Ok, so I took everyone's advice and my algae problem is now under control. Thanks. I think that I was just leaving the light on too long.
I still want to put my betta in there as I had origonally planned, but I am a little nervous to do so. The last time I tried it, he split his fin on something (I really don't know what he could have done it on, as all that is in the tank is real plants and smooth driftwood) and got fin rot. I think the fin rot is because the plants were releasing a lot of organic matter into the water.
Since then I have gotten another filter which does a great job clearing up the water, but creates a lot of current. Will my betta stay out of the current, or will he just stress himself out trying to swim through it? Will the gravel eventually come completely clean as I stir it up and siphon the gunk that comes out every week?
Other than those questions, I would really like to hear from people who have kept bettas in planted tanks. Have any advice or tips? Thank you very much, I'm sure you can tell that I am a newbie to planted tanks, so any advice is very appreciated.