Which is why I am hoping to solve a lot of my issues with this "sump extension ". The pothos don't solve everything but they help. It is likely that most of my excess bio load can be supported with a 44 gallon brute filled with media?To significantly reduce ammonia and nitrate with plants like Pothos (or any terrestrial plant for that matter) the plants must greatly outweigh the stocking of fish.
I use plants in this matter, and when I set up the tank below 3 years ago, it never went thru a typical cycle, and still never shows detectable nitrate.
The tank 185 gals, the sump/refugium is a heavy planted 125 gal.
View attachment 1463289.
When the tank started, it was planted about a month before fish were added, and then I added only 25 mosquito fish another month before adding cichlids.
Ammonia and nitrite were never detectable, probably because the plants used any as soon as it was produced, same with nitrate.
To me, filters like pressurized canisters, are producers of more nitrate than they are worth.
I have two canisters, one came with the 180, one with the 125, they sit as paper weights.
I was able to use the media they came with in my sump.