I'm not in CO any more, but I PM'ed another member who is, maybe his tank is ready and he likes these kinda fish ~fingers crossed~
Really ANY plants is better then non; and you can pack it full whenever you find / order more plants; I had some tanks I had to plant step by step simply due to the lack of resources here now (TN).
If you wanna see the Rotala in action, click here under my name Angel on the tap that say's "Aquariums" under my pictures of the "New 45g" that whole back is FULL by now with it. I love it cause of the fine leaf's and its red-green coloration. Such a shame I'm not in CO any more, I'd give you a bunch of mine, its growing like weed, I'll soon need to start giving it away on here
Hairgrass I just planted (again) in my new 10g set up for shrimp and its KICKING in the sand, there's already several new sprouts coming up and its only been in 2 weeks now; this def does do a LOT better in sand then in fine gravel.
I'd pers get the dwarf Hairgrass, it stay's to about 1.5" and works well in sand.
From experience I doubt the Bronze and Pepper Cory's will school together, but you can try. What I highly recommend if you wanna get Serpae Tetras get at least 8! They're fin nippers, but this behavior sorta subsides when kept in larger groups. I had some but it totally didn't work at all with the Rummy Nose so I had to return them. So really either get a bigger group or something else.