According to many on this forum 85% substrate coverage is heavily planted.
I didn't start this way, wish I had, but would not have learned as much though.
1st month went to LFS every week, 2 plants and 3 fish.
5 weeks totaled 15 fish and 10 different stem plants.
No NH3 or NO2 spikes, visible on the test kit but not off the charts.
40 gallon long tank with DIY canister and UV with CO2 reactor.
Began dosing ferts around week 6, 20% WC weekly.
Never been an algae farm either.
Not sure but I look at it as a patient approach.
Small changes over longer periods.
At 4 months massive lighting upgrade, more CO2, full fert regiment.
Now almost 9 months and a true jungle.
Bred many fish in the 70's and 80's, saltwater aquariums too.
I went in this for the plants.
Felt cheated many years ago, today provides extensive plant variety.
Not available years ago.
Fish only let me know there really is water in the glass box.