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Some Thoughts?..

Hi all, this is my first correspondence, I'm currently a student at St. Lawrence University in northern NY.  
On filtration:    Has anyone thought on the feasability of a jaubert type natural nitrate reduction for the planted aquarium?  Perhaps in a separate sump, its use has proven effective in saltwater, although a few questions pertaining to its use in freshwater.  Are there sufficient means to keep the lower substrate layer from becoming "caked" or anaerobic i.e. less than .5 ppm oxygen?  This would pertain to the invert community bordering on microscopic size such as nematodes or small annelids.  
On undergravel heating:  There is a lot of talk on cable heating of the substrate.   I've been using small 3/8 inch pvc buried in the bottom connected to a small sump on the back of the tank containing a heater and a small powerhead for circulation. Seal the system and evaporation is kept to a minimum.  Seems a viable alternative to cable heating?
On local flora:  Anyone out there wishing to share experience/ references / literature on native aquatic plants?  Particularly info on dealing with seasonality and species.  
Thanks in advance.