So I have been seeing so many peoples planted tanks and I would really like to do something like that I have grown to really like the natural looking tanks and what better than a planted tank, before doing anything I just wanted some tips or advice regarding setting this up, I am willing to get anything that is needed. I have tried searching for threads but it is just overwhelming.
Unless you are wanting to grow carpeting plants, you aren't going to need to invest in a plant specific substrate. Some laterite (clay) under gravel or sand with root tabs where needed should be enough for what most people recommend as easy care plants.
Java fern, various species of moss, bolbitis (can be a little difficult to find), anubias and crypts are all great plants to start off with, and can be used to create a very effective looking tank. They can grow quite happily in low-light, low-tech tanks, and aren't really that fussy with water parameters.
Lighting is fairly important in that you need the right kelvin rating 6500-10000 K and the right wattage. Unless you are providing C02 and nutrients, you are going to run into algae and deficiency problems if you put something like 50 watts over five gallons.
Nutrients are equally important, but with the above mentioned plants in a low-tech tank, a comprehensive fertiliser like Seachem Flourish should be enough to supplement growth.
I think using some nice thin pieces of wood slightly off to one side, and then planting this up with java fern (narrow-leaf always looks nice), anubias nana and moss, creates a nice focal point and would be easy to maintain. A nice carpet of crypt parva around this with some larger crypts possibly lutea in the background gives you an effective looking 'aquascape' that is going to require the occasional trim and dose of fertiliser.
I do agree with starting out with the easier, less demanding kids first. Anubias, java ferns, anacharis/elodea, wisteria, and mosses (even moss balls!) do really work great in tanks. The one thing I may not recommend to a beginner (if you are) is the crypts... I always get melty crypts due to crypt melt, which is annoying! Boo melting periods! :)
My tanks aren't anything special. It's too hard/pricey to find good hardscape materials here. I just paid $20.00 for one rock the other day.
If any of my crypts show signs of melting, out come my big trimming scissors and I snip every single leaf off and let it regrow from scratch. I find once they've gotten accustomed to your water conditions they grow fairly fast and if you have a good substrate and fertilise regularly they can send off two or three new leaves a week.
I pulled two or three out of my 13 litre tanks and the root systems were as long as the whole bottom of the tank. I have Crypt Lutea and I have to say, they are exceptionally hardy given I siphon them up half the time when I'm gravel vaccing.
I second the link to Pew's guide... It's good stuff. The advice LittleBettaFish posted is also pretty solid. Were there any plants you had in mind that you wanted to do so we could guide you in the right direction setup wise?
Bare minimum: You're going to need some kind of inexpensive light fixture (see Pew's guide) fertilizers (I personally recommend seachem) root tabs, and a bit of patience with growing plants.
High tech you'd need.... Well, a lot more. I can walk you through that if you want, but most people aren't interested in lights that can be seen 3 miles away or C02 injectors. They are quite fun though, let me tell you that. :)