I heard someone refer to an "ion plate" as a way to remove nitrates from the aquarium.
I did some research on google but after 5 mins of fruitless googling I gave up.
They seemed to describe it as some piece of equipment that would suck the nitrates out of the tank without hurting the fish or anything. Maintenance is the most common complaint from NEW fishkeepers.
Low maintenance ideas leads me to the next idea (that I'm already planning on experimenting with)
I also like the idea of "biosphere"
Probably wouldn't be all that attractive, but a small tank with lots of plants placed in the sunlight and a small algae-eating fish (such as Guppy
or molly) could, theoretically, be self-sustaining....