Plants are awesome, and it's never too late to add them! All three of my tanks are planted, and although having plants doesn't mean you can neglect regular maintenance, the do help with the water quality. My betta tanks (as opposed to my guppy tank) has Elodia (which may or may not work out due to water temperatures), Java Moss, Java Fern, Water Sprite, Hornwort, Water Wisteria, Dwarf Baby Tears, and Green Cabomba.The guppy tank is a bit larger and has a couple crypts and an Anubias in addition to the plants I've already listed. They seem to grow equally well in sand and gravel, but I've never had a soil substrate and dose with Flourish (Comprehensive, I believe) once a week. The tanks all also have a thriving, although well-regulated, pond snail population; I used to have ghost shrimp as well and they thoroughly enjoyed the plants in a gravel substrate, but that's about the extent of my knowledge on shrimp.
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