Ok, I may have found an answer to my own question: Click here
From what I understand COD is simply put an indication of the organic content in the water. Bacteria and algae feed on them. So a low COD should prevent algae from spreading.
I don't know how true is that because some algae (namely Cladophora, and even BBA) seem to thrive in very clean water.
The tanks of Luis Navarro seem to be a good example of low COD and lack of algae. Luis changes the water in his tanks (all 17 of them!) twice a week and they are void of algae. From what I rememeber each water change is 50% or so.
I wonder how does Amano keep the COD so low. His tanks seem to be typically overstocked. A few years ago some folk had posted info about ADA people attending each client's tank every single day. If that is true than keeping the water extremely clean shouldn't be a problem.
Finally (to reiterate that there is no "magic pill" in keeping a clean tank), I've had at least 2 tanks which I totally neglected and they never had problems. The fauna in these tanks was definitely too much. The water often got amber because of skipping water changes. The COD must have been very high...
Such low N and P are not really a problem. Often if a tank is well stocked with fish the N and P are unreadable but the plants do exceptionally well.
Actually I've checked all 12 issues of the AquaJournal 2001 and the N and P in Amano's tanks are listed as very low. N is between 1-2 (2 or 3 tanks had 4-6) and P is almost always below 0.5 (one tank had about 1 if I remember correctly).
What I think is that there are many ways to run a great tank. To me consistency is more important than actual numbers.
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