also, would anyone have any advise on what kind of plants would be best suited for this type of tank? i really like the "jungle" overgrown type of look. i really like the look of the water wisteria, crypts, anubias, and moss floor covering type of plants (like dwarf baby tears)... i really hope that this tank with the proper lighting can keep those type of plants.
Dwarf baby tears needs pretty high lighting - it's getting leggy in my 10 gallon, and that has very decent lights that keep all the other plants very happy..
All the others sound great for this type of low tech setup, though I find wisteria need ferts as it has a really high iron requirement compared to some - the rest are basically happy to live on fish poo.
In my little 3.5 gallon, I have:
Susswassertang -- I LOVE this stuff and so do shrimp. It's pretty and grows like mad, and is great for boring corners. Keep it away from strong filter flow, though, as it breaks up pretty easily.
Java moss & peacock moss -- brilliant, the shrimp willl adore them and they are pretty.
Java fern - tie it to a nice bit of mopani. I have two fairly large bits in my 3.5g and the fish loves the wood as sort-of caves, the shrimp love the gunk that grows on the wood, and it produces tannins which bettas like.
Anubias -- grows -very- slowly but also great for tying to the mopani
Crypts - need root tabs unless you have an NPT, but seem to do okay without them. Ignore 'crypt melt' - they look dead after being moved to a new tank, can take weeks to pick up. Don't panic if they all wither a bit. Be sure to buy smaller varieties, too - some get huge!
Elodea - I love this dainty plant, I really do, but it grows like a weed.. I have to chop mine in half and plant the cuttings, three weeks later I have to do it again. It fills in any gaps beautifully, the fish love it and it gets a bit tall without blocking ALL the other plants from view, kind of wispy.. Plant the stems sideways to get a pile of new stems really fast.
With those, and maybe some moneywort, small plants like that, you can make your little lush jungle and have it be very low maintenance too.
Good luck with the new tank, make sure to post pics!