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An Algae Experiment
I know levels of N and P slightly above zero are recommended. I've
intentionally driven nitrate and phosphate to near zero levels in a
high-input 90 gallon tank. Lots of CO2, light, K and trace supplementation.
Most of the substrate is covered with sword plants and I assume that those
plants draw most of their needs from the substrate (laterite and gravel with
added fertilizers). The back and sides of the tank are covered with black
eggcrate, the upper half of which is planted in hygrophilia difformis, the
bottom half in the shade is planted in anubias coffeefolia. All the plants
are growing well so far. Since it is totally water borne in this tank, I
expect the difformis to stall out as N and P levels continue to drop. I'm
going to try to add N and P only through fish food. Algae is minimal except
for a form of green spot that is more like green dust. It is a very rapid
grower and easily comes loose into the water. The question is, how is this
algae able to keep going with nothing in the water to support it?
BTW, the rotala macrandra really hates these water parameters, even though
it is rooted in the substrate, so I guess that speaks to the need to keep N
and P above zero for some plants.