Growing Aquarium Plants
I think I always try to do too much with too little.  Here I am trying to grow plants in a tank with medium sized cichlids.  My notes on fighting algae show that I tried for several years to avoid using algae eating fish to fight the algae plague that exists in my 55 gallon tank.

The best I ever did at growing plants was in a 15 gallon tank that I had when I was in my early teens.  That tank was probably the prettiest tank I ever had.  I had some kind of val, anacharis, pygmy sword plant and hornwort all growing and in some cases reproducing.   I think the reason that the plants were doing so well, is that at that time, I didn't understand the concept of periodic water changes.  That tank was pretty completely populated, and I am sure there was plenty of fertilizer present after a few months.   Eventually as you would expect that tank crashed, and the medicine I put in the tank to help the fish, killed the plants.

When I lived in South Florida, I kept a row of 4, 10 gallon unheated tanks in the screened in porch I had.  I tried live plants several times in those tanks.  They would grow quite well for a few weeks, and then slowly fade away after that.  I suppose they ran out of some vital nutrient after that first period of healthy growth.

Since then, I have tried planting the 55 gallon tank I currently have.  Unfortunately in the water I have, it appears that algae grows better and faster.   The algae coats and strangles most plants.  I do have a tough amazon swordplant of some sort that is somehow hanging on.  Also I have plenty of algae coated anacharis that seems to do OK when the PH is below 7.0.  I suppose when I solve the algae problem, I could try working in some new plants.

In any case,  my experience with growing plants in aquariums is mixed.  I think it takes a dedicated aquarium keeper with a big fancy for water plants to consistently succeed.