First thing, you're going to want to increase your lighting. A single 20 w bulb isn't going to get you anywhere, especially with how tall that 29 gal is. Assuming you take care of that...
The sword and val are indeed easy plants - staying low tech, you shouldn't have any problems keeping them happy, though don't expect the sword to take off. The val will grow like a weed (mainly because it is one :p ).
The first of the other two pictures looks like java fern, and the second looks like a crypt. They're both easy, and will grow slowly in your tank.
You can stick with the gravel as long as you're keeping up on your ferts - I would recommend root tabs, but that's just because I think they're easier and cheaper. At this point, switching out your substrate would be a big messy job.
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