Anyone want to study refugium plants with me?



Fish Fanatic
Jan 14, 2021
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Before I saw your post I was looking into Anoxic Biocenosis, but your approach seems a lot cleaner and it is unencumbered by all the "hard layers" necessary to make AB work. That was what caught my attention.
AB is a whole other issue. It's a fairly slow process. On top of that, with well oxygenated aquarium water, getting decent flow while reducing the O2 to get the desired processes is in conflict. Plants pull N and are aerobic. It is so very much easier.
Regarding SMBBR, I guess until you know you are going for a giant bioload, the Zeolite does not really have a role. But then again, what if you decide to go all out and have a giant tank? It'll be fun to see where this takes you. I suppose it has to do more with which and how many inhabitants you choose for the main tank. I need to do my homework on cichlids.
I'm not interested in chemical filtration. I can get various organisms to do the chemistry for me. That's really the difference between "biological" and "chemical" filtration in my mind. I'm hoping to have a moderate sized tank with this project. I'm looking at about 250-300gal for the display tank. But I am a ways from the build, and it won't be a fast process. Just don't have the blocks of time needed to do the larger build components often.
Would it be practical to consider baffles to rotate the Nitella flexilis as a way to not tire them out? Also, square baffles would allow for rotation to facilitate light exposure in a vertical configuration. Just a thought.
I'm not really settled on Nitella. I've done a bit of reading on it, but would need to do way more. My first priority is a fact growing plant that has access to atmospheric CO2. Floaters are the focus at the moment, but I am doing a bit of reading to begin the process of understanding whether a second submerged layer might be helpful. Or not.
I expect you could get good results from having the roots of Epipremnum aureum submerged, and then string the stem of the plant up outside the tank in good light. This means you wouldn't necessarily need to take up any space in the tank for plant mass, only the roots.
Yes, I've seen that done. I like the idea of not needing to take up tank space, and of course that meets the requirement for the plant having access to atmospheric CO2. I suppose my concern is two fold. One is that in my experience Epipremnum aureum doesn't have particularly biomass high production. I realize it is invasive in the tropics, and can have fairly rapid growth, but it sort of plods compared with what I can get from some of the floaters. The other concern is aesthetic. This aquarium will be in my living space, and I want all the processes hidden. Indeed, I've been strongly encouraged to do so... Having a vine growing out of the back potentially creating the look of "an abandoned ruin" does not fit with the aesthetic requirements in this case.


Fish Herder
Sep 20, 2020
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Pacific Northwest, US
That is my aesthetics! All my tanks have Epipremnum aureum and my house does look like an abandoned ruin. I told you I was born in the wrong century. 🙃

I am looking forward to seeing how this develops. Just the thought of a 300 gal. tank is overwhelming to me.


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