then start growing and eat ammonia and nitrate. So once they start growing wait a few days, or when the water is safe to add fish. 

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Part of the ammonia issue could be due to you removing the fake plants. While they didn’t use the nutrients they were still coated with beneficial bacteria. And while most plants do tend to have bacteria on them, I don’t know that I’d count on most of that bacteria to be thriving by the time it’s shipped to you. So could have could have added some dead bacteria and decaying leaves from any melting your experiencing. 
The bacteria is supposed to multiply quickly, so should turn around fairly quick for you. Until then keep an eye on your fish and ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels and do water changes as needed. 

Edited by FishyThoughts
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