Thank you for your input, Byron - you've pretty much mirrored my thoughts exactly. I just don't know where to go from here, or if I should go anywhere! I'm really afraid of messing up the balance and creating an algae outbreak, but as you said - I'm aware that the lighting that is currently running on the tank is the bare minimum - really, only the Java Ferns and a few others should be able to do well under this lighting.
I have to take updated pictures, but the originals in this thread were taken 3 days after set-up - at the beginning of the melting process for the swords, and yes - all of those are the original leaves, and most are gone now. At this point, you wouldn't even be able to see any of the ones in the center of the tank in a photo, though the plants at the corners are faring much better. The new leaves are very close to the substrate and still very small - but they're there. . . everything else in the tank is growing, and even the crypt spirallis is *almost* back to what it was before the melt.
Thanks for the compliment, I really love this setup, too - and am hoping that these sword plants regain their original height and beauty - they really are fundamental to the layout and without them the back wall seems so bare. They did their job in helping the fish feel more secure when they were first transferred into the tank, but I have no experience with these plants, and don't know what they need to thrive from here on in. Be patient, watch, wait. . .
I'm sure it will become more obvious as the new growth starts to really come in - or not, as the case may be.
For now I'm going to add my 24" 20 watt T8 to the back of the tank. It isn't much, but will add a bit of light to the center back, where the swords that need it most can benefit. Time will tell, I suppose - and either way, it should be a fascinating process to observe, and I'll learn a lot from it!