Any good beginning aquatic plants? Ps do you need sand to keep the plants alive, or is gravel ok?
I've heard that most low-light plants do well in sand or gravel. I think Anubias, Java Fern, floating Dwarf Watter Lettuce, and Anarcharis are all good beginner options.
My personal favorite is the java fern. They don't need anything special! I like them because even in my tank (I don't dose fertilizers, CO2, or have special lights) they've managed to produce plantlets from their leaves! I now have about 6 plants, each with about 2 2 inch leaves, and the mother plants. It's really fun to find a new plant every now and then. Others are Anubias and Java moss. Gravel is fine, it doesn't have any negative effects I know of.
If you're worried about substrates, you can start with plants that you attach to things in your tank, like mosses and rhizome plants like anubias and java fern, or floating plants like frog bit or water lettuce. And there are a lot of stem plants that you can either plant or float, like hornwort, water sprite and Brazilian pennywort. All of these are pretty good beginner plants. Substrate isn't only one thing to take into consideration when picking out plants, though. To start, you also need to think about what kind of lighting you're going to use, and if you want to use fertilizers. Mosses and rhzome plants do well with low light and don't require fertilizers.