For substrate I am using petco black sand; its pretty large, not very fine, and I read around on some forums that it makes decent substrate for plants.
The plants that are in there include: Amazon sword in the front left, left is a money wort, rear left is some sword of broad leafed plant (can't remember atm,) center is anubia grown on driftwood, to the right of that is java fern. Front right im not sure, as I did not intend to buy it, when I was getting the java fern the clerk kind of grabbed both of them so its kind of like a bonus lol. And the far right is egeria densa. All of them are fairly easy to grow from what I read and should be good for a beginner such as myself im hoping :D
They have been fertilized with root tabs, and also one dose of aqueon plant food. So I am hoping to see some nice growth over the next month!
Once my angelplus active sponge filter comes in the tank will run for a couple days to get its cycle and then it will be home to i'm hoping a half moon plakat :)
And I also love the bookshelfs, I think they're perfect for bettas not to deep and lots of swimming room!