Nice post, and good looking start on a planted tank. I admit, seeing the plastic plants in the first photos was discouraging, but you've done very well
For Stem plants.....typical procedure is to plant 3-4 stems in the same hole, and space the groups 3-4 inches apart. That's just a really general rule, I'm sure those numbers vary greatly. The idea is, you don't necessarily
want to block light to the lower leaves. Careful with that sword, it will eventually do so!
Starting your second planted tank already!!! M
yndrome at it's best!
Typically, a good place to start with aquascaping (this coming from a noob myself) is to grow taller plants in the back, and shorter ones in the front. Also, don't plant and arrange in too symmetrical of a fashion, it's good to have things off-balance a little. Read the stickies too, they help a lot.
Last question/comment.....it's very hard to get a 29 gallon tank to look big. I suppose the best way is to use fine-leaved plants, which you are doing for the most part. The sword will get too big eventually, if all things go to plan!
Now....some questions for you! What is your substrate consisting of...you mentioned fluorite? What kind/how many lights do you have? Are you using the Hagen CO2 factory, including the little grey canister? What is your filtration? What kind of fishies....any algae cleanup crew planned?
Whew, good thread it's always good to see the conversion from fake to real plants, especially when the person reads up on in!