Thanks for your comments on my threads and congrats on taking the plung into planted tanks. If you stick around this site long enough, your tank will be well on it's way in no time. As of now, my suggestions are:
1. Get a bunch of stem plants in there, unless you're planning to do a "low tech" tank, then I'd get low light plants such as mosses, anubias, java ferns, and some hygros just to name a few. The Swap n Shop always have plants avail here (one good source, if not the best for plants are from other members).
2. Get better lighting - if you're on a budget like me just get 2 gooseneck clip lamps from from Wallmart. They also sell the 6500K bulbs there as well for dirt cheap. Trust me, these lights work! PM me if you want details.
3. Get on a fert regimen - Estimative Index (EI), PPMD, or PPS Pro. There's a ton of info if you search for any of these 3 types. I prefer EI since I don't mind just dry dosing my tanks. Remember to do regular water changes according to your fert regimen requirements.
4. Good CO2 diffusion - for a small tank like yours try this one
, assuming you're running DIY yeast CO2. Or if money's not an issue, you can just jump right into pressurized CO2.
5. A nutrient rich substrate is always beneficial, but not totally necessary to grow most plants if you're dosing ferts. The harder plants to grow can be very picky but you'll tackle those obstacle when you get to them.
After you've done all the above, you should be well on your way to getting some decent plant growth. Have fun!