I have put together a 29gal. Plant / Veggie Filter / Refugium for my 55gal. Freshwater aquarium.
It has Applesnails (P. bridgesi), Ramshorn, and Pond snails. Wood/Bamboo Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp, and Freshwater Golden clams.
The current plants are just Val., Anachris, Frogbit, and Greater Duckweed.
My goal is to minimize nitrates and just keep the water quality as high as possible with as little "maintenance" as possible.
The Val., Anachris, Frogbit and Duckweed are just plants that I already had.
The Temp. of the aquarium is 86F (30C) and needs to stay there.
I currently have about 195 watts of light (regular fluorescents) and the aquarium wrapped on 3 sides with aluminum foil.
So, my question is: What other plants could I add that will further my goal of reducing nitrates and just maintaining super high water quality???
I am not looking to make this a "Planted Tank" in the same sense that most people do: I want this to be Functional before beautiful, but I think I can achieve both in the end.
A side note: The reason for the Refugium is because the 55gal. houses the Arafuran Filesnake in my signature and his "Food"--Comets keep eating all of the plants in the 55gal. tank. Additionally, I don't want the snails, shrimp and clams "annoying" him causing undo stress. These snakes are extremely difficult to keep (even for zoos)--so, his "stress-level" comes first.
Any Pointers would be Greatly Appreciated!!