The trick is not having too much light. No matter what substrate you use, if you have too much light and not enough co2 then you will surely have an alage problem. I can speak first hand to a dirt tank with too much light and no co2. If you go dirt with no co2, make sure you have low light. And no matter what light you go with, when you use dirt, you must do weekly water changes.
This I a noob question, but why do you have to do weekly water changes with dirt?
+ 1 why? Only because I run them and don't do them weekly on low/medium tech... Only on the high tech tanks... Tannis leeching happened for about two months on my dirt tanks and then it became hard to notice unless in a white bucket. Am I missing something because I understood that the weekly water changes on the high tech heavily fertilized tanks were for resetting nutrients in the water column?