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Newbies in aquatic plants

I am something of a (self-proclaimed) expert on the husbandry of the
fishes available to us as aquarists.  What I've been thinking upon
lately is how we recommend to the newbie to stick to fishes that
prefer his water chemistry, and (barring that) fishes that prefer a
similar water chemistry.  I've seen it said many times that individual
plants prefer specific water chemistries, but in the plant
net.cultivation world, this concept hasn't seemed to make an impact.
Wouldn't it be best for newbies to try to start planted tanks
utilizing species that prefer similar conditions?  IME, this has been
implied, but never explicitly stated.  IMO, the FAQ should explicitly
state such information.

As an example, I've decided that my next planted tank (after several
tanks that failed with almost as many plant species as they succeeded)
will be primarily a cryptocoryne tank.  I will use a soil substrate
(beneath a layer of sand), which I will heavily fertilize, and the
only nutrient I will add to the water column will be iron.  My
questions are the following:

Is it necessary to add iron to the water column? (Paul and George, I
would especially like to hear your thoughts on this.)

Which species of crypts should I use for the foreground and the
background?   I realize that there are several choices (though I admit
that I am not very familiar with the taller crypts), but I think the
debate will be interesting.

Thanks all,