With the recent setup of a 29 gallon tank, I had success using fish food in the water along with adding a commercially available source of live bacteria.
This document is easy to understand.
And this video is helpful.
Details on this approach can be found here.
Here are plants suggested from various sites:
- Floating plants: Amazon Frogbit, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides)
- Stem plants: Anacharis densa, Anacharis narrowleaf, Ludwigia repens, Moneywort, Rotala Indica, Rotala Rotundafolia, Pygmy Chain Sword (Echinodorus tenellus), Grass-leaved Arrowhead (Sagittaria graminae )
- Other rooting plants: Amazon sword (Echinodorus bleheri), Walmart Aponogeton, Vallisneria Spiralis Leopard, Java Fern
- Rhizome plants: Anubias Coffeefolia, Java Windelov Fern
- Moss: Java moss, Marmimo moss balls, Subwassertang
Here’s a nice video. The two species discussed here that might work best for the new tank are Jungle Val Italian (long thin grass like) and Bacopa (stem plant for each side).
Foreground Carpet Plants
S. Repins, dwarf sagitaria, dwarf or pygmy amazon swords.
Side Stem Plants
As mentioned above and others: Bacopa, Anacharis Densa.