I'm doing an Amazon biotope riparium (29g) with some Vals (probably jungle val, not sure though) and swords in the background, but to be honest I am not really sure what kind of swords I want. Really need some recommendations on which ones might be best, thanks!
Also, anyone know a good South American foreground plant?
Swords aren't found in the Amazon proper, though you might see them in seasonally flooded creeks and swampy areas. I'd recommend. E. uruguayensis, as it's the most likely to grow submersed (it will grow emersed as well). Stay away from weird varieties, as they're most likely hybrids.
The genus Vallisneria isn't found in the Amazon at all, near as I can tell.
Bad news on the foreground plants - amano-style foregrounds generally don't exist in nature, though you will get foregrounds on a massive scale in big springs, where tall stem plants cover the bottom but don't quite reach the top. Most of the plants used as foregrounds live on moist streambanks, and generally aren't found underwater most of the year.
If you'd like to do a South American-themed riparium, I'd recommend one based on the shallow streams that eventually feed into big rivers like the Amazon. You could use a mix of emersed and submersed swords, Corydoras catfish, and loricariid catfish (plecos).
You could also do a "South American swamp" riparium with emersed swords, dark brown/black substrate, maybe some driftwood, and some deep-bodied tetra species, though many get too big for a 29G riparium. I'm personally a fan of bloodfin tetras; they're hardy and school very well.
Regardless of which direction you go, I'd advise only a small school of fish - a 29G riparium will have only around ten gallons' worth of water, less if you use a lot of rocks. You should also consider using a powerhead if you go the creek route.