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nitrates at 0.5 ppm is less then what I have coming from my tap and is nothing to get in a twist about. I recommend 50% weekly waterchanges. and as far as plants go take a look here to get a general idea http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...-light-planted-tank-144154/page3/#post1749809 Byron has some more in depth guides pinned in the planted section too that you should take a look at.

less is more when it comes to lights when just starting with plants.
 

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as far as lights go, plants prefer red blues and lastly green. pretty much any light you can buy will work for the plants but the 6.7k gives the most natural look to the colors in your tank. with the single t8 12-15 hrs doesn't surprise me with no algae issues, they are very low intensity and I often did this in my lowlight tanks aswell. like chech said if no problems with it then keep the photo period (longer viewing times ^^)
 
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