You don't need to toss the gravel but you may want to add a layer of plant friendly substrate beneath. I'm using Flourite but many seem to like Eco Complete.
Mine is black Flourite covered with Tahitian Moon Sand (also black).
Fish suggestions? Small Tetras or Rasboras. So you can have a school. I love my Neons and my Harlequin Rasboras. Celestial Pearl Danios are also nice fish. I'd feature a nice group of on fish with some Pygmy Cory cats and Otos. Or try shrimp
But test water before adding fish. Use a good conditioner. I use Prime. Go slow. Start with 2 or 3 fish. Once a week 25% water changes. Wait a week or two. Add a few more. Keep testing water before adding fish. (you probably know this stuff)
My 5g gravel bottom tank
My 10g black sand shrimp tank