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[APD] Planted Tank as Rift Lake Refugium

  I'm going to be setting up a 45 gal African Rift Lake tank, and was thinking 
of having a 15 or 20 gal planted refugium/sump to filter it.  I was inspired 
partly by the discussion this past week about the LFS, as well as the shape 
and design of the desk I'll be putting the tank on.

  My question is about the high pH and hardness of the tank.  My tap water is 
already pretty hard, and I'll be having a few 'shell islands' for the fish to 
hide in.  
  Will there be any special requirements for the plants?  I'm planning on 
using mostly 'nutrient pigs' - Hydro. polysperma, an Amazon sword, and 
probably a few floating types like Frogbit and Pennywart.  Should I let the 
system run w. the plants for a week or so, before introducing the fish?  Will 
the higher pH make a difference with the type of N in the system?  Should I 
use some sort of chemical filtration in conjunction with the plants?  This set-
up is mainly for the FISH tank... don't worry, I've got two tanks in the 
living room that are planted show-tanks.  ;)

Thanks for the advice.


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