There are many types of micro-sword; Regular(?), Brazilian, Narrow leaf, ect. The Narrow Leaf variety, though you can trim it to whatever length you desire, grows 6+ inches in my tank (See pic to left of post).
I think cottagewitchs idea of amazonia is a good for substrate. I have never used it personally, but the concensus is that it is one of the best, and since you are only dealing with a 3 gallon tank here, the cost (+ Shipping which has always turned me off) should not be much of an issue for such a small quantity. If not there are plenty of other quality planted substrates on the market. Rinse em, and they should all do fine.
Im assuming that the 9w light you mentioned is one of those mini-deco PC bulbs. IMO, If it is the proper spectrum (about 6700K) it should be good for that tank. Depending on how high off the tank it sits, I would call it moderate light.
One of the problems with picos (especially one that is gonna sit on your desk at work) is that ppl want them to look "clean". This means you probably won't be running a bunch of light, CO2, ect... In that case, you need to be patient and select plants that aren't as demanding. Finding a carpet plant that works for you is therfore going to be more difficult.
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