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[APD] RE: why algae will not grow

Like others, I have been puzzled by a seeming contradiction in what causes algae to grow. One would think that if you provide plenty of macro and micro nutrients and plenty of CO2, then there should be enough for both plants and algae. But, no, that's evidently not the case.

Again, like others, I have been following Tom Barr's advice for my 50-gallon tank. I add 10 ppm NO3 and 1.5 ppm PO4 four times a week. On the other three days, I add 8 ml Seachem Flourish and 3 ml Seachem iron. I keep the CO2 concentration at 30 ppm. There should be plenty of nutrients for plants and algae both. But, I have virtually no algae.

Buried in one of Tom's recent postings is what must be the answer:

The issue is one of inducement.
Spores need NH4 to get going in many species of algae.
Healthy plants = very low NH4.

I hope I'm correct in interpreting this to mean: If the healthy, well-nourished plants consume all the ammonium ion, NH4+, that is produced, then there is nothing to signal the algae spores to grow. The old algae dies off, the new spores don't grow, and you are left with a tank with no *visible* algae.

I'm sure Tom (or others) will correct me if I've misinterpreted his message.

John T. Fitch

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