Pothos monoculture or in combination with similar water loving plants, are excellent and natural nitrate removers.
I personally never tried very hard to grow these types of plants in my tanks I certainly do believe in their utility to aquarium husbandry.
It seems to me that using even a relatively small amount of fibrous aquarium peat, such as Fluval's, would be a good potting substrate which would promote good root growth. I've been out of touch. Seems this one has been discontinued although marinedepot.com and a listing on ebay may be productive. Boiled Canadian peat fiber should also be fine and cheap, to boot.
Supplemental lighting seems to me to be the greatest challenge. Many aquarists in the more northern latitudes struggle for enough ambient natural light, in both duration and intensity during the fall through early spring.
I've found 6400K, T-2 fluorescent lights to be very good performers as well as highly efficient. Prices for complete fixture w/lamp are reasonable. I have extensive experience with these. Review them here: http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com ... ml#t2light
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They sell a wide variety of high intensity LED lights. Not positive about this but they may have a type which screws into a standard household socket. Saves money, if it's an option. Hey, if nothing else, americanaquariumproducts.com has a motherload of technical information about lighting aquaria that's well worth keeping in mind for future reference.