Hey, you're in Calif.
Go to any pool supply store and get # 20 grade quartz-based silica pool filter sand - 50 lbs. should be $10. or less.
Cories love it, and so do shrimp!.
Comes in several different colors - white, beige/sand, pink, grey.
Clean - dust, grit, grime & dirt free - needs little or no rinsing - looks great - won't rise up into the water column when disturbed - won't get into your filters and clog up the impeller assemblies, and you can vac it well without siphoning any out. What more could you ask ?
Just use root tab ferts for your plants.
Have a look: