Hey, cool tank. How are you going to do water changes with your 5 gallon? I only ask cause I had a 5 gallon acrylic tank at college and when I did water changes, I carried the tank with the water and did full water changes. Eventually the stress of doing that cracked my tank. >_< It also made a stinky water mess. I guess you could removed the tank and agitate the water to stir up the poop and remove the water with a cup. But you may want to eventually invest in a gravel vacuum and a bucket. Especially if you plan on doing sand in the tank instead of your gems. Just wanted to help you avoid a possible disaster. ;)
Also, if you are considering new plants I suggest some moss ball, java fern, java moss, or anubis plants. The light in your tank should be sufficient enough for those plants. Just remember that if you do get them, don't bury them in the substrate. You can tie them to a rock til they eventually grab hold with their roots. Of course driftwood would also look really nice in your tank. www.plantedtank.net
is a good site to check out.
Hope my suggestions help! Good luck with your fish and school.