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Hi fish4brains:
I have the same tank with a 15w GE Aqua Rays F15T8-AR-FS light bulb.
My substrate is 1 1/2" regular aquarium gravel over 1" garden potting soil, the tank has been set up this way for over a year. No CO2. The plants I have in there now are:

Hygrophila polysperma
Hygrophila difformis
Ludwigia repens
Microsorium pteropus "windelov"
Rotala rotundifolia
plant sold as Shoestring Sagittaria (not sure what it is?)
Cryptocoryne affinis
Cryptocoryne sp. (dont know)

I've grown before in here:
Anubias nana
Cabomba caroliniana
Ceratopteris thalictroides (which stayed rooted, and had the thinnest multipinnate dark green leaves I've seen.)

Yes you can grow plants in there. Everything grows slow (except the H. polysperma), but its easy to manage.
This is just my experience....
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