Always encouraged when someone has my book.
You'll need a lot
of plants to fill up a 55 gal, which is why I recommended starting out with a smaller tank. Most plants sold are in the emergent form, so they will have to convert to submerged form, plus adapt to your particular water, soil, and lighting conditions. Dicey at best! Expensive at the worst! If plants don't get off to fast start, algae can take over.
Instead of ordering from a commercial source, I would consider going to an aquarium club meeting. No need to socialize, just investigate, learn and buy your plants and fish from experienced hobbyists. Ask your questions there. The large and esteemed Potomac Valley Aquarium Society
has meetings with auctions afterwards of plants and fish. Most hobbyists sell their plants in the submerged form. Another smaller group meets in Richmond, VA, the James River Aquarium Society
. I've given two talks there and the hospitality is excellent and they auction off plants and fish after the meetings. I would consider attending a meeting of one of these two clubs. Wish I lived closer to them!
My association, beginning in 1987, with the Raleigh Aquarium Society helped catapult me from a beginner into a more knowledgeable and enthusiastic aquarist.