AX-3000 secondary router to FIOS G1100 , cascade two router config

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I’m stumped (over my head) with this setup:

ASUS Router(wan port)=> FIOS (lan port)=> ONT => Internet
Netgear switch=>FIOS(LAN PORT)
ONT is Ethernet to FIOS network.
Two subnets, for FIOS, for ASUS

PRIMARY reason for setup is to eventually run VPN client on ASUS for all connections except those cited by split tunneling, with connections to FIOS unaffected, but this doesn’t seem to directly affect the problem(tested and works).

have configured this via setup recommended by vpn university tutorial. also have, as per instructions, setup static route to FIOS router. Most things work, except notably, torrent connections. This is from asuswrt-Merlin usb app, QNAP download station, qbittorrent app for Linux. it seems that when logged through the FIOS router, transactions go through without port forwarding (except upnp).

do I have to set up forwarding for the ASUS to achieve this, which involves setting up the firewall? I was trying to avoid that...

Suggestions, guidance?

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