The NPT is a soil based heavy planted tank-the design to be nearly self care once they are mature and jungle like. Diana Walstad wrote a book on the science behind the natural planted tanks. I use a lot of her methods with my own twist-but the science is the same...
Regular planted tanks in inert substrate are great too-but they will need added ferts-the soil based don't need ferts since they can make their own.
Depending on your vision and type of plants you want...high tech, med or low tech......This is what will determine what supplies/items you will need.
Proper color temp bulb is one of the most important items you need for a successful planted tank-Correct color temp bulb can make the difference between success and failure. What you see and what the plant can use for photosynthesis are two different things-I use "Daylight" 6500k (Kelvin) watts can vary based on length and not as important as the kelvin.
Age of the bulb is also a factor since the florescent bulb intensity can be lost within 12 months. It may still work and we can see the light, but the color temp is used up and the plants can't use it-but the algae can...
You can also have light penetration and reflection issues due to the partition between the light and plants and how the light is directed into the water.
Plants-depending on what you are going for....For low to moderate light plants-for the inert substrate-without the need of injected CO2 or complicated ferts. Naja grass, ferns, moss, anabias, crypts, hygrophilas all work well-provided that you have the proper lights and on the correct photoperiod.