The Colorado Aquarium Society is going pretty strong. I usually do not go to the meetings, but I have heard they are top notch. For a planted tank, you will need at least 2" of substrate depth, so two bags might not do it. If you can find it, there was a company that was producing an inert black sand that could be mixed with the flourish. I always have my stems available, I trim them weekly so the fish have a place to swim lol. There are some great people on the forum from Colorado that deal with planted tanks, I have met a few. Take a look int he Colorado sub-forums and see who regularly posts. I am willing to help however I can, I am what you could consider an intermediate in terms of my experience in planted tanks.
Hey I would be interested in your plants but I may not be able to get them right away. It all depends. Also I've decided I will get the Flourish Black sand and its a 15lb bag. do I need 2 for my 55 or will my plants be ok with one bag and flourish complete liquid fertilizer as well as a co2 injector? Also I'm wondering if you know any meet up groups in Colorado? I'm trying to look for some help with doing my 55 and want to meet people in person. Thanks for all your help