So why am I doing this if I know that plants export more nutrients? Because I want a compact filter. I have an excellent design in mind for a plant filter and I will build it someday. It will consume more nutrients than anything else possibly could, but it will be both bulky and complex compared to my algae filter. Macro algae (as opposed to green water) is very good at exporting nutrients but is limited by being stuck to a surface in a thin layer where as plants grow in three dimensions. This is both a weakness and a strength. You would have trouble designing a plant filter as small as my algae filter. My algae filter may not be as powerful as a plant filter, in theory, but it can be engineered to produce close enough to the same export rate to be fully effective and, in reality, can be made smaller than a plant filter. Smaller tech is better tech, IMO.