For any live plants you need a proper light as well. A T8 at 6500K is good enough. It actually makes the difference. If you don't want to buy a new light, I would do low light plants like java fern, anubias, etc.
Though if you do go higher light, your choices are far greater, sure you can have some high light plants in low light, but with some plants, like ludwigia, the leaves will darken and get a redish color, if you have the right light.
Here is a picture of my tank, it is actually a sorority also. 15 gallon long btw, you can also see some of the dirt. If you do decide to do dirt PM OFL and talk to her, I messed up on mine a bit but it still worked out.