Figured I would give the dirt a try.
This tank wasn't really planned out, I had the tank, light, plants, so I figured "f*** it, why not?" I went to walmart bought some dirt and set it up.
The fixture I'm using is an Odyssea 24" 96W T5 HO Light Fixture , Just running two bulbs though.
1 inch Miracle-gro base, 1/4 inch of lava sand, topped with 1 inch of coarse sand.
Planted it with dwarf sag, red melon sword, red tiger lotus, and a crinum.
The current inhabitants are 6 juvenile kribensis.
So far everything has been running smoothly, which is quite surprising actually.
The water was slightly cloudy the second day, but had cleared up by the third.
I'm interested in how much maintenance this tank will need, the only thing running in it is a nano filter that's providing surface agitation.