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New Tank...need help

Dear Listees,
I have been outdoor bog and pond gardening for the past few years, but have
not had an indoor planted tank before now,(other than a few water plants
mixed in with my artificial plants in a fish aquarium.)

After reading a few posts, I have a couple of questions.  I have a two
empty 30 gallon fish tanks that have been cycling without fish since early
spring when the goldfish went out to the ponds.  I would like to set them
up with plants. These tanks both have undergravel filter with powerheads
and  about 3-4 inches of aquarium gravel.  They also have outside
biofilters as well as an extra double air pump with diffusers. As you can
tell, I believe in LOTS of filtration for my fish.  However, is this the
right equipment for plants? What equipment changes should I make to set
these tanks up for ideal plant conditions?  

My LFS has a small plant assortment, but the clerks have very little info
on the care of them.  I bought some small underwater plants today (Sword
plants, water sprite, anacharis, etc that are planted in little pots.
Question...Can I keep these in the pots and bury them in the gravel? Or do
I need to do a different growing medium? 

One last question...should I put a plecotumus cat in the tank for bottom