For plants I can personally vouch for water wisteria and anubias, also cryptocorynes. They are the only ones with constant growth rates ( water wisteria =fast, anubias and crypts= slow) even when I barely provide them with anything: low light and no ferts. I have had other plants that stay alive, but not really grow. I have always wanted to try java fern too, but have never bought any.I agree, though: live plants would look great!